©Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd            Company No. 454482

 “A picture tells a thousand words”.  It’s an old saying but

one we absolutely believe in.  Although the key to a good

guided tour is having interesting and well-researched

stories to tell, it’s helpful to have images which illustrate

these tales. 

On our P3-5 Edinburgh tour, these images are even more

essential.  There are places where we will take your class

where we explain what the location used to look like.  The

pupils might be using archive maps to develop their

understanding of the area.  We boost their understanding

(and imagination) by using numerous images.  Why just

‘hear’ about the history of a place when you can see some

of the people and buildings we’re talking about?  This also

helps keep everyone focused, involved and supports

children who have English as an additional language.

Your guide will carry an A3 book packed with images to

ensure this is a very visual tour.

This page will hopefully give you a brief summary of

the type of tour your class will get when you let us take

them around Old Edinburgh. 

We think the best way to learn about yesterday’s

Edinburgh is to get your class outside and into the

heart of today’s modern capital city.  There’s

something exciting about seeing a class imagine a

building which hasn’t existed for hundreds of years! 

Our Primary 3-5 Old Edinburgh tour has evolved from

our upper primary guided tour and features;

-a shorter route

-age appropriate stories

-different workbooks and activities

- typical ‘Old Edinburgh project’ stories such as

Greyfriars Bobby, Deacon Brodie and Burke and

Hare and ‘gardyloo’!

Your Primary 3-5 Old Edinburgh Tour

This sped up video shows you the

route we plan on taking around the

Old Town.  Sometimes events in the

Old Town mean we have to make a

few diversions, and we’re always

happy to add in locations you’ve

been discussing with your class, so

this is a simple guide. 

There are toilets in the Museum of

Scotland which you can ask about

using.  The Museum opens at 10

am.  The nearest public crossing

from the Museum to Greyfriars

Kirkyard is from the eastern side of

the ‘Tower’ part of the Museum and

across the road to Forrest Road. 

This is a double crossing.  You’ll

meet me next to the grave of

Greyfriars Bobby inside Greyfriars

Kirkyard on Candlemaker Row. 

Please don’t go to the statue!




A ‘Picture Book’ Tour

Interactive Questioning

Collaborative Learning

Your Old Edinburgh tour route

Health and Safety and Accessibility

This guided tour isn’t a simple ‘walk and talk’, we continually

challenge the pupils by asking them to discuss possible

answers with their partners.   You can see an example of

this questioning in the picture shown to the right of this

text.  We ask this question before we investigate a couple of

gravestones to see what it tells us about life (and death) in

the 1700s and 1800s.   We ask this question before the

mini-investigation and after. 

At other times in the tour, we ask the pupils to discuss the

how much has changed between archive images of

Greyfriars Kirk and the church itself today.  Pupils will use

the ‘fist to five’ technique to rate the changes from ‘nothing

has changed’ to ‘everything has changed’.  

Working with partners makes peer support a more likely

benefit for the class and having to show their answers (and

to know they will have to do this) help keeps everyone


This tour has been designed to get kids talking

about their city.  Historic Edinburgh Tours

believe that debating and discussing opinions is

a great active learning strategy.  Not only does

it encourage healthy debate, it also increases

understanding and reduces boredom. 

You can see some of our laminated booklets in

the picture to the left of this text.  Partners are

either ‘green’ or ‘blue’. 

Here we can see that the ‘green’ partner has the

map of Edinburgh of 1647, and the ‘blue’

partner has a selection of views of Greyfriars

Kirk.  We’ll compare these views with the Kirk

today and, at one point, the ‘green’ partner will

use their map as an additional piece of

evidence.  Pupils will have to work out what’s

different, roughly when there was a really big

change…and then why this might have

happened.  The answer is quite ‘explosive’!

Tour Itinerary

Documentation and Booking Information

Your tour meets in Greyfriars Kirkyard. A typical

tour will look like this; 

Examine the evidence sheets and work out where

we are on the map of Edinburgh in 1647. 

Compare archive images of Greyfriars Kirkyard

with what we see now.  Your class will then work

out what has changed and why. 

Exploration of Greyfriars Kirkyard.  You’ll hear

about Greyfriars Bobby, a tortured spy, and the


 Quick snack break in Greyfriars Kirkyard and then

out around the Old Town.   

Grassmarket and following in the footsteps of King

James IV.   Compare an archive image of the West

Bow.  Does anything remain today? 

The Old Tolbooth - what was prison life like? Why

was it unfair?  The Deacon Brodie story. 

Advocate’s Close - Life in an Old Town close.

Thanks for getting this far in the page!  You

can download our risk assessment document

and our information sheet by clicking on the

document images to the right.  Although

you’ll have to fill out your own council risk

assessment, this should provide a good guide

to the tour you are taking. 

Please watch the route video as this will also

highlight the crossings we intend to use. 

Please note that there can sometimes be

events in the Old Town which require us to

alter the route slightly. 

We would be delighted to take your class tour

and are available most Mondays, Tuesdays

and Wednesdays during the 2016/17

academic session.  

Use the ‘Contact Us’ button to get in touch. 

We look forward to hearing from you!



A massive thanks to all of

those schools who booked

up early with our 20% off


We’ve still got spaces

available on Mondays -

Wednesdays throughout the

academic year.

Our tours cost £90 per class

but we’re currently offering

special discounts on our

tours for classes with less

that 20 pupils.  Please

contact us for pricing, we’re

happy to work out

something suitable!


Explore Old Edinburgh!

Historic Edinburgh Tours
History made entertaining