I will say it fairly, it grows on me with every year: there are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh street-lamps.

Robert Louis Stevenson

What's a literary city without literary tours?

Here you'll find some of the best, liveliest and most informative tours you're ever likely to come across. The tour season runs all year round, but if you are planning to go during August, remember to book in advance as tours frequently sell-out during the festival and holiday period.

Booking information for each tour can be found in the individual websites. 


The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour

This award-winning tour was the first literary tour to be launched in Edinburgh more than ten years ago. Presented by professional actors, in the way of a lively duologue across some of Edinburgh's finest watering holes, these unique characters explore the inspiration for some of Scotland's greatest writers - spanning the last three hundred years.

The Scotsman has described it as 'A glimpse of historical reality rather than the usual tartan tat', which is a tribute to the balance between an entertaining and often hilarious dual of wits and a well researched, accurate script.

The tour runs all the year round and is available for education and private groups. Discounted tickets for pre-booking can be found via the website in addition to a new selection of literary lunch and supper packages. Now also featuring a day tour suitable for children and families.


Edinburgh Book Lovers' Tour

Starting outside the Writers' Museum this tour takes you through Edinburgh's closes, and through time, as you walk in the footsteps of literary greats such as Scott, Stevenson and Burns.

The tour is lead by Allan Foster, book lover extraordinaire, and it is packed with facts and fun, commentary, readings and laughter. Allan is also the author of The Literary Traveller in Edinburgh, an amazingly comprehensive pocket-sized book, which you can buy after the tour and which saves you having to remember absolutely everything Allan tells you on the tour.


Literary Pub Crawl

To discover literary Edinburgh you have to walk it, defying Robert Louis Stevenson's 'bleak winds' and Dorothy Wordsworth's 'passes of dark stone', simply because there is no other way of penetrating the ancient wynds, closes or creeper-ridden burial grounds of this city, whose literary past is written on its dark and hoary face.

Join Allan Foster for a pint or two as he takes you to a few famous literary pubs in Edinburgh and uncovers their hidden history for you.


Rebus Tours

Ian Rankin's bestselling Inspector Rebus books have brought Edinburgh alive in the minds of millions of readers. The Rebustours take you into the dark and murky world of Rebus, as no other tour can. The tour was launched in 2000 following close consultation with Ian Rankin and his publisher Orion Books Ltd, and Ian's been spotted on the tour a couple of times, so it must be good.


Trainspotting Tours

Follow guide Tim Bell through the landscape of Leith, the setting of Irvine Welsh's contemporary classic Trainspotting. Based on the book, the tour also works in key elements of the film of the same name, which starred Ewen McGregor.


Writers By The Mile

Visit the sights and landmarks that inspired many of the world’s most famous and respected writers – Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, J K Rowling, Ian Rankin and more!  From plays to poetry, historical novels to thrillers, your guide will explore a wide range of Scottish literature and reveal the strange tales that lie behind the most famous literary works. Private bookings only.