Old Town (Extended)

Private Architecture Walking Tour

For true explorers

Edinburgh Old Town closes and courtyards hide unexpected vistas, gardens, picturesque buildings and  historical locations. It is too much to fit in a shorter walk, but if you are truly curious to discover all that Old Town has to offer, this private tour is for you. 

5h

£

47pp

English | Russian | Lithuanian

Start near the Tourist Office

 

Discover the remains of ancient Edinburgh city walls

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On the extended tour we will have a chance to go inside some of the buildings if the opening hours permit.

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Zoom in on the hiding architectural creatures with binoculars

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Find out more ins&outs than an Edinburgh local would know

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Take in the greenery of Royal Mile hidden gardens

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Optional entry to St Gyles Crown Tower – experience one of the most distinct Edinburgh landmarks from inside

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Break for a meal in a lavish Neoclassical setting of Signet Library (meal price not included)

 

Full Description of the Extended Old Town Architecture Tour

The walk will start near Waverley Bridge with an introduction of Edinburgh history told with a backdrop Old Town panorama. The group will then delve into foreign architectural influences and the development of Scottish Baronial style as we walk through the serpentine of Cockburn street. 
Amid the hustle and bustle of the Old Town social and physical backbone, The Royal Mile, your guide will narrate the story of the city’s landmark and oldest building on the street – St Giles Cathedral. Around the corner you will discover the city’s latest post modern museum inspired by Corbusian geometries and Iron Age Pictish structures. 

After visiting Grassmarket and admiring the spectacular change of levels on Victoria Terrace, the group will discover a series of historical courtyards full of Scottish Baronial gems, such as James court, Riddle court and Ramsay garden where we will learn about the influence that a visionary biologist turned town planner Patric Geddes had on the Edinburgh Old Town.
Following a brief introduction of the New Town with a beautiful view towards the Firth of Forth delta, the party will sit down for lunch  in a magnificent Signet library that was converted into a restaurant of nouveau Scottish Cuisine.

We will then march down the Royal Mile into Canongate, a previously separate burgh built up with nobles’ mansions and sneak into little hidden orchards such as Trunks Close, Dunbar Garden, and Chessel’s Court. 

Towards the end of the tour you will be able to see how historical architecture influenced sensitive modern development in the Old Town. At last, you will savour the story of the Post Modern Arts&Crafts building – the Scottish Parliament.

Things you can do before and after the Old Town Tour

The sign outside Tourist information Centre

Edinburgh iCentre

If you get to our meeting point early, why not plan the rest of your visit to Edinburgh or Scotland by visiting the tourist information centre.

Architecture of the Debating Chamber at the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

The walking tour ends just outside the Scottish Parliament, which you can visit to rally appreciate the power of architectural thought applied to this building.

Two people drinking tea after a walking tour

Café at the Palace

After the tour, rest your legs and have a warm beverage in the beautiful setting of Palace Café, indoor and garden seating available.