Edinburgh Fringe Festival: City Explorer Tour Review

For most people, Edinburgh Fringe brings to mind crowds of tourists and locals, swarming on the cobblestoned streets to the point of getting even the most peaceful mind to the edge of irritation. Pushing your way past the enthusiastic show-promoters handing out leaflets quickly becomes like a workout, both mentally and physically. Thus, finding something more peaceful to do during the festival is very much welcome.

The bottom of the Granny’s Green Steps down in Grassmarket is the starting point of something else than one of those thousand comedy shows. Gareth Davies has chosen this spot to kick off the daily City Explorer tour around the more unknown spots around the Edinburgh’s old town.

The tour introduces one to the local heroes with a combination of history, tragedy and secrets – it’s kind of like a play, but just outdoors and based on real stories. Those looking for a more profound history lecture of the capital, this is not the right choice. Yet, for someone not so familiar with Edinburgh, this walk gives not only a lot of knowledge for yourself, but a lot of quirky stories to pass on to your friends in the future.

For those looking for a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of the Fringe, this walking tour does it marvelously. From the oh-so-loved execution stories to the early female heroes of medicine, the time is going to fly having a look over the prettiest part of town. One does not need to be extremely fit nor know anything in advance to participate; the whole walk only lasts about one and a half hours and focuses on a small area surrounding the Grassmarket, led by the very knowledgeable guide all the way.

The City Explorer Tours run twice every day during the Festival, at 10 and 12pm. So, instead of those couple of pints early in the day, I would recommend getting a little bit more out of your stay in Edinburgh than a two-day-hangover. Book yourself a slot for the next day’s walk. It doesn’t have to be in the pubs and theaters to have that ”wow”-feeling; the views and stories on this tour do the same and fresh air works magic.

You can find more info and book your tickets for the tour from the Fringe website, search ”city explorer” or follow this link: Edinburgh – Festival City Explorer Tours

By Suvi Loponen