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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.

Highlights

  • 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

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

fly4846

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.

rasaky

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.

LYNN B

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

Vladimir L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Hannah was knowledgeable and made this tour interesting and fun.

Jeanne R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

great fun and energetic tour guide who kept the tour very interesting and fun. This tour company has quality guides and are very organized..

Elizabeth W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this walking tour. Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly and funny. We learned so much about Edinburgh and we were so glad we took this tour . Getting admittance to the Castle was a great perk to taking this tour as well as having our guide be able to give us information not only in town but also in the castle. I would highly recommend this.

Kevin K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Really enjoyed the tour and stories. Lots of walking. Enjoyed seeing the castle. Would do again.

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