Dean Village tour for those eager to explore off the beaten path
Edinburgh Dean Village tour in a lush valley with a focus on key Scottish architectural features. Stroll up the green banks of the Water of Leith to marvel at the goddess Hygiea within a Neoclassical mineral water temple, then take in the 1830s stonework of Dean Bridge designed by Thomas Telford.
After discovering the picturesque Baronial legacy of the ancient milling village, learn about the Victorian social housing building of Well Court. Lastly, walk through a chic 19th-century cemetery to see two exceedingly glamorous Georgian orphanages now converted into modern art galleries.
2h | £27pp
For those eager to explore off the beaten path
“We found ourselves applying our new knowledge of architectural features for the remainder of our trip!”
Dean Village Tour Details
Availability: Tours run all year. Check the calendar for available times. Other times available on request for private tours.
Group size: Public tours consist of small groups up to 8 people. Custom group sizes apply to private tours.
Duration: 2 hours
Price: £27. Private tours from £108. Custom pricing for groups.
Distance covered: 3km
Meet: Stockbridge Market
Finish: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Weather contingency: Tours run rain or shine!
Languages: Public tours in English. Private tours with an instant confirmation are available in French. Contact us to check guide availability for Dean Village tours in Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Lithuanian, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu.
Heritage Valley of Edinburgh Dean Village
The walk will start in Stockbridge market, with an introduction of the history of villages around medieval Edinburgh.
The party will then stroll along the Water of Leith while trying to spot abundant local wildlife. Here your guide will analyse the origins of Alexander Nasmith’s ideas and the embodiment of a Claudian landscape that is the site of St Bernard’s Well.
Having acquainted ourselves with the influences of 1750s grand tours, we will approach the magnificent Dean bridge, Thomas Telford’s structure to connect Dean Estate to the New Town.
In the heart of Dean Village
The group will then arrive right to the heart of Dean Village, the Baxter’s guild’s settlement that still contains the old bridge, tollbooth, a mill, and a weir.
Here the role of flour milling, its heyday, and eventual demise will be discussed. Using existing buildings as examples, your guide will introduce you to the wider subject of Scottish Baronial architecture.
Victorian Social Housing
As we navigate the lanes of Dean Village, the group will come upon the red sandstone building of Well Court, Victorian social housing funded by a local philanthropist and the owner of the Scotsman Newspaper.
On the way to the galleries, your guide will take you through a fashionable 19th century cemetery and familiarise you with a few influential figures buried there.
Thomas Hamilton’s orphanage turned gallery will present a great opportunity to discuss Edinburgh philanthropy traditions as well as discover various stone finishes of Georgian Edinburgh.
The tour will end with a perfect shot from the landform sculpture by Charles Jencks facing a beautiful example of stark Greek Revival architecture.