4.5 star rating: Recommended 110 Reviews

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  • Location:Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration:2 hours 15 minutes (approx.)

Edinburgh Historical Walking Tour Including Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle

See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh this 2-hour walking tour with skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle. As you walk, listen as your guide shares the history of this formidable city with ancient Roman roots and UNESCO-listed pockets. Explore atmospheric cobbled walkways along the Royal Mile, breeze into Edinburgh Castle to witness royal opulence, and pass iconic locations like St Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square and John Knox House.


  • 2-hour guided walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Old Town, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Wander down centuries-old cobblestone streets, passageways and Edinburgh tenements
  • See St Giles Cathedral, High Street, Parliament Square, John Knox House, Lawnmarket and Castlehill
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle after the tour of Old Town and the Royal Mile

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

On this affordable tour, you’ll see not only Old Town's amazing historical architecture but also hear stories and secrets from Edinburgh’s past. Learn about the real-life person who inspired the fictional character of Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. Then, enjoy fast-track entry into Edinburgh Castle.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Edinburgh Historical Walking Tour Including Skip the Line Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile Afternoon Walking Tour

Your 2-hour sightseeing tour of historic Edinburgh begins in early afternoon. Meet your guide at Mercat Cross on High Street and stroll along the cobbled streets of Old Town, peeking into cloistered courtyards and learning about how centuries of Dunediners (or Edinburgers!) have lived within the city’s narrow passageways, termed ‘closes’ and ‘wynds.’ As you walk, hear about Edinburgh’s extensive history, officially beginning with Roman settlement, though most renowned for its infamous royal residents and bloody wars of religious reformation and independence. 

Follow medieval streets and alleys, and check out the protected Reformation-era constructions such as St Giles Cathedral, often called the High Kirk of Edinburgh. Hear some of the site’s dramatic events like that of Protestant reformer Jenny Geddes, whose assault on a bishop indirectly led to the Wars on the Three Kingdoms. Stop in Parliament Square and at the famous John Knox House, a historic treasure that is one of the last original medieval buildings on the Royal Mile. Then continue on to Castlehill, where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the bustling city below.

Next, head to Edinburgh Castle, strategically perched upon the craggy hilltop of Castle Rock, where you’ll have skip-the-line access to tour the building’s impressive interior. Learn about medieval life in the palace and the many bloody battles fought here such as the War of Independence in the 14th century. On a 45-minute guided tour, explore grand buildings like the Royal Palace and Margaret’s Chapel, see the ancient Stone of Destiny, and soak up the glimmer of the Honours of Scotland’s – the UK’s oldest crown jewels.

Your excursion ends here in the afternoon.

Customer Reviews

Stanley E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

I highly recommend this as a first tour when you arrive...it is a great overview of the city. Loved it.

LuAnn T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Gillian was an absolute delight! The tour was interesting, informative and filled with smiles and local color. Thank you so very much for a delightful experience!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour with details I wouldn't learn on my own. Highly recommend.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Hannah did a terrific job of bringing Scotland's and Edinburgh's history to light.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I enjoyed my Edinburgh Historical walking tour of the Royal Mile very much! Our guide Hannah was great, well informed, friendly, warm and funny. I learned some very interesting details about the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh Castle. Highly recommended!

Shaneen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Excellent tour hosted by Margaret. We saw lots of very interesting things that we had previously walked right past without noticing! Margaret's commentary was informative and pitched at completely the right level. We went into Edinburgh Castle where Margaret describe the various places of interest then left us to our own devices to explore. Timings given for the length of each bit of the tour were spot on. Really enjoyed it and have no hesitation in recommending it.

Elizabeth L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Hannah was Great! It was very apparent she enjoys and she was very good at engaging the group and creating interest in getting us to think about what we were seeing and learning.

Donna V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Amazing tour! The guide was very knowledgeable and group size was not too large at all. We found the historical facts and legends about the Royal Mile and Castle very interesting and amusing.

Elizabeth M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour! Jillian was awesome!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Sue did a fantastic job. She is super knowledgable and kept the group involved and together not easy on a busy Royal Mile. I truly enjoyed this tour, but wear good shoes. The distance did not bother me, but the uneven rocks and paving made for sore feet at the end of the day. I completely recommend this tour.

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Tour code: 293401SECRETS


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