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Architecture of Money

Private Architectural Walking Tour in Edinburgh New Town

Private 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.


Tour available in English | Russian | Lithuanian

2km. Moderate activity level. Stairs and uneven surfaces.

Family discount 30% with code FAMILY at checkout

All private Edinburgh tours from £108 per tour

Tours last 2h. Recommended start time 10am, but other times are available on request.

Working to latest COVID-19 guidelines

Private tour Calendar

Architecture of Money

Private | 2h | from £108 per tour

“One of the highlights was the access to the locked Queen Street Gardens!”




Edinburgh New Town Tour Details

Availability: Tours run all year. Check the calendar for available times.

Duration: 2 hours

Price: Private tours for 1-4 people, £108. Groups of 5-8, £27pp. Custom pricing for groups larger than 8.

Distance covered: 2km

Activity level: Walking at moderate pace. Uneven surfaces and a few stairs.

Meet: 6 Waterloo Place, outside of Rabbie’s Cafe.

Finish: Charlotte Square

Weather contingency: Tours run rain or shine!

Languages: English, Russian and Lithuanian

Nick, Bristol
The New Town tour was informative and well-timed with a guide who was both friendly and enthusiastic! I attended with my BSc Urban Planning students at UWE Bristol who really enjoyed the experience.
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Thomas, Staffordshire
We were novices to Georgian architecture but this added to the enjoyment of the walking tour. Olga encouraged us to ask questions, express opinions, stimulate discussion and go off at any tangent. We visited places and spotted things which on our own we would have simply have missed. The tour was relaxed and easy going. Highly recommended.
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Caroline, Edinburgh
Really excellent and informative private tour. Nick (a PhD Architecture student) and my architect father found lots to talk about in the planning and detailing of the New Town, but the tour was also fascinating for the rest of us. Even though I have lived in Edinburgh for years I still learned and saw new things.
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Michael, Berlin
The tour given by Olga was very interesting. She had many facts and good knowledge about architectural details in general and the Georgian buildings specifically. We also got a stroll through the private park in Queen's street, a place you are normally not allowed to visit. We can highly recommend this guided tour.
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Lisa, Edinburgh
Olga is very well informed and a great communicator. We really enjoyed her overview as well as the little details that we never knew even though we live in Edinburgh. Highly recommended.
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Mary, Toronto
We had a lovely couple of hours with Olga, our Cobble Tales tour guide, wandering through New Town Edinburgh and learning about the architecture and history of the area. Olga is knowledgeable with excellent communication skills and we left the tour knowing much more than we had at the start.
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Lynn, Edinburgh
This is a really interesting and informative tour of New Town and architecture of the Georgian period. One of the highlights was access to the locked Queen Street Gardens! We've done architectural tours in a number of cities and this ranks among the top!
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Edinburgh New Town Tour Desciption

Scottish Enlightenment

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. 

Register House

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.