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Second level Bonnie Prince Charlie's Edinburgh tour 

Take your learning into the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town.  Your class will use archive images and maps as they explore the city as it was in 1745 on this teacher-designed and led tour
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2017 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for Historic Edinburgh Tours
2018 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence winners - Historic Edinburgh Tours

As of 28/05/2023,  321 of our 326 Tripadvisor reviews awarded us five-stars! 

Bonnie Prince Charlie in Edinburgh - 1745

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 the role of 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.


£3 per pupil.  No charge for adults.

Click the button below to secure a suitable date and start the discussion about your tour.


Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance


We work with you to give you the tour you need and want


Historic Edinburgh Tours is rated '5-star' on Tripadvisor


You will need to complete your own risk assessment form for the trip. 

Click here to download our guidance notes for teacher risk assessment.

“The enthusiasm of Robert our tour guide really captured the children’s attention…I would highly recommend the tour for any class studying the History of Scotland or Edinburgh.”

N. Ritchie - Class Teacher



Meet just outside the Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street.


This tour takes 1.5 hours (approx).


This tour finishes in the High Street, close to the City Chambers.


We recommend starting a morning tour at 10.30 am and an afternoon tour at 12.30 pm.  We do have some flexibility over these times.


Moderate gradients throughout, uneven paving, steps.


We will invoice your school after the tour.  There's no need to bring payment on the day.  We'll send the email to you; if you could pass this on to your school's business manager, we'd be very grateful.​


Here are five of the places we can visit on your private tour. There are more! How long we spend on each story and how much walking we do is up to you!


“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 that 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 that played a role in the events which gripped Britain in the late summer of 1745.


“What role did Edinburgh’s women play during the Jacobite occupation?”

We’re delighted to use stories of some women and girls who had essential roles in 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 site of the old Mercat Cross, 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!


“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 when the Duke of Cumberland left Edinburgh to join his army.  

Your class will also learn what actions some Hanoverians carried out when the city was back in their hands, and your pupils will learn of the displeasure Cumberland felt towards Edinburgh’s people.  His plans on how to punish Edinburgh were quite interesting...


“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 fought for neither. This tour captures the emotions of this period.


“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, and they will find out about the fighting on the city’s streets.  We will also take them to a place where the rebellion ended (symbolically, at least).


“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 many fascinating stories about this turbulent time in Scotland’s history.


2018 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence winners - Historic Edinburgh Tours

Certificate of Excellence award winner 2017 and 2018.


Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice award winner 2020 and 2023.

five star rated tour of Edinburgh

As of December 15, 2022, 99.6% of our reviews have been five stars.


Your tour will be led by a primary teacher with 25 years of classroom experience.


"A new and exciting virtual experience"​

“Since our personal trip was, once again, postponed, this tour was a wonderful opportunity to spend a very informative 90+ minutes strolling thru Old Town. His time with us was full of information, wonderful antidotes and incredible stories.” 

Janet H - Tripadvisor - April 2021


Q: Can we have a snack break on tour?

A: You can, but this means your class will be 'snacking' during their 1.5 hours. We strongly recommend you snack your class outside the Museum of Scotland (the steps up to the old central doorway make a great place to sit on a sunny day). You may also want to ask the Museum if your class can use the toilets. The Museum opens at 10 am, and I typically prefer classes to attend any sessions there from 10.30 am onwards. Reception staff may allow you to use the toilets before then. Male and Female toilets are on the ground floor and are situated next to each other. They're straightforward to 'police'.   Please note that we don't organise this for you, and it depends on the Museum of Scotland.

Q: What happens if it is a really rainy day?

A: Don't worry, we will be there! We want you to have a good tour. If the weather is awful, we know you may prefer to reschedule your tour. We can even reschedule on the day - please let us know by 8 am on the day of your tour. You can text us at 07590026077.

Q: What happens if we are running late?

A: Don't worry! Robert was (and still is) a classroom teacher. Traffic can happen, and parent helpers can have issues and turn up late. These things happen! It may impact the duration of your tour if you have time restraints.

Q: Are there toilets along the tour route?

A: No. We've not planned or risk assessed for toilet stops on any of our routes.

Q: We have a pupil/adult in a wheelchair. What do we need to do?

A: Edinburgh's history is there for all to be enjoyed. Please let us know in advance, and we can alter the tour route so that everyone can enjoy the Old Town and our stories.

Q: Do you have any risk assessment advice?

A: Yes! You will need to complete your forms, but we've included a suggested risk assessment for your tour. You can access it here.

Q: Are there any other 'Jacobite' things we can do in the Old Town?

A:  You may wish to book a teacher-led guided tour/exploration of the Museum of Scotland.  This is free.  The Museum also offers a series of paid workshops.  Booking something either of these options will allow you to ask for the use of their lunchroom.    Edinburgh Castle also runs Jacobite themed tours.

Q: We've got two classes. Can we combine both for one tour?

A: Sadly not. Bigger groups are harder to move around the Old Town and cause more disruption for those around us. We're also limited to 35 people in Greyfriars Kirkyard. We may need to ask additional adult staff to wait at the Kirkyard gates. This is a ruling by the City of Edinburgh Council.


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