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Book Lover's Tour

Old Town
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Address: Lady Stair's Close | Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH12PA, Scotland
Phone Number: 01573223888
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A guided walking tour visiting the sites and haunts of Roberts Burns,...

A guided walking tour visiting the sites and haunts of Roberts Burns, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Conan Doyle, J.M. Barrie, J.K. Rowling and others in the company of travel writer Allan Foster, author of ‘The Literary Traveller in Edinburgh, a Book Lover's Guide to the World's First City of Literature’. Departs every Saturday and Sunday from outside the Writers' Museum, Lady Stair's Close, at 11.30 am & 2.30 pm. No booking required.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 17 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 13
  • 2
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
Some famous names missing

Allan Foster was an extremely knowledgeable guide to a city he obviously knows well and loves. We got plenty on the more traditional names, like Conan Doyle and Stevenson, as well... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 16, 2015
Carlisle, United Kingdom

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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015

Allan Foster was an extremely knowledgeable guide to a city he obviously knows well and loves. We got plenty on the more traditional names, like Conan Doyle and Stevenson, as well as contemporary writers like Rowling and Rankin ; however, looking at the photos on the flyers, I missed any references,even in brief passing, to Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh,... More 

1 Thank edenbloke
Seveso, Italy
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

To be honest, the reason why I gave three stars to this experience was that I had very high expectations on a book lover's tour in one of the most literary cities I have ever visited, but I'm afraid I was a little bit disappointed. It was a very small tour (I think there were just five of us), which... More 

1 Thank Elena T
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015

I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this tour but my friend persuaded me and I was very pleased I did. Allan made the tour quite personal to our interests (there were just the two of us that morning). From Sir Arthur Conon Doyle, to JK Rowling, Ian Rankin, Burns and Scott, the tour gave added a new depth... More 

1 Thank monty035
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
344 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

A wonderful 1 1/2 get-away from the 'tartan ghetto' of the Royal Mile. Even if you don't have a background in Scottish Arts & Letters I think most adults will really enjoy this off the beaten path walking tour. Your guide is acerbic, witty and well-informed, take advantage of his knowledge and ask lots of questions.

1 Thank pookala
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2015

Allan was a friendly, very knowledgeable chap. He took us into parts of Edinburgh the average visitor to our city, and a good few residents alike would know nothing of. He spoke with our group with great skill of where we were along the route and also why. All our international group seemed to enjoy it. Allan was particularly informative... More 

Thank safetyrazor
Falun, Sweden
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2015 via mobile

Discovered this tour by pure luck. There were perhaps eight of us which made it all feel a little more personal; it's definitely not one of the follow-the-umbrella kind of tours otherwise roaming along the Royal Mile. Allan took us to places I probably wouldn't have known where to find given the fact that all I knew was that the... More 

Thank 496timd
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015 via mobile

Went on this tour on New Year's Day in the rain--and it was totally worth it! Allan is a wonderful tour guide and very funny. There were only three of us on the tour which gave it a personally touch. It also allowed us to see parts of Edinburgh we would not have normally seen and hear about the history... More 

3 Thank chicag0traveler_11
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

While looking for the Edinburgh Writers' Museum one day, we came across a modest sign in the shadow of a close advertising the Book Lover's Tour and decided to take a chance. After all, I'm a voracious reader, and my wife enjoys a good read now and then, and we both like to get to know new cities by walking... More 

3 Thank Robin S
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

I went with my wife and two daughters on the tour today and found the tour interesting and informative. Besides the literary highlights I found the information on some of the medical history of Edinburgh to be very informative.

1 Thank James L
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

A great tour, but not that easy to find. Best consult the latest website at www.edinburghbooktour.com

Thank Allan F

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Staying in Old Town

Neighborhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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