Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle

Badge of ExcellenceEdinburgh, United Kingdom
Likely to Sell Out

From $29.53

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


See the best of medieval yet modern Edinburgh on this walking tour with optional skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle. As you walk, listen as your guide shares the history of this formidable city with ancient Roman roots and UNESCO-listed pockets. Explore atmospheric cobbled walkways along the Royal Mile, breeze into Edinburgh Castle to witness royal opulence (if option selected), and pass iconic locations like St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Square, and John Knox House.
  • Enjoy a small-group experience, limited to 18 people maximum
  • Wander down centuries-old cobblestone streets, passageways, and Edinburgh tenements
  • See St. Giles Cathedral, High Street, Parliament Square, John Knox House, Lawnmarket, and Castlehill
  • Upgrade to included skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle
  • Guided walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Old Town, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

See all the highlights of the Old Town—including a skip-the-line visit to Edinburgh Castle—to make the most of limited time

What's Included

  • Fast track, skip the line entry into Edinburgh Castle (if this option is selected)
  • Award-winning local storytellers
  • Small group experience
  • TourTalk radio receiver to enjoy a more immersive storytelling experience

    Meeting And Pickup

    Meeting point

    • Mercat Cross
      High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF, UK

      Mercat Cross, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF. Look for the 8 sided monument with white Unicorn on top. You will find a member of our visitor services team waiting here to check you in. They will be dressed in black, holding an iPad, wearing an orange lanyard & holding a black & orange umbrella.

    End point

    • Castlehill
      Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1, UK

      Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG.This tour ends at the Edinburgh Castle esplanade.

    What To Expect

    Your sightseeing tour of historic Edinburgh begins in early afternoon. Meet your guide on High Street and stroll along the cobbled streets of Old Town, peeking into cloistered courtyards and learning about how centuries of Dunediners (or Edinburgers!) have lived within the city’s narrow passageways, termed ‘closes’ and ‘wynds.’ As you walk, hear about Edinburgh’s extensive history, officially beginning with Roman settlement, though most renowned for its infamous royal residents and bloody wars of religious reformation and independence. 

    Follow medieval streets and alleys, and check out the protected Reformation-era constructions such as St. Giles Cathedral, often called the High Kirk of Edinburgh. Hear some of the site’s dramatic events like that of Protestant reformer Jenny Geddes, whose assault on a bishop indirectly led to the Wars on the Three Kingdoms. Stop in Parliament Square and at the famous John Knox House, a historic treasure that is one of the last original medieval buildings on the Royal Mile. Then continue on to Castlehill, where you enjoy sweeping views of the bustling city below.

    Next, head to Edinburgh Castle, strategically perched upon the craggy hilltop of Castle Rock, where you have skip-the-line access to tour the building’s impressive interior, if you've selected this option. Learn about medieval life in the palace and the many bloody battles fought here such as the War of Independence in the 14th century. On a guided tour, explore grand buildings like the Royal Palace and Margaret’s Chapel, see the ancient Stone of Destiny, and soak up the glimmer of the Honours of Scotland’s – the UK’s oldest crown jewels.

    Your excursion ends here in the afternoon.

    Edinburgh Castle

    45 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

    St Giles' Cathedral

    5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

    Parliament House

    5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

    Edinburgh Old Town

    30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

    St. Margaret's Chapel

    5 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

    Royal Mile

    30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

    John Knox House Museum

    5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


    10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

    Additional Info

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 7 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
    • Tours are guaranteed all year round, so please dress for the weather, with comfortable shoes.
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • Please note: Edinburgh Castle will not admit visitors with bags larger than a 25litre capacity
    • Please note that we cannot accept babies or children under the age of 5 on this tour.
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 18 travelers

    Cancellation Policy

    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

    Traveler Photos

    See more

    Traveler Tips

    This tour is recommended for those who want to learn some history of the city.
    It is a walking tour and understand that you are going to be walking up hill most of the time.


    900 reviews
    Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
    Reviews by Viator travelers.
    Showing 1-10 of 900 reviews
    Worth the time and money!
    Dana_W, Oct 2023
    Veni was a fabulous guide. She told some great stories and we really enjoyed our tour. We learned lots about Edinburgh and Scotland. Great experience.
    Wonderful tour!
    Kristi_Y, Sep 2023
    Veni was wonderful! Even during a rainy Edinburgh day, she made the history of the city come to life with engaging stories and a smile 😊 we learned a ton, and I would recommend this experience (we did with castle entry) to anyone!
    Very superficial presentations.
    Michael_H, Sep 2023
    The group guide was hard to understand and gave little new information. Not worth the money. The guide does not lead you thru the palace.
    Denise_H, Sep 2023
    Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Added another dimension to our time in Edinburgh. Especially enjoyed Linda’s stories
    Great Walking Tour of the Royal Mile
    William_K, Sep 2023
    Our guide was fantastic. She knows her history and is able to share it in a memorable way. She had a good sense of humor and kept us interested.
    Great Tour
    Kaitlyn_B, Sep 2023
    We had Scott as a guide and he was very knowledgeable and a great tour guide. Overall an amazing tour. Thank you Scott
    Linda was an amazing guide!
    Anne_J, Aug 2023
    Our guide, Linda, was absolutely wonderful! Very knowledgeable and passionate about the deep history of Edinburgh, but also funny and entertaining. Highly recommend!!
    An interesting stroll in upper Edinburgh
    David_D, Aug 2023
    Linda was very well prepared. The accompanying stories brought the city’s walk to life. It was a very busy week in Edinburgh , so she took us to out of the way places as well. The headsets were a plus as they enabled us to hear her well.
    Great lay of the land tour
    Kathleen_L, Aug 2023
    Jenny was great she was very knowledgeable and kept a perfect pace with all the area we covered.xxxxx
    Loved the tour of Edinburgh
    Sue_M, Aug 2023
    Linda was an awesome tour director. She is a continuous fountain of knowledge that kept us in awe, laughing and waiting for more!
    The beauty of the Royal...
    Alvin_B, Aug 2023
    The beauty of the Royal Mile, the friendliness of the people and the rich history was vividly shared and narrated by our engaging guide, Margaret Ann(e?). I would highly recommend this tour.
    British monarchy history vs Learn about Edinburgh
    Patricia_B, Aug 2023
    If you love British history of the monarchy, this is your tour. If you want to learn interesting facts, history even, of Edinburgh thus might not be what you want.
    A Nice Tour
    Angela_H, Jul 2023
    This was a really great tour of the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh Castle. Our tour guide Linda was a great story teller and a lot of fun to follow around as we learned about Scotland's history. I definitely recommend!
    Walking about Edinburgh
    Janna_C, Jul 2023
    Such a fun tour. Stephanie really knew alot about Edinburgh and the castle. She was very thoughtful when a couple of our group got lost and we were able to to find them!!
    Great intro to Edinburg
    Joseph_W, Jul 2023
    Our tour guide was interesting and very knowledgeable. She kept the group together and was easy to understand. I loved the use of headphones to hear her. I was able to hear everything she said without having to be right next to her.
    Above and beyond expectations
    bruce_m, Jul 2023
    An exceptional walking tour led by Vina, a German transplant with Greek heritage and now a long time citizen of Edinburgh Scotland and a witty, knowledgeable and passionate person about her city
    Loved this educational tour!
    Nancy_I, Jul 2023
    Our tour guide, Linda was a wealth of knowledge! She was funny and kept us entertained! We loved this tour! We saw SO MUCH more than just buildings., and we heard so many interesting stories.
    Very nice tour
    TODD_T, Jul 2023
    Very nice tour with knowledgeable live person/guide. Tour starts with walking tour on and around Royal Mile, but not the entire length of the road (approximately two hours walking/standing). Tour ends at the castle with about an additional 30 minutes with the tour guide. Our “small group” was about 22 people but it wasn’t a problem as everyone stayed together and paid attention. (Just pointing that out to help manage your expectations because I personally don’t consider that a small group.) There are no toilet/restroom stops during the tour. If you need to go right before the tour starts, you will need to go to the coffee shop near the starting point…you’ll need purchase a drink so you can get a code to the customer only toilet. The next available restroom isn’t until you get inside the castle and the tour guide doesn’t wait if anyone needs to go. It’s your responsibility to catch up to the group on your own. You are able to stay at the castle and tour the rest of the facility on your own….which I recommend. Your pre-purchased provided castle ticket (if you added this option) is one time entry only so it’s not a come/go ticket. It is fast entry so you don’t have to wait in the queue which is also very nice. Our guide was Linda and my entire family enjoyed her tour.
    Fantastic tour!
    Alexandra_L, Jul 2023
    Went on the tour with my parents and we really enjoyed this tour. Stephanie was our guide and she was fantastic especially with her storytelling. She made the tour memorable and fun. Would highly recommend this tour with the castle option if you want to see a good chunk of Edinburgh.
    Bobby_C, Jun 2023
    The tour brought an expository what we already new and revealed several new points- it was a great experience. Linda the host made it an exceptional experience. Thank you - so glad we did it!

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