Edinburgh History and Ghost Walking Tours

Edinburgh Walking Tours with Mercat

History and Ghost Tours of Edinburgh and Beyond

Since traditionally visitors would go to the Mercat Cross on the High Street to seek out local information or a guide, we decided that all our tours would begin at the historic heart of the town and hence the company would be named Mercat Tours. The rest, as they say, is history…!

Hear Our Story, See Our City…The best way to really experience medieval Edinburgh is to follow your feet – and your guide! We’ll reveal the closes and courtyards; sites and stories to give you a true sense of our past and our people. Where the buses can’t take you and the guidebooks don’t show is where our city’s fascinating stories can be found…

History is a damn good story, what it needs is damn good telling – and that’s what we promise we’ll do. Our award-winning guides relish bringing our past alive, whether haunted or historic, walking and exploring Edinburgh with you. We’re also very proud to say our once-small family business is now the ONLY 5 star, highest awarded, largest walking tour company, with the most extensive selection of tours in Scotland. Now into our second generation, since 1985 we have grown, developed and practised hard at what we do – like most families!

Choosing Your Tour            We’ll help you discover our fabulous city and make sure you don’t miss the best sites and stories:

-Ghost tours, history tours

-Daytime, evening

-Old Town, New Town

-The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and, exclusively, the Blair Street Underground Vaults

-The True Story of Edinburgh’s Underground         With our exclusive access to the famously haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, we can show you where the poor souls of Edinburgh’s past still haunt her present.

Set in the heart of our bustling Old Town, surrounded by restaurants, shops and hotels, we are the perfect way to explore that little bit further.

We offer our scheduled tours:

-Daily – we’ve always a tour to fit your plans

-All year round – we’re here whenever you visit

-Guaranteed departures – you’ll never be disappointed

-Limited group size – to make sure you have the best experience possible

-With a warm Scottish welcome, we’ll meet you at the Mercat Cross soon.

Special Group Tours is an agent for MERCAT and you can check availability for the tour of your choice!

 

SCHEDULED EDINBURGH WALKING TOURS WITH MERCAT

Edinburgh Outlander Experience Experience the Edinburgh explored by Outlander’s Claire and Jamie – Visit The Canongate Kirk, where Colum Mackenzie met Claire and Jamie for the last time, the site of the Tolbooth Jail where the Fraser men of Lallybroch were imprisoned for desertion, the World’s End tavern and many other taverns mentioned in the books, which are still open today. Hear stories of witchcraft, the Jacobites, the Royal Stuarts, curses, clans and how the fictional story of Jamie and Claire intermingles with the true history. What if your future was your past? Travel back in time to Edinburgh in the mid-18th century, when Claire and Jamie found themselves at the heart of the Jacobite uprisings and the aftermath. Visit some of the Old Town locations described in the series of Outlander books.

The tour lasts 2 hours, taking in the narrow wynding closes of the Old Town, the might of Edinburgh Castle and ending at the royal splendour of Holyrood Palace. Experience life in Edinburgh 250 years ago through the vivid storytelling of your guide and the writing of Diana Gabaldon!

Tour Times: 11:00am every Saturday from April to October

Duration: 2 hours

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street     Finish: Canongate Graveyard

 

Secrets of the Royal Mile including Edinburgh Castle Book this tour if you’d like…

-A unique journey round the sites, stories and secrets of the Old Town you might otherwise miss

-A tour led and loved by Mercat historians

-A wonderful introduction to Edinburgh, it’s past and people

-A guided visit to Edinburgh Castle

-Our beautiful city is waiting for you…

The best way to explore Edinburgh is to follow your feet. Where the buses can’t take you, and the guide books don’t show you is where our real stories can be found – the closes, wynds, courtyards and homes of Old Edinburgh. We’ll paint a vivid picture of our colourful past and people – see the secrets and tell the tales – the culture, crime and politics of Scotland’s capital. This is an experience shared by Mercat historians.

Available for the first time in 2014, your experience of the medieval city is then completed with an optional visit to Edinburgh Castle. The Castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from its great rock. Its story has helped shape the nation’s story. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been and inspired by it. Visit the Castle and let your Mercat guide reveal it’s remarkable history.

*Limited capacity of 30pax

*Visitors with the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass are very welcome to join our tour, including the guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. This is dependent on other visitors having booked the full experience.

Tour Times: All Year, 1.30pm daily

Duration: Including Edinburgh Castle: 2 hours 30 minutes OR Walk only: 1 hour 30 minutes

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street               Finish: Edinburgh Castle esplanade, Castlehill

 

Historic Vaults Tour         Book this tour if you’d like…

-to explore the history of the famous Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusive to Mercat Tours

-to see, and touch, artefacts from 19th Century

-to hear how real people lived, and worked, in the Vaults

-to visit our new Discovery Room with AV, 3D model and display

The Story of the Underground: Hear the authentic history of the underground. This is your chance to visit the Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusively available with Mercat Tours. Explore the deepest, largest and most extensive in the city whilst in the company of a Mercat historian.

Why were the Vaults built?   When and by whom? Who used the Vaults?          How did they work, and play?

We will recount the history of the Vaults, recall their stories and answer your questions during this fascinating experience.

*For health & safety reasons we are unable to allow any children under the age of 5 on our underground tours

*Limited capacity of 30pax

Times: April – October: 2pm & 4pm daily; November – March: 2pm Sat & Sun, 4pm daily

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street     Finish: Discovery Room, Blair Street, off Hunter Square

 

Ghostly Underground                 Book this tour if you’d like…

-a ghost tour in the safety of daylight

-the famous haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusive to Mercat Tours

-fantastic storytelling – but they’re not just stories – it’s all horrifyingly real!

Before darkness descends, it’s really no surprise we’ve such a haunting legacy lingering upon our town…With true stories of gruesome punishment and unsettled spirits, we’ll give you a flavour of life, and death, in Old Edinburgh. You’ll visit the shadowy closes where the ghosts still cling to the ancient sites and explore our grisly past in the safety of daylight.  However, the Blair Street Underground Vaults always lie in shadow…Descend into the famously haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusively with Mercat, where the poor souls of Edinburgh’s past still haunt her present.

*For health & safety reasons we are unable to allow any children under the age of 5 on our underground tours

Tour Times: April – October: 3pm & 5pm daily; Nov – March: 3pm daily, 5pm Saturdays

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street     Finish: Discovery Room, Blair Street, off Hunter Square

 

Ghosts and Ghouls  Book this tour if you’d like…

-a light-hearted, entertaining look at our ghoulish past, and ghostly present

-to see the famous haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusive to Mercat Tours

-to relish a complimentary refreshment, tales by candle-lit in our exclusive Megget’s Cellar

Entertainment – 17th Century style! How best to experience our grim and ghostly past? Just as our ghoulish ancestors did…with gusto! The infamous ‘Edinburgh mob’ loved the ‘entertainment’ of blood, guts and gore. And there was plenty provided! Especially at the Mercat Cross. Let us fire your imagination with true tales of gruesome punishment and restless spirits whilst venturing down the closes of our medieval Old Town.

You will have a memorable glimpse into life, death and grisly entertainment before descending into the famously haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusively with Mercat. Visit where the ghosts of Edinburgh’s past still haunt her present… As you savour a welcome drink, we’ll weave tales by candle-light in our atmospheric, exclusive, underground cellar. The Ghosts and Ghouls tour is our original, flagship ghost tour.

*For health & safety reasons we are unable to allow any children under the age of 5 on our underground tours

Tour Times: 7pm & 8pm daily

Duration: Full Tour Experience: 2 hours OR Walk Only: 1 hour 15 minutes

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street

Finish:

Full Tour – Megget’s Cellar, Blair Street, off Hunters Square

Walk Only – Discovery Room, Blair Street, off Hunters Square

 

Hidden and Haunted         Book this tour if you’d like…

-a tour designed for an adult audience

-to hear about our sinister and unsavoury past, and people

-to experience the famous haunted Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusively with Mercat, by candle-light

The darkest secrets and souls of the city…Discover Edinburgh’s history at its most chilling. We save the darkest, most sinister, most unsettling tales to our last, late night ghost tour.

You’ll hear of bloody plots that led to treason and torture; secret lives that lead to horrific deaths and tormented souls. You’ll discover the more disreputable character, and characters, of Edinburgh’s dark closes. Our renowned Blair Street Underground Vaults, like our city, hide dark tales of dark deeds which we’ll share as candles flicker in the shadows…

*No children permitted on this tour

*Limited capacity of 28pax

Tour Times: April – Oct: 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm daily; Nov – March): 9pm & 9.30pm daily, 10pm Friday and Saturday

Duration: 1 hour

Start: Mercat Cross, High Street     Finish: Blair Street Underground Vaults, Blair Street, off Hunter Square

 

Private tailor-made tours also available so do let us know if you have a party (from 2 guests and up) wanting a private experience on one of the scheduled itineraries or if you have a specific theme in mind. We are here to help, please just get in touch!