From a sightseeing perspective I think it would be fair to say that Edinburgh’s New Town doesn’t have the same appeal as the Old Town, but the area that (very) roughly extends from Calton Hill to The Haymarket, and from Princes St to Cumberland St is a harmonious blend of classical town planning which, along with the Old Town, constitutes Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.
The New Town covers about one square mile and has over 11,000 listed properties, one of which is The Georgian House in Charlotte Square.
The square was designed by Robert Adam, whose vision was to make the rows of houses on each side resemble the front of a palace, but in the end only the North side stayed faithful to his original plan.
On this side of the square at No 7 is the Georgian House which was first occupied by the well to do Lamont family in 1796, and which today is owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).
As you would expect, the NTS has done an exceptionally fine job of restoring this building to show what it would have been like when the Lamont family were living here. For me, the Georgian period often conveys a stuffy time in history, especially where the upper classes like the Lamont family are concerned, and yet the NTS to their credit has managed to give the house a human touch and warmth that I wasn’t really expecting. The self-guided tour takes as long as you want it to, but I reckon that just over an hour would be sufficient to see what is basically an ‘Upstairs/Downstairs’ type of household.
With the New Town taking up a large portion of Central Edinburgh you may wonder what the inside of all these buildings look like – and here’s your chance to find out.
Before I came here, I wasn’t expecting too much but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, and if you feel that you would like to find out more about Georgian Edinburgh, then follow the link to the NTS website below.