Edinburgh is built on a spine of rock and down the backbone of the Old Town, from shoulders to tail, runs the long slope of the High Street - part of the Royal Mile. A series of lanes and alleyways grew from it, falling away to either side and these are the 'wynds' and 'clodes', which once had gates that could be locked at night to protect the inhabitants from thieves and vagabonds.
Transfer by coach to Edinburgh where you will be transported on an enlightening journey back in time. The year is 1645. The most virulent strain of the Bubonic Plague has immobilized Edinburgh, claiming the lives of more than half the city's population. Your tour today explores Mary King's Close, a busy thoroughfare and lively 17th century street of pubs, shops and residences at the center of the area hardest hit by the Plague.
The place, the time, the horror have been resurrected as one of Edinburgh's major attractions. Archaeologically and historically accurate, the alleys you walk upon, the rooms you visit, the stories you hear are and were real. Beneath the City Chambers on Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile, lies Mary King's Close, a network of narrow winding streets which has been hidden for many years. In 1753, the houses at the top of the buildings were knocked down to make way for the new building, now called City Chambers. Part of the lower sections were used as the foundation leaving below a number of dark and mysterious underground alleyways steeped in mystery - death, disease and misery. You will find that Mary King's Close provides an amazing insight in an authentic environment and historically accurate depiction that defies most commercial historical reproductions.
You will be guided through the underground closes by one of the characters from the past whose life touched Mary King's Close. This tragic era truly comes to life as your character guide reveals dramatic episodes and extraordinary apparitions from the past, including ghost stories over 300 years old together with fascinating and emotional stories of human life.
At the conclusion of this one-of-a-kind experience, you'll re-join your coach and travel back to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes 2 hours of walking, at times over uneven and cobblestone surfaces and has some steep inclines to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and is not considered suitable for those guests with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of sites visited may vary.