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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 travelers
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

Departure Point

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!

Departure Time

6:30 PM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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
  • 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 tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • 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 canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled 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 sanitization during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:The policy on sanitization is:

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

Traveler Photos

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Traveler 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
2,120 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 2,120 reviews
star-5
Worth a visit
Paul_B
, Dec 2021
The guide Jen was brilliant very informative and entertaining. We got learn a lot about the history of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
star-5
The tour was very...
Rachael_M
, Dec 2021
The tour was very interesting making the time fly! The tour guides knowledge was vast and she made it engaging.
star-5
Buzzing
Drew_B
, Dec 2021
We had a very enjoyable, interesting and informative tour. The guide, Rollo, was excellent and we really enjoyed ourselves.
star-5
The Vaults and Fraser!
Nichola_C
, Dec 2021
Very informative and interesting. Fraser was the ideal guide knowledgeable and added humour to a dark part of Edinburgh history
star-5
Great fun!
Isabel_D
, Nov 2021
Angus was a brilliant tour guide! Very entertaining and warm! Well worth taking the tour as also takes you on a brilliant walk of Edinburgh at night! Highly recommend if you are looking for good fun and some extraordinarily views of Edinburgh!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Dark, Spooky, but mostly, highly entertaining
Jessica_E
, Nov 2021
The tour guide Jen made the experience brilliant. She was funny and entertaining throughout. The stories she told were a good mix of dark, informative and spooky while her humour lightened the mood at times.
star-5
Brilliant
Niamh_H
, Nov 2021
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and hilarious. Perfect mix of scary and funny. Great way to see the city too
star-4
Good experience
William_C
, Nov 2021
Interesting historical facts discovered during the walk led to the time in the cold passing swiftly …………………………………………
star-3
A lot of walking and not enough talking!!
Steve_B
, Nov 2021
There was a lot of walking which was ok for us But if you had difficulty you would struggle!! Also a lot of the paths we were taking had no lighting so they should have warned you to bring a torch or phone with a torch with you!! We only stopped 5 times for the guide to tell us the stories, and in 2 hrs was not enough!! the guide was good but it really was just a Hike !!
star-5
The tour for the healthy and fit explorers of history
Caren_H
, Nov 2021
My friend and I had a weekend in Edinburgh. We took the Dark side tour on the first day. An hour and half of stories about legends and history both gruesome and interesting. But apart from having a strong constition you also need fitness. Edinburgh is a hilly place and this tour walks to the top of Arthur's seat and into a graveyard on the hill. I enjoyed it and was very impressed with myself and I have health issues including asthma and cancer. Thank you for a super guide, Rollo you were brilliant and your English was fantastic

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