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Historic Vaults Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Historic Vaults Walking Tour
Join a small group and visit Edinburgh's Underground Vaults – the deepest, largest and most extensive in the city.
After sitting unexplored for two centuries, there are many questions waiting to be answered...
Why were the Vaults built? When and who by? Who used the Vaults? When and why? How did they work and play?
Your guide will recount their history, recall their stories and answer your questions during this glimpse into Edinburgh's past.
For health & safety reasons children under the age of 5 are not permitted on this tour.
There are no refunds. All sales are final.
Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there a lot of walking on this tour? -- No: the distances are not great. However it is recommended you wear sensible shoes because the ground underfoot can be uneven and occasionally steep.
Will the tour run even if it is wet? -- Hail, rain, wind or snow: your guide will always be there to greet you. Your guide is very skilled at finding shelter from the elements, but do dress for the cold (hat/gloves) especially in the evenings and in the winter months.
Will the guide be dressed up for the tour? -- There is a strict dress code for all tour staff. The daytime guides wear smart, dark clothing: the evening guides wear distinctive cloaks. All guides wear their tour badge.
How many will there be on the tour? -- We cap numbers to ensure that all customers can see, hear and enjoy a quality experience. The maximum number of people on this tour is 25 per guide.
Are the tours suitable for people with disabilities? -- This tour is not suitable for people with perambulatory difficulties as it includes the Vaults which are accessed down a winding staircase and whose flooring is the original, uneven earth and rock. A short synopsis of your tour will be provided for those with hearing difficulties (please alert us beforehand that you are coming) and guides have worked well alongside someone who signs for deaf customers.
Please note: The poorly sighted or blind would need to be accompanied during the tour. We believe the skill of our guides as storytellers and the craft with which they use their voices to create atmosphere make for an enjoyable experience for those totally dependent on listening. Essential carers go free.
What do you mean by 'family' ticket? -- A family ticket allows two adults with two children to go on a tour at a discount for one child. Adults and children do not have to be relatives.
Can children under 5 years come on a tour? -- For health and safety reasons we are unable to allow children under 5 years of age on any tour.
Can children 5 - 15 years be booked onto a tour without an adult? -- No: All children on tours must be accompanied by an adult.
How long do you spend underground in the Vaults? -- With the exception of the ten minutes it takes to reach them the entire duration is spent in the Vaults. Up to 30 minutes is spent in the Vaults.
How dark and how narrow are the Vaults? -- There is sufficient candlelight and electric light for the vaults to be safe but remain atmospheric. The narrowest corridor is still 1.5 meters wide. The vaults themselves vary from the size of a small boxroom to a large, high-ceiling chamber.
If I feel uncomfortable in the Vaults can I leave? -- Absolutely - and people do feel uncomfortable, and people do leave. Simply alert the guide that you are uneasy and he/she will immediately lead you back to ground level.
Can I film in the vaults? -- Sorry, no. We do allow visitors to take occasional pictures during the tour, but we find filming is much more disruptive and therefore disallow it for the sake of the larger group.
Can I bring my dog on a tour to the vaults? -- Sorry, no. The level of paranormal activity there is not suitable for dogs. We do permit guide dogs into the vaults due to their special training.
We've been on tours where some customers have spoiled it for us with loud, disruptive and sometimes drunken behavior. What do you do about this? -- We reserve the right to refuse entry on any tour to disruptive customers. Even if the disruptive behavior only emerges once the tour has begun our guides are instructed to invite the person(s) to leave. Our priority is to ensure a quality, enjoyable experience for all.
Are there toilets on the premises? -- We do not have public toilets on the Blair Street premises. There are several coffee shops, restaurants and bars very near the tour meeting point where you can use this facility.
What happens if I am late for the beginning of the tour? -- If you are late by a few minutes, you can of course join the tour. If you are late by more than 15 minutes it would not be possible to join the tour as you will have missed too much of the tour content.
Do you have lifts on the premises? -- Sorry no lifts due to the historic nature of the site.
72 Hours Minimum Advance Booking Required. Tour does not include hotel pick-up; departure location will be specified on E-Ticket. Children between 5-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Children under the age of 5 are not permitted due to health and safety reasons. Rates are in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.
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