Think of shopping in Scotland and you’ll maybe think of cashmere and kilts, of whiskey and woollen tweed, all accompanied by bagpipes? Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, a stone’s throw from the Holyrood Aparthotel offers all this and so much more.
Getting to the Royal Mile
Guests staying at Holyrood Aparthotel in Edinburgh are a literal one minute walk from some of the best Royal Mile shopping. If that wasn’t incentive enough, the hotel’s location just off Bakehouse Close, means your close enough to enjoy the Mile, but not so close that the all-hours popularity of the Mile doesn’t ruin your sleep. On top of that, the apartments at Holyrood give you more freedom, more space and more of that at-home feeling.
Walk the Mile, And More
Edinburgh’s Royal Mile can truly be called unique. Can there be another street in the world that has a palace at one end and a castle at the other? There’s a myriad of off streets to explore too, but, be warned, you’ll want to linger, and a combination of cobblestones and shopping doesn’t make for comfy feet. So, ditch the swanky shoes and grab those favourite walking ones.
“It’s Christmas!” - Did Slade Have Edinburgh In Mind?
A recent survey voted Edinburgh as the best place to visit for its Christmas shopping experience, and they really do pull out all the stops. Locals will tell you that the two best things in the world are Scotland and Christmas - countless visitors will agree that they don’t need much of an excuse for a knees up. The official “kick-off” to a six week spectacular is November 18th – Light Night, when thousands throng to witness the illuminations being switched on, the mesmerising fireworks and to soak up the holiday vibe. Making the shopping experience complete are enumerable street entertainers and, should you begin to worry that closing time might cut short your enjoyment, most of the shops stay open until 8pm, with pubs and restaurants open much later still.
If you’re looking for an unapologetic Christmas shopping experience, then Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, just across the road from Holyrood Aparthotel should be your first stop. The shop might be ‘wee’ in size, but it’s packed with more Christmas kitsch you can shake a candy cane at.
On the Mile, But Off the Beaten Track
Unsurprisingly, the Royal Mile caters for tourists, but remember the more touristy the store, the more touristy the prices, so don’t neglect the alleys and the small lanes off the main streets. These are often enclaves of some of the very best contemporary independent retailers in the capital including artisans, vintage clothing and antiques. Take a walk off the beaten track and just a few minutes away you’ll find boutiques full of interesting brands and exclusive pieces you can’t get elsewhere. A good start is Paper Tiger in Stafford Street – a real gem of an Edinburgh destination for unique Scottish gifts and souvenirs as well as an inspiring collection of books, toys and jewellery. Top tip – don’t miss their delicious Paper Tiger Chocolate bars. If you really want the skinny on where to go, grab a cuppa and visit.
Food, Glorious Food.
Where to Go to Look Cool (And Keep Warm!)
For a modern take on knitwear and accessories, try the quirky Ness Clothing Co which offers fabulous range of ladies handbags designed in Edinburgh and inspired by Scotland. The Woollen Mill and Heritage of Scotland will get you looking fresh dipped in Scottish couture whilst Hawico stocks stacks of cashmere sweaters and scarves in a rainbow of desirable colours, and they can even make one especially for you!
If you want a real taste of the history of Scotland combined with a one-of-a-kind retail experience, skip the malls, head offline and head onto Edinburgh’s Royal Mile for a shopping experience second to none.