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New Town

Overview

Classical architecture, grand squares and terraces, gardens and secluded lanes make up Edinburgh's Georgian New Town.

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A monumental idea

The initial plan for Edinburgh’s New Town was approved by the City Council in 1767, and is the largest complete example of town planning from the Georgian period anywhere in the world. Its mixture of classical architecture, grand squares and terraces, gardens and secluded lanes, means that a walk through its streets is a journey back in time to an age of elegance.

Highlights of the New Town

Charlotte Square, designed by the architect Robert Adam in 1791, is regarded as an architectural masterpiece. Here you can visit the Georgian House and gain some insights into daily life from 200 years ago.

In nearby George Street the Assembly Rooms, which date from 1787, is still used for concerts, dancing and entertainment. At the opposite end of George Street is St Andrew Square, where the gardens are now open to the public.

The Assembly Rooms

A stroll through Princes Street Gardens is also a must for visitors. Once the location of the Nor’ Loch, it is now a peaceful green space dividing the Old and New Towns. Visitors can climb the 287 steps to the top of the Scott Monument for a unique view across the rooftops of the Old and New Towns.

Princes Street Gardens

Listen to the Stories In Stone podcast produced in collaboration with Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, on the New Town’s Hanover Street: