Secrets of Edinburgh's West End revealed in new walking tour

How well do you know Edinburgh’s West End?
Guide Jane Roy with the walking tour group.Guide Jane Roy with the walking tour group.
Guide Jane Roy with the walking tour group.

A new series of walking tours focusing on the incredible stories of people who lived in the New Town and West End will ensure you know that little bit more if you join them between now and 13 September.

Launched in collaboration with Edinburgh World Heritage, the Edinburgh branch of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association has organised the new West End Stories tours which start on 19 August.

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Blue Badge Tourist Guide Jane Roy was inspired to create the tour by the Meet the West Enders Heritage Trail, which was designed to encourage more people to explore the historic streets of the West End.

She says, “Our tours will include some of the areas covered by the trail but it goes beyond it and we have uncovered even more fascinating stories.

“I think the West End tends to be overlooked and there is a wealth of history and heritage. The people who lived here were quite amazing and they include Queen Victoria’s surgeon, Joseph Bell, the real-life inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes; antiseptic surgery pioneer Joseph Lister; innovative 19th century doctor and suffragist Elsie Inglis; Scottish Colourist painter Francis Cadell; women’s higher education campaigner Christian Wright Guthrie; and children’s literature writer Catherine Sinclair.”

Roy points out that the quiet, wide streets of the West End are also ideal for guiding in times where social distancing is essential - no more than eight people will be allowed on any one tour and all must wear face masks.

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The walking tours, which cost £12.45 per person, will begin in Charlotte Square and last 90 minutes, must be booked in advance via

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