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Canongate Kirkyard

Canongate Kirkyard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

1. Edinburgh: Dark Secrets of the Old Town Ghost Walking Tour

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: Dark History & Canongate Guided Walking Tour

2. 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: 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!

Edinburgh: History, Murder, and Everyday Life in Old Town

4. Edinburgh: History, Murder, and Everyday Life in Old Town

Discover the history and legends of Edinburgh and Scotland in World Heritage Old Town District for a 3h private guided tour.

Edinburgh: Literary Tour with Canongate Kirkyard Visit

5. Edinburgh: Literary Tour with Canongate Kirkyard Visit

Explore the birthplace of famous Scottish poet Robert Fergusson. Enjoy the tales of Edinburgh's literary giants including Dickens, Scott, Burns, Hogg, Stevenson, Defoe, Hume, Mille, Smith, and Fergusson to name a few. Retrace the steps of our literary greats. Edinburgh's sons and visitors. Visit the alleged grave of one of the most famous people - that never existed.

Other Sightseeing Options in Canongate Kirkyard

Want to discover all there is to do in Canongate Kirkyard? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canongate Kirkyard

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 974 reviews

Absolute recommendation to take part in this tour! Edgar is a wonderful tour guide who brings the history of the city to life with great fun, humor, knowledge and passion. You can tell that he puts his heart and soul into his tour. He was also happy to give tips for restaurants, excursions or bars. A dream!

Our guide Sarah was amazing. Brought all the sordid dark history to life and delivered with great entertainment and skill. Highly recommend!

Got to see the sights I had on my wish list to see. Amazing, helpful and funny tour guide who was attentive to everyone's needs.

Charlotte was a brilliant guide. The walking tour was very easy going and the stories were interesting.

Charlotte was a great guide and was really enthusiastic