Spooky reasons to visit Edinburgh this Halloween
Let’s be bold: no city has a Halloween pedigree quite like Edinburgh’s.
The capital’s history is blood-soaked and populated with a gruesome cast of ghosts, ghouls, bodysnatchers and the occasional cannibal. From the dark wynds of the Old Town to the depths of the city’s underground vaults, there’s no better place to experience Halloween.
And there’s no shortage of ways to experience it either: book your train to Edinburgh, and you can get great offers at top attractions such as The Edinburgh Dungeon and Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours. Then there are the walking tours with costumed guides – pick one that you think you can handle, and prepare for spooks and thrills.
Here’s our roundup of the best things to do in Edinburgh for Halloween this year.
The Edinburgh Dungeon
The first place to start is the darkest of the lot: the Edinburgh Dungeon. It’s quite an experience, with a host of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and two underground rides. It’s an 80-minute journey through centuries of gore – and with your train ticket you can either get 2FOR1 entry, or Kids Go Free. That’s a whole lot of value for laughs, thrills, and screams galore.
The Ghost Bus Tour Edinburgh
Board a classic 1960s Routemaster bus for a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. Your conductor will point out the city’s most famous sights, and tell the stories of grave robbers, murders and executions that took place at each one. There’s a reason Edinburgh is known as the most haunted city in Europe.
Want some good news? Travel with us and you can get 2FOR1 tickets for the tour on selected days.
City of Edinburgh Tours
Take an afternoon ghost tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town and underground vaults, with a local guide in full period costume. You’ll hear stories of Edinburgh’s dark past, plus a few bad jokes on the side. Get 2FOR1 entry with your train tickets – just remember to claim your offer and book your spot before the day.
With no less than eight ghost tours to choose from, Mercat Tours have something with the right level of spookiness for you. There’s the family-friendly daylight tours, the early-evening story sessions, and the truly terrifying midnight vigils in one of the most haunted places in Britain: the Blair Street Underground Vaults.
Condemned – Halloween Tours
A special after-dark tour of Mary King’s Close, the street in Edinburgh’s Old Town that got stuck in the 17th century. Tales of witchcraft and the occult abound from these times – and your costumed guide will pick out the most gripping details in this hour-long exploration of Edinburgh’s hidden past.
Still got an appetite? Try Edinburgh’s oldest pub
According to some, The Sheep’s Heid Inn was built in 1360, making it Edinburgh’s oldest pub. Where better to go for a bite to eat after, or during, your ghost-hunting exploits?
It’s old enough to have witnessed anything you’ll hear about on a ghost tour of the city – and a whole lot more besides. The most recent claim to fame? The Queen dropped in on her way home from the races in 2016. Rumour has it Her Majesty had the lamb.
Or eat at The Witchery
With its oak panels, aged leather and candlelight, The Witchery is a lavish place to eat this Halloween. There’s nothing frightening about the food: just a legendary beef tartare and sumptuous seafood platters. Just the thing.
Find it in a collection of old buildings by the gate of Edinburgh Castle – deeply atmospheric at this time of year.
Forget broomsticks. Get there by train.
Of course, flying through the night on a broomstick at Halloween has its perks. But you can stay warm and dry on the train. In any case, relish these long, dark evenings: book the train to Edinburgh, the most haunted city in Europe, and experience the capital at its most ghoulish.