Historic Edinburgh Tours offer a variety of walks around Edinburgh’s Old Town. We’re unable to offer Edinburgh teachers set discounts on our scheduled tours, but if you contact us about a tour when we’re already taking guests out and around Edinburgh, we’ll happily try to fit you in and offer you a discount. Teachers are, of course, able to book any of our Edinburgh tours and our private tours at normal adult rates. Our Old Edinburgh walking tour would probably be the one most likely to support teachers own professional development about the general history of the Old Town. It would be a great way to introduce the history of the Old Town to teachers who are new to Edinburgh. We also run a Residents’ Tour schedule which will include a rare adult version of our Jacobites Occupation of Edinburgh tour and our Victorian poverty tour. We will also be running a few of our Greyfriars Kirkyard tours. We can also run a version of our cheapest Edinburgh private tour. If you wish to discuss any of these tours as a special running just for your stage colleagues and yourself, it’s certainly something we could look at doing for a discounted rate. Your guide would be Robert, the same person who leads al our include tours of Edinburgh.
Please contact us so that we can discuss your Victorian Edinburgh tour requirements. Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077
Please contact us so that we can discuss your Victorian Edinburgh tour requirements. Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077
THE POOR OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR
In a nutshell;
Our Victorian poverty tour is one of our favourite Edinburgh walking tours. The school version is just as interesting. So often schools have to rely on resources which focus on the lives of the rich, or of people who live in London! We designed this tour to give your class a sympathetic understanding of what life was like for the very poorest people in Edinburgh. This tour will encourage your pupils to think about how history can have a bias in terms of social class. Your class will compare maps with the streets they see today, and they’ll compare and contrast different archive images of the same building (and then compare that with the building as it looks today). There’s enough of the Victorian Old Town in evidence and even around us, to let your class imagine what it was like to live in the slum dwellings of Edinburgh. Edinburgh will act as a background which lets us look at some of the most significant aspects of life for the Victorian poor - immigration, sectarianism, poverty, charity (and lack of) and judgemental attitudes are all covered in this tour. There are a lot of opportunities for your class to feel real outrage at the lives these people had to suffer.

“WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE FOR THE

POOR IN VICTORIAN

EDINBURGH?”

Often school resource books will focus on the big events of the Victorian period or the lives of the rich and famous. This tour is very different, and it’s a very ‘Edinburgh’ tale. We’ll visit the site of two of Edinburgh’s very worst slum streets, and we’ll look for evidence of how they have changed over the years. Your class will also find out what ‘charity’ was available to the poor and why this wasn’t always helpful. We’ll also discover how Edinburgh’s immigrant population influenced and changed Edinburgh.
- £3 per pupil - Monday-Wednesday availability (possibly Thursdays also!) - meets at corner of North Bridge/High Street (at Byron) - tour lasts approximately 2 hours - pupils work indivdually and with partners whilst using various sources of evidence - tour can be tailored to your times and specific learning questions, just let us know what you’d like us to focus on.
“Thanks Robert! Your knowledge and delivery today were superb, and you got the children just right! I’ve already started recommending your tours” P. Browning Mary, Queen of Scots tour
A FEW LEARNING QUESTIONS ANSWERED ON YOUR

POOR OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR

“WHAT WAS A TYPICAL SLUM

HOUSE LIKE?”

We’ll use eyewitness evidence to imagine the slum dwellings and appalling rooms which were ‘home’ to Edinburgh’s poorest Victorians. We’ll even recreate the dimensions of a slum room and discover some of the unfair things unscrupulous landlords did to their tenants.

“WHAT ROLE DID IMMIGRATION

PLAY IN EDINBURGH’S

HISTORY?”

immigration was a significant aspect of life in the Victorian Old Town. Your class will have an opportunity to use an example of the National Census result for Blackfriars Wynd, and we’ll investigate the street as it is today. There are many positive stories about the role the Irish played in Victorian Edinburgh, and we will discover how this influenced a very famous Edinburgh sporting rivalry and (possibly) a popular song.

“WHAT HELP WAS GIVEN TO

EDINBURGH’S POOR (AND WHY

WAS THIS NOT ALWAYS TOO

HELPFUL?)”

One of the most important influences on life for those at the very ‘bottom’ of Victorian society is the role that charity played. Your class will discover how prejudices and unfairness was often a decisive factor in whether a family would be supported or ignored. We will see the remaining section of Edinburgh’s Poorhouse and learn about why these places were some of the most controversial parts of Victorian charity.
Victorian Edinburgh tour

“WHAT EVIDENCE CAN WE USE TO

FIND OUT ABOUT THE LIVES OF

THE POOREST VICTORIANS?”

This is a fascinating question and one which is worth looking at, even briefly. The continual lack of fairness is a talking point which your pupils will meet time and time again on this tour. Upper-middle-class men usually wrote most accounts of the life of Edinburgh poor, and we’ll look at this bias on our tour. We can even visit Greyfriars Kirkyard to discover why having no evidence can be just as telling as having lots of evidence.
EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN WITH OUR

AWARD-WINNING EDINBURGH TOURS

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FOR THE CLASS TEACHER

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION

Although pupils won’t be walking for the full two hour duration of this tour, there are limited places where we can offer rest areas. We’ve put together a page which will highlight some relevant accessibility issues which occur on this tour route. We will try to alter the tour route if needed. There are limited options for this, however. Sadly, the Old Town is hilly and not brilliantly paved. All our tour routes cross at pedestrian crossings, and any alternative solutions might include streets which don’t have proper crossing areas. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here.

WET WEATHER INFORMATION

This tour is an ‘outside’ tour, and there are no areas where we can shelter out of the rain. We do realise that a wet and windy day probably isn’t going make for positive memories! We’re pretty flexible and will happily reschedule your date. There’s no extra cost for this. We realise this is useful if you are travelling on foot or using public transport. If you have organised transport, then please know that, whatever the weather, we will be there for you! If you’d like to reschedule your tour, please let us know by 8.30 am on the morning of your tour. My mobile number is 07590 026 077.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Risk assessment is something which your governing body will legally need you to carry out and, as such, we can only offer some suggestions and recommendations for your paperwork. While we can’t offer these as your official risk assessment, please click here to download our suggested risk assessment information and our route instructions. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here. This document has a standard meeting point for this tour. You may have discussed a different location in correspondence with your guide. This would be your starting place.

TOILETS (AND ADDED VALUE!)

We’ve got no ‘toilet’ stops on our tour, but you are welcome to ask the Museum of Scotland if you can use theirs. Most of our schools' tours of Edinburgh start just across the road from there. You may also want to book a teacher-led guided tour/exploration of the Museum of Scotland. This is free. They also offer a series of paid workshops. Booking something either of these options will allow you to ask for the use of their lunchroom. We also recommend checking out the educational workshops at Riddle’s Court. These come with a cost. A lunchroom is sometimes available.
Please contact us so that we can discuss your Victorian Edinburgh tour requirements. Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077

“WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WERE

MADE TO SOME OF EDINBURGH’S

SLUM STREETS?”

Your tour will visit Blackfriars Street and St Mary’s Street. These were once two of the very poorest places in Scotland. They were so poor that there were books written just about these slum areas. We’ll get a chance to look for clues which tell us what happened in these streets, and we’ll see how the council tried to make life better. These plans were much harder to put into action because of one rarely discussed part of the history of Victorian slums. Your class can then judge how effective the Council’s plans were.
TEACHER DISCOUNTS ON OUR SCHEDULED

AWARD-WINNING EDINBURGH TOURS

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Victorian Edinburgh tour
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