• About Me

    About me, 3 reasons why I give walking tours, 3 reasons why to take a walking tour with me, some more things about me and other things I do...

  • Hi! I'm Hetty.

    (That's me in the hat in Berlin with my sister.)


    Although I've been a city dweller for almost 30 years I grew up in Orkney, a group of islands off the north coast of Scotland. A community centred around farming and fishing, life in Orkney is close to nature, I can recognise wild-flowers and hand-milk a cow - not that there's much call for that skill in Edinburgh!


    While I've been lucky enough to travel to places in Europe, Africa and the Middle East it was my childhood in Orkney that gave me a love of landscapes and where my life-time interest in history began. With everything from Neolithic villages to Second World War navy bases it’s hard to ignore history in Orkney.

    Moving to Edinburgh in 1992 I spent 25 years working in a variety of sectors, from hospitality to higher education, before sitting my university entrance exams on my 40th birthday and becoming a student myself. I graduated with a first-class MA (Hons) in Social and Architectural History from the University of Edinburgh in 2018. The following year I started Hetty's History Walks to offer walking tours for people curious about the "how's and why's" of Edinburgh's past rather than just the "oohs and aahs" of history as entertainment!

  • 3 Reasons why I give Walking Tours...

    1. Edinburgh is a city jam-packed with history and it has so much more to offer than stories of its notorious characters and its dramatic historical events. With over 900 years of history, it is, and always has been, a living, breathing city full of ordinary people going about their everyday lives. My tours look at Edinburgh’s social history and cultural identity as well as its urban development and industrial heritage to help you discover the history of the city itself - how both it and the lives of its people have changed and developed over the years.
    2. Buildings and people go together so exploring Edinburgh’s streets, with their diverse range of architecture, is one of the most accessible ways to engage with the city’s history. Unlike most historical artefacts which are buried in museums, galleries and private collections, the built environment is freely accessible to anyone at any time. As the physical manifestation of a society’s past you can tell a lot from its remaining built environment. Once you know a bit about what you're looking at, you can see a place with a whole new light and understanding.
    3. I really enjoy researching and studying Edinburgh’s social and urban development and sharing my discoveries with others. Not just Edinburgh’s many visitors but also new and long-term local residents. I also appreciate it when tour guests share their experiences, ideas and thoughts about Edinburgh in return. History is neither static nor singular, it changes over time and it's always interesting to hear other perspectives - the learning never stops!