A 'then and now' comparison of the West Bow (Victoria Street).

Old Edinburgh virtual tour

A virtual tour of
Edinburgh's Old Town

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 Edinburgh virtual tour at a glance

£30 total price
Mic or Camera?
You don't need either of these.
Meeting place
We'll see you on 'Zoom'!
No. of devices
You can join up to five devices.
1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes (approx).

Quick description

Explore the Old Town of Edinburgh with a live guide! Our award-winning Old Town tour has now been taken online. Discover the people, places and events which shaped Edinburgh’s history as we take you on an interactive ‘virtual tour’ of Old Edinburgh!


We’ve been able to use our extensive archive, which included 360-degree ‘panoramic’ images. These let you control the image and ‘look around’ just as if you were here.


We’ve included ‘then and now’ time travel scenes which allow you to see how locations looked in the past, and we’ve got lots of opportunities for interaction with your guide. Where possible, Robert can even tailor aspects of the tour to best suit the interests of the group.


Please email us if you are interested in a private tour at a time that suits you.

Book here

£30 for a private tour - up to five devices can be linked to our tour.

1 hour long virtual tour.

English language.

Click the 'contact us' button to go to our contact us page.  You can let us know the virtual tour you are interested in and times which are suitable for you.

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Your Old Edinburgh Virtual Tour

We're currently working on producing a new video for this space.  Please check back soon!

January 8, 2022

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

Greyfriars Bobby statue.

Greyfriars Bobby

The story of the loyal little Skye Terrier is one of Edinburgh's most famous tales.  On this virtual tour, you'll see Bobby's grave and famous statue.

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'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

Prince Charles and his Jacobite Army occupied Edinburgh in 1745.  You'll visit (virtually) the place where TWO of the most symbolic events of the '45 Rebellion happened.

William Burke

Burke and Hare

Meet two of the most infamous characters in the city's history.  Theirs is a story of death and dissection in the Old Town.

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Mary, Queen of Scots

You can't visit Edinburgh, even virtually, without getting to know our most famous queen.  Our favourite location is where Mary's second husband was murdered!

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Deacon William Brodie

Councilman, playboy, gambler and burglar - what a lifestyle!  You'll learn all about this famous Edinburgh character on this online experience.

Margaret Tudor

Margaret Tudor

Princess Margaret played a crucial role in Scotland's history.  Follow in her footsteps and find out about the most important wedding in our nation's history.

A virtual tour scene from the Royal Mile.

A new and exciting virtual experience


this tour was a wonderful opportunity to spend a very informative 90+ minutes strolling thru Old Town. His time with us was full of information, wonderful antidotes and incredible stories.

Janet H, Tripadvisor - April 2021

The sites you'll see.  The stories we tell.  The secrets we'll share. 


1 – Greyfriars Kirkyardand and Greyfriars Bobby.

Welcome to your very own Edinburgh virtual tour! Robert, your ‘live’ Edinburgh tour guide, will meet you on Zoom and introduce you to himself and the stories and format of your virtual tour to you. It’s always helpful if you can check Zoom works well before your visit and sign in a few minutes before your virtual tour of Edinburgh starts.


Your online experience begins in front of Greyfriars Kirk, just next to the memorial to Greyfriars Bobby. Greyfriars Bobby’s story is so famous that it’s appeared in at least two Holywood films! You’ll get to hear the various versions of this famous legend, and we’ll let you mull over the one you think is most likely to have been correct.


As we leave Greyfriars Kirkyard, we will learn about the Greyfriars Bobby statue, which sits at the top of Candlemaker Row.



2 – The Grassmarket and the ‘Marriage of the Thistle and the Rose.’

We use video to help us continue our virtual tour of Edinburgh, and we’ll experience Candlemaker Row, one of the oldest roads in the Old Town. You’ll see this on a map of Edinburgh from 1647 that we’ll share with you. It’s amazing how useful this map can still be!Robert, your live Edinburgh guide, will share a webpage which has 360-degree photographs of modern-day Edinburgh. You’ll be able to use your device/computer to ‘look around’ inside these images after the tour, just as if you were standing in the Grassmarket with us!


He’ll share some archive images with you which will let you imagine this same area as it would have looked hundreds of years ago. This ‘time -travel’ feature appears throughout your Edinburgh online experience, and we love it!You’ll hear about the marriage of King James IV and Margaret Tudor. This was an essential and significant wedding, and you’ll find out why.


3 – The Bowhead and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Our video will take us up the pretty West Bow, one of Edinburgh’s most historic streets, and up to the famous Royal Mile. You’ll hear a few stories here, two of them all about Scotland’s most renowned queen – Mary, Queen of Scots. Another ‘time travel’ moment will reveal why we think the Bowhead House was one of our saddest lost treasures.


4 – Riddle’s Court and King James VI.

We move along the Lawnmarket and into Riddle’s Court. One of the benefits of taking an Edinburgh virtual tour is that we can ensure that the places we take you to are open. Not only will we explain some of the stories about the fantastic building here, but Robert will also take you inside and into the inner courtyard of Riddle’s Court. He’ll share another 360-degree image with you and let you look for some important clues as to what happened here with King James VI came to visit.


5 – Parliament Square, the Tolbooth Prison and Deacon Brodie.

Parliament Square and the long-lost Tolbooth Prison site is usually one of the busiest parts of the Old Town, especially during the months of the Edinburgh International Festival. On our Edinburgh online experience, it’s… tranquil! This tranquillity lets us focus on one of the best Old Town stories – the hanging of Deacon William Brodie. Brodie was hanged on the Tolbooth Prison execution platform, and Robert will explain what happened and why this was a very unusual hanging. Deacon Brodie is one of our favourite Old Edinburgh characters, and we hope to show you why!You can use your virtual tour image to find the bricks that mark out the prison walls.


6 – Advocate’s Close and Samuel Johnson.

Advocate’s Close is one of the most photogenic closes on the Royal Mile. We’ll pop down into it, allowing you a moment to ‘look around’ as if you were there, and then Robert will launch into some of our most popular stories. Want to know just how horrible Old Edinburgh could be? Advocate’s Close is just the place! A rather unexpected (and quite funny) appearance by Samuel Johnson happens here too. We think you’ll feel quite sorry for him at the end of this story!


7 – The Mercat Cross and Prince Charles Edward Stewart.

Prince Charles Edward Stewart (otherwise known by the more romantic sounding name of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie) and his Jacobite Army captured Edinburgh in the late summer of 1745. We’ll have a look at what happened at the old Mercat Cross. We’ll also give you a brief look at the sheer amount of history which occurred along this stretch of the historic Royal Mile.


8 – The John Knox House and John Mossman.Our ‘offline’ Old Edinburgh walking tour doesn’t cover as much ground as this virtual tour of Edinburgh. We’re able to pass the pretty little John Knox House. Here you’ll find out that it’s linked to John Knox (Scotland’s most famous ‘Reformer’). We’ll focus more on the story of James Mossman, the original owner of his house. Both Mossman and Knox had roles in the civil war that had broken out in Scotland during Mary’s reign.


9 – St Mary’s Street and the Jacobite Occupation of 1745.We travel from the times of Mary, Queen of Scots forward to the Jacobite occupation of 1745, or a few moments before it. As we go down St Mary’s Street, Robert will explain why this was the attack point for the Jacobite army. He will also reveal why their attack on the Netherbow Port is probably not worthy of a Hollywood movie.


10 – The Anatomists and Burke and Hare.Your online group moves around the Cowgate and up High School Wynd on our way into the grounds once occupied by Dr Robert Knox’s anatomy school. We’ll take a quick look at the history of anatomy in Edinburgh and then look at visits made to this very spot by the infamous Irish murderers William Burke and William Hare.


11 – Kirk o’Field and the Murder of Henry, Lord Darnley.Our virtual tour of Edinburgh ends with a bang (but not one which will damage any devices or computers!) Your online experience concludes with one of Scotland’s most infamous crimes, the murder of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Darnley was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots and he spent his last night on earth at the location you are(virtually) visiting. We’ve kept this story to the very end as it’s one of our favourite stories!   We love the details we can share about this, and we love the way we can try to recreate the scene of this fateful night.

Why should you choose us?

Why should you choose us?

Why should you choose us?

We can adapt the tour for children.

Easily adapted for children

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

Guide in a kilt!

Friendly, local, guide!

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.



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!

A3 book of images.

A picture tells a thousand words

Your guide will use many ‘then and now’ images to help you imagine Edinburgh as it once was.

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.