• Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration: 75 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 17.53 View price calendar

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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

What You Can Expect

Underground Vaults Historical 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

Aroostine S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Interesting story of architecture, poverty, discovery and re purposing.

Chrishoptroff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

The tour was very interesting, the guide was really friendly and informative. Would definitely recommend for something different.

Kyle P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Highly Recommended! Great guide very knowledgeable!

Jade

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

A fabulously informative and atmospheric experience, plus a great way to escape Edinburgh's winter chill. Loved the Discovery Room at the end.

Sue R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2017

Booked this trip on first day in Edinburgh. It ended up to be one of the TOP highlights of our trip there. The tour was just long enough - plenty of time in the vaults and so much history delivered in an easy and interesting way to understand. Had a wonderful 3 day trip/visit to the city and beginning with this tour and the history and stories on the city which our guide Lydia I think I have her name correct told helped us to enjoy and understand the city even more. Great tour great experience in vaults and great place to visit.
Sue R.

Gordon M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

This tour was also brilliant. It was not what we were expecting. I'd heard all the rumours of course and was expecting a 'tailor made city under the city' but actually we got the history behind how it came about and how it was found. Really very good. I wanted it to be more than it was and I was surprised but in a good way. The icing on the cake was the Fringe was on while we were there so we had a way to round off the tour as well. Brilliant.

Tullo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

Wonderful introduction to real life in Edinburgh during it's dark and mysterious past. Our guide was wonderful in getting the group to really imagine what it might be like back then to live and work in the Vaults. She had an interesting way of presenting the whole picture through what your senses would experience sight, smell, hearing etc, back in the day! The vaults are dark and damp. Candles will illuminate the way, this gives you an even a better prospective of what it would have been like far below the streets of Edinburgh in those days.
This is truly a historical tour not a scary ghost tour.

Debra P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

Linda was a fabulous guide. We toured the he underground vaults with her. She is an amazing storyteller. A superb guide. She made the tour interesting and enjoyable for us. I would go anywhere with her!

JANICE G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

The guide was exceptional, very clear and interesting

Tammy M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

We had a great time learning about the history of life in the vaults.

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