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Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon2 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
More questions?
(888) 651-9785
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

Overview

Journey through Edinburgh’s grisliest tales on a haunted walking tour. Experience the ghastly histories of monsters, madness, and murder that cast a dark shadow on the capital city. Discover the stories and sites of witch trials, pagan rituals, and executions, and hear about local monsters that live in urban myth. Then visit the chilling Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery to learn about body-snatching and some of the infamous interred.
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh’s murky past and present, led by a knowledgeable guide
  • Explore the eerie, cobblestone streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Climb Calton Hill, the site of witch trials and pagan rituals, and take in panoramic views of the city
  • Visit Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery and learn about body-snatching, vampires and more
  • Discover the capital’s gruesome past through the guide’s gripping commentary
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Professional guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

Frankie & Benny's, 130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK

Departure Time

6:30 PM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Your ghostly adventure starts in the evening on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in Old Town. Meet your local guide and steel yourself for a walk through the dark recesses of Edinburgh’s haunted history, hearing stories of murder, monsters, cannibals and other local oddities. Cross your fingers that you encounter (or not encounter!) a spooky character at one of the venues to come. 

First wind through shadowed alleys and cobbled streets to North Bridge and Calton Hill, where you get panoramic views of the city and a dose of gruesome history. Explore the monuments perched high above the city and learn about the grisly witch trials that occurred here. Still a sacred area for many, Calton Hill continues to host pagan rituals like the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival.

Afterwards, continue to one of Edinburgh’s famous cemeteries. Stop at the 17th-century Canongate Kirkyard cemetery or Old Calton Burial Ground, where David Hume is buried. Hear about his fabled deal with the devil, as well as the history of Burke and Hare, body snatchers who made a killing (so to speak!) by selling corpses to medical science. 

Between stops, hear other creepy stories of execution, murder, torture, and hauntings. Your tour returns to the Royal Mile at a local pub. Pop inside for a drink to help warm your chilled soul (own expense)!
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Royal Mile
Meet your guide on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town, and then set off on foot to begin your walking tour of the city’s shade side. Edinburgh is crawling with odd activity, and there are tales of murderers, vampires, monsters and even cannibals that locals nervously recall to each other.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
North Bridge
Follow your guide through dark courtyards and eerie alleys, and hear spine-chilling stories of executions, murders, torture, ghosts and witchcraft. Then, make for the North Bridge, with its own formidable history, before climbing Calton Hill.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Calton Hill
Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand on end as your guide tells real-life tales of gore and gruesomeness, including stories about the witch trials that once took place here. Discover how the site is still used today for pagan rituals such as the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival, and drink in 360-degree views of the city’s skyline.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Old Calton Burial Ground
Then, continue to the Old Calton Burial Ground, one of Edinburgh’s chilling cemeteries. See the imposing mausoleum that marks the final resting place of David Hume, who is said to have made a deal with the devil, and perhaps hear of the infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Canongate Kirk
Alternatively, visit the Canongate Kirkyard cemetery, which dates back to the 17th century. Rest assured, there is no staged gimmickry, monster masks or made-up stories on this tour.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Edinburgh Old Town
After roughly two hours, your tour concludes at a local pub near the Royal Mile, where you can purchase a pint of beer or a dram of whisky to help cool your nerves after this entertaining and intriguing tour (own expense).
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Children up to 13 years old are welcome to join this tour for free. We reserve the right to ask for a valid ID for children joining our tours. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • We unfortunately do not advise guests in wheelchairs to join the Dark Side Tour, due to the narrow stairways and steep hills. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Sandemans New Europe Ltd - Corporate Account

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:
The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:
The policy on sanitization is:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "There was quite a lot of walking up and down hill (it is Edinburgh, after all), so you'll need to be fairly easily mobile on foot." See review
  • "This is a great way to be guided to Calton Hill which is a bit of a walk from the Royal Mile but well worth the trip" See review
  • "no explicit visuals) from a friendly tour guide, making it really very safe for children." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
1,624 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 1,624 reviews
star-5
Darkside Walking tour
Caroline_R
, Oct 2020
Jule was great! Very informative and spooky ! The facts about the city were very interesting. We particularly liked the graveyard stories!
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star-5
Well worth it
Lettie
, Oct 2020
Jule is a great guide. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend this tour. Some great gruesome stories that have inspired us to visit some other attractions too.
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star-4
To dark
Michelle_W
, Oct 2020
It was a good walk but to dark to see anything the guide Angus was very good and very helpful it was a small group which was just right
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star-5
Finding Edinburgh’s dark past
Bridget_C
, Oct 2020
Excellent guide in Angus. Really enjoyed the stories and finding out about Edinburgh’s darkest past.
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star-5
Worth it
Georgie_W
, Oct 2020
David (With the glasses) was a great guide, made us laugh and made the tour super fun even though the rain was torrential! Learnt a lot about the creepy side of Edinburgh and saw a lot of the city that we might not have otherwise seen.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Blooming fantastic. 10/10 would recommend.
Anna_P
, Oct 2020
Absolutely amazing evening with Aunty Jen! Myself and my partner thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the tour. Jen was funny, knowledgeable and kept everyone’s attention for the whole tour! You could see her passion for history in the way she told her stories. I especially enjoyed the story of Allan the Vampire! So far the tour has been the highlight of our stay. I would recommend it to anyone and have even recommended it to pals who live in Edinburgh!! Thanks for making our Friday night seriously brilliant ☺️ Anna & Dave
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star-5
Don't leave Edinburgh without doing this tour
CAZ
, Oct 2020
This was a great tour. Enjoyed listening to all the stories Angus had to tell. He was very knowledgeable and the tour was interesting and fun. You are walking for about an hour and a half which includes a few hills and steps but you stop regularly on route.
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star-4
Engaging and entertaining
Sue_H
, Oct 2020
Jule was lovely. Very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, personable and with a cheeky sense of humour. There was quite a lot of walking up and down hill (it is Edinburgh, after all), so you'll need to be fairly easily mobile on foot. My daughters (17 and 14) and I all really enjoyed this activity. Jule is from Germany but clearly loves Edinburgh, and her enthusiasm was infectious.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Jen was BRILLIANT
Ant_A
, Sep 2020
Jen was absolutley fantastic ! she really knew her stuff and made the tour really entertaining I would definatly reccomend 10/10. Great for the price aswell
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star-5
Dark tour with much love
Jacqueline_F
, Sep 2020
Booked last minute and werden’s disappointed! Jane is such a lovely person and you really hear and see that she loves doing those tours. We highly recomment This tour
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Product code: 6785EDGHOST

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