Stroll across the side of the city most visitors don’t know to explore, taking in iconic sights like the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Ross Fountain and the Princes Street Gardens.
About this activity
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Mobile ticketing
Duration: 2.5 hours
Starting time 2:30 PM
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible

Select participants and date:



  • See the Sir Walter Scott Monument
  • Explore the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • Learn about John Knox and the educational revolution
  • Discover the worlds oldest Masonic Lodge
  • Hear about the inventions during the Scottish enlightment
Full description
If you traveled back in time to 1850, you would recognise life in Edinburgh, but if you went back to 1750, you very likely wouldn’t.  What happened in those 100 years that not only changed the face of Scotland, but indeed the world?

This period in Scottish history influenced the golden era of the Enlightenment like no other.  Edinburgh had the highest literacy rate in the world and was the place that Sir Walter Scott, John Knoxx and Alexander Graham Bell called home. It also was the birthplace of seminal inventions like the telephone, anaesthesia and even the world's first fire brigade. 

This 2.5-hour walking tour covers:
  • The world’s oldest Masonic Lodge and other secret societies
  • The campaign to abolish slavery
  • Why the entire area of Edinburghs New Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Major inventions during the Scottish Enlightenment
  • Sir Walter Scott and the colourful visit of King George IV.
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • James Braidwood and the world’s first fire service
  • John Knoxx and the educational revolution
  • The Ross Fountain and Princes Street Gardens

…and much more!

  • 2.5-hour walking tour with a professional local guide
What’s Not Included
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Meet your tour operator in front of Starbucks Coffee at 124 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK. Just look for the team with the red SANDEMANs New Europe t-shirts and umbrellas.

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Important information
Know before you go
• Children under 13 years old are welcome to join the tour for free. We reserve the right to ask for a valid photo ID
• Children must be accompanied by an adult
• While the tour usually includes the sites and stories mentioned and lasts about 2.5 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
• Due to the old streets and uneven terrain, accessing parts of Edinburgh by wheelchair is sometimes challenging. This tour is wheelchair accessible when accompanied by a non-disabled participant
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Organized by

Sandemans New Europe - Britain

Product ID: 71548