4.5 star rating: Recommended 109 Reviews

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

Edinburgh Historical Walking Tour Including Royal Mile and Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Pack in history, mystery and local flavor on this 2-hour walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Follow an informative guide into Old Town’s labyrinth of cobblestone alleyways and tenements, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and find secret places you’d never discover on your own. As you pass St Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square and John Knox House, hear about Edinburgh’s colorful and turbulent past. Follow this great introduction to the Royal Mile with a tour of Edinburgh Castle and learn how this iconic fortress shaped the country’s history.


  • 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 Royal Mile and Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile Afternoon Walking Tour

This walking tour lasting just over 2 hours takes you into Edinburgh’s Old Town, which has retained much of its medieval street orientation and Reformation-era buildings. Together with New Town constructed in the 18th century, Old Town stands as part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Running through its center is the Royal Mile.

Meet your knowledgeable guide at Mercat Cross on High Street, one of the Royal Mile's four 'sections'. At this central meeting place, townspeople and merchants once gathered to hear royal proclamations and pick up local gossip.

Follow your guide into Old Town’s maze of cobblestone streets and concealed courtyards. Learn about the city’s ‘closes,’ cramped alleywaysl, and ‘wynds,’ narrow lanes between houses.

Your venture down the Royal Mile includes a feast of entertaining stories from Edinburgh’s past. Hear about the life of Deacon Brodie, town councilman by day, thief by night, which inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Take a look at the tightly clustered tenement buildings of Old Town, some reaching 14 stories. It is said people on the higher floors could reach out and shake hands with their neighbors in the opposite building, whereas people below kept their ears open for warnings of ‘Gardyloo!' — you’ll find out what this means.

Stop before the formidable St Giles’ Cathedral, formally known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, the cradle of Scottish Reformation during the 16th century. As you gaze up at the crown steeple, listen to dramatic historical tales involving Protestant Reformers, brave Covenanters and the fiery Jenny Geddes who threw her chair at a bishop, an act that supposedly started a riot that led to a war.

In Parliament Square, stand before the House built in 1641 and hear about the Great Fire of 1824. Admire the 15th-century craftsmanship of John Knox House while learning of its role in the turbulent abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots.

From Lawnmarket, the oldest part of Old Town, walk up Castlehill to the ceremonial parade ground called the Esplanade, which boasts commanding views of the city.

Then, enter Scotland’s most famous historic attraction: Edinburgh Castle. This castle has witnessed a number of bloody battles, including the War of Independence between the Scots and English in the 14th Century. Learn about its remarkable history on a 45 minute guide tour of the grounds.

After the tour concludes, you can move through the rooms and see wonders like the Honours of Scotland, the oldest crown jewels in the United Kingdom, and the Stone of Destiny, the coronation seat of ancient kings. You can also visit St Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh’s oldest building, and its military museums.

Customer Reviews

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Wonderful walk along and around the Royal Mile but also in the history of Edinburgh. Alex, the guide, was very knowledgeable and so artistic that made the tour really nice!

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Tour code: 293401SECRETS


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