The lower reaches of the Royal Mile are more properly known as Canongate. Here you can find a number of Edinburgh's most interesting pubs, and the Canons' Gate is certainly amongst them.
David I founded a monastery at Holyrood in 1128 and the road followed by the Canons as they moved between the monastery and the walls of Edinburgh further up the hill became the Canons' Way or Canons' Gait.
For many centuries the area known as Canongate remained a separate burgh, outside Edinburgh's city walls. This made it a much more spacious and desirable place to live for the great and the good of the city: though at times it could also make it a dangerous place to live. The area was sacked repeatedly, most comprehensively by Richard II in 1380.
This history is remembered in the name of The Canons' Gait. The building housing the pub is located on the site of Plainstanes Close, so called because it was paved like Canongate itself. In the 1500s Mary Queen of Scots' French tailor Jaques de Soulis lived here.
The pub itself is on two levels. A large and friendly bar occupies the street level, and there is a function room downstairs. A choice of real ales is on offer, and food is freshly prepared on the premises. The location on the Royal Mile and not far from the Scottish Parliament makes the Canons' Gait popular with tourists and passing visitors: though it also attracts local residents.
The Canons' Gait is owned by D.M. Stewart Ltd, whose interest in Edinburgh pubs goes back to the end of the 1800s: they also own several other pubs in Edinburgh, including the Abbotsford and the Guildford.