Scottish Enlightenment Walking Tour in Edinburgh

» Edinburgh » Edinburgh » Edinburgh

From $24.78

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person


Departs: Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

Learn more


My tour unpacks History in an exciting and stimulating way. Learn about the secrets,lies and myths surrounding this fascinating historical period.

The people involved are revealed as human beings, not mythical historical figures. Such as Walter Scott who had polio as a child and walked with a limp. He was racked with self doubt and showed no promise as a writer at school.

David Hume's father died when David was a child. His Godfather, Henry Home, was a religious man. Both were equally hated by the Church - find out why. Find out who Hume's mistress was and how she was a lady of the night. Discover how Hume was humiliated by the City Council - after he died.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics was an anti-social man who lived with his mother, frowned upon romantic love and never married. Find out how Adam Smith is now cosmologically famous!

Learn how American Independence was a Scottish Revolution.


What's Included

All Fees and Taxes

Traveler Information

  • ADULT: Age: 16 - 64
  • SENIOR: Age: 65 - 95

Additional Info

  • Not recommended for travelers with poor cardiovascular health
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • With social distancing, my guests should use common sense as we move through the streets between points of interest; also when assembled in a group. I will not wear a mask as I need to be heard. Mask wearing is optional for guests.
  • Not recommended for travelers with a bladder issue who regularly require a toilet
  • Not recommended for travelers with spinal injuries
  • Travelers should have at least a moderate level of physical fitness

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

Adam Smith Statue
Learn about Adam Smith, the man, his life, his work, his mother and two main reasons why Adam Smith was unique in ways that will never be equalled and have nothing to do with economics.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

University of Edinburgh
Learn how Scottish Education, at that time, catapulted Scotland ahead of other countries.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

William Henry Playfair Statue
Appreciate the contribution made by Playfair to Edinburgh's Architectural landscape.

5 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

General Register House
Learn about the building of Edinburgh's New Town, how bad the old town was and the contribution made by architects James Craig and Robert Adam towards making new Edinburgh one of the world’s finest cities.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Calton Hill
After spending 15 minutes in the fascinating Calton Graveyard (don't ask, it's brilliant) we go across to Calton Hill where there are several points of interest including the Scottish National Monument, the Nelson Monument and Dugald Stewart (University Polymath) commemorative statue.. and others. A fair degree of fitness is required to scale Calton Hill and complete the Tour.
Please note: I am not including all of the special points of interest in the descriptions as some, actually the most interesting, don't appear as a Tour Destination with the software herein.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Find out about Hume's life, his philosophy, why he was despised by the Scottish Church and how he almost converted from atheism to Christianity.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Old Calton Burial Ground
Three points of interest in this Graveyard opposite Calton Hill. Firstly, and a little surprisingly, a Commemorative Statue of Abraham Lincoln, dedicated to Scots who fought in the American Civil War, on both sides. Learn about the shared history of Scotland and America and how the United States would never have happened without Scottish intervention.

Secondly, David Hume's Mausoleum. See evidence on his tomb as to why he was despised by the religious authorities and the City Council alike.

Thirdly, an obelisk dedicated to Thomas Muir, one of the Enlightenment's first Social Reformers who paid for his social conscience with imprisonment in Botany Bay. Learn about Clan life and how it contrasted sharply with the dynamic changes further south in Scotland's Central belt and the Lowlands.

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Scott Monument
This is a bit of a cheat because we are not visiting the Scott monument itself, we will be walking to a plaque which is high up on a building where Walter Scott once lived, one which is in plain sight that people pass daily and do not notice. It is a secret plaque, in one of the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh's convoluted streets.

Here you will discover secrets about Walter Scott you did not know. We will shine a light into his relatively unknown life to reveal a man whose behaviour, lack of self esteem and ability in his younger years will shock you.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Parliament House
The Faculty of Advocates sits inside Parliament House, Parliament Square, Edinburgh. It is a Guild of Lawyers that dates back to the 13th Century.

After the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, Scottish Law remained independent. learn about the difference between Scottish and English Law at that time and why many considered Scottish Law superior...and how Boney M could possibly have anything to do with it!

Learn about henry Home aka Lord Kames, who was an Advocate and a key figure in The Faculty of Advocates and The Scottish Enlightenment. Find out about his relationship with Devid Hume and Adam Smith.

Find out how Lord Kames contributed to banning slavery in Scotland.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Memorial Duke of Buccleuch
The Duke of Buccleuch Statue represents the new era of Commerce during the Scottish Enlightenment. He is a vainglorious figure, a great Nobleman wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter. Like a Gainsborough painting portraying a prestigious Lord. He is surrounded by Huntsmen and Hounds, stags and crests. Battles and marriages are celebrated.

The statue was his idea - he was certainly a narcissist, but as narcissists go, he was one of the more accomplished ones.

His statue points North West - there's a reason why - find out why. And discover how the Scottish Enlightenment began West of Edinburgh, not in Edinburgh itself.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Dugald Stewart Monument
Dugald Stewart was Edinburgh University's pre-eminent lecturer. The monument to Dugald Stewart was designed by William Playfair - it sits proudly on Calton Hill and is one of Edinburgh's most recognisable icons.

Stewart took the Chair of Moral Philosophy in 1785 and sat on that Chair for 25 years.

Find out more about his life, how he tutored two Prime Ministers, a future First Lord of the Admiralty and Lord Chancellor plus a cluster of philosophers, and let's not leave out Sir Walter Scott. Discover what he truly thought about Scotland and Europe's new, Enlightened, Commercial Society.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Nelson Monument
Standing proudly on the Calton Hill is the Nelson Monument. It's a tribute to Lord Nelson, of course, but it also once had a practical function. Find out what it was. We will not be entering this building.

5 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

« All Activities

Edinburgh activities and shore excursions by group:

© Copyright 1995 - 2023 Edinburgh Travel Guide