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Mercat Tours Showcase Edinburgh: City of Dreams & Nightmares

An exclusive tour created by five-star award winners
Mercat Tours, in celebration of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival,
showcases Edinburgh city as a
tale of two halves.

Mercat Tours LogoFestival audiences will have four opportunities to enjoy a bespoke walking tour, designed by the renowned Mercat Tours, who it’s fair to say know their stuff as they’ve been voted one of Scotland's top 11 attractions.

From a smoke filled cesspit to the centre of academic and medical learning – Edinburgh has always stoked a dual personality. Auld Reekie or The Athens of the North, our city has earned both labels. Labelled ‘Old Smokey’ because of its crowded and unsanitary tenement buildings that secreted clouds of smoke, yet on the other end of the scale, called ‘Modern Athens’ because of its beautiful neo classical buildings coupled with its academic achievements.

Discover how Edinburgh developed with so many contradictions and sometimes, chaos with your expert guide, Naomi Hann, as she explains:

Edinburgh has long been a city that has fascinated people because of its dual personality. 

This tour promises to take our visitors on a journey through the two sides of Edinburgh’s history – the dark and light. 

For every tale of enlightenment, discovery and creativity there is a tale that tells of cruelty, depravity and despair.  It is no coincidence that the author of ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ was a man born and brought up into the traditions and tales of this town.  Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for this novel was a certain Deacon Brodie and, of course, his tale will be told in the very closes of the Old Town that he frequented.

Mercat Tours Fleshmarket Close

However, it is some of the more unlikely locations and stories that might surprise people.  For example, the bustling tourist location around St Giles Cathedral has always been a centre for commerce, law and religious worship – but it also served as a dark place of imprisonment, torture and execution.  It sends a shiver down your spine to think that you are standing on the very spot where some of these horrific events occurred – and where it is said their spirits still frequent…

Meet your expert guide at the Mercat Cross as you prepare for an evening of contrasts.

Tour Map, more information and direct booking here.

Fri 21, Sat 22, Sat 29 & Sun 30 Oct
6pm (1hr 30)

This is a special tour created to celebrate the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and this year’s theme; Festival of Dreams.