The High Street the central section of Edinburgh's Royal Mile which runs from the City Chambers to St Mary's Street, linking the Lawnmarket in the west with the Canongate in the east. It is bisected by George IV Bridge / Bank Street and the North Bridge / South bridge routes. Once the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh's Old Town, it became the administrative and legislative centre of the city (and country) and today it is the second longest section of the Royal Mile, next to the Canongate.
Located along the High Street are Parliament Square, the High Courts, St. Giles Cathedral, the Tron Kirk, together with various 'closes', or alleys, dating from mediaeval times, although mostly much altered.
In 1520, the High Street was the site of a pitched battle between the Hamiltons and the Douglases which became known as Cleanse the Causeway because of the volume of blood which had to be cleaned afterwards.
The pavements were widened in the 1990s to restrict vehicular access and promote its use as a centre of Edinburgh's tourist trade.