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The 6 Best Walking Tours In Edinburgh

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

The best way to see a city and get right into the heart of it is by taking a walking tour. Did you know that walking tours are not all about history these days? There are specialised themed walking tours, such as Harry Potter or literature walking tours. Here are some walking tours in Edinburgh you don't want to miss!

The traditional brick buildings on both levels of Victoria Street. The lower with the colourful shop fronts.
Victoria Street, Edinburgh ©MDHarding

The Best Walking Tours In Edinburgh

Why Take A Walking Tour

  • Discover & See things that you might walk past

  • Find out all the best places to eat, visit and not miss, while visiting

  • Short on time - this is the best way to really discover a city

  • Traveling alone? Taking a tour is a safe way to see the city and meet new friends

Buildings that look like they are out of a country and western movie. A jail and  Cantina saloon buildings. some wooden fronts with brick others yellow in colour and plastered.
Edinburgh's Wild West ©MDHarding

Architecture Tours

People have lived in Edinburgh stretching back as far as 8500 BC! Edinburgh Castle dates back 900 years! Built during the Middle Ages in 1103. Though there is evidence that the Picts inhabited the area for 600 years, between 300 - 600 AD. Edinburgh has many styles of architecture including those built during the Georgian (1714 - 1830) and Edwardian (1901 -1910) periods. You might like to visit Gladstones Land with its original painted ceilings built during the Renaissance (1550 - 1650) period and dates to 1550.

Have you wandered down any of Edinburgh's old town closes?

Red bricked buildings, with window turrets and clock tower in the background on a bright blue sky day.
The Old Tannery Building of Dean Village, Edinburgh ©MDHarding

Literature Tours

The walking literature tour takes you to some poignant spots made famous by local writers and poets including Sir Walter Scott, Ian Rankin, Alexander McColl Smith, and many more.

An old brick fireplace with live coal fire. On the brick hearth are three vintage cider bottles in various sizes. To the left a large seating area made up of wooden chairs, stool and bench.
A Rare Fire at the Oxford Bar, Edinburgh ©MDHarding

Harry Potter Walking Tours

If you are in Edinburgh and a Harry Potter fan, don't miss going on one of these tours. They are so much fun. Discover where J.K Rowling got some of her inspiration for characters in the Harry Potter stories such as Mad Eye Moodie, Professor McGonagall, and he who should not be named.

Harry's desk, Hedwig the owl and Michelle
Inside The Best Harry Potter Shop in Edinburgh ©MDHarding

Ghost Walking Tours

If you are feeling brave and would like to discover some of the hidden depths of Edinburgh's Old Town, then The Vaults could be for you, or possibly the Walking Tour of the Dead. There are a few others that are just as scary!

Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in Europe and has been featured on the Most Haunted television program. Just last August Yvette Fielding was back in Edinburgh for the International Book Festival and was leading a tour in Greyfriars Kirk. Did you know Greyfriars is said to be haunted by one of the most violent poltergeists? Not for the faint-hearted!

Foraging Tours

Did you know that foraging tours take place in both the city of Edinburgh and on the coast too? Learn about the edible spring shoots, mushrooms, wild garlic, and more.

A local woodland floor covered with an abundance of wild Garlic.
An Abundance of Wild Garlic, Edinburgh ©MDHarding

Food Tours

There is nothing like experiencing the local food and drink with all the knowledge that comes from a local. Maybe, I'm a wee bit biased;) I love sharing hidden gems, local haunts, and of course the local cuisine, including haggis and much more! Book a local food & photography walking tour in Edinburgh with me here.

I hope these have inspired you to get out and go on a walking tour in Edinburgh.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch. You can reach me via all the routes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and email.

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