The Dark Side of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Experience hosted by Rhona

2 hours, Hosted in English
Committed to safety
This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Up to 10 people

What you'll do

If you want a mundane, humdrum history walk, this is not the tour for you. But... if you want to learn what the tourist industry leaves out? The hidden, gruesome crimes and punishments? The long forgotten twisted, sadistic characters? The thousands of lives painfully lost in the cruel grip of Edinburgh's past? Maybe you are brave enough to learn the truth.

Hear of witches, cannibals, murders, thieves, body snatchers, blood thirsty mobs and the devil in disguise. We will explore haunted graveyards, hide up darkened closes, spit on the Heart of Midlothian and bravely face where Edinburgh believed the world ended. You even get a chance to knock on Bloody Mackenzie's door, if you dare!

Madam McKinnon will guide you through our streets under cover of darkness. She's been dead for almost 200 years and does not take kindly to modern nonsense. She will however, crack your sides with laughter over her dry Scottish wit. And her tales will chill you to your core.

Our tours are historically accurate, with a history this dark there's no need to fabricate!

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: During these difficult times, your safety is very important to us. Guides will be wearing appropriate face coverings and we ask you wear one too. Please remember to maintain appropriate distancing from our guide and other groups on tour. We thank you for your cooperation.
Other things to note
As it is Scotland, w
If you want a mundane, humdrum history walk, this is not the tour for you. But... if you want to learn what the tourist industry leaves out? The hidden, gruesome crimes and punishments? The long forgotten twisted, sadistic characters? The thousands of lives painfully lost in the cruel grip of Edinburgh's past? Maybe you are brave enough to learn the truth.

Hear of witches, cannibals, murders, thieves, body snatchers, blood thirsty mob…

Meet your host, Rhona

Host on Airbnb since 2016
  • 500 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hello I'm Caroline, known to channel the spirit of Madam McKinnon to guide visitors safely through the spooky streets of Edinburgh! Born and raised here, I’m a professional actor and comedian with extensive experience of leading top-rated tours. I’m passionate about Edinburgh, its character and culture, and endlessly fascinated by its vividly grisly history. I look forward to sharing its stories and secrets with you, with plenty of laughs along the way!

If you have a particular date/time that suits your schedule and it's not in our Calendar, please don't hesitate to send us a message. We would love the opportunity to accommodate your needs!
Hello I'm Caroline, known to channel the spirit of Madam McKinnon to guide visitors safely through the spooky streets of Edinburgh! Born and raised here, I’m a professional actor and comedian with extensive experience of leading top-rated tours. I’m passionate about Edinburgh, its character and culture, and endlessly fascinated by its vividly grisly history. I look forward to sharing its stories and secrets with you, with plenty of laughs along the way!

If you have a particular date/t…
Co-hosts:
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From £15
/ person
Thu, 5 Aug
£15 per person
20:00 - 22:00
This time is popular
£15 per person
Sat, 7 Aug
£15 per person
20:00 - 22:00
£15 per person
Tue, 10 Aug
£15 per person
20:00 - 22:00
Join 3 other guests
£15 per person

Where you'll be

The Grassmarket: where you will discover the castles curse and the nasty secrets etched into the cobble stone square.
Greyfriars Kirkyard: one of the most haunted graveyards in the world. It's not just about a loyal dog. As the twilight hits the ghouls come out to play!
The Royal Mile: with such attractions as St Giles Cathedral, the Tron Kirk and the Old Tolbooth Prison. Not just a tourist hot-spot but a street that once ran dark with blood.

Rated 4.97 out of 5 from 500 reviews.

Andrei
July 2021
If you are visiting Edinburgh make sure that this tour is one of the first things you do. The stories told by Madam McKinnon were fascinating, dark (obviously), and delivered with a lot of enthusiasms. Rate: 10/10
Thomas
July 2021
Really worth going to this at the start of your stay in Edinburgh. I was particularly fascinated with the link between the gruesome history of certain areas and their link to pub/ road names. When our host found out that some of us were Harry Potter fans, she adapted the tour slightly which was lovely.
Really worth going to this at the start of your stay in Edinburgh. I was particularly fascinated with the link between the gruesome history of certain areas and their link to pub/…
Kayleigh
July 2021
I had such a great time on this walking tour! It was so interesting to hear about all the dark sides of Edinburgh, and learn a few stories that I would not have known before. Caroline was a great story teller and made everyone feel really welcome. I will definitely be recommending this to friends who plan to come to Edinburgh! :)
I had such a great time on this walking tour! It was so interesting to hear about all the dark sides of Edinburgh, and learn a few stories that I would not have known before. Carol…
Alana
July 2021
We had such a good experience on the dark side of Edinburgh tour, Caroline was such an amazing host, super friendly and the perfect storyteller. Caroline is amazing at what she does and we learnt so much that we would definitely have missed out on if we didn’t choose this tour! 100% definitely recommend booking onto this tour.
We had such a good experience on the dark side of Edinburgh tour, Caroline was such an amazing host, super friendly and the perfect storyteller. Caroline is amazing at what she doe…
Will
July 2021
Caroline (or should I say Madam McKinnon!) was an excellent host and made us feel welcome and at home on her tour. We learnt more then expected and enjoyed every second of it. Definitely the highlight of our trip!
Brendan
July 2021
What an amazing experience! Madame McKinnon's story telling and historical knowledge were just brilliant. I won't give away any spoilers here but just to say, I highly recommend taking this tour.

Choose from available dates

10 available
1 / 2
  • Thu, 5 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    This time is popular
    £15 per person
  • Sat, 7 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    £15 per person
  • Tue, 10 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    Join 3 other guests
    £15 per person
  • Thu, 12 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    £15 per person
  • Sat, 14 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    £15 per person
  • Sun, 15 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    Join 3 other guests
    £15 per person
  • Tue, 17 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    Join 4 other guests
    £15 per person
  • Tue, 24 Aug
    20:00 - 22:00
    Join 2 other guests
    £15 per person

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 7 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.