Edinburgh Castle, from Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Kirkyard tour

A history tour of Scotland's most famous burial ground

COVID-19 and your safety

We're good to go - COVID-19 safety

We have achieved the “Good to Go” standard for the COVID-19 procedures we’ve put in place to give you a safe tour.You can find out more about our COVID-19 policy here.

2017 Certificate of Excellence winner - Tripadvisor - Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd
We're Certificate of Excellence winners on Tripadvisor.
We're Traveller's Choice winners on Tripadvisor.

Your private Greyfriars Kirkyard tour at a glance

Price (1)
£40 total price
1-4 people
Price (2)
£60 total price for 5-8 people 
Meeting place
In front of Greyfriars Kirk
Accessibility info
Gradients and steps
Duration
1 and a half hours (approx)

Quick description

Discover the stories of some of Old Edinburgh’s people, only inches away from where their mortal remains lie buried today.

This tour looks at the lives (and even some of the deaths) of the people who made Edinburgh such an important city.  Their stories are the stories of Edinburgh's history!

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This tour has a Viator
Badge of Excellence

Highlights

This Greyfriars Kirkyard tour is an exploration of the lives of some of Edinburgh’s most fascinating people.  Their stories are the stories of Edinburgh. You’ll learn about these characters as you stand only inches away from where their bodies lie buried! 
 
Hear the stories behind martyred Covenanters, an amusing artist, an infamous ghost,  grave robbers, the Irish murderers Burke and Hare, a tortured spy and, of course,  the devoted Skye Terrier, Greyfriars Bobby.

The burial ground at Greyfriars has some photogenic memorials which we will look at, but we focus more on the stories of some of the people who lie in rest here.   

Are you ready to ‘meet’ the ‘Dead of Old Edinburgh’?   
 

Book your tour date

Click your preferred date on the widget below and follow the instructions to book your tour.

Greyfriars Kirkyard.

This tour meets at this spot, just in front of Greyfriars Kirkyard (next to Greyfriars Bobby's Bar on Candlemaker Row).

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Meet your Greyfriars Kirkyard tour guide

Walk in the footsteps of the famous (and infamous!)

Greyfriars Bobby - the famous wee Skye Terrier.

Greyfriars Bobby

An amazing story…but not the only tale in town!

Memento Mori in Greyfriars.

Memento Mori

We look at fashionable memorials and trendy tombs!

George Buchanan.

George Buchanan

A man with more than one ‘last resting place’. We'll tell you all about the teacher of the young King James VI.

The Martyr's Monument.

The Martyr’s Monument

Although the gravestones of John Grey, Greyfriars Bobby and Tom Riddle are probably the most visited memorials in the Kirkyard, we believe THIS is the most significant memorial in Greyfriars.

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The Franciscan Friars

You'll find out about the original owners of the Kirkyard.  We'll also look at one of the most missed gravestones in the Kirkyard.  It's a story of powerful people and gruesome endings.

The Porteous Riots.

A lynched guardsman (and golf!)

Find out about the grizzly ending for one of our local golfers!

The Ovir Yard.

The Ovir Yard.

You'll get a chance to torture your tour guide (we aren't joking) and you'll find out about, imprisoned rebels and a group of long-living sisters!

Bodysnatchers in action!

An Unexpected Ending

Your Greyfriars Kirkyard tour finishes with three cracking stories - ghosts, bodysnatchers…and some rude possibilities!

Visit Greyfriars Kirkyard and explore with us!

“So much history, so well told”

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“Our tour with Robert was excellent, and we would highly recommend this informative and diverse tour. I thought I knew quite a bit of Scottish history, well now I know much more. The tour was fun, respectful, and very engaging, you should make time for this one.”

ShannonB- TripAdvisor review of the Greyfriars Kirkyard tour - May 2019

Your tour - a detailed itinerary

We understand that you might want even more information about this Edinburgh walking tour.  Some people like lots of detail, we've got that for you!

Please click the 'Learn more' button to see a detailed itinerary for this tour.

Why should you choose us?

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Easily adapted for children

Your guide is a qualified primary school teacher and can give an appropriate tour which will interest children.

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Friendly guide - in a kilt!

Robert was born in Edinburgh and has lived here all his life. He researched all our tours and has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh and her history.

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Convenience

Your tour is private. You can choose when it starts and we can make some alterations to the route if needed. You've got the freedom to ask all the questions you want!

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Quibble-free refund

We offer a full refund if you cancel your tour more than 12 hours before your tour is due to start.

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A picture tells a thousand words

Your guide will carry an A3 folder packed with ‘then and now’ images to help you imagine Edinburgh as it once was.

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Accessibility options

If you have someone with mobility requirements, please contact us in advance so that we can offer some appropriate changes to the route.

Snapshots from this Edinburgh tour

Our Greyfriars Kirkyard history tour starts here!

Our Greyfriars Kirkyard history tour starts here!

Off we go on tour!

The Flodden Wall in Greyfriars.

The Flodden Wall in Greyfriars.

What a picturesque place Greyfriars is!

Remembering the Covenanters in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Remembering the Covenanters in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

We believe this should be the most visited memorial in the Kirkyard.

Sir George Mackenzie's mausoleum.

Sir George Mackenzie's mausoleum.

Note the shells - Sir George wanted to visit Santiago de Compostella.

The Covenanters' Prison.

The Covenanters' Prison.

The Flodden and Telfer Walls can both be seen in the Kirkyard.

Sir George Foulis and Janet Bannantine's memorial.

Sir George Foulis and Janet Bannantine's memorial.

One of the most magnificent memorials within the Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Kirk.

Greyfriars Kirk.

Greyfriars in the snow.

The front of Greyfriars Kirk.

The front of Greyfriars Kirk.

Greyfriars is still a working church.

A mortsafe.

A mortsafe.

A mortsafe a day keeps the bodysnatchers away!

Bobby you're a good wee dog...

Bobby you're a good wee dog...

Greyfriars Bobby, probably the most famous 'inmate' in the burial ground.

Your Greyfriars history tour starts here!

Your Greyfriars history tour starts here!

We can't wait to meet you!

FAQs and Terms and Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here.

Please don't hesitate to email us (robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk) if you wish to ask any further questions.

Tour Terms and Conditions

You can see our tour terms and conditions here.