Right in the middle of the Royal Mile stands Deacon Brodies Tavern. It's not a tourist trap as it is rather a good pub, but you can expect to find a good selection of tourists here at any time of the year. there are, however, plenty of locals to balance things up. It's always a bit of a pilgrimage for me when I visit Edinburgh to go here for a pint or two. there are a good selection of beers and whiskies offered as well as food in the restuarant upstairs, although I've never eaten here.
So who was this Deacon Brodie then? Well, he was an interesting character and somewhat of a legendary Edinburgh figure. there is a board outside the pub explaining his history which goes something like this.
William Brodie was born in 1741, and, like his father before him became a cabinet-maker. He flourished and eventually became leader of his craft guild, from where the honorific Deacon comes.
By night, however, he was gambling, drinking and generally carousing, often in the Tavern that now bears his name. Unable to fund his lavish lifestyle, even with his wealth and position, he took to a life of crime, principally burglary of the homes of the rich where he was legitimately employed during the day.
Eventually he was betrayed by a member of his gang, and although he fled overseas, he was returned for trial and sentenced to hang. Sentence was carried out on 01/10/1788, ironically on a scaffold that he had designed and built himself. Or was it? Conspiracy theorists would have it that he bribed the hangman and fled to Paris. Visit this lovely old pub and judge for yourself.
The Royal Mile must by right be one of the most famous streets in the World. It's stuffed with history as well as nice little modern shops in a delightful mix. Along the street there is, amongst other houses, of course the Castle, the Cannonball House, St. Giles Cathedral, Camera Obscura, the City Chambers, Riddle's Court, Moubray House which is said to be the oldest house in the city dating back to ~1450, the Moray House, the Scottish Parliament, the Palace of Holyrood House and last but not least, the Holyrood Abbey.
Next time in Edinburgh I will have to spend a lot more time to fully explore the street....
Once a church, this building from the 19th century in Gothic style kept its high tower (74 m). Is is used in public events, and it has a restaurant in regular operation.
A couple of hours was enough to get a comment from a Scottish VTer that explained that it was his high school.
In edinburgh-royalmile... I read:
"This Gothic style building was built between 1842-1844 by Augustus Pugin (1812-1852) and James Gillespi0e Graham (1777-1858) to originally house the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the kirks presiding body.
The Tolbooth Kirk's impressive octagonal spire at 74m (240ft) is the tallest in Edinburgh.
It has not been used as a kirk since 1984 but opened as THE HUB in 1999 Endinburgh's Festrival Centre. (...)"
In VT I learned that now it "...houses the People's Story Museum..."
In Wikipedia I learned also that "The Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation" which means that my notes are not so wrong, but, from the comment, I finally learned that, from 1984 to (?) it was... a high school. Thanks.
The Royal Mile connects the castle with Holyrood House, and is the main touristic path in Edinburgh.
Lined with services to tourists (gift shops, bars and restaurants), here and there we see a classified building or a church, with evidence to St. Gilles Cathedral.
A nice walk for everyone of us, except Fernanda who was sick.
Mercat Cross was, in the old days, the central meeting place in the market where Royal proclamations and other official announcements were read.
The cross atill has parts of the original from the 14th century standing in a shaft from the 19Th.
During our visit to Edinburgh I was amazed at how many museums and galleries are absolutely free to visit, without any admission charges. And I was grateful that I'd done my homework on VT and other websites before our trip, because next to the National Museum of Scotland and other obvious sites there are some smaller, highly interesting little places tucked-away from the usual tourist path that are easy to miss - such as the Museum of Edinburgh.
The Museum gives you a glance at the city's history: all the way from prehistoric times to the present day.
Start-off by exploring the exhibition of archaeological finds at Crammond, describing the life of occupying Roman forces in east Scotland almost 2000 years ago. Then move forward through time, seeing the numerous artifacts that illustrate the development of the city, including the original plans for the New Town (by architect James Craig). Did you know that some of the city's first water pipes were made of elmwood? (click photo to see) And what the expression "Gardy Loo!" means?
Another section uses displays to illustrate life in the Old and New Towns from the 1760's, and until our visit to this museum I wasn't actually aware of the fact that Edinburgh had a rich history in the crafts of silver and glassware. Here you can view extensive collections of Edinburgh-made silverware, glassware, pottery and decorative art from various centuries, including a splendid cut-glass epergne made at the Holyrood Glass Works to commemorate Queen Victoria's accession to the throne (1837). A collection of old shop signs includes the one from the tobacconists shop of James Gillespie (1726-97), founder of Gillespie's hospital & school.
Some other important or celebrated relics include the National Covenant (a petition demanding religious freedom from 1638), and the original collar, food and water bowl of Greyfriar's Bobby (see my separate tip on this fondly remembered terrier) along with the original model for the statue in Candlemaker Row (outside the pub with the same name). I have to admit that initially, as animal-crazy as I am, this little collection of items had been the main reason I wanted to come to this museum ;-) Click on the photo to see this loyal doggy's items display.
I'm usually not a huge fan of museums & many can be "dry" and boring, but this magnificent archive really is diverse and John & I spent a good hour here and very much enjoyed it.
I liked how this relatively small building (tall people, mind your heads in here!) gave us such a broad overview of the city's entire history, without necessarily having to visit dozens of different buildings & sights to get the same insights.
Every street corner of Edinburgh is just oozing with history,
but on a rainy day why not take shelter from the weather in one of these small & inviting museums?
Sundays (during August only): 12noon-05:00pm.
Admission is FREE - although donations are welcome & all sales from their small gift shop pay towards the upkeep of this museum.
TIP: A visit here should go hand-in-hand with a visit to "The People's Story", exactly opposite.
Facing St Giles cathedral in the Royal Mile, there's a statue identified as "Duke of Buccleugh" that, for me, meant... no one. Trying to identify him, I read that he was Walter... something... Scott, and that obviously mean something for me (and everybody else in the world). reading more, I notice that... it was a coincidence - sir Walter Scott lived from 1771 to 1832, and this gentleman from 1806 to 1884. I believe that the duke's father was a great admirer of the writer, but his son keeps being for me, just what he was when I met him in Edinburgh - someone in a statue.
The Royal Mile is a collective name for the streets connecting Edinburgh Castle, at the top end, with Holyrood House at the bottom. The official names of these streets are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street and Canongate, and a short stretch called Abbey Strand leading up to the entrance of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Along the Royal Mile there are at least two dozen buildings that could with some justification be described as tourist attractions, so it's no wonder you can find lots of tourists along here. In fact if you have lost some tourist acquaintances and can’t reach them on their cell phones, this would be a good place to start looking for them.
Down towards the lower end of the Royal Mile there are two local history museums which document the history of Edinburgh in quite different ways.
This one, the Museum of Edinburgh, gives an interesting if rather conventional view of the city's growth and development over the centuries.
It is located in a restored 16th century building called Huntly House.
Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sundays during August 12 noon - 5pm. Admission is free.
In addition to the museum "The People's Story", the historic building "Canongate Tolbooth" also houses a traditional pub (said to be "popular with tourists" -- no wonder, considering where it is) called the Tolbooth Tavern.
Hotel Ceilidh-Donia Edinburgh
4 Reviews and 373 Opinions Initial Enquiries All my inquiries made prior to and after the booking were very promptly attended...
The Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh
4 Reviews and 1158 Opinions Two men wearing kilts (or trews) welcome you at the door and an open fire welcomes you in the lobby,...
Prestonfield House Edinburgh
1 Review and 341 Opinions Luxury country house type hotel located at the foot of the rocky crags about 5 minutes drive from...