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Old Town Historical and Underground Tour

  • Led by either the holder of a PhD in Scottish history or a guide with decades of experience
  • Relaxed pace: Take the opportunity to ask questions
  • Offers an insight into Scottish history glossed over by many tours
Old Town Historical and Underground Tour
From US$12.96
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
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Old Town Historical and Underground Tour
From US$12.96
Get an in-depth perspective on Edinburgh on this guided tour that goes deeper than most. Usually led by a guide with a PhD in Scottish history, this tour offers a journey through Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town from the main thoroughfares to the hidden closes (alleyways) and courtyards. Your guide shares tales of dramatic events in the neighborhood's history, as well as those of the writers, philosophers, and inventors who called the area home.
What to Expect
The tour begins outside our ticket office in the epicentre of the Royal Mile where your guide will welcome you and provide a general introduction to Edinburgh and its history. Be sure to ask about the story behind our ticket office which was a former police box! Then your guide will lead you onto South Bridge where you will spend the next half hour underground travelling through our section of underground street. Hear how and why South Bridge was constructed and examine the eighteenth-century bridge arches and stonework from the former houses along the former street. Get a very real sense as to what it was like for an ordinary person to live in this age-old metropolis.  
Next, the tour returns above ground to Royal Mile and you will journey through the “lower” half of the Old Town towards Holyrood Palace, visiting its half hidden yet beguiling closes wynds and courts. Get to know the incredible occurrences which shaped the city’s development such as devastating fires, collapsing stone buildings and bloody sieges. Learn who was the real-life inspiration for the fictional characters Robinson Crusoe, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Ebenezer Scrooge and Sherlock Holmes. 
For the final portion of the tour, travel around the stunning Canongate Kirkyard. This beautiful almost 400-year-old church has extensive royal connections, not just with the twelfth-century Scottish monarch David I but also the House of Stuart and even the modern House of Windsor. Amongst those buried inside the graveyard is Adam Smith the intellectual godfather of capitalism as well as literary muses for Robert Burns – Scotland’s national bard. The tour ends outside Canongate Kirkyard on the Royal Mile, but your guide will happily lead you back to the ticket office where the tour began.
Reviews (17)
1 - 5 of 17 reviews
Reviewed 29 October 2018
So glad we did this!

After a ten day tour of Scotland, we had a day in Edinburgh and we were very happy that a woman on the tour recommended we go on this! Gains was knowledgeable, informative and entertaining in our tour of Old Town & Underground through the...More

1  Thank Anyanwubutler
Becca P, Public Relations Manager at City of Edinburgh Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2018

Thanks for taking the time to review us, we're so glad you had a good time

Reviewed 4 October 2018 via mobile
Great tour

We loved it! Hazel was so enthusiastic and passionate. She clearly loves her city and is really knowledgeable. Highly recommend.

1  Thank Camper676188
Becca P, Public Relations Manager at City of Edinburgh Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 8 October 2018

Hazel is a very talented guide. We're so glad you enjoyed the tour!

Reviewed 29 August 2018
Really Interesting Tour

We booked this trip as we wanted to see the vaults and hear the history of the area. We had Hazel as our guide and she was great. Very interesting, packed full of facts and she was really enthusiastic. Thank you. Really enjoyed it.

Thank Ann-marie M
Remmy F, Guest Relations Manager at City of Edinburgh Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2018

Thank you Ann-Marie, we are very glad you enjoyed Hazel’s knowledge!

Reviewed 17 August 2018
Fallen through time

Our tour started out stepping back in time to explore the streets of Edinburgh,with our guide Major Weir. Winding through alleys, streets and graveyard. In awe of the architecture basking in civil twilight. Moments to pause and take in your surroundings. At each of these...More

Thank tarokitty64
Remmy F, Guest Relations Manager at City of Edinburgh Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2018

Beautifully said! Thank you very much for this lovely review.

Reviewed 8 August 2018
Great way to learn more about Edinburgh's history ...and get scared shitless in the meantime

Lady Primrose had a wonderful way of conveying the history of Edinburgh. Her enthusiasm and humor made the tour what it should be: fun and educational. Loved the stories and anecdotes about the old town, but the part in the vaults was also really worth...More

Thank hsinnaeve
Remmy F, Guest Relations Manager at City of Edinburgh Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2018

Thank you so much for your review, we are glad you enjoyed the tour with Lady Primrose.

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