Mercat Tours Guide With Candle

Halloween Events in Edinburgh 2021: Top Things To Do


We’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Edinburgh this Halloween. Have a look to discover the events announced so far, from ghost tours to magical light trails.

Halloween Ghost Tours, Mercat Tours

Mercat Tours’ ghost tours are a go-to for Halloween in Edinburgh. Visit the mysterious Blair Street Underground Vaults below the city with their award-winning storytellers who will be in full fancy dress. They have a range of tours to suit families and those 18+.

Tours include: Halloween Underground, Haunted Halloween 16+, Spirits of Halloween, Raising the Dead 18+.

(c) Mercat Tours

Edinburgh Zoo Spooktacular

Similar to their annual winter event, Edinburgh Zoo will host a Halloween light trail this year. Follow the trail and see the animals while surrounded by the spirit of the season. The perfect day out for families. Book here.

Image (c) Edinburgh Zoo

Lauriston Castle – Twilight Seance 18+

Are you a believer in the otherworldly? Then this event at Lauriston Castle is for you. Join paranormal illusionist Ash Pryce and join hands as you make contact with the other side. It’s giving us chills just thinking about it! Book here.

(c) Ash Pryce

The Lauriston Castle Horror Tour 12+

Horror tours are yet another spooky event taking place at Lauriston Castle this Halloween. Hear tales of murder, witch trials, and persecutions as your guide takes you through the Castle’s halls.

(c) Edinburgh Horror Festival

Lauriston Castle, Wand Making 5+

Everyone loves magic, especially kids! Take them along to this event at Lauriston Castle where they’ll craft their very own magic wand. Book here. 🪄

(c) Museums & Galleries Edinburgh

Fright Night Silent Movies – St. Vincent’s Chapel

A double bill of two classic silent horror movies in black and white, including The Phantom of The Opera and Nosferatu. The movies will be accompanied by a live score performed by professional musicians. More info here.

Children’s Terror Trail – Lauriston Castle

Running as a part of The Edinburgh Horror Festival, this terror trail will take kids on an adventure where they’ll defeat baddies, take part in challenges, and uncover hidden horrors. Children should be accompanied by an adult and refreshments and snacks will also be available. More info here.

(c) Edinburgh Horror Festival

Halloween Spooktacular – Dobbies Club Member Event

Are you a Dobbies Club Member? Dobbies Edinburgh will be hosting a Halloween Spooktacular for children with devilish dancing and ghoulish games. It sounds like the school disco we all wish we’d had, only spookier. Tickets come with a kids meal and a fancy dress competition will also be held. More info.

(c) Dobbies

Can You Escape? Edinburgh Escape Room | Operation Odyssey 👩‍🚀🚀

Things To Do Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s award-winning, 5-star, escape rooms are BACK! This Wednesday we received a complimentary invite to try Operation Odyssey by Can You Escape? If you love learning about outer-space or consider yourself a bit of a sci-fi geek, then this is the perfect way to put your knowledge to the test.

What To Expect During Operation Odyssey

In this escape room you play the role of an agent. The International Space Station has been hit by a meteor and now it’s time to hop on the escape pod and get out of there! But wait, in order to use it you must first repair the damages caused by the meteor impact.

This is the most atmospheric escape room I’ve played so far. Every prop was so well made and the dimmed blue lighting, sound effects, and screens on the wall made it really feel real.

The two screens at the front of the room display symbols for parts of the shuttle that need fixed. Fixing some parts will require you to solve more puzzles than others. For each issue solved, you’ll receive a number that goes towards the code needed to eventually escape and win.

You’ll also be led by another agent/cadet over a speaker who will give you prompts and more information from time-to-time.

A timer on the wall shows you how long you have left. For Operation Odyssey the total time is one hour.

© Can You Escape? Edinburgh

Clean & Safe

It’s clear that Can You Escape care about the safety of their visitors and had hygiene measures in place such as social distancing, face masks and even a bottle of hand sanitiser in the room. There was also an air filter and fan to ensure proper airflow.

Did We Escape?

No! This was only my second escape room and my husband’s first, but we were close and completed five out of eight puzzles. I’m determined that I will beat an escape room, someday…

The success rate with 4 people is 52% meaning that almost half fail. These numbers are lower if you have less people on your team, so it’s best to gather as many allies as possible if you want the best chance of winning! Unless of course you like a challenge.

If you do win you have a chance to be entered into this nifty leaderboard and give your team a name!

Can You Escape Operation Odyssey Leaderboard


Whether you win or fail, at the end you’ll receive one of these adorable keyrings to remember your time at the escape room.

Operation Odyssey Prices

2 Agents – £44 |3 Agents – £60 |4 Agents – £76 |5 Agents – £85 |6 Agents – £96


I’ll definitely be returning to Can You Escape? Edinburgh. The escape room had a brilliant range of puzzles each requiring different skills to solve. It was fun, interesting, and unique. They also have another magic themed escape room named Operation Spellbound.

Discover more fun things to do in Edinburgh on our homepage:

Edinburgh’s Best Ghost Tours Are Back

Things To Do Edinburgh

From the 30th of April you’ll be able to explore Edinburgh’s spooky side once again, both above and below ground. 💀 Scotland’s capital is an incredible city teeming with history and spirit(s). Deep below the cobbled streets are a series of tunnels known as “the vaults”.

These vaults mainly exist beneath Edinburgh’s South Bridge. Similar in some ways to the famous catacombs of France, they were used by merchants centuries ago before being abandoned. Once the merchants had left, some of the city’s most impoverished citizens began living there. They also became the perfect spot for criminals to get up to no good.

Perhaps one of the most famous sets of vaults are known as the Blair Street Underground Vaults. Said to be haunted by several spirits and stretching several rooms, Mercat Tours have exclusive access.

Ghost Tours of The Edinburgh Vaults

Mercat Tours run several ghost tours along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile which will be relaunching April 30th!

1. Ghostly Underground

On this tour you’ll visit some of the Royal Mile’s most mysterious closes and hear about what life was like for the citizens long ago. Tales of witches, criminals, and hangings will set the scene before you head down into the mysterious candle-lit Blair Street Vaults. Book your tickets here.

The Blair Street Underground Vaults (c) Mercat Tours

2. Doomed, Dead & Buried

Perhaps one of my favourite ghost tours is Doomed, Dead and Buried. This ghost tour is slightly longer than the others and as well as visiting the vaults, also visits the Canongate Graveyard where you’ll hear about the cannibal of the Canongate and more. All of the stories told on Mercat’s tours are real which makes them even spookier! Book your tickets here.

Graveyard (c) Mercat Tours

3. Ghostly Edinburgh

If heading underground isn’t for you quite yet, you can take a fully-outdoor ghost tour above ground visiting some of the Royal Mile’s shadowiest closes and hearing their creepy tales. Book your tickets here.

Whitehorse Close (c) Mercat Tours

4. Hidden & Haunted

This is an 18+ night time ghost tour exploring some of the more gruesome details from Edinburgh’s past. Perfect for horror enthusiasts. Book your tickets here.

Blair Street Underground Vaults (c) Mercat Tours

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to discover more fun things to do in Edinburgh visit our homepage.

Disclosure: I work for Mercat.

Mary’s Milk Bar Edinburgh – Ice Cream Review


With summer on the horizon we thought we’d review one of Edinburgh’s best ice-cream parlours – Mary’s Milk Bar!

Located on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket with a view of Edinburgh Castle, it’s a great spot to stop and cool down on a warm summer day in the Scottish capital.

Mary’s Milk Bar Ice-Cream Flavours

Their unique range of flavours are so stunning you’ll want to try them all. Some flavours change daily but the unique flavours that were on display when we visited were:

  • White Chocolate + Basil
  • Nectarine + Rosemary
  • Chocolate + Lavender
  • Cherry Mascarpone
  • Ice cream flavours at Marys Milk Bar

    I decided to try a double scoop cone with a combination of cherry and mascarpone and chocolate and lavender. It was lovely 💖! I liked that the ice cream wasn’t overly sweet and the cherry flavour had actual cherries in it. It’s somewhere I’ll definitely be visiting again.


    If you’re in Edinburgh this summer, you need to visit this cute little ice cream shop. The staff are so friendly and it’s honestly some of the best ice cream I’ve had in a long time.


    5 Scottish Unicorns out of 5


    Girl waiting at a traffic light

    Edinburgh’s New St. James Centre: What We’re Most Excited For!

    Things To Do Edinburgh

    Edinburgh’s new St. James Quarter has been a long time in the making! It’s now ready to open on June 24th, with a variety of 80 different brands and 30 restaurants waiting to introduce us all to some new experiences after lockdown.

    Here’s which new stores and places to eat we’re most excited about.

    1. Bross Bagels

    “Bross brings Montreal style bagels packed with NYC deli inspired fillings so the good people of Edinburgh & beyond can FILL YOUR HOLE.”

    It’s brilliant to see a local Edinburgh business thrive. Bross Bagels has been a hit since opening their first store in Edinburgh in 2017 with delicious and unique twists on bagel fillings. With lots of flavours to choose from and even giant party bagels for sharing, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. You’ll often find a queue of people waiting outside their Morningside branch. Check out their full menu here.

    Cheese and pickle party bagel from Bross Bagels in Edinburgh.
    ©Bross Bagels

    2. Everyman Cinema

    Everyman are aiming to redefine cinema with some boujee twists on the traditional cinema experience. You can enjoy your movie with a glass of wine and even get pizza and burgers delivered to your seat. We look forward to visiting to see just how much it differs from the regular cinema experience.

    3. Sushi Samba

    The five-star rated SushiSamba will have a prime position as the St. James Centre’s rooftop restaurant, providing great food and stunning views across Edinburgh. The cuisine will be a unique blend of Japanese, Brazillian and Peruvian styles and flavours.


    4. Lane 7

    Find yourself regularly heading to Fountainpark’s Tenpin? Lane 7 is providing us with another option. They are the UK’s largest independent bowling and gaming operator and also offer ping-pong, urban golf, 80s style arcade games and karaoke, as well as cocktails and beer pong. You’ll find them on floor 4 of the new St James Centre with 19,000 sq. ft of space.

    “So much room for activities!”

    5. Bonnie & Wild

    Scottish restaurant brand Mac & Wild will be bringing their new concept food hall titled “Bonnie & Wild” to the St. James Quarter right by Lane 7 on the fourth floor. It will consist of restaurant operators as well as fresh and packaged food and drink from artisan butchers, fishmongers, grocers, cheesemongers, chocolatiers, bakeries. It will also host THREE unique bar concepts.

    It sounds like the 4th floor will be an interesting place to be.

    © Mac & Wild

    6. W Luxury Hotel & Roomzzz Apart Hotels

    Edinburgh’s new St. James Quarter will host not just one but two luxury hotels! However, they are much more than simply tourist accommodation. SushiSamba’s rooftop restaurant will be a part of W Hotel. The hotels will likely also include leisure activities such as spas for all of your pampering needs.

    ©Roomzzz Apart Hotel, Leeds Reception Area

    That’s all that’s on our list for now! What are you most looking forward to? Check out our other articles to discover more things you can get up to in the Scottish capital.

    Koalas at Edinburgh Zoo

    Things You Can Do In Edinburgh Before April 26th

    Things To Do Edinburgh

    Wondering what you can do in Edinburgh while waiting for restrictions to lift on April 26th? We’ve got you. Here’s a list of some of Edinburgh’s top attractions that are open right now.

    1. Edinburgh Zoo

    Edinburgh Zoo has already opened its gates to visitors from within the Edinburgh council area. What better way to cure those lockdown blues than by visiting some cute, fuzzy animals? Tickets are available here. 🐨✨

    Current Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm

    Image © Edinburgh Zoo

    2. The Botanic Gardens

    As a mostly outdoor space, Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens were actually open for most of the first lockdown. It’s a great way to get some fresh air with a friend and see some of the Botanic’s interesting greenery. Entry is free but due to current restrictions on numbers you’ll need to book a ticketed time slot before arriving.

    Groups are currently limited to two people from two separate households.

    3. Edinburgh Leisure’s Tennis Courts

    Edinburgh Leisure’s tennis courts are a great way to fit some physical activity into your day and have fun while doing it. The courts are pretty popular so you should book ahead. You’ll need to bring your own ball and rackets.

    You can book Edinburgh Leisure’s Courts at The Meadows or Craiglockhart here.

    Image © Edinburgh Leisure

    4. The Great Game Treasure Hunts

    Do you love solving riddles? Why not try a treasure hunt by The Great Game. Once signed up they will send you an e-pack with all the materials you need to get started on your hunt. The activity should take between 2-3 hours.

    The prize is a pub discount, not much compared to the price of the tickets, but it’s all about the fun you’ll have while participating. Due to the prize involving alcohol please ensure you have a valid ID before signing up. You can choose to work together with your team mate or spice it up by competing head to head. As most pubs are currently closed due to CV-19 you may have to wait to redeem your prize.

    Are you a local Edinburgh business that’s re-opened? Send us an email at to be added to the list.

    Mimis Bakehouse Edinburgh, Corstorphine

    Mimi’s Bakehouse | Edinburgh | Review

    Food Reviews

    Mimi’s Bakehouse is a family founded bakery and local Edinburgh business. Expanding from having one location to several throughout Edinburgh, you know that the cakes must be delicious!

    Cakes 🍰

    Mimi’s Bakehouse always have a brilliant selection of cakes and do some great unique brownies and blondies. I’ve tried both the Oreo and raspberry brownies which were excellent. Between the two, I’d recommend the raspberry. The sweetness of the raspberry against the slightly less sweet chocolate just works so well.

    My mum also throughly enjoyed her cake, it was portioned well and the vanilla butter icing was “just so creamy”.

    Savoury Dishes & Lunches 🥣

    Mimi’s also has a breakfast and lunch menu. While not pictured here, in the past I’ve tried their eggs benedict which was amazing and I’d definitely have it again.

    Pictured below is Mimi’s pea soup which was also delicious, arrived hot, and was a nice mix of peas, herbs and cheese. All soups also come with a side of bread which definitely help to fill you up.

    Drinks ☕️

    MIMI’S DO GREAT CAPPUCCINOS! Yes, I meant to write that in all caps because they are just soo good. I get one every time I come here and they are always hot and frothed perfectly. However, if coffee’s not your thing you can also get a soft drink such as cola or a pot of tea.

    Mimi’s Bakehouse Rating

    Overall, I can’t fault Mimi’s. It’s just too good and the staff are always upbeat and friendly. If you’re in Edinburgh and would like to try Mimi’s but don’t have time to visit you can also order from them online. Looking for more sweet stops around Scotland’s capital? Check out our review of Karines.

    5 Scottish Unicorns out of 5


    Dishoom Edinburgh | Breakfast Review

    Food Reviews

    Dishoom Edinburgh is very well known and it’s no surprise. Based on the old Irani cafes of Bombay, the food is pretty unique!

    My husband is a big fan and has eaten here lots but somehow neither of us realised Dishoom also have a breakfast menu and oh is it good! Here’s our review of Dishoom Edinburgh’s breakfast and what we tried.


    If you order this breakfast dish you better have room! Full of flavour and protein keema per eedu will definitely fill you up. It consists of spicy chicken keema and liver. If you don’t know what that is (I didn’t) just imagine minced beef but chicken and liver flavoured. This makes up most of the bowl and is topped with two runny yolk-fried eggs and sali crisp-chips. But that’s not all, you also get two home-made buns to eat with the dish.

    I don’t think I have ever been so full after a breakfast before but it was great. The food was hot, fresh and the flavours well balanced. The runny eggs were cooked to perfection.


    The next dish we tried from Dishoom’s breakfast menu was Kejriwal which consists of two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast. The toast and eggs were done well and hubby really enjoyed the flavours, again a good balance.



    Lastly we had Bun Maska, a soft bun that comes with a tall glass of sweet chai tea. It’s eaten by dipping the bun in the tea and then taking a bite. Both of us really enjoyed this one and it only cost £3.70. I highly recommend it.


    For £2.90 you can get a full pot of tea. There wasn’t anything different about this tea from any other but it arrived hot, the lemon was a refreshing palette cleanser, and I really enjoyed it.


    Overall, I highly recommend the breakfast menu at Dishoom Edinburgh. The dishes were flavourful, unique and well put together. All of the food was fresh and hot. The service provided was superb and the staff were friendly and polite. We’ll definitely be returning in the future.


    5 Scottish Unicorns out of 5!


    Looking for something to do in Edinburgh after breakfast? See our reviews of Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Mercat Tours, and The Department of Magic.

    Marie Delices Creperie & Tea Room – Review

    Food Reviews

    Wandering through Edinburgh’s Morningside on a Saturday afternoon, we found everywhere to be full. Until we were lucky enough to stumble up this hidden gem, Marie Delices Creperie & Tea Room. A traditional French creperie and tea room specialising in breton crepes and galettes.

    We’d never heard of or tried a galette before coming here but we were glad that we did. You might be wondering what a galette is exactly? According to Google it’s a French term that describes “various types of flat, round, or freeform crusty cakes”.

    Inside of Marie Delices in Morningisde, Edinburgh.

    The Galettes

    I chose the salmon and cheese galette while hubby chose one with hummus, onion, olive and avocado. Both were delicious. The salmon and cheese with the sour cream went so well together. For drinks we ordered a simple chamomile tea and water. They arrived quickly and the staff were very friendly and talkative.

    Overall, I think we both fell in love with this place. The decor was adorable and it has a calm atmosphere. We will definitely be returning for more.

    Marie Delices Creperie & Tea Room Rating

    Rating: 4 Scottish Unicorns out of 5 🦄🦄🦄🦄

    Looking for more French food in Edinburgh? Check out our review of Karine Deli & Cafe.

    Karine Deli & Cafe Edinburgh – Review 🍰

    Food Reviews

    I love small cafes and patisseries, they are so cozy! We recently decided to stop at Karine Deli & Cafe in Edinburgh’s Morningside, in the mood to snack on something sweet and get out of the cold.

    Arriving at 4pm, we didn’t realise Karine closes at 4:30. Despite it being 30 minutes until close, the staff were very welcoming and genuinely happy to serve us. Of course, we made sure we were out before closing time and tidied up after ourselves.

    Cakes & Drinks

    Choosing our drinks, I went for a simple tea while the hubby chose a latte. It was then time for one of the things Karine is most known for – the cakes / sweets! We ordered a burnt basque cheesecake and raspberry meringue which arrived with a side of cream, both were so good! However, between the two, we recommend the cheesecake the most. It wasn’t overly sweet and well balanced. 🍰

    Karine is also full of unique French products. There were lots of wines, spreads, and so much cheeeese. A great place to buy some condiments for Christmas!

    Looking at the displays it was clear that there’s usually a lot more pastries and desserts available earlier in the day. So I’d definitely recommend going before the afternoon if you want to browse the full selection of what Karine has to offer. We will definitely be back to try even more goodies! 🙂 You can also see more of what they have to offer on their website at

    Karine Deli & Cafe Review Rating

    Rating: 4 Scottish Unicorns Out of 5 🦄🦄🦄🦄

    Looking for more great French cuisine in Edinburgh? Read our review of Marie Delices Creperie & Tea Room.