greenyonder tours

"Children's Gardens in the Dark Places of the Old Town"

Chessels Court

At the beginning of the 20th century, directly opposite Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh's Old Town was one of the worst slums in Europe.

This walking tour celebrates children's gardens created in the Old Town slums by two social movements, the Free Kindergarten Movement and supporters of Patrick Geddes.

This is a longer version of The Patrick Geddes Garden Tour. The tour title is taken from an Outlook Tower pamphlet of 1912.

Illustration: 'Little Gardeners', Saint Saviours Child Garden Nursery, Canongate, 1912. (from 'Diary of a Free Kindergarten' by Lileen Hardy, 1912)

Tour Details

Private bookings:

Private bookings for groups and individuals are welcome at times to suit you. 

If you'd like to book a private tour, please phone 0131 558 8240 or email


Either, meet in front of the Scottish Parliament - this is the preferred route; however, it involves walking mainly uphill. If starting at the Scottish Parliament, the tour finishes in Johnston Terrace Wildlife Garden.

Or meet outside The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE; this involves walking mainly downhill. If starting at The Hub, the tour finishes near the bottom of Canongate.


Private bookings only for individuals and groups of 1 - 20. The tour lasts two hours, and covers one and a half miles of mainly pavement walking; some slopes, steps, wooden boardwalk, and cobbled surfaces.


Private group bookings £6 per person, with a minimum charge of £60. Private individual bookings £60.

updated 6 July 2018