Ghosts, Gore, and Grime is the latest family friendly tour from Mercat Tours. This new daytime tour, which is suitable for kids aged 5 and up, includes ghoulish stories from Edinburgh’s past and a visit to the city’s famous Blair Street Underground Vaults.
Running at weekends – and weekdays during school holidays – it focuses on what life was like for families during Edinburgh’s grimy past, especially kids, who were regularly put to work.
The tour begins at the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with stories of schoolboys imprisoned, which certainly captured the attention. We visited a couple of Edinburgh’s famous closes and heard more tails of witches and how women and children would be thrown into the loch to discover their fate.
The second part of the tour took us beneath the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, down into the Blair Street Underground Vaults. The vaults had been filled with rubble in the early 19th century and were only discovered again in the 1980’s when the painstaking work of clearing them began. I won’t spoil it, but an interesting insight into what life was like was uncovered, and now you can discover it too. Not that I want to scare you, but their also attributed with being one of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites!
The tour itself is the right amount of scary for the kids and the guide seemed to be ready to adjust accordingly depending on how sensitive the kids were. There was also plenty of historical educational value in the tour, which my daughter really liked. Fans of Horrible Histories will love it.
Discover places to eat on the Royal Mile here.
The new tour will begin on 1 April and will take place every Saturday and Sunday, 10 – 11.15am. The tour will also run weekdays over school holiday periods.
Ghosts, Gore and Grime Tour
Location: Royal Mile
Price: Adult £13, Student & Seniors £11, Child £8, Family £34
Good for: Discovering the history of Edinburgh as a family