Edinburgh World Heritage - University Heritage Trail


University Heritage Trail

Since its foundation in 1583 the University of Edinburgh has been strongly linked to the city itself.

The University’s buildings reflect Edinburgh’s historical and architectural importance, and were often at the centre of events in the city’s and Scotland’s history. Old College was designed by Robert Adam and William Playfair, and the David Hume Tower by Sir Robert Matthew is now regarded as one of the key examples of Scottish Modernist architecture.

Many famous and distinguished people have also been associated with the University, including scientists Charles Darwin and Joseph Black, authors Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson, and pioneers for women in medicine Sophia Jex-Blake and Elsie Inglis.

The trail helps to guide visitors around some of the most significant buildings on the University of Edinburgh’s campus, explore the city’s unique heritage and discover the hidden history behind its stone facades.

Download the University of Edinburgh Trail (PDF | 6MB) or pick up a copy from the University Visitor Centre.

Among the stories in the trail:

•    The inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.

•    The unsolved murder of Lord Darnley.

•    A memorable wedding day at Old Moray House.

•    The Edinburgh student who helped found a new country


Listen to city guides and interviews, browse the image galleries and watch the stunning time lapse videos.


Visit our learning site to download lesson plan, browse resources and find out about our schools programme.


Find out the latest on EWH projects and events.


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