Free tour

Edinburgh in Books and films - A Christmas Carol and Harry Potter to Marvel and James Bond

Duration: 2h
Languages: English
Guru: Brian
Quality Verified Registered on October 11, 2023

A bit of history, a bit of trivia and a wee dash of stand-up. Born and bred in Edinburgh, I worked as a staff reporter, feature writer and cinema editor on The Scotsman for 17 years and subsequently wrote regularly for the Guardian and London Times. I have written and edited several books, including The Times on Cinema and On Location - The Full Fan's Guide to Britain and Ireland. Reviews for my Royal Mile tour with Sandemans... "Absolutely brilliant tour. Brian is a multigenerational Edinburgh resident who knows the city and the history better than anyone. Can’t recommend more highly. Take all his tours!" Tim "Great walking tour, extremely informative and fun. Particularly enjoyed all the story telling by our guide, Brian! Definitely recommend it :)" Tamanna Wahi "Brian was very entertaining and knowledgeable and we really enjoyed our Edinburgh walking tour with him." Rajdeep Bhattacharyya "Had a wonderful tour with Brian today! He was entertaining, engaging and has a great sense of humour. Also loved hearing his unique perspective on Edinburgh and some great personal stories 👏🏼" Hanna Standvold

Show more
  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment
    This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

In 1993 I met an American who had come to Edinburgh as a tourist. He had a wildly ambitious idea for a historical epic film. He had never written a film before. Three years later I was with Randall Wallace at the Oscars when Braveheart won the Oscar for Best Picture. 

  • Hear how a meeting I had with an American tourist took me to the Oscars and changed my life.
  • Walk the historic streets that were once walked by a famous author who came here as a secret agent 300 years ago.
  • Learn about Edinburgh's link with Marvel superheroes and why Fast and Furious was not really quite so fast or furious. 
  • Compare the size of your handprints with those of JK Rowling.
  • Find out the link between one of Rowling's best known characters and Scotland's worst poet.
  • And the link between James Bond and Sean Connery that goes back to school days.
  • Discover the truth behind Jekyll and Hyde.. and Sherlock Holmes It is all here.... Conan Doyle, Stevenson, Scott and Burns.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Julia Roberts when she set a world record with her $10 million fee in a movie that no one has ever heard of.
  • Visit Scrooge's cemetery and hear why Dickens got it all wrong.
  • Hear about the cute little Edinburgh dog who received the city's highest honour, had two statues erected in his honour and inspired a hit Disney movie.

Show more

What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    26 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1, UK
    26 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1, UK
    View on map

    Oitside the main gates of Greyfriars Kirkyard, 26A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, EH1 2QQ. (Next to s Greyfriars Bobby's Bar. Umbrella, either red or blue, grey, red and beige

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Greyfriars Kirkyard
  • 2
    Outside visit
    Royal Mile
  • 3
    Outside visit
    Scott Monument
  • 4
    Outside visit
    Edinburgh Castle
  • 5
    Outside visit
    Deacon Brodies Tavern
  • 6
    Outside visit
    JK Rowling’s Handprints
  • 7
    Outside visit
    Thomas Riddell's Grave

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

9 ratings
By category
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Anne 01 Dec 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Dec 2023
Excellent tour focused on Edinburgh tales, book and movie memorabilia throughout the ages
Catherine 25 Nov 2023

We had a fantastic Edinburgh tour with Brian. As someone from Edinburgh, who has lived and worked there most of his life, he was clearly drawing on a real depth and breadth of knowledge. He was able to pitch things at just the right level and pace for us, tell some great stories, weave in some personal anecdotes and make us laugh! It was fascinating to see and hear things we'd have otherwise missed. The tour with Brian was a real highlight of our stay in Edinburgh - would highly recommend!!
Paul 17 Nov 2023

Anyone who’s interested in Edinburgh or film will enjoy this tour. It takes you to the most interesting historical places in the old town, but also adds fascinating insights from Brian’s career as a journalist and film critic.
Mary 15 Nov 2023

Brilliant. Best tour I have been on - and I have been on a lot - this tour was a real stand out from the many tours available. Brian, a native of Edinburgh, not only knows his stuff he brought to life the whole experience with fantastic, unexpected details and stories. Bags of fun and personality. I could not recommend Brian's tour enough. You won't be disappointed.
Cassie 28 Oct 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Oct 2023
It was a very interesting tour with an original approach. Through his personal experience, Brian let us learn more about the city of Edinburgh and the movies and books related to it. Really recommend it!
Show 9 reviews

Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Accepts reservations up to 12 people.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Electronic or credit card payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
Show more
See availability

Find similar guruwalks in Edinburgh