Edinburgh New Town Tourist Scavenger Hunt

Edinburgh New Town 3-hour self-guided walking tour and scavenger hunt

Are you looking for things to do around Edinburgh New Town? Try our self-guided walking tour & scavenger hunt to walk the new town district.

Walk from the Edinburgh Waverley Train Station to Moray Place Gardens and St Andrews Square via various museums and monuments. Solve challenges at every stop to learn your next destination. You’ll also learn some local history and fun facts.

This activity is adapted for social distancing.

  • Do it in a small group (up to 6).
  • The guide is our mobile website, on your smartphone.
  • Go at your own pace, no time limit.
  • No need to touch anything or enter any building.

Scavenger Hunt information :

  • Edinburgh Waverley Train Station
  • The Balmoral
  • The Mound
  • Scottish National Gallery
  • Moray Place Gardens
  • Charlotte Square private garden
  • St Andrew Square garden
  • Princes Street Gardens
  • Royal Scottish Academy
  • And much more!
  • Starting point: outside Edinburgh Waverley train station, at the intersection of Waverley Bridge and Princes St.
  • Distance: 3.9 km / 2.4 mi
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Method: walking
  • Required: Fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan) – Wifi will not be enough.
  • Suggested:
    • Water bottle
    • Local map

Ancient History

The earliest known occupation of this region is a Mesolithic campsite dating from 8500 BCE. Archeology reveals a fairly continuous presence since.

Romans arrived on these islands in the 1st century and identified a Brittonic Celtic tribe called the Votadini here. They became the Gododdin kingdom in the middle ages. It is at this time that Castle Rock, then called Din Eidyn, emerges as the central point of this kingdom. The Scots took over the fortress in the 10th century. 

The burgh of Eden was chartered in 1124, under King David I. It has always been the capital of Scotland.

In 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the 2 “Crowns” while each country remained separate.

17th – 19th Centuries

In the 17th century, Edinburgh’s city limits were defined by the defensive wall. Thus, buildings were then commonly built up to 11 stories or more to accommodate the growing population. However, Victorian buildings replaced most of them.

The High Constables of Edinburgh were created in 1611, making them the oldest police force in the world.

England and Scotland joined in the union in 1707. Both parliaments merged into the Parliament of Great Britain, in Westminster, London, from then on.

The 18th century saw expansion to the north of the Castle. The Scottish Enlightenment came about in the 2nd half of the 18th century.

Recent Edinburgh History

Industrialization came slowly to Edinburgh, being surpassed by Glasgow in 1821. The railway arrived in the 1840s and around this time, most of the upper class had moved to New Town and the old town was now dilapidated.  

Edinburgh maintained its standing as 2nd most important UK center for finance and administration.

Finally, a new Scottish Parliament was established in 1998 to better manage this country, separately from the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which maintains matters of defense, foreign affairs, and taxation.

History of New Town

The New Town to the north of the castle came about in the 18th century in an effort to emulate London’s improvements. Namely broader avenues, large parks, and better sanitary conditions overall.

Many of the streets were named to further reinforce the Scottish-English Union.

The Edinburgh New Town Tourist Scavenger Hunt is in development

Edinburgh New Town princes street gardens
Dundas House, Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh New Town
Edinburgh New Town St Andrews Square
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