Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Explore Hidden Gems For World Heritage Day

New digtial walking tours encourage everyone to discover more of the World Heritage Site.

Apr 17, 2012

To celebrate this year's World Heritage Day on 18 April, three new digital walking tours have been launched to help visitors and residents explore the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site and some of the City's exciting niche shopping areas.

The three tours are part of the Edinburgh World Heritage City iphone app, and cover areas of the city centre less familiar to tourists; Thistle Street, Broughton Street and the West End & West End Village.

The purpose of the iphone app is to help visitors and residents explore more of the World Heritage Site, and to further engage with their historic surroundings.   The three new tours were developed by Edinburgh World Heritage and funded by the City of Edinburgh Council's Economic Development Dept as part of their strategy to Build Stronger Town Centres.

The tour of Thistle Street highlight's its royal connections, and how the street once hosted an exhibition of Madam Tussaud’s waxworks.  In the West End & the West End Village the tour takes in the grandeur of St Mary’s Cathedral as well as the cosy period charm of William Street. In the Broughton Street tour visitors are invited to discover a contrast of gothic and classical architecture, including the stunning Mansfield Traquair Centre.

Greg Ward, City of Edinburgh Council's Head of Economic Development said:   We are pleased to have partnered Edinburgh World Heritage in the production of these new Historical Walking Tours through three of the city's niche shopping areas.   This is an example of the many successful projects that have been completed in the last 12 months to help Build Stronger Town Centres in Edinburgh”.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: “The app enables visitors to confidently explore the World Heritage Site, taking them to places they might easily miss. It also adds greatly to their experience, enabling users to hear stories about past residents, to see what others have found interesting and leave their own comments. This changes what is traditionally a passive activity, like simply reading a guidebook, into a much more engaging and interesting experience.”

The iphone app features City maps, zoomable high-resolution photos, and stories of past residents and events to help bring the buildings to life.   Users can also add their own photos and comments on things they have found, leaving digital breadcrumbs for others to follow and discover these unique places themselves.

A key element is the game feature which enables users to compete against each other, scoring points for finding places and winning bonuses for answering questions about the location.   This is not just for those with a competitive streak, the idea is to encourage users to look and think much more about the historic building or location.

Download Edinburgh World Heritage City from the App Store.

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