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Crime and Punishment: Explore Aberdeen's darker history on a walking audio tour

From bodysnatching and beheadings to witchcraft and whippings, we share real life stories of crime and punishment from the last 500 years on this self-guided GPS audio tour.

Along the way you’ll see major Aberdeen landmarks, from Marischal College to the Mercat Cross, and learn how they were witness to darkest chapters in the city’s history. Scot Free Tours sheds a light on the baffling and often unjust laws of the last five centuries – and reveals that past is not as far away as we think.

Thousands of people have loved our 5-star rated live tours and now you can experience them with freedom of an audio guide! The tour plays audio automatically at exactly the right time and place using your smartphone's GPS and the VoiceMap mobile app, which also works offline. Start the tour in the app, put your phone in your pocket, and let us guide you around Aberdeen.

The total walking distance is 3km and takes about 45 minutes without stopping, but you can pause anytime!

per adult from




45 to 135 minutes


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Lifetime access to this tour in English
    • VoiceMap app for Android and iOS
    • Offline access to audio, maps, and geodata
    What's excluded :
    • Smartphone and headphones
    • Transportation
    • Food and drink
    • Tickets or entrance fees to any museums or other attractions en route
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Pass By: The Tolbooth Museum, Town House Castle Street/Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 5BQ Scotland

    Now a museum, this used to be the gaol, where criminals in Aberdeen were kept. We’ll point out where public hangings used to take place as we start off our tour on crime and punishment in Aberdeen.

    Pass By: Castlegate, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB23 8SH Scotland

    The Mercat Cross is where public announcements would be made – and public punishment would be handed out. The structure is decorated with carvings of Scottish monarchs and we’ll be focusing on the story of one queen and how she dealt with an outbreak of treason.

    Pass By: Salvation Army Citadel, Castlegate, Aberdeen Scotland

    The tower of this impressive building is modelled on the one at Balmoral Castle. We’ll pass by it on the tour and it makes a great photo stop.

    Pass By: St. Andrew's Cathedral, 28 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5AX Scotland

    We’ll pass through Seabury Court next to St Andrew’s Cathedral to give you a sense of the winding streets Aberdeen used to have.

    Pass By: Marischal College Broad Street, Aberdeen AB10 1YS Scotland

    This used to be part of the University of Aberdeen and was traditionally where medical students would study. We’ll take you round the back to the Anatomy Rooms where dissections would take place and tell you all about Aberdeen’s relationship with bodysnatchers.

    Pass By: St. Nicholas Churchyard, Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JZ Scotland

    An atmospheric graveyard, filled with lots of history. We’ll point out the grave of one doctor whose morals left a lot to be desired. You'll also see the ‘mither kirk’ of Aberdeen, which used to be the centre of early Aberdeen. Learn about horrible church punishments and how witches were imprisoned.

    Pass By: The Green, Aberdeen AB11, UK

    People have been living in The Green for thousands of years – but don’t make the mistake of thinking that makes it old fashioned. It’s a small hipster enclave in Aberdeen with lots of street art and independent restaurants and shops. Here you will hear stories of the child-snatching gang that used to operate in Aberdeen.

    Pass By: Aberdeen Harbour, 16 Regent Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5SS Scotland

    Aberdeen grew up around its harbour - so it only makes sense that over the years it has been used for some particularly unpleasant punishments.

    Pass By: Aberdeen Maritime Museum, 52-56 Shiprow Provost Ross House, Aberdeen AB11 5BY Scotland

    The Maritime Museum is a delightful little museum that helps you get to grips with Aberdeen’s maritime past, from fishing to the oil industry. We pass it on our tour and there is a chance to go in and explore for yourselves.

  • Departure Point :
    The Tolbooth Museum, Castle St, Aberdeen AB11 5BB, UK
    Departure Time :
    Suppliers and travelers coordinate start times within the given time periods. 10/8/2019 - 12/31/2020
    Monday - Sunday:12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    1/1/2021 - 10/20/2021
    Monday - Sunday:12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Return Detail :
    Aberdeen Town House, Broad St, Aberdeen AB10 1AQ, UK
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • All of VoiceMap's audio tours are self-guided and users must bring their own smartphone and headphones to take the tour. We urge all our users to wear facemasks and carry hand sanitizer with them to ensure they're own protection and the protection of others.
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.


English - Audio

Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by VoiceMap

Activity ID: V-110804P191

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