FREE PUBLIC TOURS
The original magical walking tour of Edinburgh's Old Town
You will need to book in advance to get a place on our Free Public Tours. Please read all the information below carefully before booking.
We ask you to bring something you can use as a wand on our tours. This can be anything roughly wand-shaped - pens, pencils and umbrellas all welcome!
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 cash or contactless card payments. All of our guides are equipped with card readers.
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!
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 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. We recommend heading to the back behind the church and through the arch in the Flodden Wall and look for guides in black capes. 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?
12pm tours every day
+ extra 4pm tours at busy times
(No tours running Dec 24th - 26th)
Our guides will be waiting at the start point from 10 minutes before the tour start time. Please aim to be at the start point by then.
BOOK A PLACE ON OUR FREE TOUR
Bringing a larger group?
If your group is larger than 10 then you must book a private tour with us. Any bookings for Free Public Tours larger than 10 will be immediately cancelled.
We also offer discounts for school and educational groups which you can find here.
Bringing children under 7 years old?
This a literary walking tour and is not suitable for children under the age of 7. In our experience they will not engage with the content. Please do not bring children under the age of 7 on the tour.
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.
Magus Negus will next be on The Potter Trail at 12.30pm on:
December 29th February 13th April 9th
Magus Negus can also be booked privately any day at 1.45pm
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 Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org along with the day you were looking to book for, how many people are in your group and a contact number.
You may also find there is space on one our Small Group Tours.
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!
Small Group Tours
Maybe big crowds aren't your thing? If you don't like the sound of our Free Public Tours and you'd prefer not to go private then we do have a third option...
We've recently started running Small Group Tours through Airbnb. These are limited to a maximum of 10 people and are priced at £15 a head, with discounts applying for children aged 12 and under.
The tour content is exactly the same as our Free Public Tours so you won't be missing out on any of the magic!
You might find an answer on our FAQs page!