Edinburgh without walking tours

With all Edinburgh walking tours currently on hold, an empty city, after a month in quarantine, the new reality starts to sink in. We must get on with our work and lives as best as we can. What is our guiding team currently up to, while we wait for travel to come back?

For tourism the economic repercussions of a pandemic on this scale are huge. We lost our income from guided tours in Edinburgh, and we cannot even predict when it is going to come back.

However, while the tourism industry has hit pause, we keep our chins high and use the downtime wisely! (While we suspended walking tours, we are still taking enquiries for future bookings and selling gift cards). Today we discuss how the lives of our team have changed during the first month of lockdown 2020.

Portrait image of Russian architecture tour guide
Olga | Founder and tour guide
Books, tea and sketchbook by our Edinburgh walking tour guide
New reality: books and sketches

Olga | Founder and Tour Guide

With walking tours and teaching suspended, I found myself with so much time on my hands I did not know what to do with it until recently. After an obvious initial shock, I accepted the situation and decided to keep developing the walking tours so our offer is even stronger when everyone is free to explore Edinburgh again. I spend a lot of time reading books on Edinburgh (watch out for our next post about that!) to grow the content of our guided tours. It has also been quite therapeutic to sketch new graphics for our website, something I never found time for before!

Since I have so much time now, I also took up the opportunity to work on an interior design of Edinburgh tenement flat. Pencils, scale rulers, and measuring tapes, here I come!

What I really miss about leading Edinburgh walking tours is seeing the wonder in the eyes of the visitors exploring our beautiful city for the first time, as I reveal a juicy story behind a facade, or show them a magnificent view. Even the locals have these magical moments exploring their own city, which reminds me of the sense of a quest, a treasure hunt, when I was first putting our Edinburgh walking tours together.

Laptop and tea on the table by our Edinburgh walking tour guide
New reality: professional accreditation
Agustina | Tour guide and writer

Agustina | Tour Guide and Writer

Over the past few days I have been keeping myself busy working on my application for associate membership for the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). IHBC is the United Kingdom professional body for historic environment conservation specialists.  Members of the IHBC work in areas that help secure the conservation of historic places, buildings, sites or valuable areas. IHBC membership will help me develop my professional career and keep my skills up to date with their numerous events. 

Additionally, I take advantage of my free time to work on architectural sketches. I enjoy drawing and trying different techniques, my latest experiment being the use of watercolours.

What I miss most about guiding tours is interacting with people. Having the possibility to meet people from all over the world and discuss architecture with them is an extremely fulfilling experience. I miss walking through the incredible city of Edinburgh and admiring its buildings and history. Every walk is mesmerising, you always find new hidden secrets in this environment of incredible heritage.


Portrait image of French architecture tour guide
Marie | Tour guide and writer
Laptop screen with an architectural model on the screen on a table with a garden in the background by Edinburgh walking tour guide
New reality: digital thesis submissions

Marie | Tour Guide and Writer

Since the confinement started, I’ve had to leave Edinburgh and come back home to France. I’m currently in my family house with my parents, my three brothers and my dog, Pinouche.
I still have to finish my university project to complete my Master in Architecture. As everything is now online, I am currently working on making digital models of my project to best illustrate my work.
During this time I’ve missed walking around Edinburgh on my tours and talking to interesting people about architecture. However, I have been lucky enough to be able to work outside and have been offered online yoga lessons by the Architecture Department so my stress levels during this confinement have remained low.

Like you, we are busy reading and dreaming of the time when we can tour again. For now all tours are suspended, but we are open for future bookings, and gift card sales. 

The tourism industry needs your help during these difficult times. We are a small, independent business. You can support us through the crisis by taking  audio tours or purchasing gift cards for audio tours. Tour gift cards will be valid for an extended period of two years.

If you have been on a tour with us and haven’t yet written a review, you can write a review here. Or maybe you have, but your brother, partner or friends haven’t yet. Please ask them! 


We’ve done architectural tours in a number of cities and this ranks among the top!” 

Lynn, Edinburgh

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