All Around Britain: Alex and Ria go underground in Edinburgh

This week on All Around Britain Alex Beresford and Ria Hebden get in the Halloween spirit as they go underground in Edinburgh.

The Blair Street Vaults are a series of chambers and rooms beneath Edinburgh’s South Bridge, which was built in the 18th century.

Shops and taverns used the underground spaces to trade, until the damp and dimly lit conditions forced them to move out.

The vaults soon became an overcrowded, filthy, disease ridden slum and stories say that illegal taverns, distilleries, brothels and drug dens took over the vaults and it became a playground for criminals, murderers, thieves and even body snatchers.

In the 1860s, the vaults were filled with rubble and stone and permanently closed. It wasn’t until the 1980s that they were rediscovered and excavated.

Since reopening they have been taken over by Mercat Tours and there have been a number of claims of ghost sightings and strange noises from the rooms underneath Edinburgh.

The vaults are said to be Edinburgh’s most haunted site and have been visited by world renowned paranormal investigators.

Alex and Ria put on a brave face and went to find out more.

Lisa Williams explains how much of Edinburgh Castle's history is still untold.

Illustrations of the 'Moorish Lassies' by Jacqueline Briggs and David Simon.

Also in this week's episode the pair explore Edinburgh castle and some of its lesser known history.

They learn about two young African girls referred to as 'Moorish lassies' who lived at the castle and were ladies-in-waiting to the King's daughter, Lady Margaret.

They're also told tales of musicians and other intriguing residents who stayed there all those years ago.

And how do you say you’re in Scotland without saying you’re in Scotland?

Ria and Alex get up close and personal with a key part of Scottish heritage as they meet with apprentice bagpipe maker Ruari Black who attempts to give them a lesson in playing the pipes.

Also on the show this week the team witness the 'Snettisham Spectacular' in Norfolk, head to Durham Cathedral to meet with some bats with bad habits and ride with an inspiring group of visually-impaired bikers from Huddersfield.

Watch the penultimate episode of All Around Britain on ITV this Sunday at 11:55 - Or catch up on ITV Hub!