Guided tour

Edinburgh: Old Town Walking Tour & Optional Holyrood Palace

4.6 / 5

23 reviews

Activity provider: Mercat Tours

Edinburgh: Old Town Walking Tour & Optional Holyrood Palace

Activity provider: Mercat Tours

From US$ 28.51 per person

Take a walking tour to discover the colorful history of the picturesque Royal Mile and Canongate. Enjoy optional entry to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland.

About this activity

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Duration 1.5 hours - 105 minutes
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Live tour guide


  • Journey through the ancient, picturesque burgh of the Canongate
  • Meander through beautiful, hidden closes and gardens
  • Explore Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland (optional)
  • Hear tales of past royal residents including Mary, Queen of Scots
  • Enjoy a more immersive storytelling experience with TourTalk devices
Full description

Tread the route of royals, past and present – and let your expert guide unlock the history of this ancient seat of power. Discover rebellions Jacobites, colorful characters the hidden history of the Canongate, and the glorious Palace of Holyroodhouse. Upgrade to include entry to the palace. Discover an approach to the palace that escapes the notice of history books and bus tours. As you walk down the quiet closes of the Canongate your expert guide will show you a different side of the royal city – in rich, engaging detail. Here, rebellious Jacobites clattered over the cobbles, led by a proud Bonnie Prince Charlie. And Deacon Brodie led his dual life as locksmith and thief, immortalized by Robert Louis Stevenson.

In the hands of your gifted storyteller, 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. After the Canongate, your guide will introduce the Palace of Holyroodhouse – which you’ll explore in your own time (if option selected). You’ll find 14 magnificent state apartments, as well as the romantic ruins of the 12th century Holyrood Abbey. The palace was the setting for many dramatic episodes in the short reign of Mary, Queen of Scots – and Her Majesty The Queen still makes use of the State Apartments for royal ceremonies.

  • Live guide
  • Entrance to Holyrood Palace (if option selected)
  • TourTalk devices
    Not suitable for
    • People with mobility impairments

    Select participants and date



    Meeting point

    The Mercat Cross, High Street, By St Giles High Kirk, opposite the City Chambers

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    Important information

    What to bring

    • Comfortable shoes
    • Rain gear

    Not allowed

    • Video recording

    Know before you go

    • Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear
    • For health and safety reasons, unfortunately children under 5 years of age are not permitted on this tour
    Customer reviews

    Overall rating

    4.6 /5

    based on 23 reviews

    Review summary

    • Guide
    • Value for money
    • Service
    • Organization

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    Amazing walking tour with enthusiastic guide

    Since we were but with 4 in total, Simon - our tour guide - had oceans of time to stop and explain every bit of mystery and history surrounding the Royal Mile. We wandered around town, strolling into hidden closes and discovering curious nooks, at a relaxed pace. The guide was able to provide us with plenty information and facts about the Mile and the city of Edinburgh itself, that you immediately feel like you'd lived there yourself for some time. Pity that he had to leave us at the Palace (since no guides are allowed inside), but even there he set us on our way with the audio-guides. In all a great experience, and would definitely recommend this organisation (and this tour)!

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    July 22, 2019

    Great guide

    We ended up doing a different tour because they told us on arrival that the one we booked wasn’t going ahead but they could put us on another tour, which we accepted. It actually worked better for us and we really enjoyed the tour. The guide was great, very passionate about the history of the place and very funny. The tour was very informative and interesting, definitely worth doing!

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    June 11, 2018

    Informative and Concise

    I had the pleasure to tour the Royal Mile with Naomi. She kept us entertained throughout the walking tour as we cross the traffic light from one to another. She knew how ensure we get the right dose of information while enjoying the walk and taking endless shots of amazing buildings! As we reached the end of the walking tour , we were taken to the entrance of HolyroodHouse Palace where she gave us our handsets and showed us few interesting exterior features of the palace! She left us in the Outside Yard so that we can enjoy a tour of the house in our own pace! Highly recommended !!!

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    April 21, 2018

    Product ID: 66541