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Worth a trip if you're in Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Dungeon (Edinburgh)
Member Name: suz1584
The Edinburgh Dungeon (Edinburgh)
Advantages: Fun and Enjoyable Visit
Disadvantages: Expensive if you don't book online
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.
Summary: Great Experience and I'd probably go Again
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