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Gilmerton Cove, Edinburgh
(4.6/5 based on 550+ reviews on the web)
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
  • Not very easy to find and not open long hours but a very uncommercial and genuine experience. It's a bit rough round the edges but the staff are super enthusiastic and the place has a fascinating hist...  more »
  • Family including teenage boys were skeptical about spending an hour in a cave in Gilmerton but I think they were converted - tour guide was great and had lots of theories as to the origin of this quir...  more »
  • This site took me completely by surprise. I had never expected it to be quite so interesting or haunting as it was, but it has really stuck with me and I can't wait to return! From the outside, you ha...  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.