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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
2,171 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 2,171 reviews
star-5
Highly recommend this tour!
Kendra_W
, Jan 2022
Angus provided a fantastic and highly entertaining tour! It was a good mix of walking through new parts of the city for us while learning more history with great stories in between. I had read other great reviews before our tour, and everything said was true. Highly recommend! Thank you, Angus, for a great experience! While it was a dark side tour, the comedic relief throughout was a highlight!
star-5
Jen the best
Alexandra_S
, Jan 2022
Jen was a terrific tour guide and the pace was just right. We got to really imagine Edinburgh in its murkiest with very atmospheric sights and stories.
star-5
10/10 Would recommend
Kara_O
, Jan 2022
Angus was a wonderful tour guide, would definitely come back for another walking tour with him! The stories were fun and engaging, paired with a night visit to graveyards.
star-2
Sadly bad
Paul_K
, Jan 2022
I wanted this to be great, but these types of tours always come down to the talents of the guides who lead them, and poor Urs simply didn't have what it took. The tour was insipid, the stories poor, the time felt like it was inching by. We finally abandoned the tour after as tedious a 60 minutes as I can ever recall
star-4
Funny and informative
Vivienne_S
, Jan 2022
Angus was fabulous. He could tell a tale and was extremely friendly helpful and knowledgeable. He made the experience.
star-5
We liked our guide very...
Barbara_C
, Jan 2022
We liked our guide very much. Angus was enthusiastic and welcoming. He kept us amused for 2 hours. People from all over the world were there and enjoyed the experience.
star-5
Great stuff
Dave_H
, Jan 2022
Angus was our guide, he was excellent and funny whilst also being knowledgeable and had some good jokes to assist with the story-telling. The tour itself was very informative and the kids and I really enjoyed it.
star-5
Edinburgh brought to life
Cope_J
, Jan 2022
Great, informative walk. Angus was very knowledgeable and entertaining as well as friendly. I thought I knew Edinburgh but learned a lot thanks to Angus' storytelling. He's a great ambassador for Scotland.
star-5
Amazing tour!
Peter_S
, Jan 2022
Really good tour, the tour guide was very entertaining and the city is amazing. They are obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about the city. Tour wa also very well paced. Would highly recommend
star-5
“Pleased we did that”
Hannah_B
, Dec 2021
Angus was a brilliant tour guide, he was really knowledgable, personable and funny. I’ve already recommended the tour to my parents!

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