Historical West End

In partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage, Edinburgh’s West End invites visitors to meet the West Enders of the past.

Our West End Trail map is perfect for those who would like uncover the historical elements of Edinburgh’s West End. A collaboration with Edinburgh World Heritage, the West End Trail Map takes you on a tour of the West Ends most historically famous locations while introducing you to the influential characters of the area, such Dr Joseph Bell. Dr Bell provided the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s iconic fictional character, Sherlock Holmes.

The West End is full of amusing personalities. Did you know that Mary Dunlop travelled the streets of the West End with her barrel organ on a small cart, pulled by her white horse Smokey, charming residents and making memories that have been passed down for generations?

Download our Historical Trail Map, or better yet, visit any one of our venues in the West End to pick up a copy of the map and spend an afternoon exploring our beautiful neighbourhood.

Download the trail map here

Be sure to visit the Edinburgh World Heritage site for more information on the West End’s historically significant buildings and unique past.


David Hicks, Communications Manager for Edinburgh World Heritage said:

“The trail is intended to cast the West End in a new light, and reveal some of the hidden stories about this fascinating part of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. William Street, complete with its Georgian shopfronts, setts and recently restored streetlamps has such tremendous period atmosphere, it is not surprising it has been used as a film location. The three gothic spires of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral can be seen from around the city, but how many people know about the treasures it has inside? By focusing on the human stories of the West Enders of the past, we hope to encourage more people to explore this historic area.”

Historical West End

a – Elsie Inglis – 8 Walker Street

Between 1898 and 1914 No.8 Walker Street was the medical practice of Elsie Inglis, a pioneer for wom...

Read More

b – William Fielding – 12 Stafford Street

The distinctive entrance to 12 Stafford Street dates from the 1890s when it was Turkish Baths, owned...

Read More

c – John Byers & Mary Barclay – Easter Coates House

This house is a remarkable survival, built in 1615 for John Byers and his wife Mary Barclay, and the...

Read More

d – Sandy James – Caledonian Hotel

Sandy James was the Caledonian Hotel’s head doorman for over 30 years, taking up his post shortly ...

Read More

e – Florence B Jack – Atholl Crescent

The Edinburgh College of Domestic Economy opened at Atholl Crescent in 1891, and Florence B Jack was...

Read More

f – The Lough family – 15 William Street

The Lough family’s chimney sweeping business was a presence at 15 William Street for almost 100 ye...

Read More

g – Janet Story – 37 Melville Street

The childhood memoirs of Janet Story give a glimpse into West End high-society in the 1830s, when Me...

Read More

h – Mary Dunlop – Rutland Square

Throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s Mary Dunlop was a well-known West End character, along with her...

Read More

i – Dr Joseph Bell – 2 Melville Crescent

It was whilst studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh that Arthur Conan Doyle met Professor...

Read More

j – Samuel J Peploe – 39 Manor Place

The artist Samuel J Peploe was born at 39 Manor Place in 1871, and Edinburgh’s West End was always...

Read More