Edinburgh Deaf Heritage – Request a tour


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Skyline of Edinburgh city centre

A walk through Edinburgh’s deaf history

Did you know that the world’s first deaf school was founded in Edinburgh? That the daughter of King James I was deaf? Or that the world’s first deaf-led church service took place in Edinburgh?

Join us on one of our famous Edinburgh Deaf Heritage Walking Tours and explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh while discovering its incredible deaf history through iconic landmarks, buildings and sites. Learn about the inspiring stories of deaf pioneers and figures who helped shape deaf culture and change the lives of deaf people forever. Join our tour guides as they take you on a journey through the past and unveil Edinburgh’s true deaf history.

Interested in requesting a tour? We are now accepting group requests for a variety of tours throughout the year so that you can book a time and day that suits you. Have a look at our options.

Our tours

We offer a range of accessible tours led by our team of local deaf guides. The tours are usually delivered in British Sign Language (BSL), but can be delivered in International Sign (IS) or American Sign Language (ASL) if requested. We also have a team of interpreters who can be booked if required, so the tour can be enjoyed by everyone. 

Edinburgh Deaf Heritage Tour – Short walk

Explore the incredible history of the deaf community in Edinburgh in this shorter heritage tour. From historic sites like Braidwood’s Academy – the world’s first school for the deaf, to the site of the world’s very first deaf-led church services in 1830, through to the modern day as we explore the BSL Scotland Act at the Scottish Parliament. Join us on this fascinating journey through the history of the deaf community in the heart of Scotland’s capital.
Price: £10 pp
Tour duration: Approximately 1.5 hours
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Edinburgh Deaf Heritage Tour – Long Walk

On this extended Deaf Heritage Tour you will explore even more of the stories and sites where deaf pioneers left their mark on the city’s landscape. Explore the evolution of deaf education at locations like Milton House and Moray House College – the  birthplace of British Sign Language. Witness the artistic achievements of deaf artist Walter Geikie at his monument in Greyfriars Kirkyard, and learn about the lasting impact of figures like Sir Walter Scott and William McGonagall on the deaf community.
Price: £15 pp
Tour duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
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Edinburgh Deaf Heritage Tour – Alexander Blackwood

Join us on our brand new Deaf Heritage Tour dedicated to the incredible life of Alexander Blackwood, Edinburgh’s own remarkable deaf pioneer. When scarlet fever left him deaf at the age of 7, it set the stage for a remarkable life dedicated to the deaf community of Edinburgh. Explore key locations throughout his life, starting at the family mausoleum in Old Calton Cemetery, his family home above their haberdashery shop on George Street,  and journey through his later years as he founded the world’s first ever benevolent society for the deaf community.
Price: £15 pp
Tour duration: 2.5 hours
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Edinburgh Deaf Heritage Tour – Relaxed walk

We are committed to providing an inclusive experience for all our guests on our walking tours of Edinburgh. Have any concerns about mobility issues and prefer a more relaxed walk? We can provide a bespoke tour catered for your needs.
 £15 pp
Tour duration: TBC

Note the minimum group booking is 5 people and maximum is 16.

Please use the enquiry form below to request a tour, we will be in touch shortly to confirm availability. For more information please contact heritage@deafaction.org


Is there a limit on group size?
Yes, to ensure we provide the best experience and visibility for everyone, we limit our tours to a maximum of 16 people.

What should I wear for the tour?
Edinburgh’s historic streets can be occasionally uneven and bumpy and the weather is changeable. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket.  

Are the tours wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the historic nature of Edinburgh’s streets, some areas may not be wheelchair accessible. Please contact us in advance if you have any specific accessibility requirements. 

Can I cancel my tickets and get a refund?
Tours are non-refundable unless there is severe weather causing a tour cancellation from our end. For group bookings, the full balance must be settled 48 hours before the tour. 

Can I bring children on the tour?
Children over the age of 8 are welcome on our tours, but we recommend you to check the suitability of tour content and length.  

What happens if I’m late for the tour?
If you are running late, please contact us as soon as possible so we can advise on the best course of action. However, please note that we cannot guarantee that the tour will wait for you if you are significantly delayed. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly at heritage@deafaction.org

Edinburgh Deaf Heritage - Request a tour

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