Architectural Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Old Town tour for the seekers of romantic bonnie Scotland
Edinburgh Old Town tour, just south of Princes Street. With your expert guide you will discover how the city was first built up on the rocky volcanic landscape, find the look-alikes of medieval Baronial castles around the Royal Mile, and hear how Victorian architects revived the unique Scots national architectural style within the Old Town.
On your way, learn how the oldest existing buildings in Edinburgh inspired the new generation of architects, producing such outstanding contemporary architecture as the National Museum and the famous Scottish Parliament.
2.5h | £27pp
A tour for the seekers of romantic bonnie Scotland
“Things I would have never noticed without the trained eye of my guide”
Edinburgh Old Town Tour Details
Availability: Edinburgh Old Town tours run all year. Check the calendar for available times. Limited offer of public tours during August, but private tours can be arranged by request.
Group size: Public tours run with small groups of up to 8 people. Custom group sizes apply to private tours.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Price: £27pp. Private tours from £108. Custom pricing for groups.
Distance covered: 4km
Meet: 6 Waterloo Place, outside of Rabbie’s Cafe.
Finish: Scottish Parliament, bottom of Royal Mile.
Weather contingency: Tours run rain or shine!
Hidden Castles of Edinburgh Old Town
Royal Burgh of Edinburgh
The Old Town is the most popular attraction in Edinburgh. It contains the oldest buildings in the city and is steeped in fascinating and complex history. Hence, one can truly feel the medieval spirit of the burgh on the walking tour amongst the countless turrets and gables.
Established as a royal burgh in 1125, Edinburgh has developed from a fortress into a market town of half-timbered houses. However, these were later superseded by less fire prone stone buildings, some of which have survived since 15th century.
Igneous rock under Royal Mile provided perfect solid foundation for the tall tenements that grew in height and density as a result of enclosing the city with defensive walls.
Where are the hidden castles?
This Edinburgh Old Town tour will start near Waverley Bridge with a jaw-dropping sight of the dense Old town tenements perched on the slopes of the Royal Mile. We will walk through the elegant serpentine Cockburn street, under the multitude of crow stepped gables and turrets. Here, the group will learn how the political alliances influenced Scottish Baronial architecture.
Royal Mile and its closes
While on the Royal Mile, your guide will narrate the story of the city’s landmark and the oldest building on the street – St Giles Cathedral. Around the corner, you will discover the national museum inspired by Corbusian geometries and Iron Age Pictish structures.
Canongate and Scottish Parliament
Next, to seek out the oldest remaining tenements and houses, you will explore a sequence of atmospheric alleys, courtyards and terraces,
The walk will take you down the Royal Mile into Canongate, previously a separate burgh built up with nobles’ mansions, where we will admire some elegant contemporary student housing.
At last, you will savour the story of the controversial postmodern Arts & Crafts building – the Scottish Parliament.
Keep exploring Edinburgh through architecture
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