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Guided Tours

The Historic Underground Vaults Tour

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    Underneath the busy streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, is a dark, hidden world unchanged since the 18th century. Follow an expert guide deep into the Blair Street Underground Vaults, and uncover its mysterious history – including how it came to be home to Edinburgh’s most destitute inhabitants.

    Highlights

    • Get exclusive access to Edinburgh’s underground world, the Blair Street Vaults

    • Follow your guide through the shadowy closes of the vaults and learn about their fascinating history

    • Explore, see and touch original artifacts from the 19th century

    • Discover how people used to live and work in these damp, hidden caverns

    Inclusions

    • Ticket for a 75-minute scheduled public history tour

    • Expert English-speaking guide

    • Visit to the Discovery Room

    Exclusions

    • Hotel transfers

    • Food and drinks

    Cancellation policy

    These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

    When the construction of Edinburgh’s South Bridge was completed in 1788, there was a bustling underground world that existed in its shadows - the Blair Street Underground Vaults. Unfortunately, the vaults began to get abandoned, thanks to poor ventilation and frequent flooding. A seedier crowd eventually took over this dark, damp, underground world. Brothels, gambling centers and the city’s poorest residents all crammed into the tightest of spaces here. It was eventually filled with rubble and sealed in the mid 19th century and was only accidentally rediscovered in the 1980s.

    During your time here, you will get to experience a part of Edinburgh’s history that was very nearly forgotten. Illuminated by flickering candles and torches, the vaults offer a haunting atmosphere. Listen to your guide, a master storyteller take you through some of the only artifacts to have survived!

    Important Information

    • Make sure to dress for the weather. Wear appropriate footwear as there is a moderate amount of walking involved

    • For health and safety reasons, children under 5 years of age are not permitted on this underground tour

    Timings

    Daily at 10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM and 4 PM

    Duration

    1 hr 15 mins

    Discounted Tickets

    Ages 5-15yrs and seniors aged 65yrs and above enjoy reduced pricing (carry a valid photo ID)

    • Your voucher will be emailed to you shortly.

    • Display the voucher on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID at the meeting point. Students must show a valid student ID.

    • Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your visit to avoid any delays.

    Meeting Point

    • Meet your guide at Mercat Cross.

    • Address: High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RF, United Kingdom.

    Get Directions to the Meeting Point

    Getting There

    By Bus

    • The closest bus stop is Victoria Street. It is a quick 3-minute walk to the meeting point.

    • Board buses #35, #7, #8 to get you there.

    By Train

    • The closest train station is Edinburgh Waverley. It is a quick 4-minute walk to the meeting point.

    • Board trains Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, ScotRail to get you there.

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