History Walks

Secrets of the Royal Mile

About this tour

This walking tour is the perfect introduction to Scotland’s capital. The first secret you’ll learn? That you can skip the line at Edinburgh Castle!

Discover an Edinburgh beyond the reach of tour buses and guidebooks. Your expert guide will take you to the places where history was made – the wynds, closes, courtyards and homes of Edinburgh’s Old Town. You’ll be hanging on your tour guide’s every word, as the true stories of our capital’s past unfold.

The characters? Think Mary Queen of Scots, David Hume, Adam Smith and Robert Burns. But you’ll go far beyond the well-known facts and faces – uncovering another side of our city, and Scotland’s past. From crime and culture to politics and everyday events, all Edinburgh life is here – expertly told by your Mercat guide.

Want to visit Edinburgh Castle? Skip the line with Mercat Tours.

The castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from its great rock. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been inspired by it.

Visit the castle with your Mercat guide, and you’ll walk straight over the drawbridge, and straight past the ticket line – to continue your history tour with a guided visit. The full walking tour of Edinburgh, including Edinburgh Castle, takes 2 hours and 15 minutes – simply choose this option when you book.

Prefer to join us for the 1 hour and 30 minute walking tour? That’s absolutely fine – there’s plenty to explore in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

If you have a Historic Scotland Explorer Pass, you’re very welcome to join us – including the guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. All we ask is that other guests have booked the full experience – simply call us to check, once you’ve booked your tour ticket.

In Summary

  • Discover the secrets and stories of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Get a tour of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile
  • Skip the line at Edinburgh Castle
  • Enjoy a personal tour in a small group
  • Learn about royalty, writers, philosophers – and everyday Edinburgh folk

Customer review

" It was fun, informative and manageable with a wheelchair."

D.J, Facebook

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Tours details

Dates & times

Daily: 10:00, 13:00, 15:00*

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes, including Edinburgh Castle
1 hour 30 minutes for the walk alone

Children over 5 years of age are very welcome! You do need to be over 5 years old to join our tours.

Please note: Edinburgh Castle do not admit visitors with bags larger than a 25litre capacity.

*No castle option available

Duration

  • 2 hours 15 minutes

Tour location

  • Start point: Mercat Cross, High Street
  • End point: Edinburgh Castle esplanade, Castlehill

Need help booking?

Get in touch with us and one of our experts will be able to give you advice on our tours.

In Summary

  • Discover the secrets and stories of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Get a tour of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile
  • Skip the line at Edinburgh Castle
  • Enjoy a personal tour in a small group
  • Learn about royalty, writers, philosophers – and everyday Edinburgh folk

Customer review

" It was fun, informative and manageable with a wheelchair."

D.J, Facebook

Secrets of the Royal Mile

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Souvenir Guidebooks

Don’t forget to buy a Mercat Tours souvenir guidebook with your ticket.

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Awards

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Awarded 5 stars continuously since 2007 in recognition of our commitment to our customers and always improving our tours and experience.

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