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Edinburgh Blair Street Underground Vaults Tour

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from US$ 18.75 per person pp

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 & Itinerary

    Activity Schedule

    When does it run?

    Daily

    Duration

    Approx. 1 hour 15 mins

    Start time

    12pm // 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

    Inclusions

    • Walking tour of Edinburgh Vaults
    • English-speaking guide

    Exclusions

    • 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

      Very informative, interesting and well worth doing while in Edinburgh. Loved this tour....

      Ms H Elizabeth, United Kingdom, 08/Dec/2015
    • Informative unique experience

      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
    • I'll be coming back in the near future for sure!

      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

      J Martin, United Kingdom, 18/Feb/2019