The Model City
Edinburgh New Town tour for the admirers of scholarly classical beauty
Edinburgh New Town tour, just north of Princes Street. Soak in the Scottish Enlightenment spirit on a walk through the largest Georgian planned town development in the world.
Stroll the ordered, symmetrical grid of Neoclassical tenements and romantic landscapes of private gardens.
Grasp the origins of typical Georgian details as your guide introduces the palatial facades, elegant ironwork of the New Town street lights, sunken floors, and a palette of sandstone finishes.
2h | £27pp
THE MODEL CITY
For the admirers of scholarly classical beauty
“One of the highlights was the access to the locked Queen Street Gardens!”
Edinburgh New Town Tour Details
Availability: Edinburgh New Town 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: £27pp. Private tours from £108. Custom pricing for groups.
Distance covered: 2km
Meet: 6 Waterloo Place, outside of Rabbie’s Cafe.
Finish: Charlotte Square
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 Edinburgh New town tours in Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Lithuanian.
The Model City of Edinburgh New Town
On this Georgian period history walk we will explore how the orderly, symmetrical Neoclassical masterplan of Edinburgh’s New Town became the physical embodiment of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Indeed, this brave vision come true would not have been possible without the intellectual curiosity and confidence of the era.
The Edinburgh New Town tour will start near Register House that Robert Adam designed to set the tone for the further development of the splendid New Town.
As we approach the main axis of the area, George Street, the group will discover the principles behind the masterplan of the New Town, designed to chime with the Enlightenment ideas in a graphical form, as well as glorify the union between Scotland and England.
Further, an unexpected ensemble in Thistle Court will surprise you with its contrasting nature to the rest of the Neoclassical tenements.
A visit to private gardens
To escape the hustle and bustle of the streets, we will enter the private Queen Street Gardens to admire the romantic Claudian landscapes, and smell the flowers.
Your tour guide will explain the typical elements of the New Town such as sunken basements, underground vaults, and fanlight windows. As we get up and close with the townhouses, the role of varying stone finishes will also be introduced.
The gem of New Town - Charlotte Square
Once in Charlotte square, the group will admire Robert Adam’s magnificent palatial façades, which will help us discover the origins of ubiquitous classical details such as Corinthian capitals, bucrania, and sphinxes.
Here we will also find the elegant original ironwork such as street lights, railings, and boot scrapers.