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Guided Tours

Explore architecture, astronomy, and art.




Collective is a fascinating site with a rich history of astronomy, time-keeping and, more recently, art. Join us for a guided tour and we’ll share some of the remarkable stories, discoveries, and personalities which have shaped Calton Hill and made their influence felt across the globe over the past 200 years.

On the tour you’ll explore the historic and contemporary architecture, including William Playfair’s iconic Observatory and the first new buildings to be constructed on Calton Hill in over a century (short-listed for the Best Building in Scotland award in 2019).

We’ll take a closer look at the telescopes and astronomical instruments on site, including the original 1831 ‘transit’ telescope, and tell the story of how they allowed sailors to accurately navigate around the world, enabling Scotland's imperial expansion, and led to the introduction of Edinburgh’s One O'Clock time-ball and gun.

Finally we’ll bring you up to date with details of the redevelopment of the City Observatory into a contemporary art space, developing and presenting world-class exhibitions, events, workshops and discussions from ground-breaking local and international artists.

To enquire about a tour, please contact [email protected]