Private Edinburgh Old Town History Tour - Close Encounters

5 (6)
Edinburgh, GB
5 (6)
Edinburgh, GB
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Discover the captivating history of Edinburgh's Old Town on the Private Edinburgh Old Town History Tour - Close Encounters. As you walk along the Royal Mile, the cobbles and tenements come alive with stories. Uncover the secrets of the past, from a unicorn in chains to a secret garden, and even love letters etched into the walls. This private tour allows you to customize the content, duration, and route, ensuring that you focus on the aspects of Edinburgh's history that interest you the most. Notable landmarks and personalities, such as St Giles Cathedral, The Mercat Cross, and Mary Queen of Scots await you on this 120-minute adventure. Step back in time as you explore the closes and immerse yourself in the rich history of Edinburgh's Old Town. Don't miss out on this unforgettable journey. Book your Close Encounters tour today!

About this experience

  • Free Cancellation For a full refund cancel at least before the start of your booking
  • 2 hours
  • Suitable for 1-10 Participants
  • Private Tour
  • Guided Experience
  • Discover the curiosities of the Old Town
  • Explore notable landmarks and personalities
  • Customize the content, duration, and routes
  • Experience the history and charm of the Royal Mile
  • End the tour outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Your own personal tour with your own private guide.

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More about this experience


Experience the enchanting history of Edinburgh's Old Town with the Private Edinburgh Old Town History Tour - Close Encounters. If you've ever wondered what stories lie within the cobbles and tenements of this ancient part of the city, this tour is your chance to unlock their secrets. From a unicorn in chains to love letters on the walls, the Old Town is brimming with curiosities waiting to be discovered.

What to expect?

During this 120-minute tour, you'll explore the entire Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. With a private tour, you have the freedom to customize the content, duration, and route based on your interests. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Edinburgh as you stroll along the Royal Mile, passing notable landmarks such as St Giles Cathedral, The Mercat Cross, and City Chambers. Dive into the captivating stories of figures like Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox, James VI, and Adam Smith.

Who is this for?

The Private Edinburgh Old Town History Tour - Close Encounters is perfect for history enthusiasts, culture lovers, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Edinburgh's rich heritage. Whether you're a local or a traveler, this tour is designed to cater to your specific interests. History buffs will appreciate the detailed insights, while those new to the city will gain a comprehensive overview of Edinburgh's past.

Why book this?

Embark on this extraordinary journey through Edinburgh's history and unlock the hidden gems of the Old Town. This private tour offers a unique opportunity to delve into the city's past at your own pace, ensuring you get the most out of your experience. As you wander through the narrow closes and soak up the atmosphere, you'll feel transported back in time. The knowledgeable guides will share fascinating tales and lesser-known anecdotes, bringing history to life before your eyes.

Good to know

Please note that this tour does not include entry into Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse. However, the focus is on the captivating stories and architectural wonders of the Royal Mile. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as you'll be walking for the duration of the tour. Be prepared to be amazed by the intriguing history and hidden treasures that await you in Edinburgh's Old Town.


Guests who have experienced the Private Edinburgh Old Town History Tour - Close Encounters have been captivated by the immersive storytelling and wealth of historical knowledge provided by the guides. They praise the flexibility of the private tour, allowing them to tailor the experience to their interests. Travelers have expressed their gratitude for discovering hidden corners and intriguing tales they would have otherwise missed. Overall, customers have been delighted with this in-depth exploration of Edinburgh's fascinating past.

How long before the event do I need to book?

  • You can book at any time before the event

Vouchers accepted in the following formats

  • Mobile

Is an adult required for the booking?

  • At least one adult or senior required per booking

Your Itinerary

Royal Mile

Notable Old Town landmarks and personalities include: St Giles Cathedral, The Mercat Cross, City Chambers, Canongate Kirkyard, Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox, James VI and Adam Smith.



5 (6)


Having wanted to do a tour like this for ages, I finally got round to booking it and I'm pleased to report that Mike did not disappoint. I had been concerned that my 2 boys would find it a little dull (having surgically removed them from the ps4) but Mike managed to keep them engaged for the entire tour. His knowledge is outstanding, and he was incredibly attentive, he really makes you feel like you are in safe hands. Be sure to ask him about the ghost of the old man..its quite the story!! I really can't recommend this tour enough. I for one am hoping to book another tour with Mike really soon.


My German family and I came on a history walking tour of the Old Town. We were delighted to get our own private tour, and with a German speaking guide, no less. Some of us are really into their history and have very specific interests, and one person has mobility issues, but our guide adapted the tour so that we all got something out of it, we learned a lot and had some laughs along the way. The weather was quite "authentic", as our guide put it, but the Royal Mile was far too interesting to get grumpy. You'd never expect to find so many little spots and anecdotes hidden in the closes. I highly recommend Thistle Stop Tours to anyone wanting an overview of Edinburgh's history or a deep dive into specific topics. The guides are competent and accommodating, we felt that they listened to what we wanted throughout the booking process and the tour itself. It was a great experience overall, we'll surely be back to do the New Town tour on our next visit.

Richard J

Who would have thought you can hardly take 2 steps down the Royal Mile without becoming immersed in all sorts of interesting historical events and factoids. Really interesting tour with a very knowledgeable guide. I learned a lot and was fascinated by it. Now if only I could remember half of what was covered!


We had the pleasure to have Mike as our guide for the three peak challenge, and we are very thankful because without him we wouldn't make it! I extremely recommend him, very experienced guide and for sure at the end of your tour, you will gain some survival skills!

Becky S

My family and I were visiting Edinburgh and had no idea where to start. We booked onto the Close Encounter tour and it was absolutely brilliant! The combination of enthusiastic story telling and education was spot on and who would have known the Royal Mile had so many hidden secrets. Thankyou one again.


Mike guided myself and a friend up Ben More and Stob Binnein; an 8 hour day hike - we couldn't have wished for a friendlier, knowledgeable or more competent guide. Even though the conditions were extremely windy with rain for the duration of the hike, Mike made the whole day a supremely fun outing - from sharing advice and tips on navigation to explaining about the local flora and fauna en route. Mike not only brings experience and confidence to the experience, but does it with a good sense of humour. I wouldn't hesitate to be guided again by Thistle Stop Tours and Mike, and would recommend their services wholeheartedly for either a small or large group. A 10/10 day on the hills.
Collected by Evendo, Tripadvisor & Viator
2024-05-25 23:29