Explore the city of Edinburgh (and take a trip to Glasgow for a day) on a small group tour with Odyssey Traveller.
The capital of Scotland since the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of Scottish government and the location of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and was used as a strategic location by the Romans in Britain, who built the Antonine Wall as its northernmost defence, and the Celtic tribe Votadini, who occupied the Castle Rock site. Castle Rock was referred to as the stronghold Din Eidyn ("Eidyn's Hill Fort"), which provides the roots of the city's modern name: Eidyn and burh, which means "fortress".
This small group tour is offered to travellers who are seeking a five-day extension in the city as part of one of the Odyssey Traveller small group escorted tours.
The tour stays in a centrally located hotel in Edinburgh. Each day we set out on a trip to explore various parts of the city, typically using public transport, taxis and the rail network to reach the destinations selected, taking in 2-3 key features or attractions of the city. We will be aided by knowledgeable, local tour guides who share the ancient, classical, and recent history of the city with the group as we explore.
Typical Edinburgh City Tour Highlights:
Castle Rock is now the site of Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline of the city and is only one of the many attractions on offer. Edinburgh Castle is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the National War Museum of Scotland, and is often included in our tours that stop in Edinburgh due to its historical importance and medieval splendour. The One o’Clock gun is fired from the castle (except on Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas) in a time-keeping tradition that dates back to 1861.
Every Saturday, the Castle Terrace in the shadow of the fortress hosts the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. Here you will find more than 50 specialist producers selling Scottish venison, organic mushrooms from the Highlands, handmade pies and other Scottish specialities. The castle is at one end of the Royal Mile, which runs downhill and ends at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Royal Mile in itself is an attraction, with its cobbled streets and wynds (minor streets) branching out of the main road, as well as countless historic buildings including the Parliament and St Giles Cathedral. The history of the Royal Mile will be shared by a local tour guide.
Part of the Palace of Holyroodhouse is Holyrood Park, which in the 12th century was a royal park and a hunting estate. Now a public park, this hilly, natural sanctuary is just a few minutes' walk from the Royal Mile. The park is a perfect place to stretch your legs and relax, with its well-maintained paths to Edinburgh's highest point, Arthur's Seat. This peak provides an unforgettable panoramic view of the city.
Travel to Dundee for the day to visit the V&A as well as Scott's ship Discovery.
High tea at the Signet Library in Parliament Square
Spend one day in Glasgow taking in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery with its famous Salvador Dali, as well as a guided tour of Merchant City.
Travelling by train to the seaside University town of St Andrews and enjoy beautiful landscapes on the road.
Articles about Scotland published by Odyssey Traveller
The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Scotland when visiting;
For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
Writing in 1824, the author and future publisher Robert Chambers described Edinburgh as "a truly romantic place" and that for visitors it offered " a perfectly unique scene, and one which, once contemplated, was not easily to be forgotten." What the young Robert Chambers wrote some 200 years ago still holds true today for the thousands of local folk and visitors who walk down Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile.There can be few streets anywhere in the world that are so steeped in history. Stretching from the Castlehill lying in the shadow of the majestic Edinburgh Castle, then running down the quaintly named Lawnmarket, the Royal Mile then enters the ancient High Street itself before descending down the Canongate past the Scottish Parliament building and finally ending at the Royal Palace of Holyrood. For well over a 1000 years, the Royal Mile has been at the heart of Scotland's capital city. 'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' is intended both as a guide book for our many visitors and as an informative reference book for those, perhaps living far away as expatriate Scots, who have an interest in Edinburgh's unique story.'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' will also take you off the historic street into some of the ancient closes and wynds which run north to the present-day New Town and south to the Grassmarket and the Cowgate. Many visitors on the Royal Mile pass these by unaware of their treasure trove of tales. Here you will find some of the best stories such as the marital problems of Lady Stair, the ill-luck of Deacon Brodie, the unsolved murder of Thomas Begbie the bank messenger and the murderous activities of the villainous Burke and Hare.The book will introduce you to some of the remarkable characters who have made this journey. Here you will meet such Scottish monarchs as Robert Bruce, James IV and Mary, Queen of Scots. They are joined by other iconic Scots such as Bonnie Prince Charlie, Sir Walter Scott, John Knox, Elsie Inglis and Robert Burns. Here too you will find an assortment of characters including a notorious warlock, assassins, murderers, thieves, a servant boy roasted on a spit and a town councillor shot dead by a 10 years' old schoolboy. Your journey will introduce you to some colourful eccentrics including Lord Monboddo who first suggested our descent from apes and Hugo Arnot, the asthmatic lawyer, whose 'History of Edinburgh', published in 1779, gives us an invaluable account of the dramatic changes taking place in the city in the second half of the 18th century. Sharing your journey are some true Edinburgh 'local heroes' - George Drummond, six times elected as Lord Provost who was the driving inspiration behind the planned New Town; John Kay, the caricaturist who during a career that spanned more than 30 years from 1785 to 1807, has left us images and pen portraits of several hundred of his contemporaries who he observed from his little premises nestling behind St Giles Kirk, Sir William Chambers, another reforming Lord Provost and Sir Patrick Geddes the late 19th century conservationist who fought to preserve what little was left of the historic Old Town from civic destruction. Nor must we forget the celebrated 'Golden Age' of the late 18th century when Edinburgh rejoiced in the reputation of such intellectual giants as David Hume, Adam Smith, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson and James Hutton. What a cast of characters!'A Walk Down Edinburgh's Royal Mile' draws from several contemporary sources in describing such events as the Great Fire of 1824 and the murder of David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. The book is generously illustrated with pictures of the Royal Mile as we can enjoy it today as well as contemporary prints and drawings. The book concludes with a bibliography and some suggestions for further reading. If you enjoy this book then why not continue your journey by purchasing the companion title 'A Walk Through Edinburgh's New Town.'
Jack Gillon is a long term resident of Edinburgh and has worked as a Town Planner involved in the conservation of the city s heritage of historic buildings for around thirty years and has an extensive knowledge of the city's history and architecture. He writes extensively on the historical heritage of Scotland and has had several books published by Amberley."
Edinburgh in the 1950s: Ten Years that Changed a City
by Jack Gillon, David McLean, Fraser Parkinson
"Edinburgh in the 1950s: Ten Years that Changed a City" by Jack Gillon, David McLean & Fraser Parkinson looks at the city of Edinburgh during a decade in which, as the authors note in their introduction, Britain changed definitively and dramatically. This was a decade in which post-war rationing gave way to an economic boom, and a decade in which the problems of Edinburgh's appalling slums were finally addressed, though not always in ways that were welcome at the time or appear wise when viewed with hindsight.
From mean beginnings – ‘wretched accommodation, no comfortable houses, no soft beds’, visiting French knights complained in 1341 – the city of Edinburgh went on to become one of the architectural wonders of the world. But over the centuries many of those fine buildings have gone. The buildings which stood in the way of what was deemed progress are the heritage of Lost Edinburgh. Hamish Coghill sets out to trace many of the lost buildings and find out why they were doomed. Lavishly illustrated, Lost Edinburgh is a fascinating insight into an ever-changing cityscape.
The Town Below the Ground: Edinburgh's Legendary Undgerground City
by Jan-Andrew Henderson
Below Scotland's capital, hidden for almost two centuries, is a metropolis whose very existence was all but forgotten.For almost 250 years, Edinburgh was surrounded by a giant defensive wall. Unable to expand the city's boundaries, the burgeoning population built over every inch of square space. And when there was no more room, they began to dig down . . .Trapped in lives of poverty and crime, these subterranean dwellers existed in darkness and misery, ignored by the chroniclers of their time. It is only in the last few years that the shocking truth has begun to emerge about the sinister underground city.
The late poet laureate, Sir John Betjeman, said that Edinburgh was the most beautiful city in Europe. Like some other great cities it is set on seven hills. But only one of these, Rome, rivals Edinburgh in matching the beauty of its setting with the stateliness of its buildings. A romantic landscape of sea and hills, broad vistas and hidden corners is embellished by a style of architecture combining stern classicism with antiquarian whimsy.
A small group tour of England that will explore the history of Agrarian and Industrial period. An escorted tour with a tour director and knowledgeable local guides take you on a 22 day trip to key places such as London, Bristol, Oxford & York, where the history was made.
A guided tour of Scotland is a day tour collection that includes Edinburgh, the royal mile, Edinburgh castle, and the old town a UNESCO World heritage site Experience and learn about, Kellie castle, St Andrews, Skye, Balmoral castle, Loch Lomond and Loch Ness as well touring the Scottish highlands to finish in Glasgow.