Tours last from one to two hours, depending your interests and the time you have available. Each tour includes a range of poems, as well as background about the places we stop.
‘Ye Jacobites by Name’
The Jacobite rebellion of 1745 led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, or ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, gave rise to many poems and songs. Hear how Edinburgh was captured and occupied by his Highland army, and the story of the romantic but doomed campaign which ended in defeat at the Battle of Culloden.
Includes poems and prose by those fighting on both sides, and by later writers fascinated by the turbulence and drama of ‘Charlie’s Year’, including Robert Burns, James Boswell and James Hogg.
Starts outside the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43–45 High St, EH1 1SR and ends at Horse Wynd, EH8 8DX (between Holyrood Palace and the Scottish parliament).
Edinburgh: the last 500 years
As presented at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (as Come Down the Mile).
500 years of Edinburgh history in 90 minutes – a 16th century priest–poet–translator, a 17th century garden, short-lived 18th poets, 19th century tourists, 20th century renewal and a 21st century parliament.
Includes poems by Gavin Douglas, Robert Fergusson and Ken Cockburn.
Starts and ends outside the Scottish Poetry Library, Crichton’s Close, Canongate EH8 8DT.
Palace, Park and Parliament
The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament face each other at the foot of the Royal Mile. Beside them lies the open spaces of the Queen’s Park, dominated by Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. Hear poems and prose from across the centuries about these centres of power and the characters who have moved through them, from the tragic figure of Mary Queen of Scots to a visionary Catalan architect who made a parliament fit for the 21st century.
Includes poems and prose by Victor Hugo, Dorothy Wordsworth and Chiang Yee, ‘The Silent Traveller’.
Starts and ends at Horse Wynd, EH8 8DX (between Holyrood Palace and the Scottish parliament).
Kirks and Kirkyards
Edinburgh’s skyline is dominated by church towers and steeples. This tour takes in four historic churches – Greyfriars, St Giles, Tron and Canongate – and the graveyards at Greyfriars and Canongate. Discover the poets who are buried and commemorated there, and who wrote about them in sometimes unflattering terms.
Includes poems by Duncan Ban MacIntyre, Robert Louis Stevenson and Marion Angus.
Start at Greyfriars Kirkyard, Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QE, and ends at the Canongate Kirkyard, 153 Canongate, EH8 8BN; or vice versa.
I can also offer tours including poetry writing activities, for schools or writers groups.
If you have any questions or requests, please ask!
For enquiries, or to book a tour, click here,
or ring +44 751 354 5742