Canongate Kirkyard

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Canongate Kirkyard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Dark History & Canongate Guided Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Dark History & Canongate Guided 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 Ghost Tour: Mysteries, Leyends and Murders

2. Edinburgh Ghost Tour: Mysteries, Leyends and Murders

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: 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!

Other Sightseeing Options in Canongate Kirkyard

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What people are saying about Canongate Kirkyard

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 889 reviews

I don't usually book tours but this one turned out to be a really fun one. Our guide Angus was full of energy and super funny and gave us a good insight to the "darker" side of Scotland as well as some interesting facts

Australian David made this evenings tour super enjoyable with his tales of Scottish history. He went out of his way to make sure everyone felt included. I'd highly recommend it. 10/10 Thank you for a lovely evening!

Had an amazing tour through Edinburgh with tour guide Eva. She told us the darkest stories in the most ironic and passionate way. Really enjoyed ourselves those two hours. Definitely worth your money and time!

Very interesting tour. It was great seeing some of the filming locations and also having the history associated with the timeline of the show/books explained. Margaret Ann was a really great your guide.

Excellent guide and tour. Would definitely recommend.