Athens of the North
Half-Day Guided Walking Tour of Edinburgh New Town
Exchange to alternative tours will be offered if closures persist.
If symmetry, uniformity and simplicity is your idea of ultimate beauty, this New Town walking tour for you. Wonder at the Scottish Enlightenment as you roam with us through the grand crescents undamaged by insensitive Victorian and 20th century interventions. Grasp the origins of typical Georgian details on a stroll in the elegantly uniform sandstone streets lined with the graceful cast ironwork of the street lamps.
Take a glimpse inside the most magnificent banking hall in Europe and soak in the neoclassical ornaments under the starlit dome designed to impress the bank’s patrons. En route, discover the charming mews lanes crouching behind the grandiose crescents.
While enjoying your lunch in exquisite surroundings of a former bank, discuss the influences of the 18th century Grand Tours that gave birth to Neoclassicism and Greek Revival in Britain.
Half Day | Lunch Stop | £57pp
A tour for modern Georgians. Soak in the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenment and roam beyond the first New Town.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend 5 hours in Edinburgh.”
Group size: Public tours consist of small groups up to 8 people. Custom group sizes apply to private tours.
Duration: 4.5 – 5 hours
Price: £57pp*. Private tours from £228. Custom pricing for groups. Meal price not included.
Distance covered: 4,5km
Meet: City Chambers, 253 High St.
Finish: Royal Circus
Weather contingency: Tours run rain or shine!
Languages: Public tours in English. Contact us to check guide availability for private New Town walking tours in Russian and Lithuanian.
*Minimum booking: Tours will depart with a payment for minimum 2 people.
On this in-depth New Town walking tour, we will explore the first New Town and beyond: into the monumental crescents and picturesque lanes on its elegantly built-up slopes.
We will start our walk in the dignified courtyard of City Chambers, which was one of the first improvements to the city brought by Lord Provost George Drummond.
While crossing the North Bridge we will appreciate the elegant dome of Robert Adam’s Register House, that was to set the tone for the further development of the splendid New Town.
Dundas house, the only villa in the New Town, will reveal an exquisite later extension with a starlit dome, serving as a banking hall.
On our way to the Queen street’s private gardens, we will discover the Royal College of Physicians, and the unusual ensemble at Thistle Court.
The group will pick up the principles of Georgian Neoclassical planning through discussing James Craig’s famous masterplan on George Street, while appreciating the views down to the river Forth.
Having soaked in the charms of Robert Adam’s palatial facades at Charlotte square, we will break for a meal in a lavish setting of a former Victorian bank. Here, we will undoubtedly discuss the Grand Tours that influenced Georgian ideas on beauty.
Built on the slopes, Lord Moray’s development in Greek Revival style will impress even those who travel to far less humble cities than Edinburgh, only to be outplayed by Playfair’s Royal Circus.
Exploration of the second New Town will allow glimpses into the picturesque mews lanes and uniform residential streets, all worth bringing a good camera.