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A Tour of Holyrood Park – in the Footsteps of the Famous

16 July 2009

Four special tours will give visitors the chance to walk Holyrood Park in the footsteps of the famous.

The Historic Scotland Ranger Service has organised the Hutton and A’ That tours on Friday 24th and Monday 27th of July especially for the 2009 Year of Homecoming.

They are a chance to find out how poets, authors, kings and scientists were influenced by the ancient royal park.

For Burns it was somewhere to walk with lady friends and for Bonnie Prince Charlie it was a military encampment on the eve of his victory at the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans.

Nathan Bryceland, an education ranger who will help lead the walks, said: “Over the centuries many famous and powerful people have visited and spent time in the Park and these walks are a chance to find out how it influenced them, their lives and thought.

“Burns and Scott were both here and poets like Robert Fergusson refer to it in their writing."

“And it still features in the work of modern writers like Ian Rankin."

“The park is also linked to monarchs like Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Victoria."

“Then there is James Hutton, considered to be the father of geology, who did a great deal of his research here – indeed he was the first to realise that Arthur’s Seat was once an active volcano.”

Visitors will be taken to Hutton’s Section, on Salisbury Crags, where he was the first to identify that some of the rocks had once been molten. This led him to conclude that the world had been formed through natural processes and was significantly older than previously thought.

The walks, which are suited to those aged 12 and over, will also explain something of the archaeology and natural history of the park.

There will be stops at points relevant to the dozen or so famous visitors being highlighted – along with readings from some of their work.

Notes for editors:

  • The walks are £3 per person with groups limited to a maximum of 25. Tickets need to be booked in advance by calling the Ranger Service on 0131 652 8150.

  • The walks begin at 10am and 12.30pm each day and last around three hours. Sturdy footwear and good outdoor clothes are recommended.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871