First World War Heritage of Edinburgh

Full day private vehicle tour

The First World War of 1914-18 traumatised the whole of Europe, and Scotland, as with Britain in general, did not escape lightly, losing much of a generation of young men who were killed, or wounded both physically and psychologically. Befitting that huge communal trauma, even today, the landmarks related to the war in Edinburgh exist in quiet dignity, without fuss, publicity or self-advertisement. However, approaching the theme carefully and with sensitivity, it can be discovered that Edinburgh’s connections with the ‘War to end War’ are deep, varied and fascinating. Some of the only remaining training trenches in Britain? The birthplace of our most senior wartime General? The hospital where our greatest War Poets met and wrote? The site of the greatest assembly of warships in history? Edinburgh’s First World War heritage is virtually unparalleled in Britain for scope and depth, and that is what you will be discovering on this full-day private tour.

The locations you’ll see include these:

Original training trenches at Dreghorn Barracks, dug in 1914-15 by the troops themselves in preparation for the Western Front.

The hospital where war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon met and jointly edited the hospital magazine (with museum exhibit).

The Morningside lodgings of pre-war German spy Dr Armgaard Graves, who later turned double agent.

Memorial to the fallen of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, who joined up together at the start of the war.

The consulting rooms of Edinburgh’s WW1 medical heroine Dr Elsie Inglis.

Birthplace of General Sir Douglas Haig, British supreme commander from 1915 to the end of the war.

Key locations for Edinburgh’s regiment, The Royal Scots – Dalmeny Street Drill Hall and the memorial to the Quintinshill railway disaster of 1915.

Lunch in the cocktail bar of the Royal Scots’ Club, itself a living memorial to the war, with regimental colours and memorabilia.

Site of the April 1916 Zeppelin bombing in the Grassmarket.

The Firth of Forth, site of (still) the greatest assembly of warships in history as the German Fleet surrendered after the Armistice.

The moving and beautiful Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We believe it would be hard to find a more comprehensive or fascinating First World War heritage experience anywhere in the UK, and we look forward to welcoming you!

tour essentials


  • Credit/debit cards, Apple/Samsung pay, cash all accepted.
  • Visiting key First World War related sites in Edinburgh
  • Full day tour (approx 9 hours)
  • Morning coffee inclusive: lunch and Edinburgh Castle entry fee extra.
  • Free cancellation up to 24hrs before tour time
  • Complimentary pickup and drop-off at your choice of location.
  • Commentary from local guide
  •  Children welcome but we cannot provide child safety seats