We were lucky enough to visit Scotland twice this year – and Edinburgh’s Royal Mile was a must both times. The city – and the Old Town, including Grassmarket – just has a great atmosphere and a vibe all of its own. The Royal Mile links the impressive Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood Palace. The tall buildings on either side, the small laneways, the cobbled streets – you can just imagine street traders selling everything from cows to cotton in days of old.

Scottish bag piper Edinburgh Royal Mile
Naturally, there’s a bag piper on the Royal Mile!

The place is abuzz with tourists, shops, landmarks (such as St Giles Cathedral) and, of course, a whisky experience. Which we tried. As you do. In Scotland. It was lovely!

Scottish Whisky experience Edinburgh
A very pale and very lovely whisky sampled near Edinburgh Castle.

Just a short walk around the corner from the Royal Mile, at the Castle end, is the Grassmarket area. This was a market in medieval times, and a location for public executions, seemingly, but it’s a grand spot now! Pubs, quirky restaurants and coffee shops, and a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle make it a unique experience.

En route to Grassmarket from the Royal Mile, you’ll get to enjoy Victoria Street, one of Edinburgh’s interesting streets. High buildings, colourful shop fronts, a bend in the road, and everything from leather bags to Harry Potter merchandise. It’s all on this street that dates from the early 1800s.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Plenty of old-world charm on Victoria Street, Edinburgh!

Incidentally, if you’re in Edinburgh during December, be sure to check out the Christmas markets. Located in Prices Street Gardens East in the city centre, the markets are a treasure trove. I absolutely love markets, so the stalls of jewellery, crafts, foods, knitwear and, well loads, were a total pleasure.

Edinburgh Christmas market
Colourful knitwear at Edinburgh Christmas Market. Reader, I bought a hat!

Cover pic: Edinburgh Castle pictured from the Tower Restaurant, above the National Museum of Scotland.