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Discover the Edinburgh Vaults — aka South Bridge Vaults — 18th-century underground chambers that lie far below the city. On this underground walking tour with an entertaining and informative guide, hear tales of this dark and almost-forgotten place built below one of Edinburgh’s busiest thoroughfares. You’ll see evidence of excavated storage spaces, human habitation, taverns with wine vaults and more!

Highlights

  • Edinburgh Old Town vaults walking tour
  • Historic afternoon walk through the underground vaults of South Bridge
  • Choice of two afternoon tour times
  • Professional local guide

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Underground Vaults Walking Tour in Edinburgh

Walking Tour of Edinburgh - Walking The Vaults

Far below Edinburgh’s bustling city streets there lie the Edinburgh Vaults — a series of dark chambers formed under the 19 arches of the South Bridge in the late 18th century. Set out on a 75-minute walking tour of underground Edinburgh with a professional guide and learn about this subterranean expansion of historic Old Town.

As your guide sheds light on the fireplaces, wine vaults and artifacts in the excavated vaults, hear about the 100 or so businesses — including taverns and trades — that once thrived at the South Bridge and used the concealed space for their workshops and merchandise. 

Listen to haunting tales of Infirmary Street, the former site of Edinburgh's medical school, where it is said that the notorious duo, Burke and Hare, sold the bodies of their murdered victims. Search for signs of human habitation when city residents reportedly lived in, then vacated, the cavern-like vaults, and imagine life underground before you breathe fresh air again!

Customer Reviews

Kara P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

I had a brilliant time on this tour! Gillian was fantastic, very funny, friendly and knowledgeable. I will very highly recommend her, the tour and Edinburgh to my friends and I will definitely be back for another visit in the near future. Thank you Gillian!

Jill T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Amazing history tour that was definitely confronting in that people actually lived and worked down there in the past!

Jimmy E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The tour was well worth the time. We learned a tremendous amount concerning Edinburgh history. Our tour fuide was excellent very informative and lively. Hoghly recommended

Stuart P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Really good very interesting would recommend

David A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This tour was really interesting and our guide was kmowledgeable on the area. I would highly recommend his tour.

Tamara J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Would thoroughly recommend this tour, our tour guide Margaret was fantastic and we all found the experience informative, interesting and a lovely way to end our visit to the city.

Moira M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Highly recommended. I have travelled to Edinburgh several times and have learned more this trip, particularly this tour. We all really enjoyed the tour and revisited various spots to visually see the various spots the guide spoke about.

WILLIAM H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Fantastic loved the vaults.

Richard J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Wendy was s great tour guide. Made it all come alive for us!!

kim t

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was so interesting, really learnt a lot about early Edinburgh. Our guide was brilliant really got into the time period. The underground is amazing to think people actually lived down there.

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