Then and Now: Can You Recognise Edinburgh From These Old Pictures?

Edinburgh From Calton Hill c.1865
Edinburgh From Calton Hill c.1865 | © WikiCommons // Edinburgh From Calton Hill c.2011 | © Bernt Rostad/Flickr
Tori Chalmers
1 August 2017

Between its organic medieval Old Town architecture and planned Georgian New Town masterpieces, Edinburgh’s buildings represent the city’s history in bricks and mortar. Each stone slab, each carving, each patch of land, whispers the untold secrets of Edinburgh’s bygone past. Here, we compare old and new pictures of Scotland’s Athens of the North.

The life-affirming cityscape view from Calton Hill is one of the most popular spots to photograph bonnie Edinburgh. Some things never change.

Edinburgh From Calton Hill c.1865 | © WikiCommons
Edinburgh From Calton Hill c.2011 | © Bernt Rostad/Flickr

Oh, Princes St! Can you spot the Scottish Gothic rocket ship that is the Scott Monument? Just think — those 287 vertigo-inducing steps have stood their ground since the 1800s.

Princes Street c. 1858 | © National Galleries of Scotland/Flickr
Princes Street c.2010 | © Mary and Angus Hogg/Geograph

A site once feared for its public executions and spectacle of the scaffold, The Grassmarket was a bustling market place for livestock from the 14th century onwards. Today, it boasts some of Edinburgh’s greatest independent shops and pubs.

Grassmarket c.1865 | © WikiCommons
Grassmarket c.2006 | © Paul Boxley/Flickr

Edinburgh’s charming Waverley Station just gets better with age! Remember to look up at its wondrous roof awash with glass and an ornate dome.

Edinburgh Waverley c.1978 | © Steve Jones/Flickr
Edinburgh Waverley c.2006 | © Colin Smith/Flickr

A steel symbol of Scotland since its birth in 1890, the Forth Bridge rises out of the Firth of Forth and is Edinburgh’s own Golden Gate.

Forth Bridge c.1938 | © George Baker/Flickr
Forth Bridge c.2017 | © Magnus Hagdorn/Flickr

Ever wonder if the punters partying it up in the bar-adorned Cowgate area hear the age-old buildings whisper of its darker days?

Cowgate c.1860 | © National Galleries of Scotland/Flickr
Cowgate c.2016 | © Rob Edinburgh/Flickr

Forever a hub of activity, Leith Walk is punctuated with all sorts of brilliant eateries and shops. It’s also one of Edinburgh’s longest streets and holds the key to the city’s most bespoke public artworks and murals.

Leith Walk c. 1950’s | © alljengi/Flickr
Leith Walk c. 2012 | © John Lord/Geograph

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Memories from our trips