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Edinburgh - Mary Queen of Scots by Invisible Cities

Mary Queen of Scots by Invisible Cities

(117 reviews)
old town, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
45 mins

About the tour

Join your Guide Paul on his Mary, Queen Of Scots Tour where Paul picks up the story of Scotland’s most controversial Queen on her return from France. The Tour will begin outside Holyrood Palace and Abbey, where we will hear about plots, murders and even rape. We will visit all the key sites on the Royal Mile, one of the most historic miles anywhere in the world. We will visit the grave of her secretary David Rizzio who was brutally murdered in front of a heavily pregnant Mary and defenestrated from Holyrood Palace into the gardens below. You will also hear how she was humiliated, dragged through the streets of Edinburgh, spat upon, and called a whore. The tour will end at Edinburgh Castle which has many connections to Queen Mary as it is where she gave birth to her son James, who would eventually unite the crowns of Scotland and England and we will learn how Mary's death led to a civil war in Scotland and the Long Siege of Edinburgh Castle. Tips on this tour will go to Invisible Cities (and Paul of course) to support the work they do with their own guides and trainees but also within the wider community. Invisible Cities is a not for profit organisation that won Best Community Tour in the World by Lonely Planet for their Best in Travel 2021 List. Please Note: Due to the content of this tour, we recommend viewer discretion is applied with regards to young children who may be watching.

Meet your local guide


Edinburgh, an alternative history: Join your Tour Guide Paul for a Tour of Edinburgh with a difference. Being formerly homeless, Paul is a Tour Guide with Invisible Cities who are a Social Enterprise who train homeless people to become walking Tour Guides, how amazing is that. Paul will look at the history of Edinburgh stretching back 1000’s of years right through to the present day. There are guaranteed laughs with Paul as the Tour starts on top of a volcanic rock which dates back 350 million years and upon which there sits a Castle which is one of the most sieged upon castles in Europe and ends in a historic ancient graveyard full of poltergeists, stray dogs, body snatchers and even some Harry Potter characters. Paul grew up in Edinburgh from the age of 4 and after becoming homeless at 16, went onto becoming homeless a further 10 times. 3 years ago he became a Tour Guide with Invisible Cities and then went on to college to do further Tour Guide training and launched his first Tour based on the movie Trainspotting set in his home town of Leith. He now offers several tours including tours on subject matters including the Women of Edinburgh and Crime and Punishment tours in the city. He also launched a brand new comedy tour of Leith this year too. Paul loves finding out the truth behind the myths and legends so he tell syou the good the bad and the ugly. Invisible Cities is an award winning social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. We believe that everyone has a story to tell and that we can use the power of tourism and all the skills you need to get to become an entertaining and high quality guide to support people towards new professional and personal goals. We provide tailored support to each of our trainees and guides and all our tours are designed by them directly so you get the most authentic and trutthful experience ever. As a not for profit, we use our income to support our guides but also to organise events in our local communities.  We are the winners of the Best Community Tour by Lonely Planet for their Best in Travel List 2021. For more information visit www.invisible-cities.org

Paul has been guiding since Jan 2018

What to expect

Get ready for something special. We're travelling to Edinburgh with no passport, no plane ticket and no luggage. And yet you'll experience all the sights, sounds and stories with just your laptop, favorite snack and an amazing guide.

The tour will last about 45 mins and will be live-streamed by your guide directly from Edinburgh. Forget about slideshows or pre-recorded videos, this is a live broadcast and anything can happen!

While on the tour you’ll be able to see a full screen video of your guide and their surroundings, interact with them and other travellers through the live chat, see where you are in the world on a map and show your appreciation with a tip.

Why are they tip-supported?

We are running these tours on a tip-supported basis to make them as accessible as possible. They are free to book and join, but you have the option to tip the guide during the tour.

Leaving a tip will help support the guides and allow us to offer tours in more places around the world. If you aren't able to leave a tip, then it would be great if you can share the tour with friends and family to spread the word.

See a tour in action

How to join

Reserve your spot by selecting a time to book. Once done, you’ll be able to see your reservations on your Trips page and we’ll send you an email confirmation with a link to join the tour.

For the best viewing experience, please join on a computer using Google Chrome.

Reviews from travellers

Olga M.

14 April 2021

Paul is nice guy with sense of humour & good history’s knowledge

Dee W.

14 April 2021

Paul was very kind, friendly and knowledgeable. He made the trip really come alive.

Kelly S.

13 April 2021

Paul was funny and very knowledgeable! "Today's rain is tomorrow's Whiskey!"

Michele L.

13 April 2021

Paul is a very good story teller. He knew all the details of Mary Queen of Scots and her various and sundry escapades. The area had some very interesting architecture. Paul was very good about stopping to allow us to capture some great postcards.

Faith M.

13 April 2021

Very informative and enjoyable tour. Paul certainly knows his stuff.

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