Edinburgh Architecture Walking Tour

easy 6 reviews

Edinburgh Architecture Walking Tour is a 4.7 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking.

Distance: 4.7 km Elevation Gain: 92 m Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly




city walk

historic site

Discover some of the architectural jewels that make up UNESCO's World Heritage Site of Edinburgh's Old and New Towns "And then, upon all sides, what a clashing of Architecture! In this one valley, where the life of the town goes most busily forward, there may be seen, shown one above and behind another by the accidents of the ground, buildings in almost every style upon the globe. Egyptian and Greek temples, Venetian palaces and Gothic spires, are huddled one over another in a most admired disorder; while, above all, the brute mass of the Castle and the summit of Arthur's Seat look down upon these imitations with a becoming dignity, as the works of Nature may look down the monuments of Art." In his 'Edinburgh Picturesque Notes,' city native Robert Louis Stevenson sets out the challenge that faces any architect applying his skill in Edinburgh - the fact that the natural architecture of the landscape sets the bar very high. Overcrowding and squalid conditions in the Old Town that straddled the hillsides south of the Nor'Loch, the polluted body of water that lay where Princes Street Gardens now stands, led to an expansion of the city to the north and a decision to abandon the maze-like conditions - the 'antique wilderness' of the Old Town - and adopt a rigorous, planned townscape. The competition to design the 'New Town' was won by the young architect James Craig, and his vision of elegant terraces, and sweeping circuses endures to this day. The legacy is that Edinburgh retains both a substantial medieval core, and a contrasting planned district of considerable distinction. This touring route explores aspects of both while finding room for some works of Gothic exuberance. It is designed to begin outside the Georgian sophistication of Bute House, residence of the head of Scotland's government, and to end at the nation's most exciting building of the new millennium, the extraordinary - and controversial complex of buildings that house the Scottish Parliament.

21 days ago

This straightforward route combines the Royal Mile with the main shopping area of Edinburgh's New Town, which is less picturesque but offers more modern retail space plus access to the city's several museums.

Wed Oct 18 2017

It has been a number of years since my visit, but I distinctly remember this beautiful and unique city. I first explored parts of Old Town from Holyrood House to the Edinburgh Castle. It is easy to feel that you have stepped back in time several centuries, with many remnants of the medieval street plan and architecture. I then headed down the hill to Princes and George Streets in New Town, and the bustling mix of modern day set among the wonderful 18th-century Georgian architecture.

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