We could hardly blame you if you weren’t present for the 250th-anniversary celebrations for Edinburgh’s New Town that kicked off in the well-chilled late-winter and early-spring months of this year. With pleasant summer climes, verdant parks and long days, now is the ideal time to visit the Scottish capital city – especially with the commencement of a new walking tour that pays tribute to the birthday from this August.
Part of the Edinburgh Fringe, the New Town’s 250th Birthday tour from Greenyonder Tours takes visitors on a journey that showcases architect James Craig’s idea for a “planned, elite suburb” – what we know today as New Town. On the tour, visitors will hear stories from those who were part of the city’s creation, essential Edinburghers from radical campaigners to builders.
The tour strolls its participants through the well-preserved grid of cobbled streets, starting at East Princes Street Gardens and finishing up in the garden of Robert Louis Stevenson’s – author of Treasure Island – erstwhile home. The highlight, however, may be the scheduled stop at the New Town gardens. Normally hidden to the public behind locked gates and signage, guests of this tour will be in the privileged position to get a look at the exclusive green space, surrounded by the stunning Georgian and neoclassical architecture that earned the city its title of “Athens of the North”.
Interest well and truly piqued? Public tours run August 4-26 (every Tuesday-Saturday at 2:30pm); private tours are available through October 31st (excluding August).