One of our Victorian poverty archive images.
“Robert put together a two-hour bespoke walking tour for me and my husband. It formed an invaluable start to my research into the old town during the Victorian period, which is the setting for my next children's book. Robert is extremely knowledgeable about Edinburgh's history and a very personable, eloquent guide who avoids the sensationalism of the typical tourist patter. I'd absolutely recommend one of his tours - you won't regret it!” Sharonnewell01 TripAdvisor review - 17/10/2018
Are you ready for our most heart-wrenching Edinburgh tour? Come with us as we show you a fascinating and rarely covered period in Edinburgh’s history. We believe this Edinburgh walking tour is an almost unique exploration which focuses solely on the lives of Edinburgh’s poorest Victorians. From the sites of dismal, long-lost lodging-houses, to where the very worst slum streets were, we’ll take you on an intimate, carefully researched and respectful exploration of just how hard life was for people at the ‘bottom’ of Victorian society.
Exploring the locations of some of the Victorian lodging houses in the Grassmarket. We visit this location on our Victorian slums Edinburgh walking tour. A long-lost close from the Old Town.

DISCOVER WHAT LIFE ‘AT THE

BOTTOM’ WAS LIKE

We will look at crime, alcohol abuse, extreme poverty, an uncaring society, police abuse, prostitution and dilapidated buildings. We will also explore an incredible amount of sectarianism and racism using the testimonies of the people who lived in these very streets. But there are also heartwarming stories, stories of co-operation and compassion which shine through to this very day.
Victorian poverty in the Old Town of Edinburgh.
EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT SIDE OF

EDINBURGH’S HISTORY

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR

SLUMS OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR

WHAT WILL YOU SEE ON YOUR

SLUMS OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR?

GREYFRIARS KIRKYARD - THE

WORST PLACE TO START!

Your Victorian Edinburgh tour starts in Greyfriars Kirkyard. We might do our very own Greyfriars Kirkyard tour, but your guide will explain why this is the very worst place to start our tour, and this lets us get straight into our story. We will start by launching you right into the unfairness of Victorian poverty. We know how to weave a fascinating story around even the grimmest of subjects, and we won’t disappoint on this tour.

THE GRASSMARKET LODGING-

HOUSES - ‘SAINTS’ V ‘SINNERS’

No ‘Victorian Edinburgh’ tour would be complete without a look at life in a lodging house. The lodging- houses give us some of the lighter stories of the lives of the poor. We also include a Grassmarket ‘then-and-now’ comparison at the same time.

WAS THE IMPROVEMENT ACT A

MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

We’ll learn about the Ragged School before seeing the result of the Improvement Act…and learn about what it cost Edinburgh in lost history and heritage. You’ll get to see what Edinburgh once looked like, find out why it changed and then you’ll have an opportunity to consider whether the right things happened for the right reasons. Like many things in history, the answer isn’t black and white.

VISIT THE SITES OF THE WORST

SLUM STREETS

We then enter Edinburgh’s “Abyss” “Slumming it” was a term coined to explain the habit of generally well- meaning Victorian men and women who wanted to take tourist type trips into the heart of slum dwellings. Your local Edinburgh tour guide will take you right there. He’ll use fascinating eyewitness stories to help you imagine the past as we walk around Blackfriars Street and St Mary’s Street, exploring what while we discover what life was once like in these very respectable areas today. And the truth is shocking…
FRIENDLY LOCAL GUIDE - Robert was born in Edinburgh and has lived here all his life.
SEE THE SIGHTS - Including Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Vennel, the Grassmarket, Victoria St, Heriot’s School and the Royal Mile.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH - We take you to some ‘hidden’ gems’ many visitors completely miss.
A VISUAL TOUR - Your guide uses an A3 book with images which will show you how Edinburgh once looked.
EXCELLENCE - This tour has an average ‘five-star’ rating on Tripadvisor.
FIVE REASONS TO COME ON THIS

SLUMS OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR

RATED 5
ON TRIPADVISOR
“My husband and I did this tour with Robert last night. It was RIVETING!! Robert's knowledge is extensive, and his manner is thoroughly engaging. obert's preparation is obviously extensive and it shows .. I cannot recommend his tours highly enough.” TripAdvisor review by AG660 September 2019
We're Good to Go - COVID19 certificate from Visit Britain. 2017 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence award. 2020 Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice award. 2018 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence award.

Slum Life in

Victorian

Edinburgh

Tour

Click here to see what our other guests thought of this tour
Call us +44 (0)7590 026 077
BOOK NOW
CONTACT US robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk +44 (0)7590 026 077 28/2 BRIDGE ROAD EDINBURGH EH13 0LQ Registered in Scotland - SC454482
ONLINE EXPERIENCES
© Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd 2020
EXPERIENCE A VERY DIFFERENT TOPIC ON YOUR

EDINBURGH HISTORY TOUR

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR

SLUMS OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR

“My husband and I did this tour with Robert last night. It was RIVETING!! Robert's knowledge is extensive, and his manner is thoroughly engaging. The subject matter is hard, but we learned an enormous amount about this side of Edinburgh's history. Robert's preparation is obviously extensive and it shows .. I cannot recommend his tours highly enough.” TripAdvisor review by AG660 - September 2019
WHAT WILL YOU SEE ON THIS

TOUR OF EDINBURGH

“Robert put together a two-hour bespoke walking tour for me and my husband. It formed an invaluable start to my research into the old town during the Victorian period, which is the setting for my next children's book. Robert is extremely knowledgeable about Edinburgh's history and a very personable, eloquent guide who avoids the sensationalism of the typical tourist patter. I'd absolutely recommend one of his tours - you won't regret it!” Sharonnewell01 TripAdvisor review - 17/10/2018
FIVE REASONS TO COME ON THIS

SLUMS OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR

Are you ready for our most heart-wrenching Edinburgh tour? Come with us as we show you a fascinating and rarely covered period in Edinburgh’s history. We believe this Edinburgh walking tour is an almost unique exploration which focuses solely on the lives of Edinburgh’s poorest Victorians. From the sites of dismal, long-lost lodging-houses, to where the very worst slum streets were, we’ll take you on an intimate, carefully researched and respectful exploration of just how hard life was for people at the ‘bottom’ of Victorian society.

DISCOVER WHAT LIFE ‘AT THE

BOTTOM’ WAS LIKE

We will look at crime, alcohol abuse, extreme poverty, an uncaring society, police abuse, prostitution and dilapidated buildings. We will also explore an incredible amount of sectarianism and racism using the testimonies of the people who lived in these very streets. But there are also heartwarming stories, stories of co- operation and compassion which shine through to this very day.

GREYFRIARS KIRKYARD - THE WORST

PLACE TO START!

Your Victorian Edinburgh tour starts in Greyfriars Kirkyard. We might do our very own Greyfriars Kirkyard tour, but your guide will explain why this is the very worst place to start our tour, and this lets us get straight into our story. We will start by launching you right into the unfairness of Victorian poverty. We know how to weave a fascinating story around even the grimmest of subjects, and we won’t disappoint on this tour.

THE GRASSMARKET LODGING-

HOUSES - ‘SAINTS’ V ‘SINNERS’

No ‘Victorian Edinburgh’ tour would be complete without a look at life in a lodging house. The lodging-houses give us some of the lighter stories of the lives of the poor. We also include a Grassmarket ‘then-and-now’ comparison at the same time.

WAS THE IMPROVEMENT ACT A

MISSED OPPORTUNITY?

We’ll learn about the Ragged School before seeing the result of the Improvement Act…and learn about what it cost Edinburgh in lost history and heritage. You’ll get to see what Edinburgh once looked like, find out why it changed and then you’ll have an opportunity to consider whether the right things happened for the right reasons. Like many things in history, the answer isn’t black and white.

VISIT THE SITES OF THE WORST

SLUM STREETS

We then enter Edinburgh’s “Abyss” “Slumming it” was a term coined to explain the habit of generally well- meaning Victorian men and women who wanted to take tourist type trips into the heart of slum dwellings. Your local Edinburgh tour guide will take you right there. He’ll use fascinating eyewitness stories to help you imagine the past as we walk around Blackfriars Street and St Mary’s Street, exploring what while we discover what life was once like in these very respectable areas today. And the truth is shocking…
FRIENDLY LOCAL GUIDE - Robert was born in Edinburgh and has lived here all his life.
SEE THE SIGHTS - Including Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Vennel, the Grassmarket, Victoria St, Heriot’s School and the Royal Mile.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH - We take you to some ‘hidden’ gems’ many visitors completely miss.
A VISUAL TOUR - Your guide uses an A3 book with images which will show you how Edinburgh once looked.
EXCELLENCE - This tour has an average ‘five- star’ rating on Tripadvisor.
RATED 5
ON TRIPADVISOR
One of our Victorian poverty archive images.
Please note that we’re only offering this tour as a private tour at the moment. Private tours are safer for your guests and you and cost as little as £40, for up to four guests. We can also run the tour at a time which best suits you.
Please note that we’re only offering this tour as a private tour at the moment. Private tours are safer for your guests and you and cost as little as £40, for up to four guests. We can also run the tour at a time which best suits you.
Click here to find out what customers wrote about this tour on Tripadvisor. Click here to for more information about your private tour of Edinburgh’s Victorian slum sites
© Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd 2020
Text/Call us : +44 (0)7590 026 077
ONLINE EXPERIENCES