Over the past few years, Blue Badge guides have been involved in leading walking tours which celebrate various aspects of the history of our capital city.
As part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017, and to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Edinburgh’s New Town, the Edinburgh’s Georgian Shadows project lit up six of the New Town’s most interesting buildings, bringing the Georgian past to life in the context of a modern city. To complement this event, the Edinburgh Branch of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association offered guided walks of the Georgian New Town, highlighting the dazzling architecture of these buildings and telling fabulous tales of the famous and eccentric characters who lived there.
In 2018, our Blue Badge guides were back with a walking tour celebrating Edinburgh’s Curious Curiosities. Linking to a campaign to highlight Edinburgh’s 101 Objects, guides accompanied visitors and locals alike on a fascinating tour of the lesser known sights of the city. This tour delighted in revealing hidden gems and casting new light on old favourites. Exploring how the Scottish Enlightenment ushered in a new age of discovery, guides told strange and wonderful tales of the curiosities and creators of Edinburgh, which shaped our city and the modern world.
2020 saw the launch of West End Stories, an informative tour of the elegant, quieter, less well known streets of the New Town. In conjunction with Edinburgh World Heritage, the tour concentrates on the amazing lives of people from Edinburgh’s rich past, some of whom even changed the way we live today, including 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; children’s literature writer Catherine Sinclair and many more.