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Royal Mile Tour

A private tour of the most important street in Scotland's history


“Wow! What a guy, we booked this two hour Canongate evening history tour prior to our first visit to Edinburgh after reading his excellent reviews BUT it's even better than first class if that's possible! …(If) our school history lesson had been this interesting we may have gained an A* !”


Jo B- Tripadvisor - June 2018

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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 Royal Mile 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 Dynamic Earth (Holyrood Road)
Accessibility info
Gradients and steps
2 hours

Quick description



Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is quite possibly the most historic street in all of Scotland.  With Edinburgh Castle at the top and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Abbey at the bottom, the Royal Mile was the scene of many momentous events.  

Robert, our local Edinburgh tour guide, went to university on the Royal Mile and is ready to take you in and around the side streets, closes and wynds, which many visitors miss.  

Edinburgh was Scotland’s capital city for hundreds of years, and the Royal Mile was her busiest and most important road.

One street.  One award-winning guide.  Hundreds of years of Scotland’s history.

Book your tour date

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

This tour meets at this spot, just in front of Dynamic Earth, on Holyrood Road.

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Meet your Royal Mile tour guide

Some of the places you'll see on this tour

The Scottish Parliament building.

The Scottish Parliament

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.

Robert and a group outside Holyrood Palace.

Abbey Strand

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.

Chessel's Court on the Royal Mile.

Chessel's Court

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

White Horse Close in the Canongate.

White Horse Close

We'll take you to a few Mary locations on this tour.  Our favourite location is where Mary's second husband was murdered!

The Canongate Kirk.

The Canongate Kirk

Councilman, playboy, gambler and burglar - what a lifestyle!  You'll learn about this famous Edinburgh character as you stand where he was hanged!

The site of the Netherbow Port.

The Netherbow

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.

The John Knox House and Storytelling Centre.

Our guide, Robert was very knowledgeable, both of the area and local history. Having lived in Edinburgh for nearly 50 years, l visited places that night l had never been before, seen things l hadn't even noticed (despite walking past them on a daily basis) and learnt something about my own city.
Go on this at least once, whether you're a local or a visitor to the city, you won't be disappointed. My only complaint was that it only lasted just under 2 hours, l could've listened to this guy talking all evening. Very enjoyable.

Sean B - August 2015

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


Stop 1 - Dynamic Earth. The topography of Old Edinburgh and why this is an 'experiential' tour!


Stop 6 - Canongate Kirkyard.  Edinburgh’s poet and more than one link to Robert Burns.


Stop 2 - Abbey Strand. Holyrood and the murder of David Rizzio.


Stop 7 - Chessel’s Court.  Criminal stories from Brodie and Burke and Hare.


Stop 3 - White Horse Close.  Heritage and history - a Canongate 'Then and Now.'


Stop 8 - The Netherbow Port.  Here we'll learn about a surprise attack on Edinburgh


Stop 4 - View to the Scottish Parliament.  Learn about the issues which we talk about in today's Scotland.


Stop 9 - The John Knox House - The story of Edinburgh during a civil war.


Stop 5 - Bakehouse Close.  Visualising the past and a famous Outlander location.


Stop 10 - It’s your private tour of Edinburgh - we’ll discuss some 'final stop' options with you so that we can go where your interest takes us!

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

Looking at Mary, Queen of Scots and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Looking at Mary, Queen of Scots and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

We start the tour with a bang (or rather, a stab...lots of them!)

Huntly House.

Huntly House.

We explore Bakehouse Close, just inside the archway of the Museum of Edinburgh.

New Calton Burial Ground.

New Calton Burial Ground.

Just one of the views we have early on in your Royal Mile tour. We'll tell you all about the tower...

Canongate Kirk.

Canongate Kirk.

We'll look at money, love and murder in our walk around the Canongate Kirkyard.

The Canongate Tolbooth.

The Canongate Tolbooth.

The Canongate and Edinburgh were two very different burghs, you'll learn about the history of both.

Chessel's Court.

Chessel's Court.

You'll find out about three of Edinburgh's most (in)famous criminals on our stop in this pretty courtyard.

The Netherbow Port.

The Netherbow Port.

Most people wouldn't realise just how important this wee spot was in Edinburgh's history. Put your tin hats on, we're looking at wars and sieges here!

Advocate's Close.

Advocate's Close.

The New Town, from the Old Town.

The High Street.

The High Street.

We visit each of the streets which make up the Royal Mile. We'll go from Abbey Strand to the Canongate, up the High Street, along the Lawnmarket and we finish at the end of Castlehill.

Old buildings in the Lawnmarket.

Old buildings in the Lawnmarket.

Have any questions about the buildings around us? Just ask your Edinburgh tour guide!

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 ( if you wish to ask any further questions.

Tour Terms and Conditions

You can see our tour terms and conditions here.