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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

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 22 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 15
  • 4
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 1
It's free and interesting

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Donna C
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

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22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 21: English reviews
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week 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
77 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week 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 3 weeks ago

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
93 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 25 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
Seveso, Italy
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 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 

3 Thank Elena T
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 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 

2 Thank monty035
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
413 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 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
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 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 15 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

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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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