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 Tour 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.

Please Note: We use a wireless audio system on this tour for your enjoyment. You will be given a device with earphones at the start of the tour. Your tour guide will use a headset with microphone to ensure you hear every word over the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh's lively Old Town. Please do bring your own headphones/earphones if desired - it's a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

If you have a Historic Environment Scotland Explorer Pass, you’re very welcome to join us – including the guided tour of Edinburgh Castle – simply call us to check, once you’ve booked your tour ticket.

This tour explores the upper half of the Royal Mile. Want to know more about the Canongate? Try our Treasures of the Old Town tour where you can visit The Palace of Holyroodhouse

In Summary

  • Discover the secrets & stories of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Get a tour of Edinburgh Castle & the Royal Mile
  • Skip the line at Edinburgh Castle
  • Enjoy a personal tour in a small group
  • Learn about royalty, writers, philosophers & everyday Edinburgh folk
  • Tickets are limited. Book in advance for the best ticket price & to guarantee your place on your tour

Customer review

"Very knowledgeable, the tour was informative and entertaining. We would definitely recommend."

Ben, Google

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Tours details

Dates & times

Daily: 10:00, 13:00

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes incl Edinburgh Castle
1 hour 30 minutes excl Edinburgh Castle

 

Tickets are always limited. 
Book online in advance for the best ticket price.

 

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

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 & stories of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Get a tour of Edinburgh Castle & the Royal Mile
  • Skip the line at Edinburgh Castle
  • Enjoy a personal tour in a small group
  • Learn about royalty, writers, philosophers & everyday Edinburgh folk
  • Tickets are limited. Book in advance for the best ticket price & to guarantee your place on your tour

Customer review

"Very knowledgeable, the tour was informative and entertaining. We would definitely recommend."

Ben, Google

Secrets of the Royal Mile

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Please select a date and time.
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Souvenir Guidebooks

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

See inside

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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