Discover ‘The Traitors’ of Edinburgh’s dark past

A city of intrigue and mystery

Edinburgh, the stunning capital city of Scotland, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and mystery waiting to be uncovered. From its medieval and Georgian architecture to its modern-day attractions, there’s something intriguing around every corner. And for fans of suspense and mystery, Edinburgh offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of espionage inspired by the BBC television series, “The Traitors.”

Edinburgh Castle on a foggy night.

Edinburgh’s dark history

“The Traitors” is one of the most talked-about game shows of recent years. It follows a group of contestants who must work together to uncover who among them is secretly sabotaging their efforts. The tension, suspense, and sense of mystery that permeate each episode echo all the historical tales you will find every step you take along Edinburgh’s old streets. If you want to discover what life was like for real traitors of the past, then let Edinburgh tell you its story.

Edinburgh’s darkest secrets can be found in its Old Town, which sits south of Edinburgh Castle. Perched atop Castle Rock, it is only a small walk away from Parliament House Hotel. This world-famous fortress has witnessed centuries of intrigue, battles, and secrets. It was the epicentre of many plans and schemes as it switched hands multiple times during the 1296-1329 Wars of Independence between Scotland and England. Imagine all the secret whispers that took place in these corridors!

Times of mystery and intrigue

Edinburgh also has a history of finding witches at a time when fear of dark magic and the occult was very real. Secrets and gossip could often escalate, with deeply tragic consequences for women across the city. More people were strangled and burnt at the stake on Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade than anywhere else in Scotland. You can visit this spot, the Witches Well, today.

St Giles Cathedral in the evening.

Heading out from the castle is the Royal Mile, a popular cobbled street lined with historic buildings, shops, and pubs. This is only a few minutes’ walk away from our hotel, right in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town. This iconic street is brimming with stories of Edinburgh’s past. Explore the majestic St. Giles’ Cathedral and the atmospheric closes and wynds that can be found throughout the old town. For a glimpse of how Edinburgh used to look hundreds of years ago, be sure to visit The Real Mary King’s Close. This offers an insight into what the streets looked like and what life must have been like for ordinary people who battled poverty and plague.

Enjoy a drink…if you can!

Finally, why not end you day with a visit to one of Edinburgh’s biggest secrets – a speakeasy? These popular bars take inspiration from the illicit bars of the USA during prohibition. With a fake front, you won’t know they are there unless you have insider knowledge. What sort of secret plans are afoot once you pass through the secret doors? Try to find Panda & Sons – a barbers on the outside, but fun on the inside! 

Intrigue in Edinburgh doesn’t stop there! Be sure to check out Deacon Brodie’s Tavern and find out about one of Edinburgh’s most secretive individuals. A respected member of Edinburgh’s society by day, he was a notorious thief and leader of a gang of burglars by night. He was ultimately hanged by a gibbet he had redesigned himself. If his story reminds you of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, then that’s because author Robert Louis Stevenson took inspiration from Brodie’s story! You can find out more about Scottish authors at The Writers Museum.

Faithful…or traitor?

Edinburgh offers a thrilling blend of history, mystery, and intrigue that will captivate fans of “The Traitors”. Wherever you explore, Edinburgh invites you to uncover its secrets. Take time to decide if you would have been a Faithful, or a Traitor! And why not enjoy all of this with a stay at Parliament House Hotel? With thousands of years of Edinburgh’s history within walking distance from your room, we make the perfect base for digging into the city’s wonderful past. Check out our offers – including our city break with underground tour.