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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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Very informative tour!

Marc L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Very funny and entertaining guide - Gillian.

Patrick B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Booking with Viator for the Mercat tour was a great idea. My wife and I enjoyed the educational tour that took us through the Royal Mile and into the castle. I appreciated the options to have the Viator pass for my iPhone. It was a little tricky calling Mercat Tours to confirm our appointment, but that worked out also. The staff at Mercat tours were friendly and helpful. We had a wonderful tour guide.

Kenna J USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

I loved Edinburgh and plan to go back. It was terrible weather when we toured but we made the most of it. The town is quite condensed, packed with people and lots of things to do. I would recommend a few days because it is so crowded that it makes sightseeing take longer than normal. Our guide was great and shared a lot of the Scottish history that I had not heard.

Kevin M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Our tour guide Margaret was absolutely amazing! The Tour was deeply informative and made our visit to Edinburgh come alive with its rich history and secret gems. If you are travelling to Edinburgh, a Mercat historical walking tour is a MUST.

Kevin and Jessica


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Excellent start to my week in Edinburgh - although the weather was rainy and cold, the tour guide made this trip fun and informative. We saw a lot of interesting sights in the tour and learned a lot that I would not have been able to learn on my own. The Castle was a highlight of the tour - don't miss! Her commentary was great, and added a nice perspective to the tour. I was able to go back the next day and revisit some of the sights again with a better understanding of the history. Highly recommend!

Ursula S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Sue was a great and enthousiastic guide. I totally enjoyed the tour and can only recommend it.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Our tour guide Wendy was a wealth of knowledge and we really loved our walking tour so much information and history along the Royal Mile and then the Castle Edinburgh Castle is spectacular, would highly recommend this tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our guide was a lovely young lady who kept us entertained as well as informed. She provided much insight into Edinburgh's history, tales, and locations. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour which ended in Edinburgh Castle.

Connie P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Awesome tour with Kim. Her wit and knowledge was exceptional.

Connie from Wisconsin

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