Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Auld Reekie comes back to life

Discover everyday life in Georgian Edinburgh with our new trail guide.

Jun 21, 2010

Edinburgh World Heritage has launched a new self-guided trail that takes visitors back in time to the 1770s, a period when the city was changing dramatically with the planning and building of the New Town.

The trail brings together places that still give a flavour of life over 200 years ago, with the poetry of Robert Fergusson who captured everyday life in his writing. The trail explains some of the hidden corners of the city, such as the exclusive apartments of James Court, and Thistle Court reputedly the first houses built in the New Town.

Download the Auld Reekie Trail (PDF | 6MB)

A programme of events will also bring the Georgian period to life. At the Museum of Edinburgh visitors are invited to meet Mrs Doig, an upwardly mobile merchant’s wife who dreams of living in the New Town. For the Old Town Festival in June storytellers will tell tales of the characters of Georgian Edinburgh, and sedan chairmen will be seen again on the Royal Mile.

Later in the year the focus will be on the letters of Edward Topham, an English visitor to the city in 1774, whose accounts of Edinburgh life will be brought to life in video clips hosted on the EWH website. Topham liked Edinburgh night life, in particular the tradition of Oyster Cellars, where men and women drank punch, ate oysters, and danced all night. He was less keen on the food though, describing a haggis as “…a dish not more remarkable or more disgusting to the palate, than in appearance”.

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