A Tour Around Edinburgh Central Campus

Some of you may have spotted clusters of tourists, shepherded by students sporting red hoodies. These are called Campus Tours, led by an awesome team of student ambassadors. So where do we take the visitors? Here’s a quick guide to where to go if you only have an hour to show off the uni to friends and family…


  • Visitors Centre

This is where you can check out the gift merchandise, and it makes for a good base and information point centre.


  • Appleton Tower/ Informatics Forum

Despite the new refurbishment, Appleton Tower has been around since the 60’s, and used to be for research until that moved to the Informatics Forum. Now it’s a hub for all sorts of classes, from tiny tutorials to seating for hundreds.


NOTE: Don’t go into any buildings where teaching is taking place. Just stick to the outside- visitors don’t want to see the lectures anyway!



  • 50 George Square and DHT

The newest building on the block, this is the school of Literature, Languages, and Culture. It connects to the David Hume Tower café and underground common space. DHT currently houses the law library whilst the Old College is under refurbishment, and boasts a lovely view of the city on the top floors.


  • Buccleuch Place

This unpronounceable road is where important offices- such as the Student Recruitment and Admissions office- are based. It’s pretty, with the classical stone buildings typical of Edinburgh. But it does get windy down this street in particular.


  • Business School

Made of glass and clearly involved with a lot of money, the business school puts on various conferences and events throughout the year. Services such as Launch.ed and the three day business start-up competition make it an interesting hub, although one that is rarely used by anyone except business students and visiting professors.


  • George Square Lecture Theatre

This is the largest lecture theatre in central, seating nearly 400 people. It’s used by the cinema society, and as a real-life theatre during the Fringe (NB: this is a good time to point out that the George Square gardens transform during the August Fringe Festival, to a vibrant hub of shows and performances). Professional filming has also happened outside this building- it was dressed up as a hospital entrance during some of my first year lectures!


  • Main Library

The exterior is deliberately designed to look like a bookcase (not a multi-storey car park!). Peek inside for a quick look at the spacious atrium, and venture to the Centre for Research Collections if you’re feeling adventurous. If you’re lucky, there’ll be a museum exhibition on the ground floor that is open to the public. The library also houses the Careers service and the Disabilities service, both of which are extremely helpful, non-judgmental, and go to extra mile to make you feel empowered.


  • Middle Meadow Walk

Venture outside George Square for a view of Quartermile, the Meadows, and the path to Princes Street and the rest of New Town. This charming pathway is filled with runners, dog-walkers, families, working professionals, and students. Most second year students live in Marchmont, which is just about visible from this spot just opposite Peter’s Yard.


  • Old Medical School

Designed by a student who won a 1876 competition, the medical school was so popular that a few short years after its completion in 1886, half of the university students were enrolled in medicine. It holds an amazing anatomy museum, which serves as a library for medic students and an exhibition open to the public once a month. It is famous for housing the oldest and steepest anatomy lecture theatre still in use, alongside Burke’s skeleton in an ironic twist of fate for this murderer, who killed people with William Hare in order to sell their bodies to the university for medical research.


  • McEwan Hall

Our beautiful graduation hall, this was funded by a former student who made his fortune with a brewery business. It is closely guarded and protected after its recent renovations, so you probably won’t be able to go inside, but inside is a gorgeous interior with beautiful frescos.


  • Teviot and Potterrow

Finish off the tour with a quick pop into Teviot, the oldest purpose-built student union to still exist. Check out the quaint library bar. Feel free to also explore Potterrow, where the Advice Place and Student Association offices are based (not to mention the home of the Big Cheese club night).


Happy touring!