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Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour

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Edinburgh Castle dominates one of the world’s most heroic and bloody national histories. Set on a dead volcano, the castle is an imposing sight with its thick defensive walls. This 2-hour tour gives you an insider’s view of the city’s number one attraction, first letting you skip the line and then revealing the secrets of this fortress, from one of the world’s few official dog cemeteries to the smallest shrine in the world. Learn about the castle’s wicked and wonderful history from the guide.
You'll start at
130 High St
130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UKYour Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour starts in front of Frankie & Benny's on 130 High Street by Tron Kirk (Please do not go straight to the castle). Look for our staff with red jackets and red umbrellas branded with SANDEMANs logos.
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  • Pass by SANDEMANs NEW Europe - Edinburgh
  • 1
    Royal Mile
    Stop: 15 minutes -
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  • 2
    National War Museum of Scotland
    Stop: 15 hours - Admission included
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  • 3
    St. Margaret's Chapel
    Stop: 15 minutes -
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  • 4
    Edinburgh Castle
    Stop: 45 minutes -
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You'll end at
Castle Terrace
Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, UKYour Edinburgh Castle Tour finishes inside the castle grounds.
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  • Save hours of waiting in line with skip-the-line entry to Edinburgh Castle 
  • Avoid the lines and head straight inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Learn more about the castle's history on a guided tour 
  • Spend free time exploring the castle independently once the tour concludes
What to Expect
Your tour of Edinburgh Castle begins at a central Edinburgh location, where you greet your guide and sail past long lines with a skip-the-line admission ticket. Having saved hours of waiting time, explore the grounds of the castle and visit curiosities such as the world’s smallest shrine and a cemetery reserved exclusively for dogs. Stroll through Crown Square, see the crown jewels of Scotland, and enrich your knowledge of Scottish military history in the National War Museum. Once your tour concludes, feel free to continue exploring the castle independently at your own pace.
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Important Information
Departure Point
130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK
1h 30m
Return Details
Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, UK
  • Skip-the-line entrance to the Castle
  • Local guide
  • Entry/Admission - National War Museum of Scotland
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please be aware that Edinburgh Castle stays open until 5pm and your Castle Ticket is only valid on the day of purchase.
  • Children (4 or under) can join the Edinburgh Castle Tour for free. We reserve the right to ask for a valid ID for children joining our tours.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Our tour starts at 130 High Street, in front of Frankie and Benny's restaurant. We don't allow guests to join after the start time, and we don't allow guests to join the tour if they don't show up in our current start point at 130 High Street, in front of Frankie and Benny's restaurant.
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 1.5 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • No bags or backpacks over 30L are permitted for security reasons
  • Unfortunately, the steep hills and uneven ground mean that this tour is not suitable for pushchairs or those unable to walk unassisted
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
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Popular mentions
We set my wife's parents up for this tour, and they loved it. They revelled in the history explained by their guide, and couldn't say enough about how they enjoyed it. Skipping the line meant they didn't have to stand and wait, and the focused attention of a small group tour was
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Tour was easy to book and guide was easy to find as per instructions. Richard was great, knowledgeable and articulate. We booked the 2pm tour which left little light for wandering the various buildings afterward and photos. The tour was finished by 3:45ish. However, the crowds
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Our tour guide Melanie was very knowledgeable and shared many great stories and facts about the castle. The castle is a must-see when in Edinburgh - beautiful views from the top and rich in history!
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Excellent in every way.Ryan our guide was very informative/amusing and provided us with knowledge of the history of Edinburgh castle that we would not have learnt if we hadnt been on this guided tour.As an added bonus it was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies-which for
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Very insightful and engaging. Fiona was a great tour guide and made you feel like you knew her for years! She answered questions and gave you plenty of history of Scotland. I'd go on this tour again!
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About the operator
By: SANDEMANs NEW Europe - Edinburgh
23,297 reviews
Certificate of Excellence
History lessons at school should be similar to this
We chose this tour because it was a history tour, which our guide Edgar also mentioned several times. If you want
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Very original !
Authentic and original walk ! We loved to discover the city like this it was creepy and very interesting to know
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Jessica L
New York
Free Walking Tour
A funny, incredibly well-informed and entertaining tour. Fiona was excellent, and provided a wonderful overview of
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County Dublin, Ireland
Funny and educational
We've done the tour with our guide Edgar! Except for the cold 😅 the tour has been amazing. Edgar was very funny
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Free walking tour - take my money
I took the free walking tour on the first day I arrived to Edinburgh, wanting to orientate myself with the city.
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Insider's Guide to JK Rowling!
Jen was our guide and she was really entertaining and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed some of the insider info,
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Ok, but nothing special
We eexpected much more dark stories abd more dark places, but in fact ut was just like a normal walk through the
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Fantastic tour
Greg was our tour guide for the free walking tour in Edinburgh. He was extremely knowledgeable, laid back and
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Sydney, Australia
AMAZING Edinburgh Free Walking Tour
We had Edgar as our guide and he was absolutely amazing. Funny, down to earth with an obvious passion for history
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Hilarious and Informative
We were lucky to have Greg give us a tour of Edinburgh. His passion, knowledge and the entertaining way that he
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Aix-en-Provence, France
Edinburgh Free tour
I visited Edinburgh with Edgar, a very nice person. It was a great experience. I recommend free tours with him.
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Free walking tour - Edgar
I‘ve done many walking tours in different cities but the one with Edgar was definitely the best one I‘ve ever had.
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Barry C
Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
free tour
I tool part at the free tour of Edinburgh. Was very cool and many people from all over the world took part. You
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Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Superb Castle Tour
We set my wife's parents up for this tour, and they loved it. They revelled in the history explained by their
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Ellen J
Fun even for non-fans
I am not the biggest of Harry Potter fans but I found this to be a fun tour. Aussie David was our guide and he is
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Key Details
  • Duration: 1h 30m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English, German, Spanish
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