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!
Approx. 1 hour 15 minsStart time
12pm // 2pm // 4pm
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.
Tour ends at Interpretation Room of the Vaults, Blair Street
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to the start of the tour to reconfirm the departure details.
Very informative, interesting and well worth doing while in Edinburgh. Loved this tour....Ms H Elizabeth, United Kingdom, 08/Dec/2015
Experienced tour guide gave enlightening history of the creation, usage and occupants of the Edinburgh Vaults in the context of the social changes in the 18th / 19th centuries. ...R H SMART, United Kingdom, 10/Oct/2015
The Edinburgh Vaults tour was one which definitely drew my attention from the minute I found it and I am happy to say that disappointed, I was not. There was no problem finding...Elizabeth kennedy, United Kingdom, 20/Apr/2014
Entertaining and informative