©Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd            Company No. 454482

A ‘Picture Book’ Tour

Interactive Questioning

Collaborative Learning

Your Old Edinburgh tour route

Health and Safety and Accessibility

Tour Itinerary

Documentation and Booking Information


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!


“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 P5-7 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 in to the

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

really exciting about seeing a class imagine a building

which hasn’t existed for hundreds of years! 

Our Primary 5-7 Old Edinburgh tour has evolved from

our upper primary guided tour and features ;

-a more comprehensive

-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 5-7 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

10am.  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!


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 type of questioning in the picture shown to the right of

this text.  The pairs will use the green worksheets to

indicate where they think one person is buried at a grave. 

The children will listen to some information about Church

of Scotland burials in the 17h century and then use their

maps to work out what this means.

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

how much has changed between archive images of the

West Bow in the early 19th century and the same place

today.  Pupils will use the ‘fist to five’ technique to rate the

changes from ‘nothing has changed’ to ‘everything has


Working with partners makes peer support a more likely

benefit for the class and having to physically show answers

(and 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 1780 and the ‘blue’

partner has a the same area of town as shown

on a map of 1820  We’ll compare these two

different maps throughout the tour.  A lot of

the area around our tour route changed at this

time.  In one activity the pupils will see a third

map, this time from 1647, as they try and work

out what changes occured at the head of the

old West Bow.

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 maps of 1780 and 1820.

Exploration of Greyfriars Kirkyard.  You’ll hear about

Greyfriars Bobby, a tortured spy and the bodysnatchers. 

We’ll investigate tombs as historic artefacts and learn about

architectural fashions and then see what this tells us about

the Kirkyard.  The pupils will also learn about how people

were buried in the 17th century.

 Quick snack break in Greyfriars Kirkyard and then out

around the Old Town.   

Grassmarket and the hanging of Margaret Dickson.  This

lets us look at law and order then v today.  Next we 

examine an archive image of the West Bow.  Does anything

remain today?   If there’s time we will look at ‘mystery

building’ which used to sit at the head of the West Bow and

work out as much of it’s story as our evidence allows.

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


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

look forward to hearing from you!


Historic Edinburgh Tours
History made entertaining