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Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 15 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

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Overview

See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh on this walking tour with optional skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle. As you walk, listen as your guide shares the history of this formidable city with ancient Roman roots and UNESCO-listed pockets. Explore atmospheric cobbled walkways along the Royal Mile, breeze into Edinburgh Castle to witness royal opulence (if option selected), and pass iconic locations like St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square, and John Knox House.
  • Guided walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Old Town, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Wander down centuries-old cobblestone streets, passageways, and Edinburgh tenements
  • See St. Giles Cathedral, High Street, Parliament Square, John Knox House, Lawnmarket, and Castlehill
  • Upgrade to included skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

See all the highlights of the Old Town—including a skip-the-line visit to Edinburgh Castle—to make the most of limited time
Saved to wishlist!
Fast track, skip the line entry into Edinburgh Castle (if this option is selected)
Award-winning local storytellers
Small group experience
TourTalk radio receiver to enjoy immersive storytelling at safe distance
Mercat Cross , High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF, UK

Mercat Cross, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF. Look for the 8 sided monument with white Unicorn on top. You will find a member of our visitor services team waiting here to check you in. They will be dressed in black, holding an iPad, wearing an orange lanyard & holding a black & orange umbrella.

Castlehill , Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1, UK

Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG.This tour ends at the Edinburgh Castle esplanade.

Your sightseeing tour of historic Edinburgh begins in early afternoon. Meet your guide on High Street and stroll along the cobbled streets of Old Town, peeking into cloistered courtyards and learning about how centuries of Dunediners (or Edinburgers!) have lived within the city’s narrow passageways, termed ‘closes’ and ‘wynds.’ As you walk, hear about Edinburgh’s extensive history, officially beginning with Roman settlement, though most renowned for its infamous royal residents and bloody wars of religious reformation and independence. 

Follow medieval streets and alleys, and check out the protected Reformation-era constructions such as St. Giles Cathedral, often called the High Kirk of Edinburgh. Hear some of the site’s dramatic events like that of Protestant reformer Jenny Geddes, whose assault on a bishop indirectly led to the Wars on the Three Kingdoms. Stop in Parliament Square and at the famous John Knox House, a historic treasure that is one of the last original medieval buildings on the Royal Mile. Then continue on to Castlehill, where you enjoy sweeping views of the bustling city below.

Next, head to Edinburgh Castle, strategically perched upon the craggy hilltop of Castle Rock, where you have skip-the-line access to tour the building’s impressive interior, if you've selected this option. Learn about medieval life in the palace and the many bloody battles fought here such as the War of Independence in the 14th century. On a guided tour, explore grand buildings like the Royal Palace and Margaret’s Chapel, see the ancient Stone of Destiny, and soak up the glimmer of the Honours of Scotland’s – the UK’s oldest crown jewels.

Your excursion ends here in the afternoon.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Edinburgh Castle
If the "castle included" option is selected you will enjoy a 30 minute introductory tour of Edinburgh Castle with your guide and then have as much free time as you like to explore the Castle afterwards
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
St Giles' Cathedral
View the exterior and hear the history.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Parliament House
View the exterior
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Edinburgh Old Town
Explore on foot. Hear the history from your guide
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
St. Margaret's Chapel
Included with castle entry ticket.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Royal Mile
Explore on foot with your storytelling guide.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
John Knox House Museum
View the exterior and discover the history with your guide
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Castlehill
Enjoy the views over Edinburgh.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Tours are guaranteed all year round, so please dress for the weather, with comfortable shoes.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Please note: Edinburgh Castle will not admit visitors with bags larger than a 25litre capacity
  • Please note that we cannot accept babies or children under the age of 5 on this tour.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 18 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Mercat Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

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 Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "This tour is recommended for those who want to learn some history of the city." See review
  • "It is a walking tour and understand that you are going to be walking up hill most of the time." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
667 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 667 reviews
star-5
A fantastic tour with...
Marion_R
, Jul 2022
A fantastic tour with Naomi. She was so knowledgeable about Edinburgh and its secrets. Her enthusiasm was infectious and we learnt so much about the history of Scotland and its culture.
star-5
Perfect intro to the Royal Mile!
Anmarie_G
, Jun 2022
My daughter and I wanted to get some history and some landmarks covered on our first day. This tour was the perfect length and level of depth for us.
star-5
Great History Tour
Dixie_C
, Jun 2022
Margaret Ann was a great tour guide. She is very knowledgeable and made the entire experience very interesting!
star-5
So much all in one Street!
Samantha_C
, Jun 2022
Guide Stephanie was friendly, and very knowledgeable which made the trip a pleasure. So much to see on the Royal Mile, culminating with the Castle which was great. Crown Jewell’s not to be missed!
star-4
A very detailed tour and a kind guide
Dan_A
, Jun 2022
The castle on the hill and the guides explanation about it .also the emphasis on womans rights was very important
star-4
Good introduction to Edinburgh
Pearlquan
, Jun 2022
Good introduction to Edinburgh. Fred was a good guide. She told us a lot of good stories of Edinburgh.
star-5
Fun tour
Raoul_V
, Jun 2022
Stephanie was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. Despite the blustery weather, great visit. Would recommend to everyone.
star-5
Great Tour
Elizabeth_K
, Jun 2022
Fantastic tour. The guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. Totally worth the money and a great introduction to Edinburgh! Thanks for a great experience.
star-5
Mom's Bucket List Vacation
Sharlene_C
, Jun 2022
Stephanie was awesome very friendly and knowledgeable about all the history. So much fun, would do it again if ever come back
star-5
Great sights with knowledgeable guide
Hannah_V
, Jun 2022
Stefanie was a fantastic tour guide. She was really knowledgeable and fun, and managed keep the group together on the really busy streets. The headphone/speaker sets were really helpful, we were able to hear easily over the traffic. Highly recommend!
star-5
Knowledgeable and fun!
Jan_P
, May 2022
Margaret Ann was so full of interesting (little know) historical facts it made the trip well worthwhile. Her intellect and sense of humor made the 2+ hours fly by!
star-5
Must do!
Jodie_L
, May 2022
Our guide was very informative and was engaging. It was great to get some history of the “Royal Mile” and also of the Castle. Being able to listen on the headsets was great, we were able to hear everything our guide said!
star-5
Stephanie, our guide was...
Joan_D
, May 2022
Stephanie, our guide was full of information and interesting stories. Plus she had a great sense of humor. She also knew how to paste the tour for our group.
star-4
Edinburgh History come to life
Angelle_C
, May 2022
Margaret Ann was very knowledgeable and did a great job bringing the story of the Royal Mile and Edinburgh to life. I really enjoyed it. The only downside was that I misunderstood where the meeting point was and went to castlehill. Luckilyi had arrived 15 minutes early and the people in the booth directed me down the hill and one of the lovely ladies giving tourists help took me to the meeting point.
star-5
Highly recommended
markwharris
, May 2022
Great way to start seeing Edinburgh and finding out about its history. Our guide was very knowledgeable and able to answer any wide ranging questions asked.
star-5
Great Introduction to The Royal Mile!
Shauna_R
, May 2022
Wonderful introduction to the Royal Mile! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and accommodating. I would recommend this tour!
star-5
Good choice
Janet_J
, Apr 2022
As the tour description states, I learned "behind the scenes" things that I would not have otherwise heard about. It was a fun tour and not horribly time consuming.
star-5
This tour was a perfect...
Keith_F
, Apr 2022
This tour was a perfect start to our trip. We learned about the history of the city presented in a very entertaining format. Nicki was our guide and she was wonderful! Very entertaining! And the castle was amazing
star-4
Very interesting tour
Timothy_G
, Apr 2022
The guide Nicky was very knowledgeable, brought the history of Edinburgh to life. The meeting point was Mercat cross. Unfortunately there are 2 sites with that name. Altho the full address was given it would be very useful if it was made clear there are 2 Mercat cross sites
star-5
Great tour! Phenomenal...
Shabbir_K
, Mar 2022
Great tour! Phenomenal tour guide and really enjoyed learning about Edinburgh’s history. The castle was stunning. Really great experience!

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