School of Mathematics

Maths Walking Tour

If you're keen to do some mathematics whilst sightseeing around Edinburgh, then our walking tour is for you.

Maths Walking Tour Map
Maths Walking Tour Map

This page contains further information and directions for the Edinburgh Maths Walking tour we have created.  For details about the various stops, and to try the fun and engaging puzzles, visit the walking tour webpage.


Green Route (1/2 hour - 1 mile/1.5km)

1) The Witches Well is located at the top of the Royal Mile at the east end of the Castle Esplanade, on the side of the Tartan Weaving Mill.

2) Walk down the Royal Mile to the Camera Obscura.

3) Cross over George IV Bridge/Bank Street and and walk on a little, to where you will find the Heart of Midlothian mosaic (outside the Cathedral), and the gold bricks marking the Luckenbooths.

4) Continue along the Royal Mile, heading downhill, where you will find The Worlds End on your right.

5) Head further along the Royal Mile until you reach the east/bottom end, where you will find the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Abbey.

Blue Route (2.5-3.5 hours depending on stops/reading; can be walked in about 1.5 hours. 3.5 miles/6km)

1) The Witches Well is located at the top of the Royal Mile at the east end of the Castle Esplanade, on the side of the Tartan Weaving Mill.

2) Walk down the Royal Mile to the Camera Obscura.

3) To get to the Edinburgh Bow Tie Company, continue down the Royal Mile until you get to Bank Street (with Deacon Brodies Tavern on the left), and turn left.  Continue straight on towards the Museum on the Mound and turn left onto North Bank Street.  Follow this round to the right, across the crossroads onto The Mound, which continues northwards, downhill towards Princes Street. Cross the road and turn left, continuing until Frederick Street, where you will turn right onto it, and then right again onto Rose Street. The Edinburgh Bow Tie Company will be on your left.

4) Continue along Rose Street until you get to the first major crossroads with Hanover Street. Turn left (north) and continue until the junction with George Street (with the statue of George IV in front of you).  Turn right onto George Street and continue east to the James Clerk Maxwell Statue, which is directly in front of St Andrew's Square.

5) Turn right onto South St Andrew Square/St David Street and continue downhill to Princes Street; you can see the Scott Monument in front of you.

6) Upon reaching Princes Street, turn left (east) and continue straight on, past the end of Leith Street, until you reach Howies Restaurant on your left. Cross the small road in front of you and continue for a few yards until reaching stairs on your left.  Ascend the stairs and turn right onto another set of steps.  Continue until you reach the top of Calton Hill where you will easily find the City Observatory.

7) Descend Calton Hill, by continuing east and taking Calton Hill Road, which loops down and back towards where you made your ascent.  Alternatively, return via the steps and walk east towards the end of Calton Hill Road.  Once you reach the junction of Calton Hill Road and Regent Road, continue east along Regent Road and cross to the other side. There are now a number of routes to Holyrood Abbey: i) [Shown on Map] Immediately on your right will be a small entry-way onto steps, which leads down a path onto Calton Road.  OR ii) Continue along Regent Road, past the Burns Monument on your right, until you reach the entrance to New Calton Burial Ground.  Make your way through the cemetery, heading south, where you will exit onto Calton Road.  One you reach Calton Road, follow it east (turn left) until it reaches a roundabout; Holyrood Palace, and the Abbey, are straight ahead and to the right of you. OR iii) Follow Regent Road past New Calton Burial Ground, taking a path on the right next to a grassed area to Abbey Mount. Turn right and follow the road to the roundabout; Holyrood Abbey will be on your left.

8) The Scottish Parliament is directly across Horse Wynd from Holyrood Palace.

9) Take the Royal Mile (Canongate) and walk uphill (west). Continue until you find The Worlds End on your left.  It is on the junction of the Royal Mile and St Mary's Street.

10) Continue up the Royal Mile until you reach Niddry Street on your left (between The Raddison and The Inn on the Mile). Turn left, taking Niddry Street downhill. Cross over Cowgate, heading straight on. The distrinctive door of The Oyster Club will be on your right.

11) Niddry Street is a dead end, so turn around, walk back Cowgate, turn right onto it, and then immediately right onto Robertson's Close. Continue uphill to Infirmary Street, and turn right where you will find South Bridge. If you want to complete the longer (red) route, then turn left along South Bridge and follow those instructions.

12) Cross South Bridge onto Chalmers Street and continue west, past the National Museum of Scotland, until you reach George IV Bridge. The statue of Greyfriars Bobby will be on the other side of the road.  Cross the road, and head to the left of the statue into Greyfriars Kirkyard.  Colin Maclaurin's memorial is on the south side of the Kirk. James Stirling's memorial is a small plate written in Latin, between two large tablets on a wall - can you find it?

13) Exit the Kirkyard where you came in, and walk left along George IV bridge (do not take Candlemaker Row, which is the smaller street heading downhill). The Elephant House, famous for Harry Potter, will be on your left, just before George IV Bridge crosses another street below it.

14) Continue along George IV Bridge until you reach the Royal Mile (this is where you turned left at the start of the walk). Turn right (east) onto the Royal Mile, and walk on a little, to where you will find the Heart of Midlothian mosaic (outside the Cathedral), and the gold bricks marking the Luckenbooths.

Red Route (+1 hour 2.5 miles/4km)

1) Starting from South Bridge/Chambers Street [Point 11 of the blue instructions], walk south along South Bridge/Nicholson Street, and Surgeons' Hall will be on your left.  

2) Cross the road and go straight on (west) past Nicholson Square Gardens. The Bayes Centre is straight ahead of you on Potterrow.

3) Turn left along Potterrow until you reach Crichton Street (opposite the Mosque).  Turn right onto it and continue along George Square, taking the passage straight on in front of the Chrystal Macmillan Building, towards Sainsbury's. Before reaching the bollards, turn left along George Square Lane. St Albert's Chapel is through a gate on your left.

4) Return along George Square Lane, turn left through the bollards and immediately left again onto Middle Meadow Walk.  Continue straight on to The Meadows.

5) Once you enter The Meadows, turn right along Meadow Walk and continue (west) until the end of The Meadows. Turn right along Brougham Place and continue to the complicated crossroads. Head straight on, along Earl Grey Street until you reach Fountainbridge on your left. Turn left onto it and continue until you reach Akva on the left. Take the small passageway on your left and you will find the Canal Basin.

6) Return to Fountainbridge through the passageway and turn right, returning to Earl Grey Street, and turn right again.  Now take the first left onto Lauriston Place.  Continue for about 1/2 mile/800m, passing George Heriot's School on the left, until you reach Forrest Road on your left (opposite Middle Meadow Walk). Turn left onto it and continue until reaching Greyfriars Kirkyard on your left (just before the Greyfriars Bobby pub/statue). Continue from point 13 of the blue instructions.