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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
  • We took the bus on Sunday to go to Gilmerton and on arrival we found the cove closed. There was a phone no on the door and we tried to ring, no answer. But then the door opened and we were greeted by ...  more »
  • Tour in the caves of Edinburgh. You will feel small cavers during this adventure that I highly recommend. Remember though that it is compulsory to book by phone. If you book well in advance on fisicamnte website will be closed. So don't think physically in front of the entrance and booking. Open the site for 3 people so don't worry if you are a small group.
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  • Really interesting little place. No one really seems to know for sure what the coves were used for or when they were built so it really makes you think! Our guide was exceptional, so friendly and as w...  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.