8 great Edinburgh tours that aren't just for tourists
AFTER their success at the Fringe last August, Silent Disco tours are set to become a common sights on the streets of the city, with visitors and locals alike guided around the top tourist sites while dancing along to a funky playlist on high-tech wireless headphones.The Silent Disco tours are just one of whole host of tours now available throughout Edinburgh, and many are not just for tourists. Here are our Top 8 Edinburgh tours to entertain and inform.
CADIES & WITCHERY TOURS
ESTABLISHED in 1984, the Capital’s award-winning original ghost tour, led by the ashen-faced Adam Lyal (Deceased), invites you to join their fearless phantoms for a suspenseful and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Step back a few hundred years as Adam Lyal (deceased) and his spooky chums bring the Capital’s grisly past vividly to life. Beware the jumper-ooter. £10 (£7.50)
LAUNCHED in 2000 and based on the best-selling Inspector Rebus books by Ian Rankin, Rebus Tours take fans of the city’s most famous copper on a journey of discovery of the ‘alternative’ side of Edinburgh.
Join actor Colin Brown on an informed personal guide with selected readings from the Rebus novels in many of the locations featured in the books. Leaving from the Royal Oak Pub, Infirmary Street, every Saturday at noon. £15
THERE are three tours of locations featured in Irvine Welsh’s iconic novel led by Tim Bell. Each takes around two hours.
Tour A: Starts at The Black Bull, Leith Street, the only distinctive film location, followed by a bus ride down Leith Walk, a visit to Central Bar, the location of Leith Central Station, the Dockers’ Club, Welsh’s flat, and The Port O’ Leith, Sick Boy’s pub.
Tour B: The Classic: Port O’ Leith, Leith police station, Welsh’s flat, Dockers’ Club, location of Leith Central Station, Central Bar, Fit o’ the Walk, Kirkgate, Banana Flats, Shore.
Tour C: Port O’ Leith, Leith police station, Welsh’s flat, Dockers’ Club, location of Leith Central Station, route of no 32 bus, scene of ‘Worst Toilet’, scene of Mikey Forrester’s gaff, Sheriff Court, Deacon Brodie’s. £8 (Minimum £24 per tour)
HARRY POTTER TRAIL
DISCOVER the magical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the Harry Potter series, visit the places where JK Rowling wrote the books, and even learn a spell or two along the way. Take a trip down the real life Diagon Alley and be ‘sorted’ outside the school which inspired Hogwarts. Suitable for families. (Donations)
THREE BRIDGES TOUR
FANCY a bus and boast trip? The Three Bridges Tour runs daily from Waverley Bridge to Queensferry. You need to check boat times to see which Forth Boat Tours boat cruise the bus tour will meet on your day of travel.
Tour runs hourly from 10am to 3pm, then at 3.45pm, 4.45pm and 5.45pm. There’s also a complimentary scone, preserve and cream on the last Forth Boat Tours cruise of the day. £22 (£11)
EDINBURGH BIKE TOURS
TAKE a two a half hour bike tour (12 km) through the heart of the city, starting on the waterfront in the Leith then following the Water of Leith cycleway to the New Town, Royal Mile, Abbetymount, St Mark’s Park returning to the starting point. £35 (Bike and helmet included)
LITERARY PUB TOUR
THIS award-winning tour was the first literary tour launched in the city in 1996. Performed by professional actors, not academics or guides reciting from books, join Clart and McBrain, who will lead you on a witty dramatic romp through the wynds, courtyards and pubs of Edinburgh’s Old and New Town. £14 (£10)
REAL MARY KING’S CLOSE ONE HOUR TOUR
THE Capital’s darkest secret, a warren of forgotten streets frozen in time since the 17th Century awaits on this one hour guided tour of hidden history. £15.50 (£9.50)