Tobias Smollett once wrote: “Edinburgh is a hotbed of genius.”
It is extraordinary that so many people who have changed the world have lived in this city, particularly in the Old Town.
Its sense of mystery and adventure has inspired writers for such novels as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, the Sherlock Holmes books, Rob Roy, poems by Robert Burns, and many more. Its passion for knowledge and wisdom has made Edinburgh a centre for learning and debate: out of its history step David Hume, James Hutton, Adam Smith, and Charles Darwin.
Its inventors are renowned: if you use a telephone, television, camera, radio or computer, you will find key pioneers here in Edinburgh; this city is the incubator for anaesthetics, antiseptics, modern surgery, laser technology, Dolly the Sheep, and the God Particle.
Out of its religious upheavals came education, healthcare, modern democracy, human rights, and social reforms, which have affected the world. It has been said that the Scots invented the modern world, and the heart of that invention is here in Edinburgh.
In this walking tour we will weave our way through the Old Town, to uncover a remarkable story of famous lives that changed the world. We also have access to some buildings where few tourists go.