Edinburgh – A Tale of Two Towns

A two-hour and fifteen minute walk through Edinburgh’s city centre, with a good coverage of the history of Edinburgh’s Old and New towns.

There’s equal focus on both the Old and New Towns and plenty of history about each thrown in.

The tour takes you from Greyfriar’s Bobby, down to the Grassmarket where you’re told about Edinburgh’s dark history of hangings and the story of Maggie Dickson, around the nooks, crannies and alleyways of the Royal Mile and through to the flat that belonged to David Hume, which stands outside Edinburgh’s Writer’s Museum. There, you’re given a brief overview of Edinburgh’s literary history, and fun tales of the Deacon Brodie Gang. As the tour leads you to Edinburgh’s New Town, the guide stops and talks about Edinburgh’s museums and the history of the Edinburgh Festivals. You’re taken to the beautiful floral clock in Princes’ Gardens where you also have fantastic views of Edinburgh Castle. Then down George Street for the history of the formation of the New Town and some intriguing tales about the Scott Monument back on Princes Street. The tour ends outside Princes’ Street shopping centre, where a walk up some steps and onto the grass gives you a lovely view of Arthur’s Seat.

There’s equal focus on both the Old and New Towns and plenty of history about each thrown in. The tour also provides informed knowledge regarding Edinburgh’s political and financial history as well as architectural styles, the natural history of the Mile’s crag and tail formation and Arthur Seat’s volcanic past.

The journey takes you through alleyways and to a few choice places with good views. But it’s a long tour at 2 hours 15 minutes and there’s no coverage of the cemeteries which are a fantastic part of Edinburgh and feature in the free tour. Clifton Hill is discussed about but never reached and there is arguably nothing better on this tour than there is on the free walking tour. It’s a good overview for tourists but if you’re smart, you’re best saving your money and taking in Edinburgh’s excellent free options.

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

On our tour we will reveal some of the secrets hidden within a city rich in culture and ancient history and blessed with beauty. We will tell you real stories that bring the past and its people vividly to life. We stroll along the narrow streets of the Old Town revealing the secrets that lie hidden in their dark closes, then to Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town with its blend of ancient and modern architecture and a sense of Edinburgh moving into a more modern era. In other words, a fantastic introduction to Edinburgh.