Heritage Experiences and Services
Specialising in Edinburgh's social, urban and architectural history, I offer a range of services for private individuals, community groups and corporate clients.
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Clients and Projects
With its distinctive clock-tower the Balmoral Hotel is one of Edinburgh's most iconic landmarks and a by-word for timeless five-star luxury. Its guests expect the very best and, whether they want to visit the city's legendary Royal Mile or explore its lesser-known areas, it is always a pleasure to provide privately guided tours on the hotels behalf.
"I have been privileged to work with Hetty over the past few years and found her very easy to work with. She is extremely knowledgeable, warm and professional, and most importantly, the feedback from the guests she looks after is absolutely fantastic."
David Musk, Chief Concierge
The Assembly Rooms on Edinburgh's George Street are one of the city's most glamourous and elegant venues. With the Covid lockdown of 2020, I worked with the Assembly Rooms creative team to produce a series of short videos that showcased 230 years of the institutions social history.
Providing the research and narration, episodes looked at events such as Georgian dancing assemblies and the Edinburgh Festival, as well as individuals including Sir Walter Scott and entrepeneur Miss Eleanor Coade.
Watch the introduction below or visit the Assembly Rooms website to see the complete series.
In 2022 I became a tutor for the City of Edinburgh Council's Adult Education Programme.
For this I developed a 5-week course, Edinburgh Social & Urban History, that consisted of a series of 2-hour outdoor walks in Edinburgh’s Old Town. I was delighted to get positive feedback from my first cohort of students and now run this course regularily. I look forward to creating further courses in the future.
Class of Summer 2023
The Colony of Artists (COA) is a small community of artists, based in Edinburgh's Abbeyhill Colonies, who host an annual Arts Festival every September. Since 2021 I have been honoured to provide history walks of the local neighbourhood as part of their Arts Festival weekend.
"I attended one of Hetty's tours as a part of the Abbeyhill Colony of Artists Festival and I can only commend Hetty's knowledgeability and wit. The tour seamlessly combined local history with the wider goings-on in Edinburgh through the eras. Thanks to her, I am seeing my neighborhood with completely new eyes!"
J McClure, Google Review
In addition, in 2022, I wrote a piece for the COA website about the history of the Abbeyhill Colonies.
The Old Edinburgh Club is the city's local history society. It encourages people to explore Edinburgh's history by providing a winter lecture series, a programme of summer walks, a wide range of online resources as well as project funding.
I was delighted to run two fully-booked walking tours of Abbeyhill's industrial heritage as part of the Club's 2023 programme. Participant's feedback said the walk was 'hugely enjoyable', 'presented with verve' and gave 'a great sense of the area'.
In 2022 I was part of a small team that worked on a People's Parish Project in the Edinburgh neighbourhoods of Lochend, Restalrig and Craigentinny. My main role was as historical consultant and my key contributions were: creating and leading heritage tours for local residents; training other project workers to lead tours; and developing an online resource pack including a heritage map.
People's Parish Lochend, Restalrig and Craigentinny Heritage Walk, 2022
The Architectural Society of Scotland is a national charity which promotes the study, protection and celebration of Scotland's historic buildings.
As part of their 2023 summer programme I was excited to offer Calton Hill: Promenades, Panoramas and Panopticons - a 90-minute walk of Edinburgh's iconic landmark that combined elements of social history, visual culture, architecture and urban design. Despite an evening of rain this was fully-booked and feedback included the words 'inspired', 'fascinating' and 'imaginative'.
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Freelance heritage worker.