Frequently asked questions
When does my tour start?
Your tour may start at a specific time, if you've agreed this with your guide. In most cases your tour will run from 10am to 12noon (approx) and 2pm to 4pm (approx).
Whilst our ending times are approximate, your guide will be at the tour location at least five minutes before your tour starts.
Please ensure you arrive a few minutes beforehand. It would be a huge help to us, and we’d love you forever!
Your guide is instructed to wait 20 minutes for his groups, unless we’ve heard from you, after that he has permission to leave if no one has appeared.
Do I need to book in advance?
In short, yes.
Booking and pre-payment is essential on all our tours. If you book in advance, we will be there and your tour will run.
Unfortunately, we are unable to take 'walk ups'. In exceptional circumstances, payment can be made on the day, in cash, but only if agreed with your tour guide. Your guide will not carry cash and can't give you change.
We do prefer payment to be made online, via our FareHarbor booking forms on our website.
School groups don't need to bring payment on the day. We will invoice your school after the tour.
Where does my tour start?
Our Old Town, Victorian and Greyfriars tours start at the grave of Greyfriars Bobby in Greyfriars Kirkyard at the top of Candlemaker Row. Bobby’s Bar sits next to the entry and has the postcode EH1 2QE. Please don't wait at the gate at the bottom of the Kirkyard (the one with a steep set of steps next to it).
Our Canongate tour meets at the forecourt ‘arena’ area of Dynamic Earth in Holyrood Road.
School tours will meet at a meeting place which we agreed upon during our email conversations.
How long will my tour take?
The Old Town tour takes approximately two hours.
The Greyfriars Kirkyard tour lasts approximately 1h 45 minutes.
The Royal Mile tour lasts around two hours.
The Slums of Victorian Edinburgh tour lasts around two hours.
Although we aim to keep to these finishing times, our timings largely depend on the size and speed of the group as well as external events happening in and around the Old Town (such as crowds of people during the Festival).
What happens if it rains?
Don't worry, we will be there! As the great Scottish comedian Billy Connolly says, there's never the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing!
What happens if we are running late?
Since we now only do private tours, your guide is only there for you. Sometimes things happen and you know you will be running late. Within reason, and with some warning, we can try to accommodate this.
Your guide may be happy to meet you at a slightly later time, but please let him know what is happening, as soon as you can. You can text him on 07590026077. We've had times when guests have been on delayed trains and Robert waited in a local cafe. Please, where possible, don't make him wait outside in the rain!
If you are running late and haven't contacted Robert, he is authorised to leave twenty minutes after your agreed start time. No refund will be given after this point.
A member of my group has special mobility requirements.
Edinburgh’s Old Town is formed around a ‘Crag and Tail’ geological formation which means it does have some quite steep gradients up and down, but the city is for everyone to enjoy, it might just mean making some alterations to the route. We enjoy altering our private tours to ensure accessibility is achieved.
If you contact us before you book, we can suggest some possible alternatives and can also discuss which of our other tours might be best suited to you.
What does my guide look like?
Robert is 6ft 3 and will be wearing a kilt and traditional Scottish attire for your private tours. He has a beard and a shiny bald head. He's pretty easy to recognise and features in many of our website photos!
Are there toilets?
We strongly recommend that you 'pay a visit' before your tour as there are limited opportunities to use public toilets en route.
We recommend visiting the Museum of Scotland (just across the road from our usual Greyfriars Kirkyard starting point). The toilets are on the ground floor. The Museum of Scotland is a free-to-visit attraction and is well worth a visit. It also has two excellent cafeterias.
Greyfriars Bobby's Bar, right next to Greyfriars Kirkyard, has an excellent range of food and drink and has toilets for customers to use.
Are your private tours 'child-friendly'?
Our tours are usually what we would describe as more 'adult' tours, however, your guide is a qualified primary school teacher and knows how to pitch our stories appropriately. He can also provide appropriate alternatives. If you let us know well in advance, we can offer more flexibility.
We do require that children under 16 attend with an adult.