Edinburgh old town is gorgeous, and the Royal Mile is its crown jewel. It is exactly one Scottish mile long, which is 1.6 kilometres. While the Royal Mile was named one of the most beautiful streets in the world this year: understandably, stunning streets like this attract myriads of tourists every month, making it the worst tourist trap in the UK.
Holiday rental company Casago has conducted a study revealing the UK’s worst tourist traps, and the Royal Mile took the top spot. The said study went on a deep dive of TripAdvisor’s reviews, uncovering which UK hotspots offer the most overpriced souvenirs, overpriced restaurants and heaps of people crammed in one place.
Unsurprisingly, Edinburgh Old Town is packed with crowds of art lovers all through August for the Edinburgh Fringe, making it the worst month for tourist traps as well.
The reviews themselves that were revealed said it all: one person named our wee Royal Mile a “tourist trap of world-leading proportions’. Another traveller awarded the street two stars with a review saying: “overcrowded and vulgar, the street has been given over to commercialism and has lost its soul”.
What is more, the Royal Mile was not the only Edinburgh tourist trap mentioned within the list. The Witchery by the Castle took the ninth place on the list: London was the only other city that had two locations on the top ten list.
Things to do on Royal Mile
However, we all know that our Royal Mile is not all doom and gloom, to avoid the tourist traps, try Gordon’s Trattoria for some delicious Italian food, Piggs for some Spanish tapas and wine or head to the speakeasy bar Eve just around the corner from the street to escape the crowds.
The UK’s Worst Tourist Traps list
1. Royal Mile, Edinburgh
2. London Eye, London
3. Covent Garden, London
4. Land’s End Landmark, Cornwall
5. Shambles, York
6. The Needles, Totland
7. Stonehenge, Salisbury
8. The Cavern Club, Liverpool
9. The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh
10. Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House and Museum, Bath