Edinburgh
Churches & Cathedrals

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Churches & Cathedrals

Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Old Town History and Tales Walking Tour

You will 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! You will 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. Your tour will finish in the heart of Edinburgh, surrounded by several bars, restaurants, cafe's, and great transport links.

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Edinburgh: Palace of Holyroodhouse Ticket

2. 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.

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Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

3. Edinburgh: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Discover Edinburgh’s historical, cultural, and architectural heritage on a small and intimate walking tour guided by one of the most knowledgeable locals possible. Stuart or Richard Usher, of Scotland's famous and historic House of Usher, or Dr. Alison Duncan, Scotland expert and professional historian, will guide you through this beautiful city. You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, including Usher Hall and Edinburgh Castle. You’ll walk along the Royal Mile, tour the interior of St. Giles Cathedral, and visit several of Edinburgh's famous landmarks. Your guide, has an extensive knowledge of Edinburgh's history and architecture and the many famous people that the city has produced over the centuries. They will share their knowledge of Edinburgh with you in an informative, personable, and enjoyable manner. Have no fear, as it won't all be serious stuff! Your guide will also show you the Mound, and take you on a tour of the National Galleries of Scotland. At the gallery you’ll see paintings by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and many others. Also, typically you will see Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument, George Street, and Charlotte Square.

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St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

4. St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour from Edinburgh

A charming day tour at a relaxed pace - discover the fishing villages of the “Kingdom of Fife” and enjoy plenty of free time to explore Scotland’s home of golf; the ancient town of St. Andrews. Leave Edinburgh with views of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge as you cross the Firth of Forth, entering into the ancient “Kingdom of Fife” passing through Aberdour before continuing into the East Neuk of Fife. You will then travel through the picturesque villages of St. Monans and Pittenween, once-thriving fishing centers which were made prosperous by trade with the continent, before stopping in the town of Anstruther, home of the Scottish Fisheries Museum. Leaving Anstruther, journey through Crail and then arrive in the beautiful medieval town of St. Andrews in time for lunch. Here you can enjoy a walk around the town which is famous as the home of golf and has the best-known golf course in the world. It also has an impressive cathedral and castle, now both ruined, and is home to Scotland’s oldest university - where Prince William met Kate Middleton; now the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and the Earl and Countess of Strathearn (their Scottish titles). You will have approximately three hours of free time to explore its medieval buildings and wonderful cobbled streets, as well as having time for lunch. Heading homewards you will travel across the Lomond hills, descending to Loch Leven (scene of Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment and escape) and on to the picturesque town of South Queensferry, where you will make a brief stop to admire magnificent views of the Forth Bridges before returning to Edinburgh.

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Full-Day Custom Tour: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands

5. Full-Day Custom Tour: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands

When in the Highlands you will feel at home. The further north, the wilder it gets. On this tour, you will enjoy the scenery, Highland hospitality and various activities (which you can choose) along the way such as walking, distillery/brewery hopping, monster hunting, stuffing your face or whatever takes your fancy. Do not forget that during the tour you are not led, you lead and the tour is yours! Your tour can be adapted and changed according to your interests. If you can’t look at another castle during the trip, and want to skip one attraction to see another, or want to stay in one place for longer it is completely up to you. On the day of your tour, you will be provided with a list of all attractions along the way which are often not mentioned in tour guides so you have a chance to see something else.

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Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

6. Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

Visit intriguing Rosslyn Chapel, explore the town of Melrose, journey to the Scottish Borders, and see Hadrian’s Wall on this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel has always been mysterious, and has achieved worldwide fame since the publication of The Da Vinci Code. This beautiful and highly ornate 15th-century chapel has long been the subject of speculation about its origins and the meanings of its famous stone carvings. Visit the charming town of Melrose for lunch, then cross the ancient Scotland/England border at Carter Bar. Follow in the footsteps of feuding clans and families, known as Border Reivers, who fought a series of violent raids here until the end of the 16th century. Then visit one of the world's most important Roman monuments: Hadrian’s Wall. Travel to Housesteads Fort (National Trust) in Northumberland National Park, the best preserved Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy a free nature walk along one of the most dramatic and photographed stretches of the wall. Upon returning to Edinburgh, stop in the Border market town of Jedburgh to stretch your legs and take photos of the famous abbey.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Inverness Tour in Spanish

7. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Inverness Tour in Spanish

The tour will depart from Edinburgh at 07:45 and return to the original departure point at approximately 20:00. Following the river Tay Perthshire, you will stop in the county of Perthshire to have your first coffee, to buy some souvenirs and if you are lucky, to spot the well-known Highland cattle. On your journey to Inverness, you will see the mouth of the river Ness, the Moray Firth, the Cathedral of Saint Andrews, its castle and the university. On this stop, have the possibility to have lunch. After Inverness, you will head to Urquhart Castle, one of the gems of the Highlands with its superb views of Loch Ness. It is also the place from where more sightings of Nessie have been reported. Before undertaking the trip back to Edinburgh, you will visit the Commando Memorial, a monument dedicated to the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. This stop will give you the chance to make out the highest mountain of the United Kingdom, the Ben Nevis. On your way back, cross the Cairngorms National Park, and later on, you will do a last stop at Pitlochry, a Victorian town well-known for its beautiful High Street.

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Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders and Abbotsford

8. Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders and Abbotsford

Travel through the Scottish Lowlands and Borders on an enjoyable day-tour. See the varied natural wonders that make this section of Scotland famous. See historic sites and sample real Scottish whisky as you travel with a friendly and knowledgeable guide! Your tour will head out from Edinburgh Castle to the lovely village of Roslin. There, you will have the opportunity to visit Rosslyn Chapel. Dating back to 1445, the chapel gained worldwide fame thanks to the increasing interest in Freemasonry and the Knights Templar. See the intricate “musical” boxes and green men carved throughout the chapel. Leave Roslin and continue your journey into the heart of the Scottish Borders in the eastern part of the Scottish Uplands. This area is rich in hills, valleys, rivers, and moorland, as is also the traditional home of Scottish rugby. Travel to the historic town of Melrose, the birthplace of the game of Rugby Sevens and home to of Melrose Abbey. The Abbey, founded in 1136, is one of the most beautiful religious ruins in the United Kingdom, containing many intricate carved sculptures. It is also said to be the burial place of the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Enjoy a tasty lunch in Melrose and have plenty of free time to explore the town and the abbey. Before heading back to Edinburgh you will have to option to explore the home of Sir Walter Scott - Abbotsford House.

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Glasgow, Loch Lomond & Stirling: 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

9. Glasgow, Loch Lomond & Stirling: 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

After meeting your guide in Edinburgh, you will head west until you reach Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. Admire the magnificent cathedral and enjoy a relaxing panoramic tour of the city's main landmarks, including Market Cross, Glasgow Green and the People's Palace. As you travel, learn about Glasgow's industrial past from your guide and understand more about why Glaswegians are most certainly among the quirkiest people in this world.  After spending some free time in Glasgow, you will set off again through the magnificent Trossachs National Park. Sit back, relax and take in the stunning natural scenery. Stopping at Loch Lomond, you will have the chance to stretch your legs and enjoy a gentle stroll along its banks, or take to the waters with a boat tour. In Stirling you can visit the Castle, which is one of Scotland’s most historically significant fortresses, sitting high on volcanic rock. On the return journey to Edinburgh, admire from the coach, the Kelpies, the 30 metre high horsehead sculptures designed by sculptor Andy Scott completed in October 2013.

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Scotland: Private Expert Guide to Accompany You on your Tour

10. Scotland: Private Expert Guide to Accompany You on your Tour

Stuart Usher, an Edinburgh local and an expert of Scotland, is available to lead half-day, full-day, or multiple-day tours, walks, or whatever other activities you might choose when visiting Scotland. These other activities include tours to any part of Scotland, lasting as long as you wish. Your guide will share his extensive knowledge of the country with you and make suggestions as to the most interesting places to visit. You can customize the tour and the final decision on the type and length of tour rests with you. Transportation options for your excursion include traveling by your vehicle, by taxi, or by private hire vehicle. If you decide to use a taxi or a private hire vehicle you should make your own arrangements directly. The cost of transportation will be your responsibility. Mr. Usher will meet you anywhere you choose in the Edinburgh area. He recommends meeting at the Norton Country House Hotel, which is only a mile from Edinburgh Airport. If you prefer a meeting venue in the city, he can meet you outside the main entrance to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh or, in the case of foul weather, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel opposite the Usher Hall. Please note that in addition to transportation, you will be responsible for accommodation costs and the cost of meals for you and your guide.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 470 reviews

Me and my partner had John as a guide, he was excellent, his knowledge was far beyond anything we could have anticipated. He made our trip to Edinburgh so much more exciting and he managed to fill the full 2 hour tour with loads of information, tips and recommendations to eat and drink. Well worth the money!

Ally was great, funny, knowledgeable and humble. He made what was a cold grey day into a fun, informative and entertaining tour. His recommendations for food and activities to look into after the tour were spot on too. Will definitely recommend.

I am a lover of Mary Queen of Scots. And was overjoyed and intrigued by everything on offer. I was in my element. It is places like the Palace of Hollyrood house that make me want to further a career in the history of like places!

Lovely palace and grounds. Very friendly and informative staff. The audio help was fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyed our time in the palace, gallery, grounds, gift shop and cafe. Very reasonably priced. Would recommend.

Luca is a great guide, very knowledgeable about the city and its unique history.