The Dark Side of Edinburgh

Cost: £18pp

If you want a mundane, humdrum history walk, this is not the tour for you. But… if you want to learn what the tourist industry leaves out? The hidden, gruesome crimes and punishments? The long forgotten twisted, sadistic characters? The thousands of lives painfully lost in the cruel grip of Edinburgh’s past? Maybe you are brave enough to learn the truth.

Hear of witches, cannibals, murders, thieves, body snatchers, blood thirsty mobs and the devil in disguise. We will explore haunted graveyards, hide up darkened closes, spit on the Heart of Midlothian and bravely face where Edinburgh believed the world ended. You even get a chance to knock on Bloody Mackenzie’s door, if you dare!

Madam McKinnon and William Burke will guide you through our streets under cover of darkness. They’ve been dead for almost 200 years and do not take kindly to modern nonsense. They will, however, crack your sides with laughter over their dry Scottish wit, and their tales will chill you to your core.

Our tours are historically accurate, with a history this dark there’s no need to fabricate!

What To Expect


The Grassmarket: where you will discover the castles curse and the nasty secrets etched into the cobble stone square.

Greyfriars Kirkyard: one of the most haunted graveyards in the world. It’s not just about a loyal dog. As the twilight hits the ghouls come out to play!

The Royal Mile: with such attractions as St Giles Cathedral, the Tron Kirk and the Old Tolbooth Prison. Not just a tourist hot-spot but a street that once ran dark with blood.

Your guide will welcome you in Grass Market Square, upon booking exact details will be provided.

Due to the content of some of our stories, we recommend guests ages 7 and up. Parents can also bring children under 2 years of age at no extra cost.

Dogs are more than welcome on our tours, as long as our guide can give them a wee pet!


What People Say About The Dark Side of Edinburgh Tour


September 2023

Our guide was an amazing story teller, very personable, and funny! Made for a great first night in Edinburgh and it was super interesting to learn some of the stories that most tours leave out.


August 2023

Our guide Kieran was wonderful! We enjoyed our tour and had a great time. Rhona was helpful, and accommodating to fit us into the schedule. Highly recommend booking this tour!!


July 2023

With a playful and historical narrative, we made our way through the dark side of Edinburgh. A superb tour for the whole family – I would strongly recommend this tour.


July 2023

She is such a good storyteller and super sympathetic. 

It was a pleasure to listen to all the stories and an experience that shouldn’t be missed in Edinburgh.


June 2023

Caroline was such a fun tour guide! Our family thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It was a highlight on our trip and would highly recommend it. Informative and funny, we had a blast. 

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