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Walking the Royal Mile

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Will be going to the Military Tatoo in August. Wondering about the walk up to the castle for an older person? If one takes a slower pace is it a fairly easy walk. I realize everyone is different , just looking for opinions on those who have done the walk.

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1 hour ago, hunt182644 said:

Will be going to the Military Tatoo in August. Wondering about the walk up to the castle for an older person? If one takes a slower pace is it a fairly easy walk. I realize everyone is different , just looking for opinions on those who have done the walk.

The shortest route to the castle is from Princes street near the bottom of the Mound (hill) using the following route that we took. It is a rather steep hill but doable if you take your time.  From Princess street, we crossed Waverly Bridge , turned right onto Market Street. turned left onto Bank Street (turn right at intersection with Giles to remain on Bank), turned right onto Lawnmarket Street and then continue up Castle Hill to the castle.  

I recommend that you check the route on Google Maps using "street view" - you will get a good idea of the incline. No matter which route you choose, it is a long incline.

Alternately, you can use the HOHO, bus or a taxi to get up the hill.

Note: avoid the closes as these are very narrow and steep - we made the mistake of using one of the closes (can't remember its name) to get up to the Mile and almost killed ourselves with the uphill climb. 

Hope you enjoy the Tattoo - it is a phenomenal experience!

 

Edited by dogs4fun

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On 10/30/2019 at 2:18 PM, dogs4fun said:

The shortest route to the castle is from Princes street near the bottom of the Mound (hill) using the following route that we took. It is a rather steep hill but doable if you take your time.  From Princess street, we crossed Waverly Bridge , turned right onto Market Street. turned left onto Bank Street (turn right at intersection with Giles to remain on Bank), turned right onto Lawnmarket Street and then continue up Castle Hill to the castle.  

I recommend that you check the route on Google Maps using "street view" - you will get a good idea of the incline. No matter which route you choose, it is a long incline.

Alternately, you can use the HOHO, bus or a taxi to get up the hill.

Note: avoid the closes as these are very narrow and steep - we made the mistake of using one of the closes (can't remember its name) to get up to the Mile and almost killed ourselves with the uphill climb. 

Hope you enjoy the Tattoo - it is a phenomenal experience!

 

 

Don't actually agree, sorry! The shortest walk to The Castle is from George IV Bridge which is at the bottom end of The Lawnmarket.  The walk up from Princes Street is very difficult. There are however local buses from outside the National Gallery on Princes Street up The Mound to George IV Bridge.  It's only one stop but my OH does it as he couldn't possibly walk up. 

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2 minutes ago, tartanexile81 said:

 

Don't actually agree, sorry! The shortest walk to The Castle is from George IV Bridge which is at the bottom end of The Lawnmarket.  The walk up from Princes Street is very difficult. There are however local buses from outside the National Gallery on Princes Street up The Mound to George IV Bridge.  It's only one stop but my OH does it as he couldn't possibly walk up. 

Thank you for the clarification. As you are a local, I will happily defer to your expertise. We have always used the route via Waverly - never from Lawnmarket. Will give your route a try on our next visit to the Royal Mile.

We have read good reviews of the Witchery but have never tried it - our favorite haunt remains Deacon Brodie's Tavern.

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1 hour ago, dogs4fun said:

Thank you for the clarification. As you are a local, I will happily defer to your expertise. We have always used the route via Waverly - never from Lawnmarket. Will give your route a try on our next visit to the Royal Mile.

We have read good reviews of the Witchery but have never tried it - our favorite haunt remains Deacon Brodie's Tavern.

I’d be happy to go for a drink in Deacon Brodie’s too but it does get incredibly busy during the Fringe so I wouldn’t really go there at that time with somebody elderly who needed to sit down. I just thought The Witchery was a safe bet as it is so close to the Castle and can be booked in advance. 

Edited by tartanexile81

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On 10/30/2019 at 8:33 AM, hunt182644 said:

Will be going to the Military Tatoo in August. Wondering about the walk up to the castle for an older person? If one takes a slower pace is it a fairly easy walk. I realize everyone is different , just looking for opinions on those who have done the walk.

We are also going in August on the Regal Princess.  My husband is in a wheelchair and we are arranging for an 8 person tour designed for those with limited mobility. I'll be posting more info on the Roll Call.

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My mother in law has a heart condition and found this walk challenging this last spring. She was able to do it but we did take frequent stops and breaks. 

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There are two parts to the city centre really. The old town is built on an extinct volcano and at school we called it the crag and tail. The Castle sits on the crag which is the top and the 'tail' stretches down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  The volcano is even steeper on the side that comes up from Princes Street  so I would say that it the most difficult walk.  

 

However the other part of the city centre was designed and built on level ground and is called the New Town - despite the fact it was built 250 plus years ago. It is where the shops are but to be honest it is the most beautiful part of the city in my opinion.  The art galleries are there, Princes Street gardens, beautiful squares where the rich people lived (and still do), great restaurants  and although there may be shop frontages at ground floor level, the original architecture is still there on the floors above, showing beautifully preserved buildings. It is also a World Heritage Site. There is  a narrow pedestrianised street called Rose Street which has several great authentic Scottish pubs. This is just a suggestion for those with walking difficulties instead of exhausting themselves on the Royal Mile. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 2:02 PM, tartanexile81 said:

There is  a narrow pedestrianised street called Rose Street which has several great authentic Scottish pubs.

 ...and goodness were they packed full nightly! Such a great discovery while I explored the New Town although I decided not to venture in; each one was packed fuller than the next but it sure looked fun. I knew I was out of my element when I was in Greyfriars Bobby one afternoon 😉 

 

I don't know if I could say I prefer the Old Town over the New my impression was they were both glorious but in completely different ways. I think it must have been obvious when planning the New Town that it had to be as wonderful, but of course in a new style, and it is. I lean towards old things, but what is wonderful here might be how well they complement each other, of course. An outsider can't rightly say one is better.

 

Plan to take time on the walk, and there are ample places of wonder along the Mile to stop and recharge when heading up to the castle. Peak down the closes, pop into St. Giles, look into shops here or there - it is so pretty and picturesque, you will want to see everywhere and go slow anyway. It's gradually inclining and just steeper towards the approach but lots of people will be around you and as you see the castle getting closer the excitement will hopefully provide you with an extra boost of energy knowing you're nearly there and about to have an unforgettable experience on your visit!

 

I felt like I traveled through time when I was there and can still feel the wind blowing about; it was kind of chilly that day but nice and sunny while I was up the castle and so I didn't care. Once back down the mile, normal wind conditions again. After I went home I got a book about Mary Queen of Scots. She must have told me to....

 

Enjoy your visit and let us know how it went when you're home. 

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Thanks to all who have replied. Am sure that as the walk to the top and the Tattoo get close excitement and several Advil will get me and my hip to the top. 

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