The Royal Mile is an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions. During the annual Edinburgh Festival, the High Street becomes crowded with tourists, entertainers and buskers.
The thoroughfare is, as the name suggests, approximately one mile long and runs downhill between two significant locations in the history of Scotland, namely Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The streets which make up the Royal Mile are (west to east) Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand. The Royal Mile is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town, rivalled only by Princes Street in the New Town.
Parliament Square is at the heart of Scotland’s legal system, being the home of both the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session.
In January 2012, the City of Edinburgh Council held a summit with residents, traders and other interested parties to discuss the issue of tourist merchandise, described by some as ‘Tartan Tat’, taking over the street, and how the Royal Mile can be made into a five-star visitor attraction.