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Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh

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2 travellers
Discover the underground vaults of Edinburgh city! Far below the busy, bustling Edinburgh streets there lies a dark, quiet and forgotten place. These wonderful dark rooms of arched ceilings, fireplaces and 18th century wine vaults lie beneath the South Bridge, one of the city's main thoroughfares.
  • Visit vaults only accessible with a guide on an Edinburgh Old Town walking tour 
  • An atmospheric experience suitable for adults and kids alike 
  • Let your guide bring 300 years of history to life
  • Choose between two different departure times for your convenience 
  • Upgrade to include a special souvenir to take home with you
What to Expect
Your tour begins at a designated meeting point in Edinburgh Old Town. Greet your guide and receive an overview of Edinburgh’s rich history. After two stops above ground, descend to South Bridge Vaults and explore the tunnels by candlelight. Learn about how the vaults came into fruition and listen to spine-chilling tales of death, disease, and body snatching by the infamous Burke and Hare. Plus, see relics abandoned by the former residents of the vaults. The tour concludes in the Discovery Room. Here you can gain access to exhibits containing further information on the South Bridge Vaults.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Mercat Cross, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF, UK
1h 15m
Return Details
28 Blair St, Edinburgh EH1 1QR, UK
  • Local guide
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • No Children under 5
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Reviews (506)
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All reviews mercat tours south bridge great tour margaret anne uneven ground an excellent story teller highly recommend this to anyone mercat cross brilliant experience knew her stuff tour starts interesting facts local history an excellent guide booked this tour old town royal mile
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1 - 5 of 273 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

Such a fab little tour, Emma our quide was very entertaining, funny and very good at her job, it was a really interesting tour, seeing how people use to live was amazing to see, would highly recommend anyone coming to Edinburgh take a tour with...More

Thank natalie b
Reviewed 5 days ago

We really enjoyed it and learnt loads - Emma was very knowledgeable and a brilliant teacher. If you’re interested in history you’ll love it.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank BackPacker313379
MercatToursLtd, Marketing Assistant at Mercat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded today

Hey, Thanks so much - glad you enjoyed! Many thanks, Katie

Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Having lived locally for over 30 years this was our first visit to the Vaults. We didn’t realise what we had been missing. It is amazing to think that so many people lived and worked there. Emma was an excellent guide and she made the...More

Thank ArnieFalkirk
MercatToursLtd, Marketing Assistant at Mercat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded today

We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the tour! It's great to know that locals and visitors alike can take so much away. All the best, Katie

Reviewed 6 days ago

Really enjoyed our tour around Edinburgh's underground vaults. Our guide was knowledgable and funny, and really communicated the feel of what it might have been like to live and work there.

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Bill O
MercatToursLtd, Marketing Assistant at Mercat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded today

Hey Bill, Great to hear that you enjoyed our Historic Underground tour! Many thanks, Katie

Reviewed 1 week ago

Something different to do in Edinburgh. The tour was just so interesting and Fred our guide was great fun and very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend to everyone.

Date of experience: October 2019
Thank TJFot
MercatToursLtd, Marketing Assistant at Mercat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded today

So pleased to hear that you find the tour interesting and enjoyable! Thanks, Katie

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Questions & Answers
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Alexandra G
13 September 2019|
Response from 266annettep | Reviewed this property |
I'm not sure you would need to check with the company but I don't think it would be suitable for a dog.
26 July 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Cameron R | Reviewed this property |
It depends on your mobility issues. Wheelchair access is impossible given the nature of the vaults. If you use a rollator, delta frame or city walker and would require a carer to assist you on narrow stairs, uneven floors... More
Kevin G
6 July 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from pernilleh789 | Reviewed this property |
You can pay when you buy the tour. They have a stand on the Royal Mile and in the info center on the corner of south bridge and royal mile.
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Key Details
  • Duration: 1h 15m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
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