New Town Walk, Edinburgh

New Town Walk, Edinburgh
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Thryduulf
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "Edinburgh Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store and the Android app "Edinburgh Map and Walks" on Google Play.
iOS City Maps and Walks app   Android City Maps and Walks app
The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, considered to be a masterpiece of historic city planing, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, but also to an upmarket range of independent eateries and restaurants, as well as some of the best pubs and bars you will find in Edinburgh. Take the following tour to discover the most popular sights the New Town has to offer.

New Town Walk - Route Map

Guide Name: New Town Walk
Guide Location: Scotland » Edinburgh
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 18
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Author: Helen
Princes Street

1) Princes Street (must see)

Princes Street in the New Town runs from Leith Street to the Lothian Road and offers over a mile of shops, cafés and pubs. It is in fact the most important shopping street in the city.

The street was named after two of King George III’s sons: Prince George (who later became King George V) and Prince Frederick. The early 18th century buildings were renovated in the 19th century, and then in the nineteen sixties under the “Princes Street Plan”, some of the buildings were pulled down and...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and kevgibbo
Charlotte Square

2) Charlotte Square

Charlotte Square is located on the west end of George Street and was constructed as a complement to St Andrew Square on the east end of the street.

The square was named after King George III’s first daughter and construction began in 1820 and the last part, the north-west corner, was finished in the nineteen nineties, but the original plan was adhered to, so there is nothing modern-looking about the square.

N°5, one of the houses on the north side was the family home of...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and StephenGRobertson
Charlotte Baptist Chapel

3) Charlotte Baptist Chapel

Charlotte Baptist Chapel stands on Rose Street and it is a lovely church to visit to or take part in one of the services because the sermons are lively and congregation friendly.

The church is independent and not part of the Baptist Union of Scotland. It was founded in the Pleasance area in 1808 by Christopher Anderson. Christopher was a junior clerk in an insurance company, but he wanted to be a missionary. He joined the Baptist Missionary Society and trained in England for missionary work...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Randy OHC
Church of Scotland Offices

4) Church of Scotland Offices

Perhaps the idea of visiting the Church of Scotland Offices doesn’t inspire you – after all offices are pretty much the same all over the world – filled with filing cabinets and archives! But do go and have a look at this historic building.

Located on George Street, the offices were built in the Scandinavian style by Sydney Mitchell in 1911. Just inside the main entrance is a small chapel and the extension on the east side has a great book shop. The ground and first floors of the...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Matthew Ross
D & M Antique & Collectors Fair

5) D & M Antique & Collectors Fair

Held in the Edinburgh New Town area at Freemason's Hall, David and Marie Craig organizes D & M Antique and Collectors Fair nine times each year. Featuring antique, vintage, retro and a vast assortment of collectible items, over 30 dealers from all over the region gather here, offering silver and gold, artwork, coins, clocks, jewelry, fine china, and many other goods for public sale. D&M Antique and Collectors Fair is also a place where you can sell your antiques and collectibles,...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Manwithcam
Rick's Bar

6) Rick's Bar

This cool bar offers a great choice of drinks, with an extensive selection of cocktails, a long wine list and a varied and appealing menu. It is located on Frederick Street and is a great place with a laid-back atmosphere and a friendly and helpful...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and www.theedinburghblog.co .uk
Arran Aromatics

7) Arran Aromatics

What to buy here: Toiletries and Fragrances.

Scottish toiletries and fragrance company, Arran Aromatics is the country's leading producer of elaborate toiletries, lifestyle products and gifts. It manufactures about 250 items across 6 different spheres, including triple milled vegetable soaps, foam bath, bath grains, shower gel, body wash, bath oil, body lotion, hand cream and lip balm. One of their most popular item is Bay Citrus For Men collection, which is the top-selling article of...   view more
Image Courtesy of Naomi Baxter @ fabugloss.blogspot.com
Princes Street Gardens

8) Princes Street Gardens (must see)

Between Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street, renowned for its superb shops, pubs and restaurants, lies the beautiful Princes Street Gardens, a haven of peace and beauty in the heart of the city.

110,000 years ago the area that is now the gardens was formed by glacial erosion, when the basalt bulk of Castle Rock caused a glacier to divide around it, forming a depression at the foot of the rock. For thousands of years this area was marshland and when man came to the region, it formed a natural...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and shaferlens
National Gallery of Scotland

9) National Gallery of Scotland (must see)

No art lover should miss a chance to visit the National Gallery of Scotland, which you will find on the Mound, just next to the Royal Scottish Academy.

In 1859 when the building opened the gallery shared the place with the academy. It also housed the Portrait Gallery and the lack of space became a real problem until the Portrait Gallery moved to its new building. But by 1906 more space was needed and the academy moved into the building next door. The gallery was entirely renovated in 1912.

...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Kilnburn
Scott Monument

10) Scott Monument (must see)

Sir Walter Scott was perhaps Scotland’s best loved poet and novelist, so it is only natural that the nation wanted to pay him homage. You will find the Scott Monument in Princes Gardens.

When Scott died in 1832 an architectural competition was launched to build a monument in his honour. A great many noted architects submitted their ideas; the winning design was by George Meikle Kemp, a draughtsman who had no architectural experience, so he had submitted his design under the name of “John...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Adambro
The Parish Church of St. Andrew's and St. George's

11) The Parish Church of St. Andrew's and St. George's

While you are in Edinburgh you really should visit the Parish Church of Saint Andrew’s and Saint George’s, the first church to be built in the city’s New Town.

When James Craig designed the New Town he set aside two parcels of land for two churches, one at the west end of the town to be dedicated to Saint George, the other at the east end for Saint Andrew.

Unfortunately Sir Lawrence Dundus wanted the plot on the east end for his new house and he quickly bought the land, leaving a...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Kilnburn
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

12) Scottish National Portrait Gallery (must see)

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. It holds the most important collection of portraits of Scottish personalities in the UK. It is also the home of the Scottish National Photo Collection.

The gallery is housed in a Gothic Revival building, commissioned by the owner of “The Scotsman” newspaper, John Ritchie Findlay and built in 1890 from red sandstone. The building was renovated in 2009 and reopened in 2011. It is the first building in the...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and dun_deagh
Melville Monument

13) Melville Monument

While you are in Edinburgh, you will probably visit St Andrew Square and in the middle of the lovely gardens you will find the Melville Monument.

The monument was erected in 1823 in honour of the 1st Viscount of Melville, Henry Dundas, a politician who wielded so much power that he was known as the “uncrowned king of Scotland”. He was also the 1st Lord of the Admiralty and the monument was paid for by officers and sailors of the Royal Marines Scotland.

It was designed by the great...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Jonathan Oldenbuck
St. Andrew Square

14) St. Andrew Square

If you want to take a little time out from visiting Edinburgh’s marvellous houses and museums, but don’t feel up to a long walk, the best place to go is to St Andrew Square.

This square was constructed in 1772 as the first part of James Craig’s design for the New Town. The lovely houses surrounding it once were the homes of the city’s elite and Dundas House on the east side of the square is a fine example of the architecture of the 18th century.

Today it is one of the most...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Jonathan Oldenbuck
Dugald Stewart Monument

15) Dugald Stewart Monument

Edinburgh’s Calton Hill is a fascinating place to visit with its fine buildings and monuments. Some of these monuments have been raised for famous people or events, but the Dugald Stewart Monument remains a mystery for many people. Just who was Dugald Stewart and who had a monument be raised in his name?

To answer the second part of the question first – the monument was commissioned by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1831. It was designed by William Henry Playfair, who modelled it on...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Morpheus1703
Calton Hill Observatory

16) Calton Hill Observatory (must see)

Sadly the Calton Hill Observatory was closed to the public in 2009 after it was considered unsafe due to vandalism and theft of the roofing materials, but it is worth climbing the hill anyway to see this remarkable building.

The idea of putting an observatory on the hill began at the end of the 16th century, when Thomas Short inherited a 12ft reflecting telescope designed by his brother. The building was designed by James Craig and funds were donated by the University of Edinburgh, on the...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and AlanFord
Nelson's Monument

17) Nelson's Monument (must see)

Another monument worth visiting while you are on Calton Hill is the Nelson Monument, which was put up in honour of Horatio Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and his subsequent death from wounds sustained during the battle.

The monument was built in 1815 on the highest point of the hill, on the site where a mast was once used to send signals to ships entering the Firth of Forth. The monument was designed by the architect Robert Burn in the appropriate form of an up-ended...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Stuart Caie
National Monument

18) National Monument (must see)

The National Monument stands in unfinished splendour on Calton Hill and has been called a lot of names over the years, such as “Edinburgh’s Folly”, or “The Shame of Scotland”, but the idea behind building it was neither a folly nor a shame.

The idea to build a monument to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died in the Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815, was a good one; the only problem was that when asked to put their hands in their pockets, a lot of people lost their initial...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Stuart Caie

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