walking tours of Edinburgh

the Old Town walking tour

Your own personal, private, walking tour into the heart of the Old Town. This tour with an Private Walking Tour of the Edinburgh Old Town Edinburgh guide will introduce you to the old city giving an overview and orientation of the main sights including the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Gladstone’s Land, the Writer’s Museum (Lady Stair’s House), Greyfriars' graveyard, St. Giles Cathedral, Parliament Hall, John Knox’s House, the Trinity Kirk, The Huntly House Museum of Edinburgh, the Scottish Parliament, and Holyrood Palace and Abbey, as well as opening your imagination to the medieval city of old Edinburgh with its throngs of people, its characters, over-crowded buildings and closes (narrow alleys). Why not complete the walk with a drink at one of the many old town pubs such as the Halfway House? (recommended time: 3 hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.

the New Town walking tour

a stand alone or a continuation of the first tour, this tour encapsulates the grandeur and splendour New Town Private Walking Tour Edinburghof 18th century Georgian Edinburgh including Calton Hill, Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens, the National Galleries at the Mound, George Street, and Charlotte Square, and includes an overview of the city in the ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Romantic’ periods, periods that saw such illustrious New Town residents as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and David Hume. A fitting culmination of this tour can be a drink at a new town pub such as Rebus’ Oxford Bar, the Café Royal with its marble floor, brass foot-rails and Royal Doulton tiled murals, or the Guildford Arms with its respectable selection of real ales. (recommended time: 3 hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, for one to six people, are from: £37.50 per hour with the number of hours being agreed before the tour. Tours can be arranged for larger numbers also. Please email us. with any private tour request.

the Robert Burns in Edinburgh walking tour

Robert Burns Private Walking Tour EdinburghRobert Burns is known as one of the world's foremost poets, and for a while he lived in Edinburgh. Witness the dynamic story of Burns in the city with A Royal Mile Burns Walk. Experienced tour guide and actor Peter Berry will take you on an entertaining and educational journey in the Royal Mile, which served as the backdrop for Burns’ inspiration (recommended time: one and a half hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.

the Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson in Edinburgh walking tour

Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson Private Walking Tour Edinburgh

Did you know that Edinburgh was once home to some of history’s most notable writers? Come learn about literary icons Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson amidst the inspiring backdrop of Edinburgh’s old city! In the delightful surroundings of the historic Royal Mile, experience this engaging ninety-minute walk that starts at the Canongate Church and ends at the Writers Museum.

Join actors Peter Berry and John Shedden in the spirit of Burns and Stevenson as they perform and illuminate, with humorous interplay, many of the famous works of two of Scotland's greatest writers! (recommended time: one and a half hours) Please email to enquire about booking.

the villages of Edinburgh walking tour

Delve into Edinburgh’s storied past with a visit to the villages that once surrounded the city! Most visitors to Edinburgh get to explore the Old and New Towns, which are rightly world famous. Yet lying just to the north within easy walking distance are seven separate village communities which predate the building of the New Town. These historic villages were gradually subsumed in the 18th and 19th centuries, but they have left traces for us to discover. The Villages of Edinburgh walk explores these settlements, providing a unique perspective on the city and its past.

Villages of Edinburgh Guided Walking Tour GuideEach walk is around four miles and takes in pleasant riverside paths and secret areas not often found by the casual visitor!

This tour with John Stewart-Young, former Head of Museums in Dundee and a Director of Dundee Industrial Heritage, is suitable for ages 16 and up.(recommended time 3 hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.

the Dean Village, Stockbridge and Water of Leith walking tour

Edinburgh has a superb natural waterway that wends its way through some of the lesser-known parts of the city, and on this fascinating bucolic walking tour you can see nature, cultural and Water of Leith Guided Tour industrial history all entwined. Starting at Roseburn, or, for a shorter walk starting at the Gallery of Modern Art, we walk to Dean Village, a settlement which grew from medieval times based on the industry of its water mills. Once a major route into Edinburgh, Dean Village was bypassed in Victorian times by Telford's Dean Bridge to become a hidden village in a gorge (dene) of the Water of Leith. The village gives a great example of 17th century architecture in 15 Bell's Brae, the building of the Baxters (bakers) Guild, and of late Victorian social housing at Well Court with its attractive clock tower. We saunter along paths criss-crossing the water, by the weirs and stopping at St. Bernard's Well with its Vestal structure and statue of the Greek goddess Hygieia (the goddess of health) to the self-contained neighbourhood of Stockbridge with its interesting bookshops and cafes (recommended time 3 hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.

the Seven Hills of Edinburgh walking tour

This is a marathon-like (well over a half-marathon anyway!) walking tour of 15 miles taking in all seven hills of the outer ring of Edinburgh's peaks, stunning views and substantial exercise, from Calton Hill to Castle Hill, by the Water of Leith and along Ravelston Dykes to Corstorphine Hill, descend to the Union Canal, and make a beeline for Wester Craiglockart Hill, by Morningside to the Braid Hills and across the Hermitage of Braid to surmont Blackford Hill, by the obervatory and the Grange and Newington to enter Holyrood Park for the final ascent: Arthur's Seat. This is a long day's walk. Why not top this one off with a supper and a well earned drink and rest in the welcome shade of Edinburgh's most venerable crags? (recommended time 6-7 hours.) Please email to enquire about booking.


Scotland tour at its best

Hutton geology tour

James Hutton Private Walking Tour Edinburgh


Scotland is known for the wide range of rocks, fossils and minerals and it is possible to see a surprising number of these without leaving the City of Edinburgh. Dr Al McGowan, a geologist and palaeontologist, will guide you around six sites in the eastern part of Central Edinburgh of both geological and cultural significance with themes ranging from volcanoes to fossil fishes. The tour starts at the Commonwealth Pool and finishes at the James Hutton Memorial Garden just off the Cowgate/Pleasance area. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and it is possible to alter the route for parties who would prefer to avoid long flights of stairs while still visiting all the sites. A preview of the tour stops is available at Local Geodiversity Sites

defend the castle!

This is a tour that brings to life the three different defensive walls of Edinburgh, illustrating the military and social circumstances around the wall building periods, and their impact on the development of the city. 1 1/2 hour private tour with Ken Latham. Please email for booking information.

city muse...

As simmer rains bring simmer flow’rs, And leaves to cleed the birken bow’rs, Sae beauty gets, by caller show’rs, Sae rich a bloom

As for estate, or heavy dow’rs Aft stands in room.

What makes Auld Reikie’s dames sae fair? It canna be the halesome air, But caller burn beyond compare, The best of ony, That gars them a’ sic graces skair, And blink sae bonny.

On May-day in a fairy ring, We’ve seen them round St Anthon’s spring, Frae grass the caller dew draps wring, To weet their een, And water clear as crystal spring, To synd them clean.

O may they still pursue the way To look sae feat, sae clean, sae gay! Then shall their beauties glance like May, And, like her, be

The goddess of the vocal spray, The Muse, and me.

an extract from 'Caller Water' Robert Fergusson 1773 (''caller' is Scots for fresh)

Edinburgh B&Bs and Guest Houses

Royal Mile Tour Edinburgh

My first recommendation for accommodation in Edinburgh is with Ross Birnie at 23 Mayfield. I have worked successfully with Ross for seven years. With easy access by foot and bus to the Old and New Towns, this restored Victorian villa is very comfortable, with imaginative and locally sourced breakfasts, and Ross Birnie as the friendly owner and most welcoming host.

Another great guest house on the edge of the New Town is Sharon and Norrie's Ramsays Guest House. This combines comfort and attention to detail in a convenient location and at an affordable price.

For an Edinburgh hotel I recommend highly the Apex Waterloo Place, in the New Town but still close to the Old Town

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, for one to six people, are from: £37.50 per hour with the number of hours being agreed before the tour. Tours can be arranged for larger numbers also. Please email us with any private tour request.