I reviewed the first tour in this series by Walk Talk Tours the other week, you can find it here. This tour covers the Old Town and the New Town tour. I discovered Walk Talk Tours through their twitter page. Each tour is £5.95 but a discount is available if you download both of the Edinburgh tours available for sale at the same time.
I am not against real live person tours whatsoever, but for tourists in Edinburgh suffering from jet lag and waking up at the crack of dawn, or who want to go at their own pace, then these tours are a great idea. You could also easily do this tour in the evening in the summer when it’s light until 10pm and beyond or do it in the winter to see all the buildings beautifully lit up in the evening.
Nothing is required to be open to go on this tour, all are visible from the street.
Although I know Edinburgh like the back of my hand, I treated this tour like I was a tourist and was only going to follow the instructions given to me through the tours.
I learned a brief history about the Castle and enjoyed the panoramic views (whilst the tour told me what I was seeing).
One of the advantages of this type of tour was obvious right away. All I had to do was press pause and take photos to my hearts content and go at the pace I wanted to.
I’m not going to go into huge detail about everything on this tour, otherwise it will spoil the fun of discovering the fantastic city ! Everything is explained well in a clear Scottish accent (tested out on my Australian friend who didn’t think it was too fast and was clearly understandable). Another bonus of this review is that if English is your second language, you can pause and rewind what was said without the embarrassment of having the ask a tour guide to repeat what they said.
The second stop on this tour is the White Hart Inn in the Grassmarket and you learn that Robert Burns is thought to have spent his last night in Edinburgh here in 1791. Other ‘locals’ to the bar were Burke and Hare in the 1820s and the stories of the notorious two is explained. I also regularly drank here in the 1990s, maybe not quite as famous as previous patrons 😉
The tour continues, but covers streets that seem to go up and down, down and up, so make sure you’re full of energy.
You can simply pause the tour and pop into the Museum on the Mound to see what a million pounds looks like (photos not allowed inside). Admission is free to the museum.
From here, you walk down the steps that lead to the Mound and the National Galleries and Princes Street Gardens. Again, if you want to break the tour here you can, just press pause and go for a wander and find the place you stopped with the use of the map if you can’t see the Galleries any more.
Why don’t you go up the 287 steps of the Scott Monument ? See our review for more information. This Gothic spire is number 6 on the tour.
St Andrew Square is a beautiful area to stop off and have a coffee at now (or perhaps detour to Harvey Nicols for some shopping).
The tour continues along George Street covering major places of interest, and ends up at the beautiful Charlotte Square.
As I mentioned before, this tour can be done at your own pace and allows you to simply pause the commentary, go for a coffee, visit a tourist attraction you come across and if you wander off to take photographs, you can get back on track with the use of the map. You can also re visit any section of the tour to repeat the information
Suitable for disabled? This tour is not as disabled friendly as the Royal Mile Tour but can be done with slight detours, avoiding sets of steps. The street alternative are very steep and cobbled, but it can be done. Please email us for an alternative route if you wish to do this tour and we will personalise a route for you.