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Experience the modernity and austere glamour of Edinburgh’s Art Deco buildings! The modern movements in architecture and decorative art came to Scotland in force in the 1930’s, and so Edinburgh has a great heritage of Deco and modern architecture, but it’s scattered round the city and so relatively hidden to the visitor. Until now! Come with us on our guided afternoon minicoach tour round the best of Edinburgh’s 1930's buildings, and take complimentary afternoon tea and scones in our best preserved Deco interior!


Meeting at our coach point at Waterloo Place, you’ll hear about the roots of Art Deco, and then we’ll be off to our first building, the Deco crown jewel that is St Andrew’s House, built as Civil Service HQ of Scotland and still a major government building. Then you’ll embark with your guide on a tour of the city, stopping at our best 1930’s buildings. You’ll see streamlining in garage, school and roadhouse inn design, Beaux Arts style neoclassicism, true Le Corbusier modernism in a Craigmillar café, glamorous white apartment blocks, and form following function in monumental concrete bridgework. You’ll see inside Edinburgh’s top two restored Deco roadhouse inns, plus a beautiful 1938 branch Library.
Meantime, you’ll hear from your guide the inside story of how modernism came to Scotland and its architecture world. What happened when the unstoppable force of the modern movement met the immovable mass of Scottish conservatism? You’ll hear about the personalities and conflicts that shaped Scotland’s built environment, from Le Corbusier himself to Basil Spence, Edinburgh’s own superstar architect, plus we’ll be looking at the social changes that shaped the new architectures. You’ll hear the architects’ own words from articles and letters of the time, often quite boisterous!
Crystallising the Deco experience, you’ll enjoy inclusive afternoon tea and scones in Edinburgh’s greatest Deco roadhouse, the famous Maybury, now a working casino and restaurant, but with its 1936 interior detailing preserved. (Note entry 18 yrs. and over only, 18-25yrs ID must be carried under licensing law)
Refreshed by our tea and scones, we’ll head back to the city centre, calling at more great Deco sites as we go, and finishing the tour at Johnston Terrace, just below the Castle. You’ll have seen the creme de la creme of Thirties Edinburgh!


    Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

    Voucher Redembtion: You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity. 

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    Additional Information

      Operates: See Availability

      Departure Point:
      Waterloo Place, Edinburgh

      Departure Time: 2pm Thursdays

      Return Details:
      Tour ends at Johnston Terrace, just below Castle Wynd Steps (Castle Terrace during August)

    • Inclusions:
      • Afternoon tea
      • All activities
      • Live commentary on board
      • Local guide
      • Small-group tour
      • Transport by air-conditioned coach

    • Exclusions:
      • Food and drinks, unless specified

    • Other Information:
      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • Minimum 18 years old to enter Maybury Casino for afternoon tea. 18-25 year olds to carry proof of age to satisfy Scottish licensing law.

        Guests not accessing Maybury Casino can have free refreshments at White House stop

        Under 18 can remain on coach at Maybury but must be accompanied by an adult
      • Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

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