Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Edinburgh  /  Historic Sites  /  Gilmerton Cove

Gilmerton Cove, Edinburgh

(600+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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
  • Glimerton lies about 6 km (4 miles) from the center of Edinburgh.  Underneath its main street lies a labyrinth of hand-made caves and chambers ("cove" is the old Scots word for cave). Some say they ma...  more »
  • The tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable teasing out all the theories of the origins of these subterranean rooms and passages in a humorous yet erudite fashion. You get plenty of time to lo...  more »
  • I loved Gilmerton Cove. The air of mystery was right up my street. It's up to each individual to decide what they believe this hand-carved collection of sandstone caverns was intended for. My favourit...  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.