greenyonder tours

Scotland's Democracy Trail

Addressing the Scottish Parliament

Whether it’s IndyRef, Brexit, Project Fear or Project Farce, how we do democracy is a hot topic in Scotland. In 2014's Independence Referendum, many thousands of people in Scotland even got enthusiastic about it - and the world was watching.

Sometimes it's good to look to the past...


This walking tour takes a gentle uphill path to the top of Calton Hill to tell a 500-year-old story of democracy in Scotland, much of it almost forgotten. Using the fabulous views of the city, the tour will show you the clues that live on in Edinburgh's landscape. We then take a downhill stroll to the Scottish Parliament to bring the story right up to date.


"An amazing walk and discussion in Edinburgh yesterday by an inspiring guide. Thank you so much for 'enlightening'. A great pleasure to meet you (again)." James, Yorkshire


"I thoroughly enjoyed your walk around Calton Hill and want to thank you for bringing the history alive. It was extremely interesting and relevant to today's Scotland. I can't thank you enough for such an enjoyable morning." Margaret, Edinburgh







The tour is based on the book Scotland's Democracy Trail by Stuart McHardy and Donald Smith, published by Luath Press at £6.99. Greenyonder Tours is very grateful to the authors and publisher for permission to use the book as a basis for our own Democracy Trail.


Buy the book here from Luath Press.

The Martyrs' Monument, Edinburgh


Greenyonder is grateful for support from Edinburgh City of Literature Trust in developing this tour.




City of Literature logo







Meet outside Old Calton Burial Ground, Waterloo Place, EH1 3EG. (Old Calton Burial Ground is almost opposite the Apex Hotel on Waterloo Place.)


Tour lasts approximately two hours, and covers about one mile, walking on mainly pavements and good tracks. We climb Calton Hill - there are a few steps, followed by a long, gentle uphill path, followed by tracks going both up and downhill. We finish outside the Scottish Parliament.


Private bookings:

Private bookings for groups and individuals are welcome at times to suit you. Check here for more details including special group rates.

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

Cost of private bookings:

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

updated 2 January 2019