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Royal Mile

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Royal Mile: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed walking tour across Edinburgh. See the city where JK Rowling found inspiration for Hogwarts, her famous characters, and discover the place where she wrote the books. Have your Harry Potter trivia tested with an audio-visual quiz, and earn points for your house. Find out which Hogwarts House you’re in, and whether you’re a pure-blood, a muggle, or a squib. Visit the Grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and pass JK Rowling’s golden handprints outside City Chambers. See all this and more on a magical guided tour.

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

2. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour in English

Begin your tour by the statue of Adam Smith on the Royal Mile. Walk towards Edinburgh Castle as your guide sets the scene, explaining the significance of the Castle and mentioning some of the key characters who have helped shape it. Once inside, let your guide walk you through the Castle complex. Hear their in-depth knowledge of the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama. See the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid. Encounter St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square, and The Honors of Scotland. After the tour, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore the castle museums (not accessible during the tour).

Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

3. Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

Wander the opulent state rooms and lavish gardens of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official Scottish residence, located at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Once inside the baroque palace, learn about its close associations with Scotland's history via a complimentary multimedia guide (available in 9 languages). Visit the State Apartments to see the changing tastes of successive monarchs. Marvel at fine plasterwork ceilings and Brussels tapestries, along with paintings and other artworks in rooms still used by the Queen and Royal Family for official ceremonies. Go to the Throne Room to see where lunch was served to the Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Thistle when a new knight was installed. Discover where the Queen holds her private audiences in the Morning Drawing Room. Continue to the Great Gallery, where Scottish residents named in the New Year’s Honours List or Queen's Birthday Honours List receive their award at an Investiture ceremony. Admire Jacob de Wet's portraits of real and legendary kings of Scotland in the Great Gallery, the largest room in the palace. Learn about dramatic events from Scotland’s history in Mary Queen of Scots' historic chambers, where she witnessed the brutal murder of her secretary, Rizzio, by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley. At the end of your multimedia tour, enjoy a refreshing drink or light lunch (own expense) at the Café at the Palace.

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

4. Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents. From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground. An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

5. Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

Enjoy an evening of whisky appreciation on a whisky-tasting experience on Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile. Taste four single malt scotch whiskies and enjoy storytelling from your guide. Meet your guide on the iconic Royal Mile for a short walk to one of the supplier's outstanding whisky venues. Over the next two hours, drink 4 outstanding single malt scotch whiskies taken from the 4 major whisky-producing regions of Scotland. Taste whiskies which range from the relatively delicate and subtle flavors of the Lowlands to the bold and robust tastes of Islay. You will also be given tasting cards giving notes on each of the whiskies that you sample. During the tour, experience some traditional storytelling and explore the significance of whisky to the Scottish identity. The entire upper floor of the venue is reserved, so there is plenty of space and privacy to conduct the story-orientated evening.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Scotland on this day tour that takes you to all of the most important sites in Scotland. Visit the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, Loch Ness and more. Your day begins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where a coach will pick you up for your day of adventure. As you head towards the Highlands, you will see the amazing Forth Bridges. Then try some delicious home baking in the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry. From there, continue on through the Cairngorms National Park, where you will enjoy stunning scenery amidst the unique wilderness of the National Park. Take a break at Loch Ness, which is famous all over the world for its beauty and mystery. From here, you will have the chance to take a 'monster spotting' cruise and visit Urquhart Castle (optional extra ticket) and look for the famous monster for yourself. Next, visit Glen Coe, a broodingly beautiful spot that is steeped in history. As you stand at the mouth of the glen, you'll feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the terrible massacre of the Clan. On your way home, you pass by the beautiful city of Stirling, where you can see its stunning castle and learn more about the exploits of William Wallace that were dramatized in the film Braveheart.

Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

7. Edinburgh: 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Panoramic Bus Ticket

Explore Edinburgh at your own pace with a hop-on and hop-off open-top bus tour. Enjoy the onboard commentary that describes the history behind the city. Stop at locations like St Andrew Square, Johnstone Terrace, the Royal Mile. See sights like Edinburgh Castle and Grassmarket. Board the bus and begin your city adventure. Compare Edinburgh's Old Town, where families lived in cramped conditions and rubbish was thrown out of the windows, to the elegant Georgian New Town, with its 3 main streets and square at either end. Hear about the hangings that took place in the Grassmarket as you marvel at the impenetrable Castle Rock above you, and hear about historic attempts to capture Edinburgh Castle. Drive along the Royal Mile, which joins Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Use the 24-hour ticket to hop on and off as you please. With great visitor attractions, museums, galleries, and restaurants to suit every taste and budget, Edinburgh's got it all! Buses run every 30 minutes, making the following loop: Tour Stops: 1. St Andrew Square - Northside 2. Lothian Road - Waldorf Astoria 3. Grassmarket 4. Lauriston Place 5. Johnstone Terrace - Edinburgh Castle, The Scottish Whiskey Experience 6. Lawnmarket - Gladstone's End, The Real Mary King's Close 7. Chambers Street - National Museum of Scotland 8. St Mary's Street West 9. Canongate - John Knox House 10. Royal Mile - Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyrood House 11. Dynamic Earth 12. Regent Road - Burns Monument

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

8. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

Meet your guide on Edinburgh's iconic and historic Royal Mile, by the Statue of Adam Smith (one of Scotland's greatest thinkers). From there, your tour will be lead through the gorgeous winding streets that comprise Edinburgh's "Old Town." Covering everything from history to religion and folklore, this walking tour is an original tour of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town. Your talented and entertaining guide will walk you through the streets and alleys of "Auld Reekie", while enthralling you with with its history, folklore, and tales. Learn about the secrets Edinburgh is hiding and experience the incredible stories it has to tell, as your guide leads you through the city's long history.  Topics included in the tour include Edinburgh's Mercat Cross, St. Giles Cathedral, the Scottish Enlightenment, Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket, Harry Potter's inspirations, and many more. Finish your tour in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

Edinburgh: Old Town Beer Walking Tour and Tasting

9. Edinburgh: Old Town Beer Walking Tour and Tasting

Enjoy a unique walking tour of Edinburgh's historic Old Town tracing the history of the city through beer from the 1100's right through today's vibrant craft beer scene. Setting off from the Royal Mile, you'll discover how Edinburgh grew to become the most important city in the world for brewing and how beer money shaped the city's development. You'll hear stories of rivalry, global expansion, politics, geography and science. Along the way you'll stop for tutored tastings of Scotland's award winning beers. You'll also be introduced to the raw ingredients and science of brewing and the expert guides will help you discover flavours you'll love. This tour is for history lovers or beer lovers who'd like to discover the authentic story of Edinburgh's development and experience the exciting local craft beer scene. Tours are limited to 12 people so that your expert local guides can answer all your questions and help you discover your new favourite drink. You'll be entertained, informed and refreshed!

Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

10. Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

Discover Scotland’s mythical sites and Scottish faeries as you walk around the city of Edinburgh. Pass by graveyards, aged houses, and the sites where witches and warlocks were burnt on this sinister yet insightful walking tour. Learn about the black market for corpses in the 19th century and the serial killers William Burke and William Hare. Hear how they sold corpses for dissection at anatomy lectures. Visit the Old Calton Cemetery and Canongate Kirkyard. Enjoy pleasant views across Edinburgh whilst your guide talks about a particularly dark chapter in the city’s history, the burning of witches and warlocks. Be astounded by the number of people burned for witchcraft and what spells and beliefs caused this. Unearth the past as your guide explains about the doctors who cured those with the Black Death, a bubonic plague pandemic in the 1300s. Walk past houses where people lived in the 17th-century and explore the mystery and mysticism that surrounds Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Royal Mile

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What people are saying about Royal Mile

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 30,422 reviews

We had a great, entertaining and fun tour with Lisa. A lot of information about Harry Potter and Edinburgh exceeded our expectations. We can only recommend the tour, especially for German-speaking interested parties. Greetings again to "Galaxy", Astrid and Mark

This was a REALLY fun tour. Megan made the tour fun and spooky all at the same time. The tour gives a really good feel for the underground catacombs if Edinburgh.

It was a great experience. Richard, our guide, was very knowledgable and fun. We had a good time despite the rain.

Meghan was engaging and lovely - all around pleasant and good experience!

Brilliant tour and tour guide Josh ! Great story teller and guide.