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Edinburgh "City of the Dead" walking tour?

We'll be in Edinburgh the last week of May. Our 15 year old son thought a walking "ghost tour" sounds like fun. The COTD tour doesn't have people that jump out at you, which is important for me (I'm an assault survivor and I'd probably knock someone out in reaction!).

Their website says to pre-order tickets and pre-book tour date. As we aren't sure just which night we'd want to go (honestly, weather would be a big factor for a nighttime walking tour), what are the chances of showing up at the tour start site and getting tickets?

Also, I'm pretty claustrophobic, would this tour bother me? Can one stay separate from the tour group during the "tight" parts (ie, outside a vault) or do they require "all or nothing"???

We're staying at the Travelodge, at the end of Princes Street. Is this an easy walk to the tour start (it's near Greyfriars Kirk)???

Thanks, in advance, for any help!

Posted by
5546 posts

Have you checked out the TA reviews? They might help. I didn't do this particular tour, but rather took the Mercat Tour.

If the tour that you're looking at--they have several listed--is the one that goes to the vaults, then where you're going is essentially, a walled in area under the south bridge. If you look at a map of Edinburgh, you'll see a road that intersects the Royal Mile that is called South Bridge. A bit further East you'll see one called George IVth Bridge. You have remember that Edinburgh Castle sits on an extinct volcano which is called a crag and it has a long tail that stretches down toward Holyrood--The Royal Mile. That means that there are steep drop offs on either side of The Royal Mile so it makes roads difficult. What they did was build "bridges." Then the underside of the bridges, the vaults got used for shelter. building built up around them and they got enclosed. Then they were forgotten about. So, the vaults themselves aren't particularly small. Think of the arches under a viaduct. It is very dark.

I think that you should read through the reviews and maybe email them about your claustrophobia. It could be that you sit in the pub and let the others take in the Vaults. :)