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Canongate Kirkyard

Canongate Kirkyard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

1. 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.

Edinburgh: Dark History - Old Town & Canongate Walking Tour

2. Edinburgh: Dark History - Old Town & Canongate Walking Tour

Ah, Edinburgh! They don't call it "The Jekyll & Hyde City" for nothing. During the day, a respectable figure, with its astonishing architecture and wondrous history. But when the sun sets, it tells an entirely different story... Hear all about the darker history of Edinburgh: murderers, thieves, cannibals, hangings and decapitations, witches, the Plague and streams of human waste. Learn about the most notorious citizens of Edinburgh and how ghost stories are born. This is not a ghost tour: we don't need costumes or people jumping from behind the corners, Edinburgh's Dark History itself is enough to make your skin crawl. And oh, how we love to share it with our visitors...

Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: Outlander Walking Tour

The year is 1745 and the Jacobite rising has reached the city gates of Edinburgh. Bonnie Prince Charlie is met by a cheering crowd of 20,000 strong. Amid the chaos of rebellion are Claire and Jamie, the Outlander characters entwined in a story that spans centuries. On this 2-hour walking tour your guide will trace the real events that inspired Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed novels. The story captures the spirit of the Jacobite rebellion in Edinburgh: The Redcoats, the Highlanders and the smell of gunpowder in the air. Your expert guide will take you deep into the Old Town, to the places where history was made: Tolbooth Jail, Canongate Kirkyard and the World’s End Tavern. If Edinburgh is the setting for the second Outlander novel, you’ll be going behind the scenes!

Edinburgh: City Introduction Self-Guided Phone tour

4. Edinburgh: City Introduction Self-Guided Phone tour

Do you want to learn interesting information about 10+ of the most important attractions in the city, discover hidden locations, read incredible legends (not an audio tour) and walk a magical and relaxing route? Do you want an accessible, easy and interactive way to explore Edinburgh? This self-guided mobile walking tour might be perfect for you. Grab the opportunity to explore Edinbrugh in at least 10 locations that every person would like to have in their memory. There is no schedule, you can attend the tour any day you want, any time you wish, you can do it in snippets, taking a break for food, shopping or anything else you can think of, you can even close the app and continue another day, the tour will be there waiting for you. The most important thing? It's a completely private activity, as the app offers you the uniqueness and privacy of your mobile phone. Additionally, you'll learn about stories and urban legends associated with the city or monuments you visit. The trails you follow are unique, and will not bore you, but will in themselves direct you to explore other "treasures" such as small scenic paths or enchanting but unknown squares. Enjoy the tour in your language. The integration with google maps will make sure that you will never get lost! You can join with friends, alone, with your family, or with your partners and learn about the city as you wander around. Start your tour at the imposing Scott Monument! Visit the Royal Scottish Academy with its dreamlike architecture. Photograph Edinburgh Castle in its imposing form and marvel at the dreamy The Hub. The Grassmarket will amaze you, it is one of the busiest places in Edinburgh. Then Greyfriars Kirkyard awaits, don't forget to take pictures, famous for the story of Greyfriars faithful dog Bobby! St Giles' Cathedral will leave you speechless with its magnificent architecture. Admire Canongate Kirk, which is said to be miraculous and has a huge history. Learn about the Burns Monument built for the country's greatest artist and national symbol, while the icing on the cake of this unique tour will be Calton Hill(where the tour ends), a spot that is always busy and enchanting, with amazing views. Download the ‘’World City Trail ‘’ app from the store. You will receive a serial key via SMS , What’s app and email in order to login. Then start your tour and enjoy!

Private tour: History and Murder in Edinburgh's Old Town

5. Private tour: History and Murder in Edinburgh's Old Town

Discover the history and legends of Edinburgh and Scotland in World Heritage Old Town District for a 3h private guided tour.

Edinburgh: Literary Tour with Canongate Kirkyard Visit

6. Edinburgh: Literary Tour with Canongate Kirkyard Visit

Explore the birthplace of famous Scottish poet Robert Fergusson. Enjoy the tales of Edinburgh's literary giants including Dickens, Scott, Burns, Hogg, Stevenson, Defoe, Hume, Mille, Smith, and Fergusson to name a few. Retrace the steps of our literary greats. Edinburgh's sons and visitors. Visit the alleged grave of one of the most famous people - that never existed.

Other Sightseeing Options in Canongate Kirkyard

Want to discover all there is to do in Canongate Kirkyard? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canongate Kirkyard

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,045 reviews

Really brilliant! We initially chose this tour because it was 2 hrs, whereas most others are only 1 hr. So glad we did - Matt was funny and engaging, and the stories were fascinating. Learned about the revolting sewage system (or lack of.. ), the black death, body snatchers, serial killers, witch hunts, heists and more. Due to Queens funeral procession, a lot of streets were closed, but Eduardo was excellent at communicating beforehand and we would never had known it was a different route. Thanks to you both!

we had Jen as our tour guide and she was brilliant !! funny, informative, engaging, very willing to answer any questions we had and just made general chit chat with all of us. this was so worth the price and made use of more hidden niche parts of Edinburgh rather than the tourist attraction places, I would 100% recommend !!!

Sonja was our tour guide and she was excellent, great speaker and very informative of the dark history of Edinburgh would highly recommend this tour

The Tour was so interesting and it was cool to get to know dark aspects of Edinburgh and not the normal informations

Tommy was a fantastic tour guide. Very knowledge and tremendously fun. Well done!!