The Royal Mile Audio Guide

Veer down alleys to find the royals and reformers who coloured Edinburgh's past
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1 at US$20
Listen on your schedule, you will receive a link to access the audio guide online immedately upon purchase.
Audio Guide Details
1 hour 30 minutes
Product Type
Audio Guide
  • Holyrood Palace
  • Victoria Street
  • Writers' Museum
  • Edinburgh Castle
Preview The Royal Mile Audio Guide
Start: Edinburgh Castle
The Witches Well
Edinburgh and Harry Potter
Photos & Highlights
Audio Guide Description
The streets of Scotland's capital have seen centuries of drama and intrigue. On this self-paced audio guide tour along Edinburgh's Royal Mile, you'll hear from literary historian and Context Travel expert, Jenny Lister, as she shines a spotlight on the royals, rogues, and ragamuffins that have given the city its character through history. You'll hear about Scottish minister and reformer John Knox, literary legend Robert Fergusson, and King David I, as Jenny points out several landmarks that serve as stark reminders of Edinburgh's tumultuous history.

Starting on Edinburgh Castle's esplanade, at the top of the iconic Castle Rock, you'll stroll through all four sections of the Royal Mile (Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, and Canongate) to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Along the way, you'll notice the contrast between grand architecture and the city's darker history, found in haunted alleyways and underground sites like Mary King's Close. As you wind your way through the Mile’s various side streets (known as closes, courts, and wynds), you'll hear about people from Edinburgh's past, from plague victims to notorious figures like William Brodie, whose double life inspired literary classics including Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. By the time you finish the audio guide tour in the Physic Garden opposite the Scottish Parliament Building, you'll have peeled back the layers of Edinburgh’s history, in which monarchs, religious reformers, and plague victims all played a part.  

On this 90-minute audio tour of the Royal Mile, you'll:

• See the Heart of Midlothian mosaic, which once marked the entrance to the Old Tolbooth, a courthouse and administrative building
• Spot the remnants of marriage lintels – inscriptions above doorways in newlyweds' homes, containing the initials of the happy couple and a blessing
• Discover the dark history behind South Bridge's 19 archways
• Picture what the medieval city looked like, and how much narrower the High Street was when stairways, shopping booths and galleries were attached to the houses  
• Take in World's End pub and hear how, for many Edinburgh residents, their world was limited to the Old Town
• Stroll along Victoria Terrace, one of the city’s most beautiful streets, full of quirky shops with colourful fronts
• Visit Riddle's Court, an architectural gem, and an example of the finest living that sixteenth-century Edinburgh had to offer
• Take in Gladstone’s Land, a row of Victorian tenement housing
• Hear the origins behind the names of various side streets and alleys, including Advocate's Close, Fleshmarket Close, Mylnes Court, and Lady Stair's Close
• Find out about the prosecution of Scottish women accused of witchcraft in the Middle Ages outside the Witches Well

From the medieval streets of the Old Town to Edinburgh's more modern cultural landscape, every corner of the city holds a tale waiting to be told. So join Jenny and discover the magic of Edinburgh's side streets and stories.

Please note that the duration of the audio guide will vary depending on the time of the year. When it's crowded, it may take you lots longer!
Meet Your Expert

Born and raised in the Scottish Borders, Jenny moved to Edinburgh in the late 1980s to study History and English Literature. She later completed a PhD on the Scottish context of Canadian author L.M. Montgomery at the University of Edinburgh, where she also taught American History. Jenny worked in adult education research and policy at the Institute of Education, London for over a decade, living in Edinburgh and travelling regularly to Europe. Her main interests lie in Scottish literature, culture and folklore and in children’s books. She has two daughters.

How do I access the audio guide and download it for offline use?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive a voucher code for your Audio Guide. You must download the Voicemap app and enter the code. 
  1. Install VoiceMap from the Apple App Store or Google Play
  2. Create an account
  3. Select Tour Codes from the menu, then select Enter Codes
  4. Enter your Voucher Code
  5. Select Download Now
Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our audio guides have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

How long does each event last?
Our recorded audio guides typically run for 75 minutes.

How can I share this audio guide with friends or family?
You are welcome to listen together with friends or family, but each person listening to the guide on their own device will need to purchase the audio guide individually.

How long does my access to the audio guide last?
Once you purchase an audio guide, you are welcome to listen to it as many times as you would like. Your access to a purchased audio guide does not expire.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Sales for recorded audio guides are final upon purchase. Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.

(4.67) 3 Reviews

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The walking tour of the Royal Mile was a brilliant way to discover the history of Edinburgh. My husband and I shared an ear bud each and thoroughly enjoyed exploring together-at our own pace. The app and content were both of a very high quality. Highly recommend.
This was a wonderful experience. It took us to parts of the old city we would have missed on our own. The technology was very clever simply starting when you were in proximity to the site being referenced. Highly recommend it.