Are you looking for things to do around Edinburgh? Try our self-guided walking tour & scavenger hunt to walk the old town and castle district.
Walk from City Chambers and Edinburgh Castle to the National Museum of Scotland and John Knox House, 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.
Scavenger Hunt information :
- City Chambers
- St Giles’ Cathedral
- Edinburgh Castle
- University of Edinburgh
- National Museum of Scotland
- National Library of Scotland
- Flodden Wall
- Museum of Childhood
- And much more!
- Starting point: outside City Chambers, 253 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ, United Kingdom
- Distance: 2.8 km / 1.9 mi
- Duration: 3 hours
- Method: walking
- Required: Fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan) – Wifi will not be enough.
- Water bottle
- Local map
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, most of these were later replaced by Victorian buildings.
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.
The 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.