Edinburgh audio tour: Edinburgh’s New Town: The Architecture of Money

Edinburgh’s New Town: The Architecture of Money

Walking Tour

90 mins

About the Tour

Edinburgh’s New Town is straight out of a world history of architecture, with its classical beauty and Georgian past. If you’re interested in hearing more about it then join me, an architecture tutor and tour guide, on this informative walking tour. In 90 minutes, we’ll learn how Edinburgh became the largest planned town development in the world – and a model city – and in what sense its design and layout made it architecturally ideal.

Although its original Georgian fabric has suffered many alterations, I’ll show you several clear traces of the former neoclassical city. I’ll point out the often overlooked details in the fanlights and elegant ironwork of the original New Town street lights. I’ll tell you about the 1767 masterplan drawn by the young James Craig, show you buildings by celebrated British architects like Robert Adam and share old maps and drawings with you. Together, we’ll unfold the cultural context of the Scottish Enlightenment and dive into the economic and political influence of the union between Scotland and England.

You can look forward to seeing:

• The only villa in New Town
• One of the first semi-detached houses in Scotland
• My favourite urban sequence in Edinburgh
• The first planned square in the city

Along the way, I’ll also answer questions like:

• What guided the designers of the New Town?
• To what extent were the New Towners’ fortunes connected to slavery?
• Why was so much of the now listed Georgian New Town demolished?
• Why won't Edinburgh clean its blackened sandstone facades?

Join me for dramatic, breathtaking landscapes, streets lined with palatial tenements – yes, tenements! – and discover detailed and easy-to-miss features on the city’s best-preserved buildings.

Tour Producer


Olga Gogoleva

Hello there! My name is Olga, I am a designer and an architecture tutor here at Edinburgh University. I am also a founder of a tour company Cobble Tales.

At Cobble Tales, local architects and architecture students have been guiding enthusiasts and professionals, visitors and locals since 2016. Our many 5-star Tripadvisor and Google reviews testify to our quality tour content and a great time exploring Edinburgh on a walking tour.

I love showing off Edinburgh's beauty and chatting about buildings, so let's get going!

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Major Landmarks

  • Royal Mile

  • George Street

  • Charlotte Square

  • Dundas House

  • Melville Monument

  • Thistle Court

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts outside City Chambers, on Royal Mile. You will be facing the Mercat Cross, and the war memorial will be under the arcade behind you.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

  • The archivist garden at the Register House.
  • The telling hall of the Royal Bank of Scotland on St Andrews Sq.
  • Coffee with a view in Cairngorms coffee on Frederick Street.
  • Tea and scones in Fredericks coffee house on Frederick Street.
  • Hot chocolate and people watching in Wellington Coffee.
  • Georgian House museum of an insight into the Georgian family life.
  • The Black Cat Pub on Rose St.
  • Stockbridge Market on a Sunday.

Best time of day

It is best to explore before dark to be able to see the details on the buildings well.


Wear some comfortable footwear and pack a waterproof jacket!


Visiting Edinburgh and discovering its unique architecture from Old to New Town was the highlight of my day ! Olga is a great and passionate guide. I can’t recommend this tour enough !

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

This is very kind, thank you and I am so glad you enjoyed this New Town audio tour!

Posted by Olga , over 1 year ago

This is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. An excellent guide of historical and fascinating facts about Edinburgh's New Town.

As an Edinburgh local I was excited find hidden secrets in places I've simply just walked past hundreds of times. Olga was a charming and interesting guide who provided the romance of New Towns history and architecture. Couldn't recommend more.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

Thank you, happy locals are enjoying our audio tours!

Posted by Olga , about 1 year ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Edinburgh’s New Town: The Architecture of Money