The Royal Mile by Jan-Andrew Henderson Review Wednesday 24th May 2017

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“The Royal Mile – A Comprehensive Guide” by Jan-Andrew Henderson is the latest addition to the many books available on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.  So, what makes this one different? 

Jan-Andrew Henderson was a tour guide on the Royal Mile for over 20 years, so he certainly knows his stuff.  As well as a wealth of historical information about the Royal Mile and all the closes, courts and side streets, he has added an Interest Rating and Haunted Rating to each of them, although an Interest Rating does of course always have to be personal depending on what actually interests you.  He also has frequent “Fun Facts” – an example on one of the residents of Campbell’s Close (North) reads “George Douglas once escaped prosecution for killing a footman by claiming the man ran onto his drawn sword.  Hmmmm.”  You can just imagine these being the sort of asides that a tour guide would add into his repertoire of stories. 

The book takes a logical progression, starting at Edinburgh Castle and heading down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace and Park, and is a light enough volume to carry in your pocket or bag to use as a self-guided tour as you stroll down the Royal Mile.  It’s illustrated throughout with colour photos and each section has a detailed map.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive history of the Royal Mile, there are other far more detailed books out there, but for a book that adds information and interest to your walk, with a bit of humour there too, this one is ideal.

“The Royal Mile – A Comprehensive Guide” was published by Amberley Publishing on 15th May 2017. 

Review by Lisa Sibbald

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