• Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 42.85 View price calendar

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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

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

Amy R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We received excellent customer service at every level! Our original booking had been made for the wrong day and we didn't discover this until minutes before the tour was starting. One call to the tour service got us to the correct meetup point, swapped our tour date, and since we were the only booking, resulted in a private tour of the city from our excellent guide William. We had a great time and were treated to the full experience, even though it was just us. A truly wonderful day and we really got an insiders view of this incredible city.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Great tour, guide knew all the stories and gave great insight

Yvonne G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Great tour, would highly recommend it. Best to also do at start of your trip so that you can revisit some of the spots that were mentioned on the tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Great tour with guide Sue who had lots of local knowledge.

Kerry M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Great tour, guide knew a lot

Christina K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Without a doubt one of the best tours I have ever been on - and I usually take a few a month! Great guide and fantastic information

Tori B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Really liked the guide, very interesting tour

Samantha C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Our tour guide Laura from Mercat Tours was exceptional. She quite simply made this tour the most memorable part of our entire visit to Edinburgh. Her passion for the history of this city, particularly the medieval period, was infectious. She brought humour into play and she balanced facts and figures with fascinating story-telling. And there are plenty of stories to hear about Edinburgh's history. She was also very considerate, sheltering us in the narrow closes, out of the bitter wind to continue her stories. I would thoroughly recommend this tour, and ask for Laura!

Bryan D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Our guide was terrific and well informed. In addition, it was a small group so we were all able to hear what she had to say. Highly recommended!

Irma L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

Its a very informative tour! Our tour guide Martin was a great tour guide and very helpful and knowledgeable. I think the tour is worth the price.

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