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Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

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Number of travellers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more

Overview

Journey through Edinburgh’s grisliest tales on a haunted walking tour. Experience the ghastly histories of monsters, madness, and murder that cast a dark shadow on the capital city. Discover the stories and sites of witch trials, pagan rituals, and executions, and hear about local monsters that live in urban myth. Then visit the chilling Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery to learn about body-snatching and some of the infamous interred.
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh’s murky past and present, led by a knowledgeable guide
  • Explore the eerie, cobblestone streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Climb Calton Hill, the site of witch trials and pagan rituals, and take in panoramic views of the city
  • Visit Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery and learn about body-snatching, vampires and more
  • Discover the capital’s gruesome past through the guide’s gripping commentary
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Professional guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
130 High St , 130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK

The tours starts at 130 High Street (The Royal Mile), on the corner with Stevenlaw's Close. Look for the Red Umbrellas!

6:30 PM
This activity will end right where it started.
Your ghostly adventure starts in the evening on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in Old Town. Meet your local guide and steel yourself for a walk through the dark recesses of Edinburgh’s haunted history, hearing stories of murder, monsters, cannibals and other local oddities. Cross your fingers that you encounter (or not encounter!) a spooky character at one of the venues to come. 

First wind through shadowed alleys and cobbled streets to North Bridge and Calton Hill, where you get panoramic views of the city and a dose of gruesome history. Explore the monuments perched high above the city and learn about the grisly witch trials that occurred here. Still a sacred area for many, Calton Hill continues to host pagan rituals like the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival.

Afterwards, continue to one of Edinburgh’s famous cemeteries. Stop at the 17th-century Canongate Kirkyard cemetery or Old Calton Burial Ground, where David Hume is buried. Hear about his fabled deal with the devil, as well as the history of Burke and Hare, body snatchers who made a killing (so to speak!) by selling corpses to medical science. 

Between stops, hear other creepy stories of execution, murder, torture, and hauntings. Your tour returns to the Royal Mile at a local pub. Pop inside for a drink to help warm your chilled soul (own expense)!
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Royal Mile
Meet your guide on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town, and then set off on foot to begin your walking tour of the city’s shade side. Edinburgh is crawling with odd activity, and there are tales of murderers, vampires, monsters and even cannibals that locals nervously recall to each other.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
North Bridge
Follow your guide through dark courtyards and eerie alleys, and hear spine-chilling stories of executions, murders, torture, ghosts and witchcraft. Then, make for the North Bridge, with its own formidable history, before climbing Calton Hill.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Calton Hill
Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand on end as your guide tells real-life tales of gore and gruesomeness, including stories about the witch trials that once took place here. Discover how the site is still used today for pagan rituals such as the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival, and drink in 360-degree views of the city’s skyline.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Old Calton Burial Ground
Then, continue to the Old Calton Burial Ground, one of Edinburgh’s chilling cemeteries. See the imposing mausoleum that marks the final resting place of David Hume, who is said to have made a deal with the devil, and perhaps hear of the infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Canongate Kirk
Alternatively, visit the Canongate Kirkyard cemetery, which dates back to the 17th century. Rest assured, there is no staged gimmickry, monster masks or made-up stories on this tour.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Edinburgh Old Town
After roughly two hours, your tour concludes at a local pub near the Royal Mile, where you can purchase a pint of beer or a dram of whisky to help cool your nerves after this entertaining and intriguing tour (own expense).
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • We unfortunately do not advise guests in wheelchairs to join the Dark Side Tour, due to the narrow stairways and steep hills. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers
  • OPERATED BY Sandemans New Europe Ltd - Corporate Account
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitisation during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:The policy on sanitisation is:

  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips


  • "There was quite a lot of walking up and down hill (it is Edinburgh, after all), so you'll need to be fairly easily mobile on foot." See review
  • "This is a great way to be guided to Calton Hill which is a bit of a walk from the Royal Mile but well worth the trip" See review
  • "no explicit visuals) from a friendly tour guide, making it really very safe for children." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
2,462 reviews

Reviews by Viator travellers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 2,462 reviews
star-5
We loved Australian David
Vanessa_G
, Jul. 2022
Really fun tour of Edinburgh. Australian David was knowledgeable, kept it fun and lighthearted, kept the group engaged. We had a lot of fun and would recommend this tour.
star-5
Very good and funny
Joseph_H
, Jul. 2022
Carlton Hill and the funny stories. Good guide; good views of the city, too. I recommend this tour; great time
star-5
Great tour
w8zbyyxr4h
, Jul. 2022
Ross was a fantastic and entertaining guide. He was knowledgeable and is a local. We were entertained by stories based on local murders, Royal intrigue, cannibals and vampires.
star-5
Awesome walking tour
Tracy_W
, Jul. 2022
Great tour to learn all about the history and legends of Edinburgh. Australian David was a great tour guide. Loads of walking so wear comfy shoes!! Definitely would recommend.
star-5
Great Walk
Barbara_M
, Jul. 2022
Jen, the tour guide, was fabulous. She was bubbly, animated and expressive. She brought the walk and it's history to life. Thoroughly enjoyed thanks to Jen!
star-5
Check it Out!
Catherine_D
, Jun. 2022
My sister and I really enjoyed our tour with David! He was very knowledgeable and kept it interesting!
star-5
Adam was a star!
Sravankumar_Y
, Jun. 2022
Adam our tour guide was, simply put - excellent! loved the passion, humour and enthusiasm with which he did his storytelling. He was also eager to answer our questions about the tour and stuff to do in Edinburgh in general. We had a great time with him!
star-5
There's been a murderrrrr!
Grant_W
, Jun. 2022
Adam our tour guide was fantastic, very charismatic. Nice pace for all ages and nationalities. I would recommend this to anyone.
star-5
Nice walking tour of Edinburgh
Linda_C
, Jun. 2022
Enjoyed the walking tour of Edinburgh. My favorite was the view from Carlton Hill and the story of Agnes Sampson.
1 traveller found this review helpful
star-5
Five stars!
steve_e
, Jun. 2022
Our guide, Australian guide with glasses, was fantastic, top notch, very knowledgeable and entertaining. Five stars!
star-5
Great tour would recommend
Karen_M
, Jun. 2022
Angus was a great tour guide. Very knowledgeable, funny and friendly. Created a nice atmosphere during the tour and was accomodating to each guest.
star-5
Excellent was to see some of Edinburgh and hear about it’s dark history!
Leanne_S
, Jun. 2022
Our guide was very charismatic and knew a lot of great stories and history. Due to some construction and other issues with the usual route, we did a completely different tour than was described online, completely improvised by our guide. It was very impressive because we didn’t really feel like we missed out. Great job!
star-5
The Sinister Side of the City
Samantha_C
, Jun. 2022
Brilliant Guide in Australian David. Really informative with great stories. Went up Calton Hill earlier in the day so it was nice to get the background to the buildings up there.
star-5
Highly entertaining
Philip_W
, Jun. 2022
A great way to spend some time learning some history, sharing some tales and hearing some folklore. Had a great guide with Angus who was as entertaining as he was knowledgeable.
star-5
Not another ghost tour.
Marshall_D
, Jun. 2022
Angus made it clear from the beginning that he was a teller of tales, and not necessarily a believer in ghosts. With that mindset, he put the group at ease and dispelled a great deal of the "hokieness" that often plagues these kinds of evening tours. Recognizing the Scots tradition of storytelling, Angus went through some of the best, from witches, to capital punishment, to misers, to incestuous clergy. He's great at what he does and has great enthusiasm for his subject matter. Fair warning though, if you go on this tour in the summer, it begins and ends in broad daylight...
star-5
We really enjoyed Mel’s...
Jacqueline_P
, Jun. 2022
We really enjoyed Mel’s stories at each of the stops we made. She really brought the history to life!
star-5
Body snatchers and witchery
Carolina_R
, Jun. 2022
I loved the stories of the body snatchers and the reasons behind it- as well as the surprising twists on the ways mental health issues show up in the past history and we’re buried.
star-5
Highly recommend if in Edinburgh
Brad_G
, Jun. 2022
Melanie was awesome! 10/10 Very informative and was even able to answer our random Scotland questions.
star-5
Fun Tour!
Stacy_H
, Jun. 2022
This was a fun tour full of creepy facts about Edinburgh and all it's dark histories. Our tour guide, Jule, was very enthusiastic about the history she shared with us and really got into telling us the gory details of Edinburgh's past. You can't go wrong with this tour.
star-1
Feedback
Anna_N
, Jun. 2022
Needs to get into character, ie dress up (may be carry a lantern and spike hair a little?) to make interesting listening.

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