Edinburgh History tour in 8 books

Take an Edinburgh history tour on your sofa while you’re dreaming of your next stroll through its atmospheric streets. Whether you are a local, a traveller reminiscing about your last visit, or only just dreaming about your first trip to Edinburgh, we have a list of books to entertain the armchair academic within you!

Edinburgh Art deco Architecture II

We knew we could not do justice to Edinburgh Art Deco architecture scene with just one story, and so many of our readers messaged us with suggestions for a second post. We listened, and here are some lesser known or more remote architectural treasures from the Art Deco movement in Edinburgh.

Social housing buildings in Edinburgh before WWII

In 2020, an exhibition named “Housing to 2040” is set to “help to inform the Scottish Government’s final vision and route map for housing over the next 20 years”. The portable exhibition will travel around Scotland, providing a public platform for the public to engage in the conversations about housing and places of the future.

Unbuilt Edinburgh

With motorways going through the city, different buildings serving as landmarks, or even a different castle, Edinburgh could have been a drastically contrasting city with what it is today. By exploring what the Scottish capital could have been, we can make sense of the cityscape that we know. Alternatives help to explain decisions made and understand our current built heritage. Therefore, it is interesting to examine unbuilt architectural projects.
Here is a selection of the most interesting schemes proposed for Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Art Deco Architecture

It’s easy to imagine Edinburgh as just a medieval Old Town alongside a Georgian New Town. But our city was never one to stand still, especially during the inter-war period. Our burgh contains numerous hidden 20th century gems that should be admired. Last month we looked at the brutalist heritage of the 1960s. Today let’s jump a few decades earlier and discover the Art Deco Edinburgh of the 1920s and 30s.


Standardisation was used as a tool against the threat of fire. However, this method was not completely successful in stopping fires in the old town. Disastrous fires in Edinburgh prompted large scale urban planning projects in the Old Town, which allowed for wider, cleaner, uniform streets.


In Part 2 of the series I look at how, after centuries of frequent and repetitive burnings, the city of
Edinburgh started to use its architecture to prevent and reduce fires. Control through laws and regulations was used as a means of prevention.

Edinburgh Old Town: City Shaped by Fire. Part 1

In this three-part series, I explore how the different forms of fire,
from the physical element, the threat of burning, and the control of this
fire, have all lead to the uniformity of architecture in the historic heart of Edinburgh.

To Replicate or to Readapt?

At the time of speculations on the replacement of the spire at Notre Dame de Paris, we take a look at how Edinburgh has dealt with restoration of its lost architecture.

Many ways to cross the Forth

The river Forth boasts an awe-inspiring set of bridges. All built with a different structural approach, they bring many an engineer for a tour.