Looking up Victoria Street, in the snow, from the Grassmarket.

Old Edinburgh tour

A private tour of
Edinburgh's Old Town

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 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
2 hours

Quick description

Walk in the footsteps of  Mary, Queen of Scots, 
Bonnie Prince Charlie, Robert  Burns and many others.

Discover long-lost buildings, execution sites and find out what it was like to live in Scotland's capital city!

We'll take you right to the places where history happened and we'll use A3 images to let you see how Edinburgh once looked.  You'll see today's Edinburgh AND get an understanding of what the town looked like hundreds of years ago.

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This tour has a Viator
Badge of Excellence

This Old Edinburgh tour takes you in and around the Old Town part of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh has been Scotland’s capital city for hundreds of years.  If something important happened in Scotland, Edinburgh was often at the centre of it.  If something important happened in Edinburgh, it was usually of significance to the rest of the country.

Each story we tell features a famous historical character.  Each of these stories is shared in a location which played a part in that person’s life.  You are walking in the footsteps of royals and rogues, murdered and murderers. 


From Greyfriars Kirkyard to the Grassmarket, the West Bow, the Royal Mile and some of the closes and wynds of the Old Town, this tour gives you a great appreciation of Edinburgh and her fascinating story. 

Book your tour date

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

Greyfriars Kirkyard at the start of a tour

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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Your Old Edinburgh Tour

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


Greyfriars Bobby

The story of the loyal little Skye Terrier is one of Edinburgh's most famous tales.  We'll show you Bobby's grave and the famous statue.

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'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

Prince Charles and his Jacobite Army occupied Edinburgh in 1745.  We'll take you to one of the most symbolic places in the famous '45.

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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

We'll take you to a few Mary locations on this tour.  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 about this famous Edinburgh character as you stand where he was hanged!

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Margaret Tudor

This young Englishwoman 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.


We would give it ten stars if we could!


We have done many tours all over the world and this one rates right at the top. Robert is charming and entertaining, extremely flexible in his delivery of the tour and a source of astonishing and varied facts, history and anecdotes.

Foxka, Tripadvisor - October 2021

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


Stop 1 - Meet your Edinburgh tour guide in Greyfriars Kirkyard and the find out about the legend of Greyfriars Bobby.


Stop 6 - The High Street and the Mercat Cross. Walk in the footsteps of Mary, Queen of Scots, Robert Burns and Bonnie Prince Charlie.


Stop 2 - The Grassmarket and the story of Scotland’s most significant royal wedding


Stop 7 - We now move off the Royal Mile and visit one of the charismatic little side streets, known as 'closes'.  We'll find out about everyday life in Old Edinburgh.


Stop 3 - The West Bow (the Ovir Bow) and the story of Mary, Queen of Scots in Edinburgh.


Stop 8 - The Cowgate. Find out about terrible poverty in ‘Little Ireland’ during the 19th century.


Stop 4 - The Lawnmarket and Riddle’s Court. See one of Edinburgh’s most authentic ‘Old Town’ places.


Stop 9 - Edinburgh University. Find out about the Burke and Hare murders.


Stop 5 - Parliament Square and the exterior of St Giles’. Find out about the hanging of Deacon Brodie…right where it happened!


Stop 10 - Old College, Edinburgh University. Hear the story of one of Scotland’s most famous assassinations.

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?


Easily adapted for children

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


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.



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!


Quibble-free refund

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


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.


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

Advocate's Close

Advocate's Close

One of the most famous views in the Old Town.

Guiding in the Grassmarket!

Guiding in the Grassmarket!

Robert with a group in the historic Grassmarket.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby.

Scotland's most famous statue.

Greyfriars Bobby's Bar.

Greyfriars Bobby's Bar.

We recommend their haggis!

Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Kirkyard.

We meet most of our groups just inside this gateway.

The High Street in the snow.

The High Street in the snow.

A wintry scene on the Royal Mile.

Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile.

Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile.

St Giles' to the left, the City Chambers to the right.

Summer sun on the High Street.

Summer sun on the High Street.

We do have some lovely days here!

The High Kirk of St Giles'.

The High Kirk of St Giles'.

One of our favourite historic buildings in Edinburgh's Old Town.

The Old West Bow.

The Old West Bow.

Victoria Street contains some of buildings which stood here when this street was known as the West Bow.

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.