Princes, Preachers and Jacobites - an Edinburgh tour

Barry Hilton
A one-day walking tour to delve into some of Edinburgh's most fascinating history
Barry Hilton

Tour Dates

11/03/2022 Book

Princes, Preachers and Jacobites

Early modern Scottish history in a Royal Mile

Departs: Friday, 11 March 2022 
Where: Edinburgh

In this one-day Specialist Walking Tour of Edinburgh, you’ll be guided by historian Barry Hilton with visits to some of the city’s most famous sites, where you'll uncover stories of a famous cast of characters that includes Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox.

We start by heading back in time at Edinburgh Castle, discuss the difficulties Scottish royalty faced during the Tudor period, and look at the tragic cause of the Jacobites and the end of the clan system in Scotland. 

This Specialist History Day is a chance to spend a full day with an expert and fellow enthusiasts, diving into a fascinating, historical topic so that you can deepen your knowledge and understanding of Scotland's impact on British history. 

The day begins with an orientation and background introduction from your guide, to set in context the places we will visit on the Tour. 

We’ll start at an indoor venue with teas and coffees, before heading out into the streets of Edinburgh. Throughout the day questions and comments are encouraged – this is your chance to enjoy you passion with a friendly group that is well-informed and shares your love of the past.

You’ll visit:

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Greyfriars Churchyard
  • John Knox House
  • St Giles Cathedral
  • Darien HQ
  • Holyrood Palace

Your guide:

Barry Hilton is an expert, writer and researcher on Scottish history, and has spent a lifetime researching, writing and modelling the armies and characters, military and political of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. 

A proud Scot, he is passionate about the contribution made by Scottish soldiers in conflicts in Scotland, Ireland and on the continent. 

He has written widely about the Jacobite Risings, the Highland clans and the battlefields of Killiekrankie and Culloden and the massacre at Glencoe. 

Tour Dates

11/03/2022 Book



We meet at Waverley station in Edinburgh, and then move to the Old Waverley Hotel for teas and coffee and a brief introduction and context setting from our guide, Barry Hilton.

11- 1.00pm

We start with a tour of Edinburgh Castle to step straight back into the city's Middle Ages history. Next, we walk along the Royal Mile and stop at Greyfriars churchyard, where Jacobite leaders from the battles of Culloden and Falkirk are buried.

1 - 1.30pm

Lunch at Deacon’s House café

1.30pm – 2.30pm

John Knox coined the phrase ‘the monstrous regiment of women’ and, understandably, had a feisty relationship with Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth 1st. We'll visit his home to find out more.

2.30 - 3.30pm

Continue to St Giles Cathedral to see the Covenant, the Montrose monument and the John Knox statue, plus the Mercat Cross in the old Market Square, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was proclaimed King.

We'll find out more about The Young Pretender's adventures in the 18th century, and their significance on British Government and the clan system in Scotland, when we stop at the former headquarters of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies (also known as the Scottish Darien Company).


We then arrive at Holyrood Palace, where both Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie lived, and we'll see the ballroom where the Young Pretender arrived in September 1745.


The final stop for our tour is a well-earned 'wee dram' at the World’s End pub, where Edinburgh (and the Flodden Wall) used to end, and the Netherbow Gate was the main entrance into the city.


Return to Waverley Station