Old Edinburgh Online Experience

City Tour

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This tour is provided by

Historic Edinburgh Tours

Historic Edinburgh Tours was formed in 2013 with the intention of providing high-quality walking tours around the Old Town of Edinburgh. We research, write, plan and resource our tours ourselves and pride ourselves on a high degree of professionalism. Taking people around our home city is a great honour for us! It fills us with pride when people come from around the world to see Edinburgh!


  • 2 hours approx
  • Single/Private Tour
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
Explore the Old Town of Edinburgh with a live guide! Our award-winning Old Town tour has now been taken online. Discover the people, places and events which shaped Edinburgh’s history as we take you on an interactive ‘virtual tour’ of Old Edinburgh! We’ve been able to use our extensive archive, which included 360-degree ‘panoramic’ images. These let you control the image and ‘look around’ just as if you were here. We’ve included ‘then and now’ time travel scenes which let you see how locations looked in the past and we’ve got lots of opportunities for interaction with your guide. Where possible, Robert can even tailor aspects of the tour so that it best suits the interests of the group. Private tours also available. Please email us if you are interested in a private tour at a time that suits you.

Tour Location

Zoom Call

Webcam/Mic not required

Start Time

See Listing




Group size 1: £10

Private: £40


1 – Greyfriars Kirkyardand and Greyfriars Bobby
Welcome to your very own Edinburgh virtual tour! Robert, your ‘live’ Edinburgh tour guide, will meet you on Zoom and introduce you to himself and the stories and format of your virtual tour to you. It’s always helpful if you can check Zoom works well before your visit and sign in a few minutes before your virtual tour of Edinburgh starts. Your online experience begins in front of Greyfriars Kirk, just next to the memorial to Greyfriars Bobby. Greyfriars Bobby’s story is so famous that it’s appeared in at least two Holywood films! You’ll get to hear the various versions of this famous legend, and we’ll let you mull over the one you think is most likely to have been correct. As we leave Greyfriars Kirkyard, we will learn about the Greyfriars Bobby statue, which sits at the top of Candlemaker Row.
2 – The Grassmarket and the ‘Marriage of the Thistle and the Rose.’
Video will help us continue our virtual tour of Edinburgh, and we’ll experience Candlemaker Row, one of the oldest roads in the Old Town. You’ll see this on a map of Edinburgh from 1647 that we’ll share with you. It’s amazing how useful this map can still be! Robert, your live Edinburgh guide, will share a webpage which has 360-degree photographs of modern-day Edinburgh. You’ll be able to use your device/computer to ‘look around’ inside these images, just as if you were standing in the Grassmarket with us! Robert can also ‘look around’ these and share this with you – if that is easier for you. He’ll share some archive images with you which will let you imagine this very area as it would have looked hundreds of years ago. This ‘time -travel’ feature appears throughout your Edinburgh online experience, and we love it! You’ll hear about the marriage of King James IV and Margaret Tudor. This was an essential and significant wedding, and you’ll find out why.
3 – The Bowhead and Mary, Queen of Scots
Our video will take us up the pretty West Bow, one of the most historic streets in Edinburgh, and up to the famous Royal Mile. You’ll hear a few stories here, two of them all about Scotland’s most renowned queen – Mary, Queen of Scots. Another ‘time travel’ moment will reveal why we think the Bowhead House was one of our saddest lost treasures.
4 – Riddle’s Court and King James VI
We move along the Lawnmarket and into Riddle’s Court. One of the benefits of taking an Edinburgh virtual tour is that we can ensure that the places we take you to are open. Not only will we explain some of the stories about the amazing building here, Robert will also take you inside and into the inner courtyard of Riddle’s Court. He’ll share with you another 360-degree image and let you look for some important clues as to what happened here with King James VI came to visit.
5 – Parliament Square, the Tolbooth Prison and Deacon Brodie
Parliament Square and the site of the long-lost Tolbooth Prison is usually one of the busiest parts of the Old Town, especially during the months of the Edinburgh International Festival. On our Edinburgh online experience, it’s…completely quiet! This tranquillity lets us focus on one of the best Old Town stories – the hanging of Deacon William Brodie. Brodie was hanged on the Tolbooth Prison execution platform, and Robert will explain what happened and why this was a very unusual hanging. Deacon Brodie is one of our favourite Old Edinburgh characters, and we hope to show you why! You can use your virtual tour image to try to find the bricks which mark out the walls of the prison.
6 – Advocate’s Close and Samuel Johnson
Advocate’s Close is one of the most photogenic closes on the Royal Mile. We’ll pop down into it, allowing you a moment to ‘look around’ as if you were there, and then Robert will launch into some of our most popular stories. Want to know just how horrible Old Edinburgh could be? Advocate’s Close is just the place! A rather unexpected (and quite funny) appearance by Samuel Johnson happens here too. We think you’ll feel quite sorry for him at the end of this story!
7 – The Mercat Cross and Prince Charles Edward Stewart
Prince Charles Edward Stewart (otherwise known by the more romantic sounding name of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie) and his Jacobite Army captured Edinburgh in the late summer of 1745. We’ll have a look at what happened at the old Mercat Cross. We’ll also give you a brief look at the sheer amount of history which occurred along this stretch of the historic Royal Mile.
8 – The John Knox House and John Mossman
Our ‘offline’ Old Edinburgh walking tour doesn’t cover as much ground as this virtual tour of Edinburgh. We’re able to pass the pretty little John Knox House. Here you’ll find out that it’s linked to John Knox (Scotland’s most famous ‘Reformer’). We’ll focus more on the story of James Mossman, the original owner of his house. Both Mossman and Knox had roles in the civil war which had broken out in Scotland during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.
9 – St Mary’s Street and the Jacobite Occupation of 1745
We travel from the times of Mary, Queen of Scots forward to the Jacobite occupation of 1745…or a few moments before it. As we go down St Mary’s Street, Robert will explain why this was the attack point for the Jacobite army, and he’ll tell you about their attack on the Netherbow Port is probably not worthy of a Hollywood movie…
10 – The Anatomists and Burke and Hare
Your online group moves around the Cowgate and up High School Wynd on our way into the grounds once occupied by the anatomy school of Dr Robert Knox. We’ll take a quick look at the history of anatomy in Edinburgh and then look at visits made to this very spot by the infamous Irish murderers William Burke and William Hare.
11 – Kirk o’Field and the Murder of Henry, Lord Darnley
Our virtual tour of Edinburgh ends with a bang (but not one which will damage any devices or computers!) Your online experience concludes with one of Scotland’s most infamous crimes, the murder of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Darnley was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots and he spent his last night on earth at the location in which you will (virtually) visit. We’ve kept this story to the very end as it’s one of our favourite stories! We love the details we can share about this, and we love the way we can try to recreate the scene of this fateful night.