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Gilmerton Cove, Edinburgh

4.7
#15 of 74 in Historic Sites in Edinburgh
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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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. Put Gilmerton Cove at the forefront of your travel plans using our Edinburgh trip builder website.
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Gilmerton Cove reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
727 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I HIGHLY recommend visiting Gilmerton Cove, its fantastic and combined with very attentive staff with attention to detail and the important historical information! 
    I HIGHLY recommend visiting Gilmerton Cove, its fantastic and combined with very attentive staff with attention to detail and the important historical information!  more »
  • I cannot recommend this place enough!! I went on a fantastic tour around the Cove - really interesting and full of history. It's not too difficult to get here on public transport from Edinburgh and... 
    I cannot recommend this place enough!! I went on a fantastic tour around the Cove - really interesting and full of history. It's not too difficult to get here on public transport from Edinburgh and...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting location, many speculations about it's use and who actually excavated the cave systems. Has a vast amount of historical data but it's up to the individual to determine what they think it was used for, it's advisable to wear water proof SENSIBLE shoes as it can get flooded in parts, but don't let that stop you seeing this remarkable location, the guide's are really nice and will answer questions when the tour is finished, the tour's are 45 minutes long and cost £10 a ticket.
  • What a hidden gem of a place to explore. If you are in the Edinburgh area, Gilmerton Cove is definitely worth the bus ride over. It's very unique and interesting how those coves came to be and who really made them? The tour can last a while and there is some climbing around involved. You don't need to be athletic to do this tour but you do need to be mobile. Make sure you wear your close toed shoes, I prefer my hiking boots for this tour and it can get cold down there so make sure you have brought your jacket with you as well.

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