Brian Pendreigh's NEW Heart of Leith tour: Scotland's former capital and home of golf

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 Film Fan's Guide to Britain and Ireland.

Show more
  • 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

Consistently rated one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world by Time Out magazine, Edinburgh's picturesque harbor has a rich history, from Plague Times and the romantic Mary Queen of Scots to the cult novel Trainspotting and the luxury yacht in the one where Charles and Di spent their honeymoon. .

It is also the birthplace of the modern sport of golf. Sound the horn... no, not St Andrews... Leith Links.

Leith is a short tram ride from Princes Street. (Buy your £2 ticket by card at the machine before you board). The Shore tram stop is just a few minutes walk from our departure point at Leith Community Croft.

Learn the sinister truth about two mysterious little hills in Leith Links... and the terrible secret hidden beneath the cricket and football pitches.

Now officially part of Edinburgh, there was a time in the 16th century when Leith was the de facto capital of Scotland. Then there was the Siege of Leith in which the Scots and French fought the English and, uh, some other Scots. And a few years later there was the war between Edinburgh and Leith.

Gentrification and deprivation coexist just a stone's throw from the sea and the banks of the Water of Leith.
The Shore offers a great opportunity for photographers on a sunny day. And, as the Proclaimers song goes, it's always sunny in Leith (except the day I took most of the photos). If you don't know it, look it up and hum it as you walk around the harbor with an award-winning writer, an officially licensed guide, and a local resident. (That's me, not three different people, by the way.)

Show more

What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Leith Community Croft, 4A John's Pl, ...
    Leith Community Croft, 4A John's Pl, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 7EL, UK
    View on map

    I will be in the Leith Community Croft cafe area with a large black or red umbrella.

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Leith Community Croft cafe area, EH6 7EL
  • 2
    Outside visit
  • 3
    Outside visit
    Water of Leith Walkway
  • 4
    Outside visit
    South Leith Parish Church
  • 5
    Outside visit
    Leith Links

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

14 ratings
By category
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Shel 08 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
We thoroughly enjoyed our Leith walk with Brian. He was very professional and knowledgeable. He included a historical time line, many examples of architecture, historical tales and a very manageable walk. He clearly has done some good research and offered a very fine product!
Cathy 08 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jun 2024
Great taster tour of some of Leith's historic places and characters. Brian knows the area and makes the tour interesting for everyone. There is so much history in this area he has to choose what to include.
Ann Edwards 08 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
Very knowledgeable guide. Easy to hear. Interesting facts about the area.
Yazmin 22 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2024
Very knowledgeable tour with a relaxed style that was fun and well paced
Frank 21 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2024
Rafferty than simply being a walking guidebook, Brian presented a unique mixture of historical and contemporary tales, all delivered with wit and humour. A marvellous couple of hours in the company of an interesting and accomplished local!
Show 14 reviews

Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is 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