Oor Tours – Musical Tour of Edinburgh
Today I had the pleasure of joining Graeme E Pearson on his musical tour of Edinburgh in and around the High Street / Royal Mile. The website for Oor Tours is http://www.oortours.com/ (opens in new window) and you can buy tickets from the tourist information centre at Waverley Market or through ticketweb here. You can also book via his website, his emails are very friendly.
The instructions were to join Graeme at the three red phone boxes on the High Street which are easy to find as they are the only ones (beside the Fringe shop)
It was just a wee group of people today, which probably had something to do with Heineken cup final being played and there being nothing but rugby fans in town as opposed to the usual tourists.
Graeme welcomed the members of the group and introduced everyone and giving us an ‘oor tours’ sticker to wear.
We got a ‘safety briefing’ which included him making sure our laces were tied and to warn us of the hazards around the High Street and in case of rain, warning us that the cobbles and steps would be slippy.
It’s hard to not notice Graeme since he wears a Scottish hat, a bright red Oor Tours t-shirt and a pair of tartan trousers
He’s a local guy with a fabulous accent and it’s refreshing to see an Edinburgh tour run by an actual Edinburgher !!
My pre conceived ideas of this tour would be that he’d be singing the majority of the time, but this is not the case.
He took us to various places in and around the High Street and gave us some spoken history about the area and then smoothly moved on to a relevant Scottish song.
His voice is excellent, as is his guitar playing.
I don’t want to give too much away by telling you all the subjects covered, but it’s a good introduction to Edinburgh with the bonus of some singing and an injection of humour.
This is Graeme Singing in Advocate’s Close
Standing out as he does (not many other 6 foot+ guys in tartan trews about today) Graeme swiftly dealt with tourist enquiries (directions etc) without it interupting the tour.
Not only does he talk and sing, but he beautifully recites Robert Burns’ poems.
Here he is giving the background to Robert Burns and him featuring on the five pound note.
I laughed out loud when he told the story of porridge and ‘pieces’ and the little song that went with it.
All of the songs are suitable for children, no swearing throughout.
Even though I was born and bred in Edinburgh, I learned a lot of new information today and brushed the dust off my historical knowledge.
This tour is more than suitable for Edinburgh residents alongside the tourists and is great to explore with someone who is so obviously passionate about his city and country.
The tour does not go as far as the Castle Esplanade (would be far too busy in the summer anyway) but he does go near it and then walks the tour back down whilst he sings which made me feel like I was part of some new Pied Piper of Hamelin group. It’s a funny part of the tour as people are wandering what he’s doing and why he has a trail of people behind him !
The tour lasts about an hour and a quarter and takes in lots of places off the Royal Mile.
The tour ends with a beautifully sung song before he huddles the group in to hear him play a ‘moothy’ medley. Graeme makes it look so effortless, but it is a hard wee instrument to play.
He offers to take us to his ‘headquarters’ which is the Albanach Bar on the Royal Mile and you can purchase CD’s / T Shirts of the tour (although there is no pressure / hard sell).
A fun afternoon, but he is currently also doing the tour on Tuesday evenings aswell and can also do it for private groups. During the festival, the tour will run EVERY day – so be sure to catch it then if you’re not in town now.
Graeme also plays a lot of local bars (details on his website) and after hearing him sing today, I would love to spend an evening with a drink in my hand, soaking up his Scottish songs.
At £9 a head, less for children / students / concessions, it’s reasonably priced – recommended from me
Visit Scotland has rated this tour as a 4 star attraction, info HERE
All the photos I took on the tour are HERE
Suitable for disabled ? No, unfortunately not since the make up of The Royal Mile includes a lot of steps and slopes.