A walk down the Royal Mile, including The Canongate, is a quintessential Edinburgh experience. Numerous walking tours, covering themes such as history, architecture, ghosts, food, and photography, feature a stop at some of The Canongate’s top attractions, in particular Canongate Kirk. Other Edinburgh sightseeing tours, by car or bus, also feature stops in Canongate, as well as nearby attractions such as the Palace of Holyrood House. Other historic sites along The Canongate include Morocco Land, Bible Land, White Horse Close, and Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh).
Things to Know Before You Go
The Canongate is a must for first-time visitors to Edinburgh.
Wear sturdy shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
It’s best to wear layers and bring rain gear, as the weather in Edinburgh can be unpredictable.
There is cobblestone on certain sections of The Canongate, which can be difficult for wheelchairs, strollers, and mobility devices to navigate.
How to Get There
The Canongate is located at the lower, eastern end of the Royal Mile. It’s easiest to start at Edinburgh Castle and walk down towards Canongate. The city’s primary train and bus terminal (Edinburgh Waverley) is within walking distance of Canongate. Buses 6 and 35 stop near the Palace of Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament.
When to Get There
The Canongate can be visited at any time. It’s at its liveliest (and busiest) in the summer, when a number of festivals take place in the city. If you want to avoid the crowds and don’t mind the cold, visit in the winter instead.
How Canongate Got Its Name
The Canongate got its name from the Augustine monks of Holyrood Abbey. The monks, who were known as “canons,” would make their way to Edinburgh, which was a different burgh at the time, along this street, known as “gaet” in Scots.
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