See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh this 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.
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 Travelers Choose This Tour
See all the highlights of the Old Town—including a skip-the-line visit to Edinburgh Castle—to make the most of limited time
Your 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 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.
the tour was like going shopping but only being in one area of the shopping center for a long time. Calling it a walking tour is well exaggerated. It was more like a shuffling your feet tour and there was filming going on so we had to imagine what things were like while the guide told us about things on the Royal Mile. Told not allowed to take pictures where filming was and lots of long talks while standing and waiting to move on. The tour guide was very knowledgeable however. This tour is really not good for people who like to walk. Then the irony is that it had skip the line at the Castle, only to wait in a circle to get the tickets (longer then going up to get the tickets yourself).
This was a wonderful way to get a feel of the Royal Miles in Edinburgh and Rachel (Mercat Tours) was enthusiastic, knowledgable and a great guide. Seeing the architecture, hearling about the Closes, the history of the street and building and the Castle. Couln't see the Palance (Queen is residence) but saw Crown being transferred to Palance. Great tour, highly Recommended!
Best way to start your stay Edinburgh. You should do this tour before anything else. Guide gives you great insight on Old Edinburgh, and you get into the castle which is a MUST SEE. Take this tour for sure!
Tour was ok, too many people to keep up with so you really couldn't explore too much. Misleading directions to actually meet the tour, (Mercat cross is not a street but a monument), misleading in the amount of time you would have to actually explore the castle in that if you left the grounds you could not re-enter without paying again. Disappointing
Our guide was excellent and had lots of knowledge about events that took place along the Royal Mile. We walked along until we reached the castle and then were left on our own to explore. It ran a little longer than expected but it was fun. The castle is also great!
I would just like to say that Nicky our tour guide was amazing. She was so knowledgeable about the subject and made our tour an enjoyable experience. Some of the stories she told you would not of got anywhere else . I learned many things about the history of Edinburgh, prominent people and the architecture of the city. There was also a lot of humour involved. I don't normally go on historical tours but I am glad I went on this one. I would thoroughly recommend this tour.