City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Walking with Poets on the Royal Mile


By Irene Brown - Posted on 25 June 2018

This August, Edinburgh-based Scottish poet Ken Cockburn brings a new walking tour to the Capital’s Royal Mile with Reading the Streets: An Old Town Poetry Tour.

Starting and ending at the award-winning building that is the Scottish Poetry Library, the tour takes in world-famous landmarks like ancient Holyrood Palace and the modern Scottish Parliament, as well as hidden squares, closes and gardens in the area. These have been sites of romance and crime, extravagance and poverty, violence and forgiveness.

Reading the Streets includes poems by Burns, Stevenson, Dorothy Wordsworth and Victor Hugo, alongside new poems by Cockburn himself, as well as work by residents, tourists and some who have only visited the city in their imagination.

Cockburn combines his work of writing, teaching and translating poetry with devising and leading walking tours. He has presented poetry walks in Edinburgh since 2007, and this is his third year on the Edinburgh Fringe. Elsewhere he’s led walks at Traquair House in the Borders, and the Botanical Gardens in Hamburg.

He said, “I worked at the Scottish Poetry Library when it moved to the Canongate near the foot of the Mile. I saw how the area changed, creating a fascinating mix of old and new. Listening to the poems we can slow down and appreciate what’s here, what’s gone, and what’s still to come.”

The 90 minute walk begins and ends at the Scottish Poetry Library (Venue 203), Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DT. Tickets are available from the Fringe Box Office and online at https://tickets.edfringe.com
and from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/scottish-poetry-library-2445034266

Saturday 4 – Monday 27 August (not Thursday & Fridays) at 11.00am