“ Take a 1.5 hour tour through the dungeon, a thrill like no other attraction. „
Recently I had a little holiday to Edinburgh; one of the things that attracted me to this beautiful place was Laura's (Angelboouk) ghost tour reviews! Then when I started Googling Edinburgh there were many more things I saw I wanted to visit!
'500 years of Edinburgh's darkest and most gory history, 11 live actor shows and 2 scary rides make the Edinburgh Dungeon an educationally chilling experience and a great day out for the whole family'
- www. the-dungeons.co.uk/Edinburgh
I'm a person that loves anything spooky so after reading about different attractions within Edinburgh the haughty Edinburgh Dungeons certainly appealed to me. I loved the idea of live characters, for me it was going to like being in a creepy live play up close.
We booked our time slot for 10am and from our hotel getting to the dungeons was only a short walk, as it is right by Waverley Train Station. Walking up to the building it didn't really look as creepy as I thought it was going to be, however looks can certainly be deceiving.
The Dungeons also open at 10am the same as our time slot, we arrived bang on 10am and the door opened straight away. There was no waiting around at all, which was great for us as the weather in late September isn't the best. We received a warm welcome and were directed to the ticket booth.
First off we had our photo taken, I was in the stocks and my partner was given an axe! As the photo was about to be taken we were told to scream. This for me started to the tour off well, we both screamed as loud as we could and was given an around of applause for our brilliant effort. After our photo we were given a ticket number so we could collect our photo at the end of the tour.
At the ticket booth we handed in our printed tickets to the attendant, he was brilliant telling us about the tour and health and safety. Once finished at the ticket booth we were sent to the waiting room, where we would be collected to face our doom!
In the holding room it was themed brilliantly and very suiting in the style of the dungeons, it had posters of whom we would be meeting and gruesome tales that happened around Edinburgh. Only a few minutes wait in the holding room, and then we were greeted loudly by the Judge! We knew then that is tour wouldn't be for the faint hearted.
The dungeons are set in eight sections, the first one being the Judgement of Sinners. This is themed on the 17th century justice system. We were all seated in the dungeons courtroom, were the judge shouted at us for our crimes. There were a few guests, my partner being one of them that was singled out his crime was stealing underwear and his punishment was either death or being sent to Wales (he chose death).
Once the judge had finished with us we were all then sent to the next part of the tour which was the Torture Chamber . This where madam torturer showed us what torture was like on the Edinburgh Royal Mile. Again this room was themed to suit, the actor was brilliant and again my partner was picked for the women to show how the torture tools worked. Even showing one that used to castrate men, then giving us a little smile telling us they were available from the gift shop!
Now onto the third part of our tour, which also consisted of a little boat ride to our gruesome next destination. Sawney Bean Cave of the Cannibals! Riding down into the cannibals caves, in the dark we experienced many bumps along the way. There were screams, gust of winds, bits dangling down tickling your head. At the end of the ride we were greeted by Sawney Bean's children, telling us how much they will enjoy eating us! If you have even seen the film Wrong Turn, that is also based on Sawney Bean.
Okay half way now on the fourth part of our terror tour, Burke & Hare the Business of Murder. Burke and Hare were notorious serial killers and grave robbers. They used to sell the bodies for medical research that the doctors had a no questions asked policy! Burke & Hare came up with a way to kill their victims without their bodies being marked. They have themed an operation table and a graveyard, which was all rather spooky and jumpy too!
The fifth installment was Mary King's Ghost, based in 1646 at Mary King's Close on the Royal Mile. The streets were ridden with the horrid disease plague. A ghoulish figure appeared to tell us of the awful tales that happened there. For me this could have got the best performance award! Just a few minutes walk away from the Dungeons is also the real Mary King's Close!
Our sixth treat was William Wallace, whom I'm guessing most people have heard of due to the film of Braveheart. The tale was told of the size of William and how he came to meet his end, the female actor played out her character well. But for me for such a huge figure this was played down a little.
Seventh was the Drop Ride to Doom! This ride was our sentence at the gallows; we were all seated then raised up. At the top of the ride there was a video being played telling us of our sentence and we were all about to be hanged. Then all of a sudden with great speed we were all dropped!
Then Labyrinth of Lost Soul was our eighth and last instalment, it was a glass maze where we had to try and find the exit. For a few minutes we were walking around the maze, with no hope what so ever but then a door opens up into the photo booth and gift shop.
As we walked out of the maze we walked straight into the photo collection, there was two photos of us one on the ride the other at the start where my partner is about to chop my head off! We picked the photo we wanted and there was a different price deals. Ours came to £10 which was for a keying, magnet and large photo which was a good for the price in my opinion.
And then after the photo it was gift shop time! The gift shop on the hold is average size in term for a gift shop. Many gruesome items and novelties, all set out sell and not over crowed at all. We purchased some sweets and two mugs. The shop assistant was lovely, asking us if we enjoyed our time in the dungeons and wished us well for the rest of the day.
Price and Availability:
Buying tickets via their website certainly gives you the best deal. Door price is £16.20 per adult and £12.00 per child, however online you save £6.00 per ticket. So for me and my partner is only cost up £20.40 which for the time we had was a great price.
On there website they also do deal bundles with other places so well worth a look if you are planning a visit. Please check website for opening times as it changes through out the year.
On the hold I had a great fun time it lasted around an hour and thirty minutes, lots of drama, the actors did a brilliant job in their role play. If going to Edinburgh again this would be a place top of my list to go again. From this visit I would also be interested in visiting the other Dungeons too. Hope I haven't given too much away, a place well worth a visit!
The Dungeons do have disabled facilities but do only permit only one wheelchair at a time, there also toilet facilities if needed but no where to eat. However the Royal Mile just a few minutes walk from the Dungeons has plenty of places to eat.
There isn't a set age range really as child tickets start from the age of 4! I personally think this is more suited to 8 years and over.
Massive five stars from me.
Thank you for reading.
31 Market Street
Within the UK, there are four dungeons attractions. They are located in Blackpool, London, York and Edinburgh.
~Edinburgh Dungeons - The Essential Information~
31 Market Street
Edinburgh Dungeons is located around the corner from Waverley Train Station in the city centre. There is no onsite parking but parking is available nearby. Edinburgh Dungeons is open most of the year excluding a few dates and Christmas Day. Depending on the time of year, they will open at either 10am or 11am and close between 4pm and 7pm.
Tickets can be booked in the attraction but you can obtain savings by booking online at www.the-dungeons.co.uk. If you have a Merlin Annual Pass, this will allow you to visit anytime during the year.
*Adult - £16.20 (as low as £10.20 online)
*Child - £12.00 (as low as £6.00 online)
You can also combine Edinburgh Dungeons with a 2 course meal at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe or with a ticket for Loch Lomond Sealife Centre for a reduced price. See the website for details. Those under 16 must have an adult with them. Groups are discounted and they offer special tours for the groups. You can also have your birthday party here and they offer hen/stag party deals too.
~Edinburgh Dungeon Attractions~
Edinburgh Dungeons have been purposely designed to allow visitors to experience the horrible history of Edinburgh but in a less 'serious' way (compared to the ghost tours). Here is a brief overview of the attractions which I will discuss further on.
*Judgement of Sinners - 17th century court room.
*Torture Chamber - what would have been used during interogations and executions?
*Sawney Bean : Cave of the Cannibals - meet a family of flesh hunters and take a ride on a boat.
*Burke and Hare : The Business of Murder - a burial ground where you come face to face with the murderers.
*Mary King's Close - 1646 streets and the plague!
*William Wallace : Allegiance - complete with talking heads!
*Extremis : Drop Ride to Doom! - face you doom on this ride.
*Labyrinth of Lost Souls - a maze at the end of the attraction.
I have visited Edinburgh Dungeons three times now - with my fiance, as part of a large college group and most recently with my sister. My sister hadn't been before and I thought she would like it. We arrived at the Dungeons around 3pm on a Friday afternoon. It is very easy to find. There are quite a few stairs down to the Dungeons but there is a lift and someone can come and help should you need help. I personally do not feel this attraction is ideal for those with mobility issues.
We had a 2 for 1 voucher with us and I personally wouldn't visit without one as I feel £16.20 is very expensive for one person. We split the cost and also purchased a guide book which was well worth the £3.00. The 'tours' leave the reception area every 10 minutes or so and we waited the maximum time. Everywhere is dark and 'cold' but thankfully dry inside and spacious. Our group consisted of 6 teenage girls, a couple and my sister and I. We knew we were in for a giggle with the bubbly girls with us!
Since my last visit around 2 years ago, there have been a few bits added to the attraction. If you are looking for something 'serious' you won't get it here. The actors do their best to sound serious and do give a little bit of history but ultimately, it is difficult to keep a straight face as they are a little comical. That isn't to say that there aren't some scare aspects to the Dungeons - there are especially if you aren't expecting them so be on your guard is all the advice I can give!
~Off We Go~
The tour of the attraction flows well and a decent amount of time is taken in each section. No photography is allowed and they will throw you out if you try to take pictures. It is important that you do not touch the actors either! We had our picture taken before heading off - me in the stocks and my sister happy looking at the prospect of chopping my head off! Each section has realistic backgrounds and actors - nothing seems out of place given the time and location it is supposed to resemble. The costumes are fab too.
The Courtroom has always been a firm favourite of mine. We had a female judge who brought two of our group up on charges. I felt incredibly sorry for the only man in our group as he was picked for everything throughout the attraction! He was brought up on charges of cross dressing and this was hilarious - poor guy was mortified! The other girl was brought on charges of being a witch and dancing around naked! Thankfully I wasn't picked but I do recall my tutor being chosen before and brought up on crimes against fashion charges - won't forget that one!
One section not mentioned on the website is the operating room which reveals a 'surgeon' who uses a large and thankfully fake body to show us various organs. This section offered some surprises but I won't say anything else! The Torture Chamber is excellent. The English man in our group was once again picked to be caged up! My sister was also picked to be demonstrated upon. We found out about tongue pullers and the likes - cringe! The actress demonstrating was freaky and didn't flinch when telling us about what would have happened to criminals many years ago. All of these instruments are detailed in the guide book I purchased and this makes for interesting reading,
Moving on, we met jumped aboard a long boat doomed for Sawney Beans cave. Despite having been on this boat before, I was still anxious and hearing the girly screams from the front made me worse as I knew something was up ahead and causing frights! Sawney Bean himself was a scruffy, hillbilly type guy who creeped up in various areas of the cave. This reminded me of something from the Wrong Turn films! Bones, possessions from those murdered..yuck but well acted! The Burke and Hare section wasn't brilliant. It consisted off some tomb stone seats and the lights went out. Nothing special and really just a voice over.
Mary King's Close led us meet another actor and a realistically designed dark, close. This is a relatively short section of the tour and simply features a foot thumping actor and a misty figure of a lady - nothing particularly scary! Being a Scot, I was highly impressed with the William Wallace section! If you aren't aware of who William Wallace is, he fought for our country to free it from the grasps of the English back in the 1200s. He was then killed! The strench in this section was vile though and smelled of pee and alcohol which could explain the drunk acting - I think it was Sawney Bean again so perfect re-use of the characters!
Once again and as you would expect, the English guy was picked to face the wrath of William Wallace and took it in his pride! William Wallace is only partly present though - his head is on a large stick and it is fully animated. He spoke and sent mild insults and orders to kill the English 'twit' I believe was his choice of words. Luckily the English guy wasn't offended but some may be! The animated head was so funny. It kept making weird expressions and I couldn't help but laugh. The story was told of what happened to Wiliam Wallace and was done so in quite a loud, comical way with the word 'numpty' being used. To be honest, the one scenario reminds me of Still Game (a Scottish show).
The final part of the tour led us to the Extremis ride. This ride was opened a few years ago and this was my second ride on it. I actually expected something that dropped you through the floor so was a little disappointed the first time. You can ride if you are pregnant of course or have heart issues/major back problems and the likes. Everyone in our group went on. Extremis is a bit like a mini version of the Ice Blast (was the Playstation at Blackpool Pleasure Beach) and is in a dark room. You are secured in and raised up before being dealt your fate and drop back down into the dark room. It is fast and you do 'jump' as you fall but it is short lived!
~Time To Shop?~
After wandering around the mirrored maze (which is fun but frustrating when you can't find your way out!). You arrive at the picture shop. We had the option to purchase the Extremis pictures or those we had taken before entering the attraction. We avoided the ride photos as we looked awful in them but my sister bought two copies of the stocks photo for £10.00 (£7.00 each). They were of a high quality. We then headed upstairs in the lift.
The main gift shop has lots of souvenirs to choose from. Cheaper options including sweeties, pens and stationary (from 50p). There are various ornaments, pictures, t-shirts and bags available. I picked up a bag and it was priced at £21.00 which is extortionate. My bag had snapped half way around the attraction so I settled for a £2.00 'Bag for death' which was a canvas bag which was blood stained. My sister opted for a small stationary set for my nephew but there isn't anything you would take home to Granny or for young children! They also sell light refreshments including slush drinks, chocolate and juice but they are quite expensive.
I can highly recommend the guide book as it goes further into the history of Edinburgh and has some interesting facts about Jack and Ripper, Vikings and discusses offences which would result in execution.
My sister enjoyed the Dungeons but thought they were nothing spectacular. I feel they are worth a visit if part of a big group. Audience participation is really good if you are up for it and the acting is great. Staff are friendly and there is enough to see but not enough to justify the high entry price so look out for vouchers. Some may not like being part of a tour but there is no option to wander around at your own pace as you will miss all the stories etc.
I probably would go back if they add anything else on and it is definitely worth a visit if in the city.
Thanks for reading x
We were recently in Edinburgh and decided to go to the dungeon as we had enjoyed London Dungeon.
The Dungeon is easy to find since it is just behind Waverley station and os all visitors need to do is follow signs to the station. There are also off street car parks close by, so after we left the car it was just a short walk for us. The dungeon wasn't difficult to spot as it had a large sign on the low rise stone building and even the arched windows told us where we were.
No queue to get in here although once inside we realised that there were plenty of people. As soon as we walked inside it is dark and gloomy and even the toilets, located close to the entrance have fake blood dripping down the doors, so the scene is certainly set! Once through the ropes we had the obligatory photo shoot with my head in the stocks and Little Miss raising the axe above me whilst we had to let out a blood curdling scream. These photos, as well as the phot from the drop can be bought at the end of the tour, costing £5 for one and £7 for 2 photos.
The tour takes approximately 80 minutes and is the history of some of the darkest moments in Scotland's past. There was very quickly a group large enough to start the tour so off we went.
The first place we went after a fairly creepy walk was the Judgement of Sinners set inside a 17th century court room complete with judge in full regalia. This requires audience participation whilst the judge calls various visitors to the front to receive their sentence so no room for shyness here.
The Torture Chamber also required some poor soul at the front whilst the various implements of torture were discussed and shown to the visitors. The room is certainly very grim and the lady torturer looked the part with her blood stained clothes
For me perhaps the spookiest part of the attractions was Sawney Bean: Cave of the Cannibals. We were all put onto a boat and travelled deep into the cave ready for their meal time (this after having heard the story of the cannibal children). Once on the boat there was an incline for a short while and then the boat stopped. It was in complete darkness and all we could hear was the whisperings of the cannibal children and could feel things touching us. It was quite a relief to get into the actual cave where, although it was pretty grim and the actors were quite convincing, at least there was light.
A short walk away (again in the gloom) we met the serial killers, Burke & Hare. Our guide asked f we wanted to meet them and in they came, and again we were plunged into darkness. I kind of knew what would happen here as I had visited London Dungeon, and after all of the whisperings, the chairs we were sitting on were flung backwards. Once again, I had a bit of a shriek since the whole room was scary as we were sitting in a graveyard.
From here, we walked on to Mary King's Close ready to meet the ghost of Mary King. A definite unpleasant smell lingered around this narrow alley with a tall house situated at one end. We were told a story about a lady who tried to help a family during the plague. The lights went off again and we were told to stand back while an actor ran through the centre of the lines and there was lots of bangings. Again, not for the faint hearted because just the banging in the pitch black is quite disturbing.
One of the final people to hear about was the story of William Wallace, and the tale of his gory end. Here was a room with heads on stakes; the stake having Wallaces face was animated so he could talk and shout at the audience. We were told the story and a member of the crowd was picked out to have his head chopped off. Quite amusing the way it was done as there was a big axe, the actor said he had missed but held aloft an ear.
One of the main attractions was the Extremis: Drop Ride to Doom! We sat in seats with a bar across us, and were lifted high into the air while we had our sentence read and fate decided. Once the fate was decided, the lights went of and with speed we were plunged to the ground, so quickly that I actually bounced out of the seat.
The final part of our journey was the Labyrinth of Lost Souls. We walked out of the drop ride and into a series of mirrors. Really weird because regardless of where we tried to walk we could not get out. It soon became apparent that we were walking around in circles and there was no way out until a member of staff opened up the door and we were into the place where photos can be bought.
The shop is situated just before the exit and sells the usual array of gifts you never knew you needed although these are horror themed!
Address: 31 Market Street Edinburgh EH1 1DF
Telephone: 0131 240 1001
E mail: email@example.com.
These are the prices on the door but much cheaper online and there are also other deals to combine a meal at Hard Rock Café or Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre.
The tour is just the right length of time and the stories interesting and gruesome, but nothing overly terrifying. The actors are good and they seem to know the people they can call upon for participation since no one objected.
Definitely recommended if in Edinburgh.
Thanks for reading
Be scared out of your wits and enjoy a short but frightening water ride through the edinburgh dungeons a must see attraction on a trip to edinburgh.
The dungeons is a stones throw away from mary kings close and so to view both on the same day is a must to have a truely edinburgh haunting day. Costly to get into the dungeon, but students you get a discount and there are plenty of leaflets about that give you discounts also especially in hotel lobbys so look about.
Walking into the court room you are sat down, and accusations are given out to various members of the crowd about witchcraft basically to start building up a story for people. Its fun and interactive but dont worry nothing to scary, just fun and informative to get you into character.
The dungeon is a long walk through, and into each room you are scared witless by people and things jumping out at you and a story in each one, however this is incredible and thoroughly entertaining. In each room people are dressed up in character and have warts and all on their faces, they frighten you and each room is incredibly real creating a persistant atmousphere.
The water ride is interesting and is incredibly short but quite frightening and many screamed by the end of it.
All in all a fabulous and entertaining attraction, well worth a visit and combines the history of witchcraft and torture that succumbed to many in old days.
Edinburgh dungeons is in the city centre just a stones throw away from the main railway station and it markets itself as a feast of fun with history's horrible bits and it is an entertaining place to visit to learn about Edinburgh's murky past. The guided tour of the dungeons takes you through hundreds of years of Scottish history and actors in period dress bring the past to life. Edinburgh certainly has a murky past with witchcraft, body snatchers and many ghosts within the city.
The first part of the tour involves a witchcraft trial, I was the one selected to stand in the dock while an actor boomed accusations at me and I was then sentenced to death. There is a room which has many of torture devices on display which are gruesome to say the least.
Burke and Hare were notorious serial killers who delivered their victims bodies to the surgeon Robert Knox to use them in anatomy theatres as a teaching tool for medical students. The fresher the cadaver the better and they made a fortune selling corpses before they were caught. A trip to an anatomy theatre tells their gruesome tale, if you visit the police museum a few hundred yards up the Royal Mile then there is also a leather notebook on display which is made from the human leather of the killers after they were executed.
The catacombs underneath Edinburgh castle have been recreated as a mirrored maze where you will spend ages wandering around lost trying to find your way out. The stories of William Wallace and cannibal Sawney Beam are also told. The dungeon uses impressive special effects to bring these gruesome exhibits to life and as well as jumping out of your skin you will also have a good giggle.
The one criticism I have of the dungeons is that the tour seemed to be a little rushed, it probably took around an hour in total but it felt like we were herded from room to room a little bit too fast and I would have liked to have lingered and looked at the exhibits for longer. It is also an expensive way to spend an hour if you pay full price for the tickets which is currently £13.95 for an adult admission but there are often vouchers available giving reduced entrance fees and if you book online for a quiet time of day then the prices are also lower.
If you are a tourist you will learn a lot about Edinburgh's history from a tour around the dungeons. If you are a local then you will be familiar with all of the stories told but will still enjoy your trip. The actors at the various different rooms of the exhibit were enthusiastic and really helped to bring the stories alive. It is not a place to take the very young or those who are very timid but it is a place where most adults will have a lot of fun.
I will start the review by letting you all know before reading that I Have put information off my whole visit in here. So if you plan to visit and want a surprise tour don't read this review.
For a short break away after the wedding we decided to visit Edinburgh for a couple of days and one thing my new husband James said he really wanted to do was go to the Edinburgh Dungeons. I wasn't so sure as I had previously heard they were really scary but decided that it was worth the visit as it was something James really wanted to do.
We had looked up on the internet for prices and we knew that you could get a discount for being a BT employee so we thought we would just wait until we arrived and give them the code from BT to get our discount.
Edinburgh Dungeons are situated in the City Centre and we actually found them by complete accident whilst looking for a parking space as Princess Street is currently closed at the moment.
The dungeons are located on Market Street.
Car or Public Transport?
Actually the dungeons have limited parking outside but it's very expensive (£2 per hour!) And you can only leave your car there for a max of three hours before having to move it elsewhere. Don't think you can get away with it either because I lost count of the amount of traffic wardens I seen walking up and down the streets checking the cars.
We were going to park at the NCP car park but couldn't get there due to road closures again this would be quite pricey to park there for the day also.
If we actually thought things through it would've been cheaper for us to leave our car on the outskirts of Edinburgh at the South Gyle shopping centre where it's free parking and then taken the bus into the centre of Edinburgh and walked everywhere. It would've probably been less hassle for us as well as neither of us have really been to Edinburgh before.
Ok so due to being on our way down the road already we had no proper access to a computer so we decided to look online at the prices and we were shocked to see the difference in price from booking online or booking once you got there.
Prices are from -
£7.50 for an adult if you book online or £15 at the gate
£5.50 for a child booked online or £11 at the gate
£6.48 for OAP's and students booked online or £14 at the gate
That's a 50% difference in price and we began to regret not looking into this before we left home. We only had access to internet via iPhone so not really able to properly book it. Again though with James being a BT employee we thought we'd get a discount at the gate.
Unfortunately when we went to pay we were told that for a BT discount you have to book via the internet so we had to pay the full cost which on the day was £15 each.
They offered us a guide which we were told cost £4 but both of us decided that it was too expensive just for a guide that would probably never be used again after the visit.
Once you arrive to the dungeons you have to go down the stairs to get to the entrance. It was really dark compared to outside so took my eyes a while to adjust making it difficult to follow the path down to the entrance.
Once there you are greeted by a really cheery member of staff who greets you and makes one of you go into the stocks and the other to hold the axe for a photo which you can then purchase at the end. They give you a ticket to keep hold off so you can then see the photo at the end and decide whether you want to buy it or not.
Once this is done you then go and pay. Prices as I have written above. You are then told to go into the room along the corridor which was called the holding room and wait for the tour of the dungeons to start.
The day I was at the dungeons there was a lot of giggly teenagers which I was a bit worried may ruin the experience.
After about 5 minutes the door was shut behind us all and we had to wait for our next tour guide called the Judge. I was a bit unsure at first but that's just because I'm scared of everything. After a minute or so the Judge appeared and took us into her court room where we all had to sit. I was right at the front on the end of the benches and I knew that something was going to happen to me.
The judge ranted about all of us being the next victims and then I was pulled up and told to go into the docks where she asks your name and then makes up a story about you. I couldn't help but laugh throughout it and I think it really broke the ice and made me less nervous about the whole thing.
Once she pulled another person up and made the crowd laugh at him as well we were then shooed out of the room and ended up in a torture room where we heard a little bit about the character and her life as it would have been living in these dungeons.
She then made someone sit on the torture seat and showed us all the instruments and told what they were used for. Making the guy in the torture seat very nervous at times as like the rest of us didn't know what to expect to happen. It was more amusing than serious and quickly we were then ushered through to the boat.
There we were told a quick story about where we were then going and then told to get onto the boat. The boat was quite big for such a small 'river'. Once we were all in we started to move through the doors into this tiny room were it was pitch black. This was actually the scariest bit for me just because I couldn't see anything. Things were hanging from the ceiling and you would feel it in your hair and face which was then met by a few screams from people in the boat.
The boat the stopped and there was talking which I am more than sure we were meant to listen to but unfortunately I was unable to hear from all the laughing and screaming on the boat. There was a flash of light and you could see what looked like dead bodies with blood everywhere.
Once this was over the boat slowly moved on to the next part of the tour. We all got out and were greeted by another scary character who led us to her room where she talked about how she killed people like her husband. Again it was more amusing than scary.
Finally she threw a strop which led to us being shoved into another room where there was a surgeon who showed us autopsy's and pulled out very realistic parts from a dead body. There was then what looked to me like yellow water squirted from the desk at everyone.
Again we were moved on to another room for a bit of information about Robert the Bruce and finally we were taken to the last ride.
This ride was optional and I decided that I wasn't going to take part in it but James was. So I went through to watch from another room and watched as everyone was led to the ride and strapped in.
The lights were again turned off and then put back on once the ride was raised to the roof to make sure everyone on the ride knew just how high they were. Again lights went off and the ride plummeted to the ground with one flash for the camera.
A lot of people said it was scary with others saying it wasn't so bad. I'm just glad I didn't go on the ride.
That was the tour over and the last room was where all the pictures from the start and from the ride were shown on screen. The people that had said were ok on the ride actually looked pretty scared on the photos and maybe didn't realise they had a photo taken so could pretend they were ok with it.
We didn't buy our photo so I'm afraid I can't tell you how much the photos cost but I can probably guess that they would be expensive due to how much the entrance fee was.
You then get a lift which takes you to the gift shop and through the gift shop to the exit.
I really enjoyed my visit to the dungeons. Although it wasn't too scary for me (apart from when it was really dark in the boat) it was still an extremely enjoyable experience and I'm glad that I went. I would say that £15 per adult is over-priced so try and book online before you go.
Staff in dungeons really get into being their character which makes the visit fantastic. They make the experience what it is and I don't think it would be as popular if it wasn't for them.
Try and get a day without teenagers, I felt that some of the tour was ruined because I Wasn't able to hear what was going on with the group giggling and chatting throughout the whole thing.
There is a height restriction at the entrance so if the children are too small you will be refused entrance.
You cannot take pictures whilst in there so there's no point taking a camera or video camera with you.
The tour lasted just over an hour so do make sure you know that you'll be in there for a while and it won't be a quick run through of everything. The staff can't make the tour go any quicker and spoil it for the rest of the people on tour so make sure you are prepared for this
There are dungeons in other areas which are run by the same company. Have a look on the website to see if there are any near you as I do really think they are worth the visit even if it's just the once.
For those of you who love audience participation experiences at then all you need to know is that this place is absolutely perfect for you from start to finish.
However I felt quite sullied by the whole experience, the long queues, the high entry prices, the fact that I couldn't leave my bag anywhere and my fiance nearly decked an employee (actually, that was the high point).
We bought our tickets at the Tourist Information Centre which gave us a discount of £5 per person and there were two of us, so with £10 off we paid £19.90 for our run through the dungeon. Now this did include priority (fast track) entry to the dungeon, considering it took us over a half hour of queuing to get in, I can only imagine how much it must suck having to go the long route.
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If you intend going to the dungeon then the next several paragraphs contain spoilers so read it at your own risk/ discretion.
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Once we had our picture taken in the stocks (not optional) we were lead into a waiting room where we waited 15 minutes before being herded into the "court room" of the "Witch Finder General". After a fairly boring 2 tiered (men and women) witch trial we were taken to be "tortured" in the torture chamber, after a demonstration of the implements we were sent to hunt for the cannibal family of Sawney Bean out in their caves to gain ourselves a stay of execution. However as our boat got turned about and went the wrong way we were "welcomed" into the home of the Beans and one of his sons told us about themselves and why they lived up there and how they lived, then his family came home with a "meal" for the whole family, but before the preparation was started King Jimmy VI's soldiers showed up and we had to leave.
We "fled" onward into a doctor's anatomy lab where we were witness to an "autopsy" with authentic sprays of "lukewarm urine" and bodies coming back to life due to demonic possession. We were then rushed through to Mary Kings Close, the resting ground of many plague victims and the ghost of Mary King herself can be heard to wail "I'll see thee in hell" just as she did the night she was killed by being thrown into the house of her relatives who had died of the plague. After rushing on away from the ghost we were met by one who fought at the side of William Wallace and who told us of his demise.
Following this we went onward and were sentenced to hang (This is the drop ride). Then at last we went through the catacombs (mirrored maze) and were left out to the photography sales desk, the only exit from which is a very slow to arrive elevator, which leads, surprise surprise, to the gift shop.
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Throughout the entire experience there were people trying to get you involved, especially if you looked like you weren't enjoying yourself/didn't want any involvement in the show which is, to my mind completely idiotic but be that as it may the overall experience was fine. A bit longwinded and forced in places, like a good idea thats not been followed up very well and could be excellent with a bit more effort and thought.
The drop ride was optional, and those with back problems, expectant mothers or small children are advised to sit it out. To be honest the children under about 10 were absolutely bawling their eyes out, and if I was pregnant (unlikely since I have outie not innie reproductive organs!) there is no way on earth I'd be going to something so terrifying for fear for the baby and my blood pressure!
For the price I don't think it is worth it, even with the discount from the Tourist Information Centre, but I won't say that I didn't enjoy myself at all because while I wouldn't go back, it wasn't totally boring. I was mildly entertained for the hourish I was in there.
So to conclude I guess it could be worth the visit if you enjoy spooks and but for my money I would rather have gone to the whiskey experience up the hill, and next time I'm in Edinburgh I probably will.
I went to the Edinburgh Dungeon yesterday and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Having already been to both the London and York Dungeons, I knew sort of what to expect, but if anything that made the visit more enjoyable, and did not spoil it at all.
This Dungeon includes some of the same chambers as the other Dungeons, such as the court room, the anatomy theatre and the torture chamber, and it also has more site specific chambers, such as Mary King's Ghost and the lair of the cannibalistic Sawney Bean.
The live actors and special effects are spectacular, truely making the gruesome history come to life. The actors are never out of character when in costume, making the experience extremely authentic.
This dungeon has two rides, a pitch black boat ride into Sawney Beans lair that is absolutely terrifying and a drop ride designed on the hangings that took place in Edinburgh. This ride is so realistic, it is undescribable, you will never have been on a ride quite like it in your life. You do have to remove all loose items including glasses though, so if you have the choice between contact lenses and glasses that day like me, choose lenses as not being able to see the video before the drop did ruin the ride a bit I think.
My only critisisms would be the heat in there, as when they are talking about the grusome things in the torture chamber, it can make you feel a bit faint, and the heat doesn't help.
Also, their hall of mirrors was not up to scratch I feel personally, I walked straight through with no problem at all. Definately not up to par with the other Dungeons.
Overall, this is a terrific attraction to visit, one of the better dungeons I think, as I have now been to all three on the english-speaking ones. I personally think that they dungeons are such good attractions, I may even visit the ones in Hamburg and Amsterdam, despite the language barrier!
You will probably have to queue for about and hour to get in, but trust me, the time just flies by with anticipation, and it is definately worth the wait. It will take you about an hour and a quarter to go round the attraction, but times may vary, so I would advise you to allow at least 3 hours for your visit.
This is an excellent, definately worth-while attraction and you won't regret the visit! I promise.
Having read some reviews here on Dooyoo one of the attractions that I wanted to visit whilst I was in Edinburgh was the Edinburgh Dungeons. On our final day in the city that is exactly what we did.
Now I am going to tell you a bit about it but I am going to try and be careful not to spoil the experience for any of you who have not yet been so if my descriptions seem a bit sketchy at times trust me it is for the best. Had I have known exactly what to expect the experience would not have been as good! Those of you who have already visited will know what I mean.
I had visited York Dungeons many years ago and had walked around looking at a few waxwork exhibits and found the whole thing boring and a waste of money so I was intrigued to know how Edinburgh was going to differ from this. By the way the one at York may well have changed by now - it was in the 1980's when I went!
This attraction is very handy as it is located in the city centre just behind Waverley Station.
The prices on the door are £13.85 for adults, £12.95 for students, £10.95 for OAPs and £9.95 for children. For obvious reasons the dungeon is not suitable for very young children and parents must be responsible and make a judgement as to whether the children are 'grown up' enough to enjoy the experience. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
If you know when you want to visit the dungeon you can save up to 50% if you pre book on line, although you have to book at least one day in advance. Sadly ours was a spontaneous thing so we paid full price.
The dungeon can be hired for birthday parties, corporate events or school trips - full details are available on the website.
The dungeons are accessible to wheelchair users.
The full range of opening times is available on the website at www.thedungeons.com but generally it is open from about 10am until 5pm with longer opening hours in peak season and at Halloween. It is open seven days a week and only closed on Christmas day.
There are toilets available before you go into the dungeon - maybe that is so that you don't have an accident when you're scared later on! Seriously though the toilets are nice and clean but have red paint splattered everywhere so it looks like there's been a massacre in there! LOL!
When you first go in you will be asked to pose for the customary photograph with one of you in the stocks and the other holding the executioners 'axe' above your head. The photograph is then ready to view and purchase if required at the end of your visit.
You then pay or show your prepayment pass at the ticket booth and are offered the chance to buy a guide a book - as with all these places they are ready to get you to part with your hard earned cash! We didn't buy a guide book and it would have been pretty useless in the dingy interior anyway!
You are then asked to wait in the outer area of the courtroom for your tour to start. The tour will last between one and one and a half hours and the tours start approximately every seven minutes in peak times.
If you look at the website in the FAQ section you will see reference to the rides in the dungeon - don't get excited there's only one and if you blink you'll miss it. At one point you will board a boat which carries about 24 people but it only travels about 10 yards!
You do also pass through a maze of mirrors at one point which is quite fun.
Well as I say I am not going to spoil the experience by going into too much detail here. The whole thing is interactive and designed to give you a fright and also to make you laugh. Before you go in there is a notice reminding you that you are not allowed to touch any member of the staff but the reverse is also true - they are not allowed to touch you either so bear that in mind if you are getting scared!
You will be collected from the waiting area to begin the tour after jumping out of skin but I won't say why or you'll be expecting it!
The tour is split into various sections. The courtroom was entertaining if a bit predictable, but it gets you into the mindset of the tour. The information about William Wallace was delivered by an impassioned Scot so I am sorry, I didn't actually catch much of what he said. You will learn about an autopsy, the story of Mary King and Sawney Bean. The torture chamber was a scream - I'll leave you to find out quite how I mean that!
Added to the fright element you also learn a bit about Edinburgh's more gory history from the various guides.
That's as much detail as I am giving at this point.
Guess where the tour comes out? Aw you guessed! That's right the gift shop - after passing the place where you can purchase your photograph of course! To be fair the prices in the gift shop were OK and, since my Goddaughter in going through a Goth phase, I was able to get her a pair of fingerless gloves for £2.99 and a great tie with skeletons on for her dad for £4.99.
Well I was pleased that we had visited the dungeon as it was on my wish list so to speak, but I do think it was a bit overpriced for what it was. Some parts were a bit naff but most of it was really good and certainly made me jump more than once! I would have said that a price tag of £10 would be more reasonable though. Obviously the answer to that one is to plan ahead and buy your tickets online and save a lot of money!
It is the sort of place that having been once I wouldn't bother to go again as I would know what to expect and it wouldn't be as much fun.
In conclusion I would recommend it as the excellent bits outweighed the lesser bits so a thumbs up from me!
Obviously if you are afraid of the dark, claustrophobic or of a really nervous disposition maybe a walk round the castle would be a better option! LOL!
I went to the Edinburgh dungeons on the 19th of June. I went with a few friends and all I can say to that is... Thank god I never went alone!!!
The atmosphere is pretty bone-chilling and when you enter, you see loads of signs saying that you will go in, but never get back out. Well that IS true in a way... You don't come out the front entrance anyway!
On entrance I was pretty freaked out! There is fake blood on the walls and an enormous axe swinging on the wall, and there were also some fake candles, hung around in some of the corners. There is hardly any light and then you are taken to a little passageway. In there, there are some small wooden doors and a few windows. Also there is a sign that says Flesh Market swinging above your head. There is little light in this room too except from a little red one. The long wait kind of spoilt my visit and when we eventually went through, all we saw some wax, bloody corpses.
Then we were taken to a room with a stock. One of my friends was told to go and put their head in the middle head part. Then I was asked to get a reaper axe, like the ones that executioners used, and stand over her, as if I was going to chop off her head. Then our picture was taken and we were shown to the door outside the tollbooth court. We were told to wait for a while and then loads of chains started rattling!!! We all got such a fright! Then the judge came in with a pale white face and a blood gash on her face.She then accused me of witchcraft and my friends to being the phantom farters.
Then we had to go through to another room. I think it was William Wallace (or as I like to call him, Wallace the Bruce (: ) that was there. And then it was the great fire of Edinburgh. With an optical illusion that made it look like the floor was moving.
A while on, you will be taken into an autopsy room. This has a new 'surgeon' that will be performing a live autopsy and he shall choose someone from his audience to help him. He will also tell you about Burke and Hare. Two murderers that find bodies to perform live autopsies on.
Later on, we were taken onto a boat ride that goes so slow that you could walk quicker. When you are on the boat, you can see nothing except blackness and you get little dribbles of water that land on you and little feathery bits that will tickle your face. You then have to get out of the boat and into the Sawney Bean residence.
Sawney Bean was a mad cannibal that had small ponytails. His trophies are mostly heads of his victims. He will start to tell you about cannibalism and about his brothers that go and get the supper. he also tells you about what happens when his family comes for dinner. Then he tells you that he prefers the eyeballs of a person and he went right up to one of my friends and tried to get her to give up her eyes!!
In around 10 minutes he will tell you to get out as the kings men will be coming to get him. Then you will arrive in the torturers room, she picks someone from the audience to come up on the torture chair and then you will be shown the tongue clipper, then the Judas Cradle.
These were the torturers exact words. You would be put into a metal brace and hoisted up 6 feet in the air. Then weights were added, to dislocate your legs. Then you were dropped, genitals first, onto a pointy bit of wood. Usually, when you dropped, you would be lucky enough not to feel a thing and be none the wiser, but if you survived, IF, then you would be put into a 5 or so foot cage, and into the middle of the town for people to throw things at you.
Then we were informed about the butchers hook, this would be put into your mouth, and then ripped up, severing the roof of your mouth, and eventually ripping out your brain. Then we were told to get out within 10 seconds (charming!) or we would be kept and she would give us a demonstration, of how hese torture things were really used.
Then we went into the gift shop. This was extortionately priced and also pretty rubbish. You could buy a small slush puppy, for £1. And a deck of cards was £3.50! I got a small slush and filled out a survey that would get you a free badge.
I would NOT recommend taking children younger than 10 years old here as it does have some scary bits. But then again I am not in charge of any of your children or anything so do as you like. (No, seriously, do what you like! I don't mind!!!)
Pretty scary with good history on Edinburgh not such a good day out for the claustrophobic, the easily scared, or anyone who doesn't like being in the dark.
(note. Edited on 27th june 2008 for easier reading, thanks helencb!)