Hidden and Mystical Places of Edinburgh and Lothian

Luxury full day private tour - group prices from £450

Come into the mystic…

Edinburgh and its Lothian hinterland is not just a supremely beautiful area, but also one which harbours ancient secrets and traditions. If you know where to look, there are places of wonder, healing and ancient mystery to be found – often in odd, unusual locations. Look behind a well known suburban restaurant, to find an ancient healing well; stroll along a quiet street of bungalows – to come upon a powerful and enigmatic standing stone from 5000 years ago; enter a nondescript shop doorway – and find yourself in an incredibly preserved ancient temple! Discover one of the world’s most enigmatic buildings, ripe with symbolism, in Edinburgh’s quiet hinterland. And enter, through a narrow leafy passage, the beauty and wonder of The Great Yew.

Come with us as we lead you to these ancient and mysterious places, many far, far from the standard tourist trail! 

WE’LL VISIT THESE SITES ON THE TOUR…

St Anthony’s Chapel and Well

We start our journey into the mystic in beautiful Holyrood Park, where sits the mysterious ruin of St Anthony’s chapel; it is of great age, though its function is still an enigma. Ley lines are said to cross each of its stone arches. In its lee we will see the ancient stones of St Anthony’s Well, now dry, but the site of ancient healing ceremonies and ritual washing on Beltane.

The Secret Garden, Duddingston

We’ll proceed to the freshness, colour and healing beauty of the Secret Garden of Duddingston Village, in an unmarked site close to the ancient Duddingston Kirk. Here lives and thrives the wonderful Physic Garden of healing plants, planted some 50 years ago by Edinburgh medical couple Nancy and Andrew Neil.

The Balm Well of St Catherine

We proceed south, stopping off to find the 500-year old stone building which houses another ancient holy well. In this case, the water is naturally tarry, and was used since earliest times as a healing balm for skin conditions of all kinds.

Gilmerton Cove

We’ll proceed to the jaw-dropping Gilmerton Cove. Entered through a shop front in an innocuous row of buildings at a busy crossroads, a set of carved stone downward stairs takes you into one of the strangest and most mysterious places in the UK, if not Europe. A suite of hand-carved caverns, containing a ritual altar and even a ceremonial bed of stone, opens up in the torchlight. The site came to light in the 1700’s, but is thought to be a far older temple, quite possibly Druidic in nature. Speculation about the site has flowed for centuries, but new investigations with ground radar may shed new light on one of our very strangest places!

The Caiy Stane

Right at the edge of the city, secluded amongst quiet housing, rears perhaps the most ancient object in the whole of Edinburgh – the huge and forbidding Caiy (pronounced Kay) Stane, thought to be as many as 5000 years old, and still retaining great aura and power. It has the classic ‘cup and ring’ marks found on many of Scotland’s oldest stone monuments.

Rosslyn Chapel

Brought to worldwide fame by the best-selling novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ – Rosslyn Chapel is one of the UK’s most enigmatic and mysterious buildings, dating back to 1446. See the beautiful and strange stone carvings, including the famous Apprentice Pillar. (admission extra – 20 minute free introductory talk by local guide, availability permitting)

The Great Yew of Ormiston

A place of mystical power to rival Callanish and Stonehenge, the Great Yew is thought to be a full thousand years old – already living before the town of Edinburgh existed! This wonderful tree has created its own cathedral (or perhaps audience chamber) from its own enormous, spreading branches, creating a powerful and beautiful space around its ancient and massive trunk. This is a special place, visited by very few people, and currently on no other tour!

 

 

tour essentials

    • Prices – Small group up to 3 adults or family of 4 (Hyundai Ioniq PHEV) – £450 Medium group 4-7 guests (Mercedes Vito) – £700 Large group 8-18 guests (Minicoach) – price on application.
    • Visiting Edinburgh and Lothian’s greatest hidden and mystical sites.
    • Full day tour (approx nine hours)
    • Lunch and entry fees not included
    • Pickup and drop off at accommodation inclusive.
    • Stone stairways in some sites, and some walking on hill paths; appropriate standard of health and fitness is recommended, less suitable for guests with mobility issues.
    • Warm and weatherproof clothing required
    • Free cancellation up to 24hrs before tour time
    • Children welcome but any child safety seat(s) must be provided by guests