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Edinburgh Blair Street Underground Vaults Tour

  • When does it run?
    Daily
  • Start time
    10am // 2pm // 4pm
  • Duration
    Approx. 1 hour 15 mins
Inclusions
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh Vaults
  • English-speaking guide
COVID-19 Safety guidelines

Key Highlights

  • Discover Edinburgh’s darkest secret on this tour of the Blair Street Underground Vaults
  • Navigate your way through one of the most breathtaking histories of modern society
  • Dig into the sinister stories of Burke and Hare, the serial killers who are believed to have preyed on quite a few people inside the vaults
  • Admire an array of 19th century artefacts and enjoy a fascinating presentation in the Discovery Room

Overview


Discover Edinburgh’s darkest secret on this fantastic historical tour that takes you to a surreal exploration of the Blair Street Underground Vaults - the deepest, largest and most extensive in the city. While the Blair Street Vaults are notorious for their paranormal occurrences and tons of ghost stories that are attributed to it, this tour will get you up close with their incredible history - most of which is quite tragic.

A dark, damp world unchanged since the 18th century, the vaults originated as storage space for the taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen that were prospering during the industrial revolution. However, when the businesses abandoned the space, the poorest citizens of Edinburgh populated the dark, damp spaces of the vaults making Slums, brothels and salubrious pubs a commonplace affair. In fact, crimes including robbery and murder soon started plaguing the vaults. The infamous serial killer duo Burke and Hare, who sold corpses to medical schools, are rumoured to have hunted for victims in the vaults and even stored some of the bodies there.

The vaults make for a story rooted in Edinburgh’s Georgian past – grand feats of engineering, the expansion of the city, and those who were left behind in its darker corners. You will learn quite a lot about the enigmas of Edinburgh’s underworld on this small group tour, along with being able to admire an array of 19th century artefacts as well as a visit to the Discovery Room that comes with an equally fascinating presentation. This is an experience that gives you an omnipresent sense of the dark underbelly of how modern societies work - something you’d remember for life!

Activity Schedule

  • When does it run?

    Daily

  • Duration

    Approx. 1 hour 15 mins

  • Start time

    10am // 2pm // 4pm

  • Meeting Point

    Tour starts at Mercat Cross (an octagonal monument on the Royal Mile, opposite City Chambers).
    Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.

  • Ending Point

    Tour ends at Interpretation Room of the Vaults, Blair Street

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Walking tour of Edinburgh Vaults
  • English-speaking guide
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Food and drinks

Please note

Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to the start of the tour to reconfirm the departure details.

Additional info

The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.

Customer Reviews

  • Excellent Tour and Guide
    Ms H Elizabeth, United Kingdom 12/08/2015
  • Informative unique experience
    R H SMART, United Kingdom 10/10/2015
  • I'll be coming back in the near future for sure!
    Elizabeth kennedy, United Kingdom 04/20/2014

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