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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

Kim L Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Great insight into historical Edinburgh! Tour guide was very knowledgeable and I would highly recommend to others interested in walking the streets of Edinburgh.

Jennifer T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

My 15 year old son and I took this tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and provided great insight to Edinburgh history that we would not have gotten on our own. I found the well system and the fact that the Radisson Blu hotel on the Royal Mile is actually the newest building there, not one of the older ones which it looks like especially interesting. Be prepared to work your legs. Edinburgh is a very vertical city. There are LOTS of steps and ups and downs. If possible, I would do this tour early on your trip. You get to see a lot of things/places you may want to explore further later in your trip. You end at Edinburgh castle and can spend as much time there as you want.

John W D Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This was a great tour even made more interest by our guides knowledge and light hearted delivery

Linda M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This was our last tour while in Edinburgh and worth the wait! William, our guide, was punctual, informative and funny! Learning the key points in this beautiful city, as well as it's Geologic history, made our visit even more fascinating!

Shane S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Lady was very informative. Saw sections of Edinburgh we didn't know existed and probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Learned about parts and structures of Edinburgh we wouldn't have noticed or think were worth notice otherwise.

Robin D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Excellent tour guide! Loved the walk and stories!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Fascinating, well organized tour with many historical stories and facts about the buildings and landscape around you on the Royal Mile. Well worth it, especially if you're only in the city for a short time.

Sheila F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

I'm now obsessed with the castle! Great tour guide Naomi! She was very funny and knowledgeable.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

We had such a great time on this tour. Our guide was very knowledgable and you could tell he was proud of his city. He even gave us more information every time we ran into him after our tour had ended. I would definitely recommend this tour for anyone visiting Edinburgh.

savanna h

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Our tour guide was hilarious! I can and #39;t think of her name right now but this is a tour I highly recommend to anyone coming to Edinburgh. She was well informed and kept us laughing. Absolutely a 5 star experience!

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