Treasures of the Old Town
- Meander through the ancient, picturesque closes and gardens of Edinburgh’s Canongate
- Hear the lesser known tales of fascinating and often scandalous events that took place in the lower section of the Royal Mile (which contains more historic buildings than the upper half!)
- Delve into the escapades of famed Edinburgh characters like Mary, Queen of Scots
- Explore Holyrood Palace, Her Majesty the Queen’s official residence in Scotland
- Mercat exclusive audio devices - be immersed and get lost in the stories...
- Choosing Mercat is 'Good for you, Good for Edinburgh' - our team, community and planet
About this tour
History walk in Edinburgh
Explore the hidden treasures of the Royal Mile – and let your expert guide unlock the history of this ancient seat of power. Discover the lesser known history of the Canongate, and the glorious Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Unearth a pathway to Holyrood Palace that escapes the notice of history books and Edinburgh bus tours. Explore a lesser known but equally captivating side of Edinburgh Old Town’s vibrant history as you journey down the quiet closes of the Royal Mile.
Your expert tour Storyteller will immerse you in the rich, engaging history of the rebellious Jacobites clattering over the cobbles, led by a proud Bonnie Prince Charlie. You’ll delve into the intriguing life and times of sickly poet Robert Fergusson; the inspiration to renowned Robert Burns and forever immortalised in this part of town.
In the hands of your gifted Storyteller on this walking tour, you’ll find that romance and intrigue are everywhere – in the architecture, literature, crime and politics, on the very doorstep of the Queen’s Palace.
From rebels to royalty
Explore the Palace of Holyroodhouse, equipped with your newly acquired knowledge of the Canongate’s history.
At the conclusion of your tour, you have the option for fast track entry and 15min introduction to the glorious Palace of Holyroodhouse. You are free to explore these 14 magnificent state apartments, as well as the romantic ruins of the 12th Century Holyrood Abbey, at your own leisure.
Long before the Palace was used by Her Majesty the Queen for modern day royal ceremonies, it was the setting for many dramatic episodes in the short reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, which you’ll hear all about during this tour.
The full Treasures of the Old Town with Palace of Holyroodhouse included, takes 2 hours – simply choose this option when you book. We recommend planning at least 2hrs for your visit to the Palace.
Prefer to join us for the 1 hour and 45minute walking tour without the Palace? That’s absolutely fine – there’s plenty of history to explore in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Palace image photographer: Ian Jones. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018
Dates & times
Private group bookings
Reconnect with friends and family on a tour just for you. Book online now, or we're happy to help on email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate to help us reconnect vulnerable communities through storytelling - learn more about Our Stories, Your City.
- Everyone has a warm welcome from us. Read about accessibility here and see our Euan's Guide Reviews.
- Complimentary tickets are available for carers, to book call us on 0131 225 5445.
- Check how you will be safe and feel safe on tour with us.
- Language: English. Learn more on our FAQs.
- 1 hours 45 minutes
- Start point: Mercat Cross, High Street
- End point: Holyrood Palace, Canongate
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Don’t forget to buy a Mercat Tours souvenir guidebook with your ticket.See inside