Old Town Tour, Edinburgh

Old Town Tour, Edinburgh
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Glen Bowman
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
With a lot of famous museums, art galleries, theaters, old churches, countless historic landmarks, shopping avenues and amazing architectural and recreational attractions all over the city, Edinburgh can seem quite daunting when it comes to sightseeing. The Old Town of Edinburgh, the oldest part of Scotland's capital, has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. The area is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. This self-guided tour will take you to the top attractions The Old Town has to offer.

Old Town Tour - Route Map

Guide Name: Old Town Tour
Guide Location: Scotland » Edinburgh
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Author: Helen
Usher Hall

1) Usher Hall

Just before he died in 1896 Andrew Usher, a prominent brewery owner, donated £100.000 to the city so that a concert hall, named the Usher Hall in his memory, could be built.

The hall is a mixture of Victorian Gothic and Beaux Arts style and was built by Stockdale Harrison and Howard Thompson. It was opened by Andrew’s widow in 1914 and King George V and Queen Mary laid memorial stones on each side of the entrance on Cambridge Street.

The building was renowned for its innovative curved...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Stuart Caie
Traverse Theatre

2) Traverse Theatre

This theater has a great reputation for the highest quality productions, staging many major new plays and encouraging the work of young writers. The theater was built in 1963, specializing in the development of puppetry and animation, where visitors can relax in the café while watching the...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Globaltraveller
Edinburgh Farmers' Market

3) Edinburgh Farmers' Market

What to buy here: Cairn O'Mohr Wine.

Cairn O'Mohr outstanding Scottish fruit wines constitute a great gift for those who enjoy a glass of good wine. Made from berries, flowers and leaves that grow in the region, this award winning drink brings out distinctive flavors and an aromatic juicy taste.

Only the freshest ingredients are used to produce these wines, such as: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, oak leaves and brambles. Nothing sumptuous, just the best ingredients they...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Smart Community Fife
St. Margaret's Chapel

4) St. Margaret's Chapel

Edinburgh Castle is on the “must” list of every visitor to Scotland’s capital city and St Margaret’s Chapel is perhaps the highlight of the tour because it is the oldest building still standing in the entire complex.

St Margaret was a princess of the House of Wessex. Her family moved to Scotland after the Norman invasion of England. She married King Malcolm III of Scotland and was renowned for her piety and charitable works. According to legend, she prayed every day in the chapel that...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Jonathan Oldenbuck
Edinburgh Castle

5) Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has overlooked the city since the 12th century and is the second most visited building, after the Tower of London, in the United Kingdom. The very history of Scotland is deeply etched into its ancient stones.

The castle stands on top of Castle Rock, the basalt ventilation pipe of an extinct volcano eroded by glaciers. People have inhabited the site since the 9th century BC. The first castle was constructed by King David I of Scotland and it remained a royal residence until...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Tilmandralle
Parliament House

6) Parliament House

You really must visit the Parliament House which you will find just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The building was the gathering place for the Pre-Union Scottish Parliament and was built on the orders of King Charles I in 1639. It was used by the Governors of Scotland and also as court rooms and judge’s chambers. Today it houses the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

Parliament Hall is the main hall and the oldest part of the building. It has a magnificent hammer beam ceiling of...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Maccoinnich
Grassmarket

7) Grassmarket

One of the best places for shopping or relaxing over a pint or a meal in Edinburgh is undoubtedly the Grassmarket.

It is an historic market nestled in a small valley, so that it is lower than the surrounding street levels. Between 1477 and 1911 it was the most important horse and cattle market in the city, and because it drew large crowds, it was also the place where public executions were held.

According to legend a woman was hanged here and lived to talk about it afterwards! Maggie...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Christian Bickel
Magdalen Chapel

8) Magdalen Chapel

Magdalen Chapel is located on Cowgate Street and was built in 1541. Visitors are welcome to discover the 16th century stained glass windows and the tomb of its founders. Not far from the chapel is a bookshop that offers interesting literature and postcards about...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and quinn.anya
Augustine United Church

9) Augustine United Church

Located on the George IV Bridge, the Augustine United Church was inaugurated in 1861 and for 150 years it has opened its doors to everyone in search of spiritual succour. Visitors are welcome and are invited to leave a small donation if they wish.

Augustine’s is a member of the United Reform Church and today is called Augustine’s Church Centre, as it hosts charities and other Christian projects including Christian Aid. During the week, apart from the usual Christian services and prayer...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Tharnton345
Greyfriars Bobby Memorial

10) Greyfriars Bobby Memorial

Everyone loves a nice, weepy story about love and loyalty, especially if there is an animal involved! In Edinburgh, the people have erected a statue to their favourite four-legged hero and you will find the Greyfriars Bobby Memorial at the south end of the George IV Bridge.

The beginning of Bobby’s history is a little vague: he was either a policeman’s dog or a stray adopted by a “bobby” on his rounds, which would account for his name. The policeman’s name was John Grey and he kept...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Steve Montgomery
Greyfriars Church

11) Greyfriars Church

It is easy to find ancient buildings in Edinburgh as the whole city is divided into two quarters: Old Town and New Town. You will find Greyfriar’s Church in the former.

The construction of the church started in 1602 and it was consecrated in 1630, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Old Town district, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built on the site of an abandoned Franciscan monastery and took its name from the monks who wore grey cassocks and were called the...   view more
Image Courtesy of Flickr and jack_g
McEwan Hall

12) McEwan Hall

The McEwan Hall has been described as being ostentatious and in bad taste, but you should visit it yourself and make up your own mind about it.

In the eighteen nineties the University of Edinburgh asked the City Council for funds to build a graduation hall, but they were turned down as the Council didn’t think they needed one. William McEwan, the master brewer, stepped in and offered to have a hall built if it bore his name.

The building was designed in the Italian Renaissance style by...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Tharnton345
Telfer Wall

13) Telfer Wall

If you would like to see a real part of ancient Edinburgh you should go to Heriot Place where you will find one of the only remaining stretches of the Telfer Wall.

The Old Town once had three defensive walls. The first wasn’t very extensive, but it protected the denizens of the area around the High Street. After the Battle of Flodden, the people realised that only part of their town was protected and in 1513 they built the Flodden Wall.

By the 17th century, the wall was showing signs of...   view more
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Jonathan Oldenbuck

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