FREE PUBLIC TOURS
The original magical walking tour of Edinburgh's Old Town
Things will be working slightly differently for the safety of you and our guides - please read everything below carefully before booking.
The information below has been updated to be in accordance with Tier 3 lockdown rules in Edinburgh. These rules may have been relaxed slightly by the time you travel.
THINGS WE'RE DOING FOR YOUR SAFETY
Wearing face coverings - All of our guides will be wearing face coverings - either a mask or visor - for the duration of the tour.
2 metre social distancing will be enforced for the duration of the tour. We will only visit locations where this is possible.
Max of 15 people per tour. Individual groups on the tour must not be larger than 6 people from 6 households (8 people from 8 households from May 17th) in accordance with Scotland's new lockdown rules. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this total. We aim to increase our maximum group size to 20 from June 1st.
Contactless payments only - Our guides will carry card readers and will be accepting contactless payments at the end of the tour.
Regular hand washing/sanitising - All of our guides will carry hand sanitiser and will be washing their hands before and after every tour they do.
THINGS YOU'LL NEED TO DO
Wear face coverings - This can be either a mask or visor. You may be refused admission on our tours if you do not wear a face covering. We can make exceptions if you have a valid reason for not wearing one. Children under under 5 are exempt under Scottish Government guidance.
Bring your own wand! We will no longer be giving out wands during the tour, instead we encourage you to bring something with you that you can use as a wand. This can be something as simple as a pen or umbrella, anything roughly wand-shaped will do!
2 metre social distancing - Make sure you keep 2 metres away from your guide and any other household either in your group or nearby during the tour.
THE FREE TOUR MODEL
Yes, you read that right. We’re currently offering this spellbinding tour for FREE. At the end of the tour our guides will welcome any donations via contactless card payments only.
You’re never under any pressure or obligation to give anything; feel free to give whatever you thought the tour was worth. Our professional guides work hard and with real passion to entertain you, and we
value your support.
Why are we doing this? Well, we know what it’s like to be travelling on a budget, so we’d rather give a tour for free and let folks who can afford it choose to support our tour.
Most walking tours in Edinburgh cost between £10 and £20 per head - if you can afford it we would love a donation in that range! Our guides are currently working with much smaller groups to comply with Scotland's lockdown restrictions so making money is very difficult right now.
A percentage of your donation will also go to the Scottish Trans Alliance. You can find out more about what they do and why we're donating here.
Where does the tour start?
Our tours start at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, at the junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row, and end on Victoria Terrace, the raised section of Victoria Street.
The tour will last between 75 and 90 minutes depending on how busy the city is.
Is there a way of catching up with the group if I'm running late?
We do normally leave pretty sharply on the hour! If we are splitting a large group you may find half a group still waiting just across the road from the statue outside Greyfriars Art Shop. Failing that we will be somewhere within Greyfriars Kirkyard. You will get a text confirmation from one of the guides on the morning of the tour so you will be able to ring them if you do get lost!
What time does the tour start?
April 2021 - August 2021
12pm + 4pm tours every day
(12pm only April 26th - May 28th)
September 2021 - March 2022
2pm tours every day
(No tours running Dec 24th - 26th)
We send out multiple guides per tour to make sure our group sizes stay small. Our guides will be waiting at the start point from 10 minutes before the tour start time and may start groups early if a full group arrives just to avoid crowding.
BOOK A PLACE ON OUR FREE TOUR
Please note that at this time you cannot book onto our tours with a group of more than 6 people from maximum 6 households (8 people from 8 households from May 17th) as per Scotland's lockdown rules. Children under 12 are exempt from this count.
IF THE DATE YOU WANT IS SOLD OUT
During busy periods our Free Public Tours can sell out pretty fast, but we do tend to receive one or two cancellations per day. If the day you are looking to book for is unavailable we can put you on to a list to be contacted on the morning of the tour if we do receive any cancellations.
If you would like to be included on this list then please email our Head Wizard Richard at along with the day you were looking to book for, how many people are in your group and a contact number.
For info on what the tour covers
(and why we're the best in Edinburgh)
Want a more personalised one-on-one tour with one of our guides? We may have a Private Tour slot available for you!
You might find an answer on our FAQs page!
Click the portrait to see Magus Negus in action
Extended Magic Tours
On special dates, the tour is extended to 2 hours with the addition of magic from Edinburgh’s premier family-friendly conjurer, Magus Negus!
He is a real-life magician who aims to delight, dazzle, and maintain the secrecy of the existence of the magical realm (if you are a muggle, please don’t read that last bit – thank you). Presenting a mixture of classical illusions with a unique Potter twist, he has over 10 years’ experience performing for families, international audiences, and even Hollywood film directors!
So whether you’re a witch, wizard, or muggle, you’re going to be in for some serious surprises and maybe even some fantastic beasts...
30% of the money collected at the end of tours featuring Magus Negus will go directly to fund the Anne Rowling Clinic - an organisation set up by JK Rowling to provide clinical care and research to improve the lives of people with degenerative conditions affecting the brain. You can find out more about what they do here.
Unfortunately Magus Negus won't be featuring on our tours for a little while. He is also currently not available for private bookings. We hope he will be back in action for some tours in 2021