Secret Things to Do in Edinburgh

When touring the city, we look for the landmarks and the statues that everybody knows. Yet how much more fun would it be to uncover a destination that’s as secretive as a secret itself. Edinburgh, with its haunted history and cobbled streets is full of caves, dungeons and secrets that create an almost separate, the secret Edinburgh, just for you.

edinburgh night

Dig Deeper into the Mystery of Gilmerton Cove

With Edinburgh Castle taking prominence, what really is underneath the wonderful Edinburgh? Take note, its Gilmerton Cove. A series of hand carved passageways and chambers that lie beneath the ground of Gilmerton crossroads. Take a winding, dark tour through the narrow carvings of this historic venue and experience just what the underground of Secret things to do in Edinburgh has to offer.

Throughout the history of Edinburgh, and all the secret things to do, there have been many theories about the origins and purpose of the Cove. Some believe it was a drinking den for local gentry, some believe it was a Covenanters refuge and others believe it was an old smugglers lair. The haunting atmosphere and the dark corridors are one to brave if you dare, but to walk through history itself on a guided tour of the world that once existed under a city, is one not to be missed.

Haunting Greyfriars

The history of Edinburgh would not be the same without the Greyfriar’s Bobby Kirkyard. It is a famous graveyard in Edinburgh’s famous Old Town. Burials have been taking place there since the 16th century, and some of Edinburgh’s most famous residents have found their final resting place in its tombs. Including, the ever-popular (hard to believe) Greyfriars Bobby the faithful companion who visited his master’s grave for 14 years.

But its run-of-the mill, macabre happenings, and famous hound are not what has earned it a reputation as one of the most haunted places in all of Edinburgh things to do. It is also home to the infamous Covenanters Prison and McKenzie Poltergeist the most well documented paranormal phenomenon in the world. Today the graveyard is open to the public and its long history only adds to its charming appeal. For those brave enough to enter its gates at night on a City of the Dead Tour, be warned, the tours have been plagued by unexplained occurrences from the beginning.


Image title Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh by Andy Hay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Sight of Gladstone

One of the most beautiful, idyllic and historic unknown venues in Edinburgh is Gladstone’s Land. A unique historic high rise tenement that spans nearly 500 years of Edinburgh’s history into one landmark. Noted as one of the ‘world’s first skyscrapers’ and gives the opportunity to catch a glimpse of Edinburgh, from the old town perspective. Explaining how the Royal Mile has changed and developed over the years, this beautiful building not only offers city wide views of Edinburgh, but is also an enriched trip back in time to the 17th century Edinburgh. Of all the secret Things to do in Edinburgh, Gladstone’s Land really gives the feeling of being transported back in time to another Edinburgh.