Tours of Edinburgh

About Tours of Edinburgh and Founder David Wheater

About Tours of Edinburgh and Founder David Wheater.

Welcome to my website and Tours of Edinburgh

I was born in Edinburgh in 1973 and, apart from four years studying in Aberdeen, I've been lucky enough to live in and around Edinburgh all my life.

  David Wheater   Tour Director, Tours of Edinburgh

David Wheater
Tour Director,
Tours of Edinburgh

After finishing school I studied for a law degree in Aberdeen and then went on to qualify as a solicitor with a small conveyancing firm in Edinburgh. Seeking a bigger and better challenge, I then went to work for the Registers of Scotland as a Complex Land Registration Officer. This allowed me to work on a huge variety of property types and transactions from all around Scotland and to finally develop my expertise in property law. It was a fascinating job and I eventually became one of their Land Registration Trainers, with responsibility for training new staff in Scottish property law and land registration. I relished the responsibility and found teaching new officers very fulfilling and extremely rewarding. It was also very poignant for me to be able to give people the proper legal training I craved, but failed to receive as a young, eager trainee. During my ten years there I also became a Team Leader with thirty staff and regularly undertook special research and policy initiatives in the area of Scottish Land Reform and the impact this would have on land registration. Although I loved working there, I eventually realised that I needed a change, which coincided with an increasing interest and love for photography and discovering more about Scotland's wild places.

 Me with my twin sister looking decidedly unimpressed with fishing in the rain! For me, it was to be the start of a life-long interest in nature and the great outdoors. This was taken at Loch Shin, Lairg in 1978.

Me with my twin sister looking decidedly unimpressed with fishing in the rain! For me, it was to be the start of a life-long interest in nature and the great outdoors. This was taken at Loch Shin, Lairg in 1978.

I, undoubtedly, have my mum and dad to thank for my interest in Scotland and its wild places. One of my earliest memories is of myself and my twin sister being taught to fish by my dad on Loch Shin in Sutherland. We both caught fish and, although I seem to remember my sister wasn't too keen on the rain (hence the face in the picture!), I was hooked on fishing and all the wild, remote and beautiful places it could take me to around the country. I've now been fishing all around Scotland for nearly 40 years and feel very grateful to my parents for instilling in me such a great love and passion for Scotland's great outdoors. I love nothing better than getting out an ordnance survey map and imagining all the lochs I could visit - especially in the winter beside a cosy fire. As a family we've enjoyed annual fishing holidays all around Scotland from Ayrshire to Orkney, Wester Ross, Sutherland, Argyll & Bute and the Borders. One of my fondest memories is of my mum playing the bagpipes beside Loch Finlas in Ayrshire, as my dad and I motored up the loch to fish for trout at its top end. The lilting, haunting sound of the pipes, with my mum silhouetted against the nearby hills, will forever be one of my most treasured memories.

 Graduation day, 4th July 1995. Aberdeen University. Can't believe 23 years have passed since this happy day!

Graduation day, 4th July 1995. Aberdeen University. Can't believe 23 years have passed since this happy day!

So, what inspired me to set up Tours of Edinburgh? Although I am, of course, totally biased, I do think Scotland is one of the most staggeringly beautiful and interesting countries in the world. As I got older I came to realise that, although we are a relatively small country, there will never be enough time to discover all its hidden nooks and crannies and this prompted a re-evaluation in my life about how I wanted to spend the years ahead. I therefore decided to follow my passion for Scotland by starting to write articles and guides to all my favourite areas and cities and to pursue my photography in a more professional way. This brave move to self-employment has been a big change in my life - especially after enjoying a good salary in a settled career, but one I felt compelled to do. Sharing my knowledge of Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland with others has now become my life, and even though I don't earn as much as I used to, the joy I get from showing visitors around Edinburgh more than makes up for it. There's really nothing else I'd rather do. Although we only offer tours in Edinburgh just now, I hope to put a team together and run similar tours in all the Scottish cities during 2019 and beyond. If you are visiting any of the other Scottish cities, however, I am happy to meet you there and show you around. Please just get in touch for availability.

Apart from our Royal Mile Photography Tour, our tours are all private so I can give you my undivided attention and take you to the places in Edinburgh I think will be most in line with your own interests. I rarely follow the same route, preferring instead to match your interests - whether that be architecture, photography or history to the places we visit around the city. Unlike the larger public tours, our tours are very personal with the aim of visiting and showing you special parts of the city that are more hidden and difficult to find - but equally beautiful and interesting.

 With our Bedlington Terrier, Taz, on our wedding day in 2010.

With our Bedlington Terrier, Taz, on our wedding day in 2010.

As mentioned before, one of my greatest loves is photography. I was lucky enough to be a finalist and commended in the 2017 Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year awards.

Although I do undertake commissions, my heart will always lie with the creative side of photography and personal projects. As a madly keen photographer, I can show you places, views and perspectives of the city that are unique to me - places that have taken years to discover, that would be ordinarily difficult to find on your own. On our private Edinburgh Photography Tour I can teach you how to use the manual controls on your camera at beautiful and interesting locations around the city and two DSLR cameras can be supplied free of charge.  

As well as explaining the history of the places we visit, I explain compositional techniques and the fundamentals of controlling your camera, so that you can unleash your creative side and go home with images of Edinburgh you’ll treasure for a lifetime.  

If you have any questions about visiting Edinburgh, please don't hesitate to ring me directly on 07400 705 357, or send me an email

I look forward to meeting you and showing you around my beautiful city.

Best wishes,
David Wheater

t 07400 705 357
david@toursofedinburgh.co.uk