Edinburgh audio tour: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Trail: The University Years

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Trail: The University Years

Walking Tour

45 mins

About the Tour

This walking tour takes you on a journey through Robert Louis Stevenson’s university years, when he readied himself for a career as a writer instead of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a lighthouse engineer.

We’ll explore Edinburgh’s Gothic Old Town, which has a dark side that inspired some of Stevenson’s best loved writing. We’ll end the tour at Canongate Kirk where Scotland’s three great Roberts – Burns, Fergusson and Stevenson – became forever connected.

Your narrator is John Shedden, one of Scotland’s legends of the stage and screen who also helped with the design of the tour. The multi-talented Vincent Guy is the voice of Stevenson reading snippets from his writing.

Stevenson eventually left Edinburgh, never to return. But he was forever inspired by his memories of home.

On this tour, you can look forward to hearing about:

• Stevenson’s brief career as an advocate
• The inspirations for Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde
• Stevenson’s views on Edinburgh and its weather
• The inspirations for The Deacon Brodie and Body Snatcher
• The inspiration for Long John Silver from Treasure Island
• Stevenson’s connection to Rabbie Burns and Robert Fergusson

This tour is part of a series of walks around Edinburgh dedicated to the life of the celebrated author. You can find the others by search under Edinburgh or by selecting my author profile and seeing all my tours there.

Tour Producer


Martin White

The walking tour was devised by Martin White. Martin is a native of Edinburgh and now promotes the story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s time in the Lothians. He is a Director of the European Cultural Route In the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. He runs the website www.mrrls.com which provides a great springboard for people to enjoy the Stevenson story.

Major Landmarks

  • St Giles Cathedral

  • Parliament Square

  • Greyfriars Kirk

  • The Old College Quad at Edinburgh University

  • The old Royal Infirmary

  • Canongate Kirk

Directions to Starting Point

Begins at Advocates Close, on the Royal Mile directly opposite St Giles Cathedral

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

St Giles Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh University

Best time of day

Daytime is best.


The area is safe. Be careful when crossing roads.


I loved this tour. Even as an Edinburgh resident I learned lots of local history and enjoyed the route which took in some lovely spots in the city.

Posted by Vicki , 11 months ago

Very interesting and informative tour around the RLS places of influence in Edinburgh’s old town. Great way to see the older side of Edinburgh.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 12 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Trail: The University Years