Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows

Edinburgh's New Town, a centrepiece of the city's UNESCO World Heritage area, is 250 years old in 2017.

To celebrate this milestone in Edinburgh's history, and as a signature event in Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, an atmospheric lumière experience is highlighting the city's beautiful Georgian architecture and bringing its original residents back to life, right in the heart of the New Town.

Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows is free (paid tours are available), taking place every evening between 5:30pm and 8:30pm, from 23rd February until 26th March 2017.

Download the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows Map here >


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Beginning at the centre of St Andrew Square, projections onto the Melville Monument tell the story of the New Town's origins and take you on a journey through detailed plans of the city's streets, highlighting key buildings in the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows trail.

YHHA EGS North St Andrew Square

Turn to 24 and 25 St Andrew Square and see a fly-through of the original plan, with the buildingcoming to life with the shadows of former residents then follow the linkboys to explore the New Town as you've never seen it before. 

Dundas House

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36 St Andrew Square, Registered Office of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Originally a private mansion commissioned by MP Sir Lawrence Dundas (1712 – 1781), construction of Dundas House finished in 1774, with the building eventually being acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland 1825 who have owned it ever since. Attention will be drawn to the building's distinct neo-classical architectural features across the its frontage.

General Register House

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2 Princes St

Intended as a purpose-built archival facility, General Register House is a significant building in Edinburgh's history, and one of the few buildings to be mandated by the plan, there being very little prescription on land use. 

Construction finished in 1789, making it the first custom-built public record repository in Britain. Today it also holds the distinction of being the world's oldest purpose-built archive building still in use as well as having been the site of Britain's first hot-air balloon ascent, by James Tytler.

Its place on the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows trail and its illumination highlight the innovative planning the New Town brought to city-building.

St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church

YHHA EGS St Andrews Church

13-17 George Street

The stained glass windows of St Andrew & St George's West Church will be illuminated, bringing their gorgeous detail and delicious colour to life, while on either side of building's frontage, 18th century residents will go about their business, as if heedless of the passage of time.

Look out for the linkboy leading a fireman with his torch, a Newhaven fishwife selling her wares and some of the city’s ‘tron men’ - or chimney sweeps - heading off to another New Town rooftop.

Assembly Rooms

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54 George St

The Assembly Rooms, built on a site donated by the Town Council, was completed in January 1787 for the Caledonian Hunt Ball and provided a place for social functions in the New Town, bringing with it a distinct shift of focus for the city's wealthy and elite from the Old Town onto the New. 

The Assembly Rooms has played host to guests including Charles Dickens, Seamus Heaney, J K Rowling, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As you wander the trail, follow the linkboys and catch glimpses of the hubbub inside one of Georgian Edinburgh's favourite venues, with guests awaiting entry.

Sir Walter Scott’s Home

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39 North Castle St

Scottish literary giant Sir Walter Scott lived in the beautiful and spacious three-storey Georgian townhouse at 39 North Castle Street with his family for the majority of his married life. Glance into the residence's ground-level bay windows and you'll see Sir Walter in his home, kept company by a faithful companion.

Bute House & Georgian House

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5-7 Charlotte Square

Leading Scottish Architect Robert Adam designed Charlotte Square. Though alterations to his plans were made after his death, elements of the square remained faithful to his design. Bute House (home of Scotland's First Minister) and its neighbours are central to Charlotte Square's north side, and an example of Adam’s original design.

The frontages of the house and its neighbours together create the illusion of an unbroken palatial façade; Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows will see Bute House and its neighbours illuminated, highlighting the beauty and detail of Adam's architectural vision.

YHHA EGS North Charlotte Square

Georgian House has been restored to preserve an example of a typical Edinburgh New Town House of the late 18th century with period furniture and decoration. Visit Georgian House to complete your journey in the past of Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows. 

Download the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows Map here >

Physical copies of this map are also available at the following venues:

VisitScotland Waverley iCentre, 3 Princes St,EH2 2QP

VisitScotland Edinburgh Airport iCentre, East Terminal, Edinburgh International Airport, Ingliston, EH12 9D

The Principal Edinburgh, 19-21 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PB 

The Roxburghe Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4HQ

Holyroodhouse apartHOTEL, 1, Nether Bakehouse, Holyrood, Edinburgh EH8 8PE

Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PQ

St Andrew's and St George's West Church, 13-17 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PA

Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Georgian House, 7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR

New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT

 This is Edinburgh - The Official Guide to Edinburgh >