Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

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Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends
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See Edinburgh’s shady side. The gruesome and the glorious. The ghostly and the ghastly. This 2-hour tour is a wickedly entertaining walk on the wild and dark side of the Scottish capital. Explore the spots where murders, monsters and mayhem have become things of legend, and visit Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard, two of Edinburgh’s most chilling cemeteries. Throughout the tour, hear real-life tales of witches, body-snatchers, vampires, cannibals and more from your entertaining guide.
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In Brief

Location:
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Country:
United Kingdom
Duration:
2 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Instant Confirmation
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Overview
Important InfoInfo
Pricing
Reviews
Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2PB Scotland

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

Stop At: North Bridge, Edinburgh Scotland

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

Stop At: Calton Hill, St. Andrews House 2 Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG Scotland

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

Stop At: Old Calton Burial Ground, 29 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3BQ Scotland

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

Stop At: Canongate Kirk, 153 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN Scotland

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

Pass By: Edinburgh Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 Scotland

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).

Inclusions

  • Professional guide

Exclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Time

6:30 PM

Departure Point

Frankie & Benny's, 130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK

Returns To

Returns to original departure point

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Children up to 13 years old are welcome to join this tour for free. We reserve the right to ask for a valid ID for children joining our tours. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • 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 travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund

Booking Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on the last 24 recent reviews

Had a terrific tour with Edgar. He took us to parts of Edinburgh we’d never been to before. His knowledge and humour were greatly appreciated.
• Submitted 24 Oct 2019
Kaitlin was EXCEPTIONALLY knowledged on all things Edinburgh and brutal about its history. She didnt skip a beat and knew everything about Scotlands history. Utterly gruesome and unbelievable however thoroughly fascinating. Kaitlin was brilliant
• Submitted 30 Sep 2019
This was a great opportunity to see new ares of Edinburgh that I hadn't traveled to before. Our tour guide was a great story teller and very engaging. He also had good recommendations for food after the tour.
• Submitted 24 Sep 2019
The tour was great. Besides the fact that it was interesting to listen to stories about Edinburgh, our tour guide, Melanie, took storytelling to another level. Besides her obvious talent in the aforementioned, she also displayed her great singing and acting abilities, all the while showing that she really enjoys what she is doing. All in all, this was a great experience, we got to see and learn many captivating facts about the city and it`s history.
• Submitted 16 Sep 2019
Excellent storytelling through the dark side of Edinburgh. Highly recommended! Content was a real mixture of stories from Edinburgh, some historical and other's more quirky eg. The Vampire Killer of Edinburgh. I'll definately want to share some of these with my friends! There were a few interesting links between the stories as well. On top of that some dramatic views of the city. Thank you Melanie for being a fantastic, knowledgeable and courteous tour guide. Really brought the content to life and made them entertaining. I enjoyed how she distinguished the fiction (eg. Fairies) and underlying historical facts. Pricing is competitive given the fantastic quality of the walking tour. Note - Some users may wonder as I did is it child-friendly? I can confirm I had a 12-year-old with me and she absolutely loved the walking tour! As a teacher I think gruesome subjects are interesting to children anyway. Yes, there includes a few references to torture and violence, but it is only spoken words (i.e. no explicit visuals) from a friendly tour guide, making it really very safe for children. The references are within a historical context. Bringing children along shouldn't be a problem.
• Submitted 07 Aug 2019
Alan was our tour guide and he is fantastic! Very knowledgeable and engaging. His skills at weaving the story of each place we stopped at allowed you to travel back in time. So very interesting and fun. Great way to learn about Edinburgh history albeit the dark side of it and also see the beauty of the city as you navigate the streets.
• Submitted 22 Jul 2019
Evening two hour easy walking tour teaches a lot to late arrivals into Edinburgh. Guide was easy to understand and very inforative.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
It was a fantastic tour. Really fun and educative. Our guide, Greg, did a fantastic job in telling stories and showing us the dark side of Edinburgh. I'll recommand it to all my friends who will visit Edinburgh.
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
Greg our tour guide was very knowledgeable on Edinburgh history. He provided a fun and informative tour with lots of humorous stories and acting. 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
• Submitted 03 Jul 2019
Eva, our guide was funny and knowledgeable! We enjoyed the stories we were told. The part at the hill was interesting and along the lines of what we expected. Thanks!
• Submitted 01 Apr 2019
My husband, my two boys (ages 18 and 15) went on the tour on Sunday, December 2, 2018. We had a great time. Fun and informative. Melanie, our tour guide was absolutely terrific
• Submitted 06 Dec 2018
We were a group of 4 adults, we joined the larger group after having dinner near by. The guide, Alistair, was energetic and animated, it was fun to listen to his tales. Lots of walking! This would not be a tour for someone who has trouble walking, there are hills up and down as well as steps on this tour. At the end we stopped at a kirk yard for some additional tales. Very fun, great guide!
• Submitted 05 Nov 2018
We have spent two hours in a windy and rainy end of July Edinburgh evening being guided thru tales of horror and murder by David the Aussie. David turned those
• Submitted 13 Aug 2018
We took this tour on our first night in Edinburgh - great way to figure out how Edinburgh in laid out. Our guide was Adam Gloser - who had great enthusiasm and was friendly to everyone on the tour.
• Submitted 18 Jul 2018
Adam G was a fantastic tour guide. His stories were varied and engrossing and, we later found out, fully developed by Adam himself. We were told of murder, grave robbing, and vampires and how they related back to the beautiful and storied scenery of Edinburgh and Leith. What stood out the most about this tour was the sombre recounting of King James VI's obsession with the dark arts and Adam's respect for the thousands of people wrongfully accused of witchcraft and executed under the king's rule. Using this as a starting point, Adam weaved an incredibly heartfelt and authentic message of acceptance, which was revisited later on in the tour with equal passion. Between our host and the wonderful scenery, this was the best ghost tour I've ever had the pleasure of attending.
• Submitted 23 May 2018
Adam made the tour really funny and informative. This was a great way to get a good lay of the city on my first day, plus learn some really interesting history of the city. Decided to add a few things to see on my trip based on what I learned surgeon's hall and arthur's seat. Would have totally missed out.
• Submitted 06 Apr 2018
Very enthusiastic and entertaining guide. Something sifferent, but not scary, so suitable for all.
• Submitted 12 Mar 2018
It was a super cold night and there were only 4 total people on the tour, but our guide, Adam, was awesome. The passion he had for telling the stories was probably the best I have had concerning a guide. Edinburgh is steeped with a glorious yet treacherous history and Adam made these stores come to life. Highly recommended!
• Submitted 19 Dec 2017
Max is amazing!!
• Submitted 14 Dec 2017
Great tour!!! Highly recommend this when visiting Edinburgh.
• Submitted 18 Nov 2017
What a good way to learn the history and interesting stories of Edinburgh. Adam was an amazing story teller. He was so animated that the stories just came to life. I could of listened to him tell stories all day long. One Tip: The climb to the top of Carlton Hill is a little difficult , but well worth it. I have a medical condition that caused me to lag behind the group Adam was so kind and caring to walk to the back of the line to make sure I was doing ok, while never compromising the schedule or the experience of the Tour for the others..
• Submitted 25 Aug 2017
Sarah was wonderful! Lots of local knowledge, shared personal stories and was a very efficient tour guide - which was great for us as we had just 1 day in Edinburgh. I do wish there was an option for a longer tour! :
• Submitted 13 Aug 2017
This was a really excellent tour, I did not know what to expect from this. The Tour Guide cant remember her name was really good and told us about all the history of the old Murder and Legend tales of Edinburgh I would certainly book again on my next visit :
• Submitted 14 Aug 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. I looked through many similar ones, but this one stood out and we had a great time! Our guide, Adam, was amazing, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and a brilliant, hilarious storyteller. He had us enthralled from the start to the end. Organisation at the start of the tour could have been a bit better the umbrellas said Edinburgh Pub Crawl, and there was a bit of confusion about which groups were going with Spanish speaking guides and English speaking ones etc. The guides having cards to hold in the air may have helped. That was our only criticism though: it was nice not to be in the pitch dark as we went round I saw that other, similar tours change their starting times in the summer, as the weather and visibility was better. The stories didn't lose any of their effect! There was time to stop and take pictures or to take some and catch back up with everyone, which I enjoyed, especially as we went up Carlton Hill and got to see stunning views towards Leith. There are approx. 100 steps to do to get up the hill, which is something to bear in mind. Doable though, and totally worth it! Adam's stories were really engaging and intriguing, and they spanned all sorts of topics, from murder and grave robbing to witchcraft. Walking pace was fine, and Adam stopped to tell each of his stories, so we could all gather round, hear what he was saying no straining to hear someone shouting behind them! and rest for a few minutes. He also chatted to everyone on the tour about where they were from etc, and gave us food and drink recommendations after the tour. We highly recommend this tour it is great value for money, and it rounded off our trip to Edinburgh nicely we did the tour on our last night. Enjoy!
• Submitted 07 Aug 2017

In Brief

Location:
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Country:
United Kingdom
Duration:
2 hours
Operates:
Daily
Highlights:
Instant Confirmation
Informative, friendly and professional guide

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