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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

Daryl R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

It was not what I had expected from the tour description, but still very good.

Suzie Q

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Great tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. An overall history of the town.

Laurie D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Hannah was an excellent tour guide. Highly recommend this tour of the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh Castle.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Sue our tour guide gave us a great insight into historical Edinburgh. She told us great stories and engaged us during the tour. The entry into the Castle was great as we were able to skip the long lines and enter the Castle quickly

Sheila H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

We though this walking tour was excellent our guide was very good and certainly knew what she was talking about. I wish I knew her name but we were on the 1.30pm tour on Monday 29th August 2016. It was just right for us not too far and not too energetic, but we saw an awful lot amd really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Sandy S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

I really recommend taking this walk tour of the city and Edinburgh castle. the tour guide from Mercat tours was great and really knowledgeable about the city and it's history and loved living there. If you can get Gillian to the be the guide you will have a wealth of knowledge about Edinburgh by the time the tour is done. While it rained the whole time that we were there we were ready for the wet weather an didn't let that hamper our enjoyment of the day

maia.johnston United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This tour was great! I wish it were longer though. I mean my legs hated me a LOT afterwords, but it was completely worth it. I learned a lot about Edinburgh and it gave me new insigts on the city. Hannah, the tour guide was great and made sure to keep us all together. She was very knowledgeable and really friendly.


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.

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