Thistle Street and Rose Street together flank the central George Street. This arrangement was a key part of the James Craig plan when the New Town was built and is highly symbolic. The rose is the traditional symbol of England, the thistle the symbol of Scotland. George Street itself was named after the King. Thus these three roads represent the king supported by both England and Scotland.
Thistle Court at the east end of the street was the first New Town building to be completed. Other historic buildings included the New Town Dispensary for the poor, the medicinal baths at Mary's Chapel Lodge (now a masonic lodge) and the surgery of royal dentist James Law.
Thistle Street was also the location for the UK premiere of Madame Tussaud's waxworks in 1803. However any tourists wanting to see the exhibition in Edinburgh today will be disappointed; it's been based in London since 1835!
Today Thistle Street is quieter than the better known Rose Street. Despite that it still has a number of excellent pubs, bars and restaurants for those in the know.
There are also shops, many of which tend to be small designer stores and artisans with studio galleries. Some of the best known examples include Pam Jenkins shoes, Alchemia jewellers and 21st Century Kilts.