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“An utter treat”
Review of Gilmerton Cove

Gilmerton Cove
Ranked #26 of 411 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Enter one of Scotland's most curious heritage sites. An archeological mystery that has baffled investigators for over 300 years. Gilmerton Cove is a series of chambers and passageways lying hidden beneath the streets on the South side of Edinburgh. Join us on a guided tour and help us unravel the mysteries of this strange mysterious labyrinth. Please note this attraction is by appointment only, please call to book a slot.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“An utter treat”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

After a few visits to Edinburgh, it's understandable that we're a bit weary of the City Centre. We've seen the Royal Mile, been around the Castle, shopped on Princes Street and seen the Scottish Parliament. We've not yet been on a tram - by my understanding there's still a 3-year waiting list!

Gilmerton Cove is a triumph both for Edinburgh Council and Tripadvisor, without which I doubt we'd have found it. The place almost defies description - an underground labyrinth with indeterminate history, it is a true mystery. The visit wouldn't have been complete without Margaretanne, our host, who radiated enthusiasm, fun and knowledge: showing a mixed-age group around an enclosed space for an hour without ever being patronising or boring is an achievement in itself.

Part of the enigma and charm is the mystery of the place: is it a drinking den? A masons' lodge? A royal hideout? Is it - as I suspected for some time - all completely faked and dug out with JCBs in the 1970s? I wouldn't rule it out...

Reservation is requested to visit Gilmerton Cove, but it's a reservation I would encourage absolutely anyone visiting Edinburgh to make. It's completely off the beaten track, utterly oddball, but for some reason completely compulsive.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank ousgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fun and informative”
Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

Ignore other posts- there are 2 buses leaving from ed city centre (3 & 29). They come every 10 minutes, it is about 20-25 minutes away. Very easy to get to, alight at Lidl and it is next to Ladbrokes.
Our guide Rebecca was excellent and knowledgeable. She showed us around the cove with the tour lasting for approximately 45 minutes. She had a great interest and came across very enthusiastically and was able to answer our questions.
The cove itself is mysterious. It is spooky but the tour is historical rather than scary. Great value for money.

3 Thank Dalealicia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Underground secret”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

This place is small but amazing. It's a secret that needs to be told. There is more to be excavated and hard to tell what secrets might be told. Well worth a stop.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Catherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Leave with more questions than answers”
Reviewed 11 July 2014

This was a low key but interesting and very informative tour. If you go on a weekday your guide will probably be Margaretanne who was lovely, giving lots of back story and theories about the place. Gilmerton Cove is truly mysterious in that none of the experts (archaeologists, engineers etc.) can definitively say when the complex of caves were carved out or why.

If you have 4 hours to spare in Edinburgh then hop on the bus and take this tour which is quite different to your normal Edinburgh tourist attraction .

Visited July 2014
4 Thank sjpoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Surprisingly interesting”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

I had heard about this attraction and finally got around to booking a visit. Depending on the time of year I believe that you have to pre-book a visit as it is not always open for a walk in.

The tour guide was very knowledgable and allowed plenty of time for us to wander around. There is a patchy history to the caves and with some tunnels frustratingly unexcavated it makes you wonder where the tunnels lead to which I suppose adds to its mystery.

This would not be suitable for wheelchair users as there are only stairs.

Visited April 2014
3 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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