History of Edinburgh's Rose Street

Rose Street was included on James Craig’s original plan for Edinburgh’s New Town. His award winning symetrical design has George Street as the main thouroughfair flanked to the north by Queen Street and to the south by Princes Street.

Both Rose Street and Thistle Street are narrower streets and run parallel to the three main streets. Rose Street runs between Princes Street and George Street and Thistle Street lies between George Street and Queen Street to the north.

Edinburgh’s new town was created during the reign of the Hanovarian monarch King George III and the streets names reflect this period in history in celebration of the United Kingdom and the union of the Crowns. Rose and Thistle Street were named after the Emblems of Scotland (the thistle) and England (the Rose).

Originally Rose Street was used as a service entrance to the grand residential homes on Princes Street and George Street. Today Rose Street is fully pedestrianised, and the pavements are decorated with eight different mosaic roses.

Many of the large department stores on Princes Street also have back entrances on Rose Street such as Jenners, Primark, Marks & Spencers and Debenhams.

Rose street is divided in three places by Castle Street, Frederick Street and Hanover Street which run at right angles. South Castle Street is also pedestrianised and allows for regular open-air food markets.

With an abundance of unique and specialist shops, restaurants and more bars per yard than any other street in the capital giving Rose Street the nickname “The Amber Mile”. It’s a favourite drinking game to attempt to have a drink in each bar along the length of Rose Street.

It’s the perfect place to shop and relax in one of the numerous bars and restaurants, many with child friendly outdoor seating safely away from any traffic.