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Meet Our Guides

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.


Steuart Watkins was born and educated in Edinburgh. He travelled the world with the Royal Navy as a young man, before working on merchant-fleets and yachts as an engineer and eventually a Ship’s Captain. Steuart returned to Scotland in 2010 and since then, he has been self-employed around Edinburgh, including spending several years as a tour guide. He has always taken an avid interest in Scotland’s history and he will spin you some fabulous yarns as he walks you around our beautiful city.

a man standing in front of a building

Alastair Sim BA(Hons) (Oxford) MA MPhil FRSA loves to tell the stories of his native Edinburgh. After a senior career in government and universities, culminating in him becoming the Director of Universities Scotland, he is now enjoying leading tours that help guests to unveil the secrets of this historic city – the place that Alastair calls the Jekyll and Hyde city for its blend of light and darkness.

Alastair is also a writer and performer.  He’s had two novels published and he followed in the footsteps of his great uncle (the celebrated British actor Alastair Sim who was the original Scrooge in A Christmas Carol), by performing in many theatre productions.

a man smiling for the camera

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

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