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Edinburgh Guided Tour

Private & Group Walking Tours of Edinburgh, Scotland

We now offer virtual tours of Edinburgh where our guide can link up to the client, using zoom or similar technology, whilst the guide walks and/or drives around the city giving a commentary as he/she does so. We have now done this, very successfully, for educational establishmentscompanies and private individuals. If you wish to book a virtual tour, or simply wish to know more, please contact us by using our contact form on our contact page, saying what you have in mind. 

Our Edinburgh Walking Tours

Start your holiday with us and let us give you inside knowledge on what to see, where to go, and things to do.

The Edinburgh walking tours focus on the historical, cultural, and architectural heritage of Edinburgh. Most of the major historical sites of interest are covered, including the world-famous Royal Mile in the Old Town.

On our Group Walking Tours, we have an absolute maximum of 12 walkers to ensure you have a first-class experience. We feel strongly that tours of 30, 40 or 50 more, just cannot give you the same experience.

And where better to start those walks than the Usher Hall, Scotland’s premier concert hall, donated to the city in 1896 by Andrew Usher.

Alternatively, our Private Walking Tours allow you to see even more landmarks and sights around Edinburgh both in the Old and New towns and can even be altered to suit your personal tastes/interests, as you will be the only walkers on the tour.

Our guides are very carefully hand-picked for their historical knowledge and they share our love of history and the city.

Edinburgh Guided Tour is currently ranked number 8 out of 470 Edinburgh tours on Tripadvisor; an exceptional performance for our small tour company.

And, even better, in 2019 Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards had us ranked at #5 in the world for cultural experiences!

You can book your tour with us with confidence. If your plans change, you can always cancel the booking and get a full refund (apart from cancellations made with less than 24 hours to go). 

Meet the Guides for our Edinburgh Guided Tours

Father and son team, Stuart and Richard Usher, started Edinburgh Guided Tour in 2012 with one clear vision; to provide an intimate walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town and Royal Mile that would enthuse their guests with its amazing history, its famous characters and its magnificently varied architecture.

Simply put, they want their guests to fall in love with Edinburgh!

Introducing Professor John W. Frank MD, CCFP, MSc, FRCPC, FCAHS, FFPH, FRSE, LLD: John has held a Personal Chair in Public Health Research and Policy in the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh from 2017 to 2021, at which time he retired. John was born in Canada but has lived and worked in Edinburgh for almost 20 years. He is a keen history buff and, despite his lofty academic attainment is a genuinely down to earth, warm and immensely affable tour guide.

John W. Frank

Introducing Dr Alison Duncan: Alison is a Scottish history expert and a  professional historian and she can make the wonders of Scottish History come alive, in front of your eyes, as she takes you on tour.

Alison was recently interviewed by Channel Four’s Professor Alice Roberts as part of their episode covering Edinburgh, on the hit TV series, ‘Britain’s Most Historic Towns’. Please see the video on the right.

Introducing David Forsyth: David is a professional historian and, prior to his recent retirement after 25 years with the National Museum of Scotland, David acted as ‘Keeper’ (Manager) of the Museum’s Scottish History & Art & Design Departments. David will absolutely delight you with his stories about the city and its history.

David was recently featured on BBC’s ‘Art that made us’ and is shown here talking to the BBC’s Shaun Leane. Please see the video on the right.

Introducing Douglas Graham BD (Hons) MSt (Oxon.) DipPTP: After training for three years as a stage actor, Douglas read Theology at the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Oxford. He is a keen student of History and a gifted storyteller. Douglas is a great addition to our team.

a man looking at the camera

Introducing Craig Goodman BDS; Born in Scotland, Craig’s love of history began as a child and, as a voracious reader, this continued over the years. After qualifying as a Dentist, his professional life took him to England and to Germany. Eventually, the pull of home brought him back to Scotland and his proximity to Edinburgh ignited his passion, not just to further expand his knowledge of its history, but to unfold to others the historical riches this wonderful city holds.


How do you pronounce EDINBURGH? Here is Stuart Usher, our senior guide, on Scottish TV’s news programme, giving the definitive and CORRECT answer.

Edinburgh Guided Tour Recognised Among Best In The World!

Viator Experience Award 2023 Winner
  • Edinburgh Guided Tour are extremely proud to announce that our Guided Group Walking Tour has won the 2023 Viator Experience Award! It rates us among the Top Twenty Viator attractions in all of Northern Europe.


  • Viator is the world’s largest travel experiences marketplace with more than 300,000 bookable tours, activities, and excursions.


  • Our Guided Group Walking Tour is our most popular, best-selling tour and it is the original experience that started us off over 10 years ago!


  • This longstanding tour, focuses on the most important streets in Edinburgh and covers the most seminal people, buildings and events from Scotland’s history, and has grown from strength to strength and stood the test of time.

Other Plaudits for our Edinburgh Walking Tours

  • In 2019, Edinburgh Guided Tour was ranked #5 in the World for Cultural Experiences in the 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. An outstanding achievement!
  • In 2016 we were selected as being one of Edinburgh’s Top Ten walks by the Guardian newspaper.
  • In 2019 we were selected as one of Edinburgh’s 7 best walking tours by The Scotsman newspaper

The Ushers of Edinburgh

Stuart and Richard’s family roots are steeped in the history of both Edinburgh and Scotland. Stuart’s great-grandfather, Sir John Usher Bt., and his great-great uncle, Andrew Usher, introduced blended whisky to the world. In fact, Andrew in particular is widely acknowledged as the Father of the Blended Scotch Whisky Industry. From the Usher Hall by Edinburgh Castle and the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, to the Usher created North British Distillery near the city centre, the Ushers are as intertwined with Scotland’s Capital City as bagpipes and tartan are with this outstandingly beautiful country.


Andrew Usher, father of the modern Scottish whisky industry

Our Walking Tours in Edinburgh were Rated "Excellent" by 94% of our Guests!

Great intro to Edinburgh

"Wide range of information on the history, architecture geology and people who contributed to Edinburgh. I learnt absolutely tons in 3 hours. Easy nuggets of knowledge delivered in a conversational style. Excellent introduction to the city from our guide Alison."

– Caroline K. via TripAdvisor

"Stuart was great and very knowledgeable! He also gave great advice on where to shop, eat, and drink."

– Ayokom via TripAdvisor
Would highly recommend

"Starting at the appropriately named Usher Hall (you'll be told all about that), the tour progressed at a leisurely pace throughout the centre of Edinburgh. Stuart's knowledge is extensive, and his delivery humorous, leading to a hugely enjoyable and unique touring experience. Would highly recommend."

– Stuart via TripAdvisor
Perfect Introductory Tour

"Hugely informative and wonderful as an introductory tour in Edinburgh. Great trivia and historical information along with fantastic restaurant and shop recommendations. I would advise anyone to take this tour as it is a fantastic way to accommodate yourself to this city!"

– Chilian K via TripAdvisor
Great fun

"Lively and entertaining. Just the right mix of solid facts and amusing trivia. A fantastic introduction to the city."

– London Visitor via TripAdvisor
Must do tour

"Alison was a brilliant tour guide. The tour was interesting, enjoyable and gave the right amount of information on the places we visited. We had a small group which was great so we could ask questions and get to know the other guests. Would highly recommend this tour."

– 387Joc via TripAdvisor
Use this service!

"We walked privately with Stuart Usher through old & new town as well as the Royal Mile. It was absolutely excellent!! Not only was Stuart enjoyable company, but the tour provided a solid overview of the history of the mile and recommendations for food and shopping. Stuart pointed out fun details that I would've never otherwise noticed. It really gave me an appreciation for what this city has to offer. Plus, the information provided was the perfect balance between detailed v. general, old v. modern, etc. We loved it and will definitely use the service should we return to Edinburgh in the future!! THANK YOU STUART! :)"

– JoyP via TripAdvisor
Incredibly informative and engaging

"It was a joy to spend the day with Alison. She was passionate about the city and its history and struck the right balance between historical content and lay person human interest. She engages the group in a comfortable manner and flexes to meet the needs and interests of whoever she has with her that day. Highly recommend joining one of her tours."

– 382THall via TripAdvisor
Now I know the inception of the Jekyll and Hyde story!

"We loved Stuart Usher and what he brought to our understanding of Edinburgh and the special knowledge that he has of its history having been there for many generations. His family donated Usher Hall, a premiere music venue, to the city and that attests to the intimate viewpoint Mr. Usher has of not only the history but also the current condition of Edinburgh. We enjoyed his very insightful comments and also his recommendations of places to eat and go see. All in all, a very worthy experience and one that I would do early in your visit to the city to be able to go back to some of the places pointed out on the trip."

– seidon via TripAdvisor
Best Tour Ever ... Really.

"Our guide for the tour of Edinburgh was incredible ... literally cannot write/speak enough of my praise. Guide was well versed in the history - woven in the details was a comprehensive reflection of the old compared with the new. Guide arranged the tour to our interests, using old maps and books for us to view ... a truly must guide to show you around the lovely city."

– Chuck B via TripAdvisor