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Gilmerton Cove, Edinburgh

(600+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site
No one knows exactly what prompted the creation of Gilmerton Cove, a labyrinth of hand-carved passages and chambers operating as a secret city underneath the streets of Gilmerton. Possibilities for this soapstone structure, known locally as the Cove, include a clandestine drinking den, a smugglers’ lair, and a refuge for the persecuted. Audio tours and visual exhibits explain evidence for each theory, but much of the fun is wondering how it all came together and why. Some passageways are dark; bring a flashlight if you can. Wearing stable shoes to grip the smooth surface is a must. Tours must be booked in advance. Our Edinburgh travel itinerary planner makes visiting Gilmerton Cove and other Edinburgh attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Really enjoyed the tour, the caves themselves are fascinating and our tour guide was very informative and entertaining. A word of warning those who are on the tall side will find it a bit uncomfortabl...  more »
  • Visited today and was greeted by a lovely woman, who clearly has a lot of passion for the site, and Scottish history in general. She was very friendly and knowledge-able, as well as making you feel co...  more »
  • This is a mildly interesting 'attraction' but instead of allowing the place to speak for itself the organisers attempt to 'piggy-back' on the other nearby attraction - Rosslyn Chapel - by suggesting t...  more »
Google
  • Fascinating tour. Great host, clearly passionate about Gilmerton Cove and its past. Don't be put off by its out-of-town location; it's easy to get to by regular buses from Princes Street or North Bridge and well worth the visit.
  • Really interesting hole in the ground. Hopefully they will get the funds to survey the surrounding grounds and hopefully see where the tunnels go. Great guide! Edit: They do have a bathroom! I was there 2016-06-19, and used it! And as someone else said, bring a flashlight.
  • Really interesting and strange underground cove. Best to book ahead for a very entertaining guided tour by a charming local lady
  • Very interesting, guide was excellent. If only we knew what they were dug out for... Lots of theories, but noone knows for sure. Worth a visit.
  • A few miles out of Edinburgh. A very interesting afternoon learning about the history about the caves.