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Second Level - Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobites in Edinburgh Tour

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Take your class back to the late Summer of 1745

£3 per pupil
Adults go free
Maximum of 36 (including adults) in Greyfriars Kirkyard
Meeting place
In front of Museum of Scotland (Chambers Street)
Accessibility info
Gradients and steps
2 hours

Quick description

Welcome to Old Edinburgh!  This outdoor learning experience will immerse your class in the history of one of the most incredible periods in Edinburgh’s history - the Jacobite occupation of 1745.

Your tour isn’t an expository lecture, although we promise that we have some excellent stories to share with your class!

Your guide comes equipped with an assortment of props and an A3 book full of supporting images and other materials.    We love this very ‘visual’ tour.

The class will be doing a lot of individual and partner work using various sources of evidence.  We will use old maps, ‘then and now’ images and much more to get your pupils in role as history detectives. 

Throughout this tour, your class will follow in the footsteps of Prince Charles Edward Stewart, his Hanoverian rivals, their armies, Flora MacDonald and many more.  These men and women did some incredible things on the very streets your pupils will explore.  

This 1745 experience was designed by Robert, the same person who will lead your class around the Old Town.  He’s a teacher himself and will use all of his 20+ year teaching experience to engage with your pupils.  

Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Contact us

Click the 'contact us' button to go to our school tour contact page.  We're usually able to reply within 12 hours.   

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Meet your teacher-tour guide

Some of the learning questions we can answer on this tour

“What was Edinburgh like in 1745?”

Edinburgh’s Old Town was a fascinating place in 1745.  The New Town hadn’t yet been built, and thousands of people were crammed inside a city which was still defined by the archaic Flodden Wall.  Scotland’s capital city was about to be centre stage to one of the most famous events in her history; the Jacobite Occupation of 1745.  

Your class will walk the very streets known to Prince Charles Edward Stewart, his Jacobites and their rivals.  We’ll learn about Edinburgh locations which played a role in the events which gripped Britain in the late summer of 1745.

Edinburgh in 1742 map.
“Did the people of Edinburgh support the Jacobites or the Hanoverians?”

The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 was a complicated affair, with Scots supporting both sides of the struggle.  Edinburgh had many ardent Hanoverians - such as the former Lord Provost, George Drummond. The capital also had equally stanch Jacobite supporters.  The arrival of a young prince and his army was an exciting event for Edinburgh's people.  

This tour looks at stories from both sides of the divide.  We also learn about a third group; the people who cheered for both sides, but didn’t fight for either.  This tour captures the emotions of this period.

The 'Young Pretender'.
“What role did Edinburgh’s women play during the Jacobite occupation?”

We’re delighted to use stories of some of the women and girls who had essential roles in the 1745.  We’ll even learn how lady’s fashion saved the life of a Jacobite supporter’s partner in 1746!

When we stand at the old Mercat Cross site, we will use an eyewitness account from a young girl who came from a Hanoverian family.  Her detailed report of the scene here will help us imagine one of the most symbolic moments of the entire rebellion!

Flora MacDonald.
“What historical events and actions took place in Edinburgh during the 1745 occupation?”

The Jacobite rebellion was not limited to Edinburgh’s Old Town, but Scotland’s capital city did see some significant scenes.

Your class will visit the site of the ‘attack’ on Edinburgh, they’ll learn about the important proclamations made by the Jacobite army when in Edinburgh, they’ll find out about the fighting which took place on the city’s streets and they’ll visit the site of the symbolic end of Charlie’s rebellion.

Jacobite Army in Edinburgh.
“What happened after the Jacobites left Edinburgh?” 

‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ stayed in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a few weeks later his bed was used by the Duke of Cumberland. 

Although we don’t visit Holyrood, we will learn about the day when the Duke of Cumberland left Edinburgh to join his army.  

Your class will also find out what actions the Hanoverians carried out, and your pupils will learn of the displeasure Cumberland felt towards Edinburgh’s people.  His plans on how to punish Edinburgh were quite interesting...

Duke of Cumberland.
“Who were the important people in Edinburgh during the 1745 Rebellion?” 

Your class will learn about Prince Charles Edward Stewart at some of the exact locations he’d have visited in Edinburgh.  We’ll also learn about the Duke of Cumberland, the Government forces commander at the Battle of Culloden.  Other important people feature on your tour, such as Archibald Stewart, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, George Drummond, a previous Lord Provost, Flora MacDonald and the staunch Jacobite Isabella Lumsden.  These characters provide so many fascinating stories about this turbulent time in Scotland’s history.

Duncan Forbes of Culloden.

Important information for the class teacher

Making sure everyone can access this tour is important to us.
Accessibility information

Although pupils won’t be walking for the full two-hour duration of this tour, there are limited places where we can offer rest areas.   We’ve put together a page highlighting some relevant accessibility issues that occur on this tour route.  

We will try to alter the tour if needed.  There are limited options for this, however. Sadly, the Old Town is hilly and not brilliantly paved.   All our tour routes cross at pedestrian crossings, and any alternative solutions might include streets which don’t have proper crossing areas.

We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here.

Image by Abhishek Yadav
Wet weather information

This tour is an ‘outside’ tour, and there are no areas where we can shelter out of the rain.  We do realise that a wet and windy day probably isn’t going make for positive memories!

We’re pretty flexible and will happily reschedule your date.  There’s no extra cost for this.  We realise this is useful if you are travelling on foot or using public transport.  If you have organised transportation, then please know that, whatever the weather, we will be there for you!

If you’d like to reschedule your tour, please let us know by 8.30 am on the morning of your tour.  My mobile number is 07590 026 077.

Keeping everyone safe.
Risk assessment

Risk assessment is something which your governing body will legally need you to carry out and, as such, we can only offer some suggestions and recommendations for your paperwork.

While we can’t offer these as your official risk assessment, please click here to download our suggested risk assessment information and our route instructions.

We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here.

Toilets and snack/lunch stops are things we can discuss with you when you book your Historic Edinburgh Tours tour.
Toilets (and how to add even more value to your school tour!)

We’ve got no ‘toilet’ stops on our tour, but you are welcome to ask the Museum of Scotland if you can use theirs.  Most of our schools’ tours of Edinburgh start just across the road from there.   You may also want to book a teacher-led guided tour/exploration of the Museum of Scotland.


 This is free.  They also offer a series of paid workshops.  Booking something either of these options will allow you to ask for the use of their lunchroom.   

We also recommend checking out the educational workshops at Riddle’s Court.  These come with a cost.  A lunchroom is sometimes available.

Contact us

Click the 'contact us' button to go to our school tour contact page.  We're usually able to reply within 12 hours.   

A detailed itinerary

We understand that you might want even more information about this Edinburgh walking tour.  Some people like lots of detail, we've got that for you!

Please click the 'Learn more' button to see a detailed itinerary for this tour.