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The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site offers a unique teaching resource with many cross-curricular opportunities. This site provides information, guidance and resources to help you get the most out of the city’s heritage.

Along with a series of classroom resources, the site provides information and advice for those wishing to develop a career in the traditional skills that are essential to securing the future of the World Heritage Site.

Old Edinburgh during times of change

Mary, Queen of Scots

During the period covered by this material, Edinburgh witnessed the turbulent and often violent events associated with the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. But just a short step away from the glamour and excitement of the Court, life in the closes and wynds of Edinburgh was rather different.

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Jacobites to Geniuses

The Georgian period saw many of the events which shaped modern Scotland, from the Act of Union, to the Jacobite Risings, to the achievements of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the construction of the New Town. Edinburgh was always central to the story.

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The Jekyll and Hyde City

Edinburgh during the Victorian period was also a time of great change. Migrants were arriving in the city from rural areas and from Ireland. Living conditions for many people were appalling, especially in the Old Town. But it was also a time of great innovation and social philanthropy.

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Atlas.WH | Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here?

This suite of activities and resources has been developed as part of the AtlaS.WH project, building on Edinburgh World Heritage’s existing learning resources to create a comprehensive, wide-ranging educational offering.

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Further Resources

Social History topics

Closely linked to this popular Social Studies topic, this section contains information and teachers’ resources that explore how people lived in Old Edinburgh.

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Sustainable City

This section presents seven lesson plans that contain ideas for sharing the message of sustainability with pupils within the context of the World Heritage Site.

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World Heritage City

This section explores what makes the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh special, and investigates why and how we care for our built and natural heritage.

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The Edinburgh spyster trail

This story trail has been designed to get children involved a conversation about the importance of maintaining our buildings.

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Training and Apprenticeships


This section explores the importance of traditional skills in securing the future of Edinburgh’s historic buildings. It also provides information and links on how you can get involved.

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