Royal Mile is the name given since the 16th-century to a succession of streets which form the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh.
As the name suggests, the Royal Mile is approximately one Scots mile long,and runs between two foci of history in Scotland, from Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Castle Rock, down to Holyrood Palace.
The streets which make up the Royal Mile are (west to east) Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand.The Royal Mile is Edinburgh Old Town’s busiest tourist street, rivalled only by Prince Street in the New Town.
Stone above storms, you rear upon the ridge:
we live on your back, its crag-and-tail,
spires and tenements stacked on your spine,
the castle and the palace linked by one rope.
A spatchcocked town, the ribcage split open
like a skellie, a kipper, a guttit haddie.
We wander through your windy mazes,
all our voices are flags on the high street.
From the sky’s edge to the grey firth
we are the city, you are within us.
Each crooked close and wynd is a busy cut
on the crowded mile that takes us home
in eden Edinburgh, centred on the rock,
our city with your seven hills and heavens.