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Edinburgh Underground Tours

I'm hoping someone more familiar with Edinburgh than I am can help me out here.

I plan to take the Mercat Ghostly Underground walking tour later this week. I'm interested in visiting the vaults and want to learn more about them, but I'm not necessarily interested in the theatrics that seem to go along with some of the other tours. I also really enjoyed one of the Mercat history walks I took earlier this week.

That being said, the Mary's Close tour is so highly rated. Is it worth taking, too? Is it informative, or more kitschy? Any thoughts/advice are appreciated. I would be up for taking more than one tour since they all seem to visit different areas. Any other tour company you'd recommend for the underground?

Many thanks!

Posted by
2520 posts

The Mary Kings close tour originally was not a ghost tour till someone on the tour said saw a image of a little girl.
I was actually in the close many years before it became a tourist site and was last there about 10 years ago when I did the tour with my niece who was about 20 at the time .It is a fascinating place of great historical interest but the tour is run as a theatrical piece of tourist crap and for me it was ruined by the suggestion of ghostly apperitions and a poor theatrical guide.
The tour is either loved or hated in equal measured........................... me ,I hated it.

Posted by
971 posts

I visited the vaults this summer and specificly asked for the least theatrical Tour at the tourist information. I cant remember the name, but I dont Think it was Mercat. We were only me and my girlfriend on the Tour, so we got the more historical Tour we asked for, but I still was a bit dissapointed. From a historical point of view, the vaults were just not that interesting to see in my opinion.

Posted by
1780 posts

Did NOT enjoy the Mary's Close tour. As you say, it was too theatrical. The guide tried hard, but the tour was not worth my money. I seriously couldn't wait to get out of there. They try to sell you stuff before you start the tour. as you have to wait for your time, and of course there is a store with all kinds of Mary's Close souvenirs ..too commercial for me.

My vote - Skip Mary's Close tour....

Posted by
1300 posts

I will try and find a link IIRC, BBC Radio Scotland were recording in one of the vaults and the equipment picked up a sound. They only heard it on play back, a passing colleague from BBC Radio nan Gael turned to them and said 'who was calling 'get out? get out' in Gaelic.