We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!

Book Lover's Tour

Old Town
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Lady Stair's Close | Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2PA, Scotland
Phone Number: 01573223888

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 27 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 18
  • 6
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
Must-do tour for any book or history lover

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed Allan's tour of Edinburgh's well-known and hidden literary landmarks. Hard to imagine a more knowledgeable tour guide!

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Caitlin C
via mobile

Similar Things to Do in Edinburgh

Add Photo Write a Review

27 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 26: English reviews
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed Allan's tour of Edinburgh's well-known and hidden literary landmarks. Hard to imagine a more knowledgeable tour guide!

Thank Caitlin C
New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I'd grabbed the flyer advertising this trip from outside the Lady Stairs Close and held onto it (fortunate, since with all the festival flyers handed to me over the past few days constitute a mountain of paper), and took the tour at 11:30 on a Friday. Allan took us immediately off the Mile ("Tartan Ghetto") and we spent 90 enjoyable... More 

Thank Cynthia M
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great to get the lowdown on Conan-Doyle, Scott, even a bit of Mark Twain thrown in. Highly recommend

Thank Michael B
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
63 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

In his guidebook, Rick Steves recommended this tour, and as usual, his advice was spot-on. Allan Foster is a very knowledgeable tour guide, having written the book, literally, on the Literary Traveler in Edinburgh and the Literary Traveler in Scotland. His stories about Conan Doyle, Scott, Stevenson, and many more, held our interest for the full 90 minutes. Only 6... More 

Thank cowmeadow
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There was a board advertising this tour at the top of Lady Stairs Close which has the Writers Museum at the end of it, so I decided to join one. The guide, travel writer Allan Foster straightaway took us down some steps away from the tourist areas & to some places associated with writers where we were told lots of... More 

Thank Hteblav
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stumbled on this by accident. Just off the Royal Mile, thus is a free tour and museum for lovers of books, especially Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, but peppered with references to more modern writers like J.K Rowling, Muriel Spark and Dorothy Dunnett. The museum is a treat on its own because it allows you into one... More 

Thank Donna C
Frankford, West Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
85 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Literary guide writer, Allan Foster, led us away from the Royal Mile (which he said his son refers to as the Tartan Ghetto) into the quieter southern portion of the city around the University of Edinburgh with wonderful stories about several renown authors....such as Andrew Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott, and R.K. Rowling as well as more contemporary... More 

Thank Jim A
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2016

I really enjoyed this tour. Allan knows plenty about Edinburgh and Scottish writers, and he walked us away from the touristic areas and to more secret places. He's also a good presenter, there was never a dull moment. I actually wished it was longer than a couple of hours, I could have gone on listening for other 2! I would... More 

Thank Martina B
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2016

I really enjoyed this tour, although it many not be what people expect as it covers some of the off-the-beaten track areas where many of Edinburgh authors lived, wrote and (especially) drank. Allen Foster is a very engaging presenter for a small group. He clearly knows his topic, and fended all our questions and comments with a great sense of... More 

Thank eddie51
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 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 

2 Thank edenbloke

Travelers who viewed Book Lover's Tour also viewed

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland

Been to Book Lover's Tour? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Book Lover's Tour staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

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.
Explore this neighborhood