Edinburgh
Theme Tours

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Theme Tours

Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

1. Edinburgh Castle: Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

The tour begins 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. As you reach the Castle complex your guide will share skip-the-line passes, giving you direct access to Scotland's most visited paid attraction.  Once inside your guide will walk you through the Castle complex sharing their in-depth knowledge of all the Castle's main buildings and attractions, including, but not limited to, the Argyle Battery and One O'clock Gun, the Hospital Square and Western Panorama, the Castle dungeons and military prison, the Black Banquet and Thomas Randolph's daring castle raid, St Margret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Crown Square and The Honors of Scotland. Please note that whilst the tour guide will walk you around the castle grounds and take you through the 3,000 yeas worth of castle history, they cannot take you into any of the castle museums. When the tour ends, you will be left to explore the various castle buildings and museums at your own leisure - hopefully with more knowledge than if you had simply arrived on your own!

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Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour

2. 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 2-hour guided tour.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

3. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 34 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

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Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

4. Edinburgh: History of Whisky with Tasting and Storytelling

This tour meets on the iconic Royal Mile and you'll have a short walk to one of the supplier's outstanding whisky venues Over the next two hours, drink 4 outstanding single malt scotch whiskys taken from the 4 major whisky producing regions of Scotland. These whiskys will range from the relatively delicate and subtle flavors of the Lowlands to the bold and robust tastes from Islay. You will also be given tasting cards giving notes on each of the whiskys 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 reserved, so there is plenty of space and privacy to conduct the story orientated evening.

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Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

5. Edinburgh: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

Explore Edinburgh's ghostly past on a guided tour through the streets of the Old Town and its underground vaults. Listen as your cloaked guide tells you tales of the city's dark and grim past as you are led along the Royal Mile. If you dare, step into the narrow alleyways, which are only a few feet wide. Make your way to the South Bridge, and head underneath, where Edinburgh's Vaults are located. Once storage areas for businesses and shops in the area, the vaults were taken over in the late 1700s and turned into living spaces. Eventually, the area became home to slums and the city's red-light district. As you walk through these now-vacant rooms, you will hear tales of the deplorable living conditions, as well as of the crime that once raged through the vaults. When you emerge from the underground, consider yourself lucky that it isn't in the dead of night.

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Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

6. Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

The Firth of Forth is simply overflowing with myths, turbulent history, and fascinating marine wildlife. Join this boat tour on a 90-minute cruise onboard a superb vessel. Depart from South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Take in views of Blackness Castle, the ship that never sails and featured in Outlander and the Outlaw King. There are also views of Limekilns village, mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'. It was from Limekilns that David Balfour and Alan Breck were carried across the Forth in a rowing boat. You will also see the Three Bridges as you have never seen them before including the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge. For your comfort relax onboard with friends and family in the observation lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy your complimentary cream tea. Spot the marine wildlife, during your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to see a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds and seals.

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Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

7. Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

Meet some of Edinburgh's most infamous characters on a fun ghost walk through the dark side of the city center. Learn more about Burke and Hare and hear tales of witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching and mysterious murders. Start on the Royal Mile, where plundered tombs, funeral pyres and mass graves from thousands of years ago are concealed. Get goosebumps as the past is brought to life by your guide and venture to gruesome burial sites such as the Canongate Kirkyard. Prepare to be spooked by spine-chilling tales of real-life cannibals and vampires as the true history of Edinburgh is recreated before your eyes.  

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From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

8. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Day 1 From Edinburgh you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Travelling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, or a trip to Uig and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty loch-side village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

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From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

9. From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

Learn about Scotland’s connections to Harry Potter on a tour of the Highlands. Depart the city and journey north, passing the magnificent Forth Bridge, the Kingdom of Fife, and Perth. Admire the Glenfinnan Viaduct on a stunning drive up the West Coast. Next you’ll travel across its iconic arches from Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express. After experiencing one of the world’s most beautiful railway lines, head to Glencoe. See the dramatic landscapes used as the backdrop for some much-loved scenes in the Harry Potter films. Continue through the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor, listening to tales from Scotland’s past. Jump back on the coach to return to Edinburgh, arriving back at the city in the late evening.

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Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

10. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Spend a day experiencing the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park from Edinburgh. Enjoy a memorable visit to Stirling Castle, explore the pretty villages of Aberfoyle and Loch Lomond Shores, and set off on a spectacular cruise across Loch Lomond. Departing Edinburgh, head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Loch Lomond Shores, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline.  Enter The Trossachs National Park and experience its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. Continue on, past medieval Doune Castle, to the pretty town of Aberfoyle, situated on the banks of the River Teith in Stirlingshire, where you stop to enjoy some lunch.  Travel north-west for your last stop of the day at magnificent Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically significant castles, sitting high on volcanic rock and offering wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. Travel back to Edinburgh at the end of your tour.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

We had so much fun on our self guided tour! We did it in the evening to make it more atmospheric and really enjoyed ourselves while learning a lot of interesting stories about Edinburgh’s brutal past.

Kieran was a great tour guide. He was a big Harry Potter fan himself so knew everything inside out. Would definitely recommend a trip with him while in Edinburgh. 10/10

Our guide was excellent! He was entertaining and very informative and I learned a lot about the history of the castle in Scotland in general

Monique was amazing! The tour was so interesting and she kept us engaged and gave so much cool information

Such an insightful tour, really changed the way we viewed the city.