Thistle Street Bar
Edinburgh Walking Tours
There’s so much for visitors to see and do in Edinburgh and a walking tour is the ideal way to get to know the city. But, why book your walking tour through the Thistle Street Bar?
- Explore Edinburgh’s true history as told by a guide born & raised in our city
- Small groups (no more than 10 people) for a more personal experience
- Premium audio headphones so you can hear your tour guide clearly above the hustle and bustle of the the city
- Choose from our pre-planned tours outlined below, or one designed around your specific historical interests
- Enjoy a post-tour malt whisky or soft drink at the Thistle Street Bar (included in the cost of your tour ticket)
- Please note, all tours are for ages 18 and over
Read on to find out more about these tours and how to book. And, if you find yourself near Thistle Street, the oldest street in the New Town of Edinburgh, drop by and say hello.
Thistle Street Bar
*Please note, due to the rough terrain and distance we will cover during our tours, they may not be suitable for people with physical challenges.*
William Burke & William Hare
Burke & Hare:
The West Port Murders
On 1st Nov 1828, the body of Madgy Docherty was discovered by lodgers under a bed of straw in Burke’s accommodation off the West Port near Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.
Both Burke & his common-in-law wife Helen M’Dougal were arrested and tried for Madgy Docherty’s murder with the chief witness for the prosecution being Burke’s partner in crime, William Hare along with his wife Margaret Hare. Throughout the trial, and with the aid of Burke’s confessions, it came to light that a total of sixteen people: twelve women, three men and one child were murdered over a twelve-month period, for the sole purpose of selling their bodies to the flamboyant Edinburgh anatomist, Robert Knox.
Our tour will follow in the footsteps of Burke & Hare from the sites of their long-demolished lodging houses at ‘Wester Portsburgh’ to the location of Surgeons’ Square where the ‘cadavers’ were delivered. It also aims to separate fact from fiction and through painstaking research from credible sources including court transcripts, police records and of course, Burke’s confessions, dispel myths that have long surrounded the case. We also aim to give a voice to those who were were murdered and give an insight into some of their individual stories rather than simply treat them as anonymous ‘shots for the doctor’.
Please note, this is a historic tour of a dark nature and doesn’t involve gimmicks or ‘jump scares’.
The half-moon battery at Edinburgh Castle
Royal Mile Walking Tour:
Edinburgh’s Royal Mile – 1.2 Scottish miles to be exact – which stretches from its defensive vantage point on top of an extinct volcanic rock to the Palace of Holyrood House beyond the Canongate is steeped in bloody history. It has seen murder plots, treachery, street riots, witch trials, plague and destruction by fire throughout the ages.
Walk with us across the centuries and together we will explore the buildings, closes and wynds while we relay true stories of the people who defined what the city is today.
Edinburgh’s turbulent history, along with its unique setting, has attracted the attention of film and TV production companies over the years. Outlander, Mary Queen of Scots, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Fast & Furious 9 are just a handful of productions to have used Edinburgh as its backdrop.
As well as the history of our Royal Mile, we will also point out the key locations where many TV and movie productions were filmed.
Bakehouse Close as featured in Outlander
Our tours are for people 18 years of age and over and are available NOW to book online with Eventbrite using the buttons above. Or, if you would like further information, or a tour designed around your specific historical interests, please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.