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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
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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

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

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date 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.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.

Traveler Photos

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
1,747 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 1,747 reviews
star-5
Amazing
Amy_S
, Aug 2021
Eva was hilarious and made the tour one of the best ones we have ever been on. Highly recommend this tour, I learnt so much even as a local to the area!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Interesting.
Olivia_E
, Aug 2021
Jule was excellent - kept the tour interesting with a good sense of humour. Would definitely recommend.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tours - look no further!
pandolfiwiddows
, Aug 2021
Funny, informative and scary at times! Our guide Angus took us around parts of Edinburgh that we would never have considered visiting. This was a great way to see the city and the two hour tour not only flew by but left you wanting to spend more time learning about this amazing city. 5 stars. Highly recommended for adults and children alike.
HelpfulHelpful
star-4
Enjoyable tour
Kat
, Aug 2021
Engaging guide good stories right length of tour. All enjoyed the tour. My group was a family group and the children were very enthusiastic about the tour
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
A mystery evening worthwhile!
Aodhan_R
, Aug 2021
The experience was longer than expected and more worthwhile. The journey through the old town fascinated me as I wasn’t sure about what locations to visit in Edinburgh. Jen was great tour guide and her knowledge and wit of the old town was an evening well spent. I would recommend this to anyone.
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star-5
Excellent
Louise_F
, Aug 2021
Excellent tour guide Jen, would highly recommend… great information given and taken to areas of Edinburgh you may not discover on your own.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Darkie Edinburgh tour
Deborah_B
, Jul 2021
Jane was very informative cheerful and friendly and made the tour fun. Couldn't have wished for a better guide. 5 stars plus to her.
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star-5
Well spent 2 hours
SJ_S
, Jul 2021
Well delivered history with humour by Angus. This isn’t a ghost tour but a walk through some of the grizzlier history of Edinburgh
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star-4
Very enjoyable experience.
Michael_D
, Jul 2021
We enjoyed all of the trip, our highlight was the myths and legends associated with the graveyard Our tour guide was very enthusiastic and entertaining, my children found it very enjoyable.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
5 Star Angus
Amanda_P
, Jul 2021
We really enjoyed 5 Star Angus! Great story telling and we came away having had a great time and learning some fun facts about Edinburgh. Angus is so knowledgeable and funny.
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