Edinburgh charity launches walking tours guided by city’s former homeless people
Tourists visiting Scotland’s capital city can be treated to walking tours with a difference thanks to an initiative by a local charity.
Invisible Edinburgh works with people affected by homelessness and trains them to become walking tour guides for their city.
The tours start in the Grassmarket, Castle Terrace and Middle Meadow Walk and each has a different theme and is tailored to the guide’s individual experience.
The charity said: “At Invisible Edinburgh we don’t believe in labels or stereotypes and want to show that everyone has great potential. We focus on high quality training so that every guide has the opportunity to showcase their Edinburgh.
“We offer friendly, local tours that are all focused around this beautiful city. We aim to show you Edinburgh’s historical landmarks and also the great social projects that make this city what it is”
The venture, which has funding from the Edinburgh Airport Community Fund, features themes surrounding powerful women of Edinburgh, crimes and punishment, community sport and food and charity.
Zakia Moulaoui, 28, from France, set up the tours after getting the idea from a project in Greece where street vendors take people on walks.
She told BBC Scotland: “We have four guides at the moment but will be training up more in September.
“There is a homeless point to all the walks, which is personal to the guide, so for example the crime and punishment tour will tell you about Burke and Hare but the guide will also tell you about his own relevant problems with the court across the road with funny stories.
“The tours are a mix of old and new.
“In the powerful women of Edinburgh you will hear about Maggie Dickson but then also about JK Rowling.”
The £8 tours run on a Saturday and tickets must be bought online.