The New Town Campaign

Edinburgh's infamous George Street (photo credit: Callum Davidson)

By David Walsh and Anne Mackie

It’s billed “the Athens of the North” but new plans are being put in place to boost and revive the profile of Edinburghs New Town. New evidence suggests the city is failing to make the most of its neo-classical architecture, streetscapes and it’s role in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment. It is thought many of the city’s highlights are missed out by visitors who are more inclined to visit various attractions no further than the Royal Mile.

Now the first campaign to promote the New Town for more than 30 years is to be run in order to persuade tourists to discover the delights of famous addresses including Charlotte Square, Heriot Row, Great King Street and Moray Feus. The New Town campaign will help revive interest in the work of architects like James Craig, William Playfair, Thomas Hamilton and Robert Adam, as well as the former homes of writers Sir Walter Scott, JM Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson, and medical pioneers James Simpson and James Clerk Maxwell.

The city’s most historic graveyards, the many monuments on Calton Hill and George Street, the capitals renowned film and TV locations, and infamous protected pubs such as The Cafe Royal are just some of the attractions visitors will be encouraged to venture into.

Under the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust campaign, a series of heritage trails will be established to help visitors navigate their way around the town, while special events will allow the public a rare chance to step inside some of the buildings and beauty spots in the city. Adam Wilkinson, director of the heritage trust, said: “The New Town is the largest and best preserved example of Georgian town planning in the world. The experience cannot be matched in any other UK city”.

The campaign is due to get underway in May and run until the end of the year.

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