Rebustours were launched in 2000, following close consultation with Ian Rankin and his UK publishers. Since then, several thousands of people have come on the tours from all over the world and during the period of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August each year the tours are regularly sold out. The tours were rated in the top three walking tours of Edinburgh by The Scotsman newspaper in 2003.
In recent years some of the participants on the tours have included: the Lothian and Borders Police force; groups from several universities and further education colleges in the UK and USA; a pathologist from Germany; a judge from Canada; journalists and travel writers; readers’ circles and librarians. The tours have been used within study programmes in Edinburgh by the University of California at Davis, the University of Wisconsin and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Here are some recent comments:
I set out to write novels which would explore contemporary Edinburgh and take the reader into the City's secret heart, where few tourists go. Colin Brown consolidates this with his entertaining and knowledgeable walking tours - and you're never more than fifty yards from a pub, so Rebus himself would doubtless approve.
Ian Rankin, Edinburgh
Your tour crammed in an extraordinary amount of information about Scotland.
Edmund Brandt, Hamburg
Due to your style of delivery, The Hidden Edinburgh is not just a Tour, it’s an Experience, and thanks again for that.
Bill Lindsay, Linlithgow
We came on New Years Eve as a party of 5 at 12.00 on the Rebustours. We all loved it, we learnt lots about Edinburgh and it’s history. It was better than all of my history lessons. I now want all the Rebus books. “It was brilliant” and it was one of the highlights of our holiday to Edinburgh!!! Thanks
Lewis (aged 12), Ludlow, Shropshire
We stumbled upon a recumbent body lying on the ground. We reported it to Saint Leonard’s Police Station!!! We later found out that the man was just dead drunk and not really dead! Thanks Colin for the added excitement. It really made the tour “come alive” for us!!
S Maine, London
I’m still giggling about being outside Mental Mickey’s [sic] flat, and you scolding some of the party for looking up at the window. You really do make the whole thing a memorable, witty and informative tour.
Amy (& Lee) Guyatt,
Well done Colin. Glad all is going well.
John, Burke & Hare Tour
Great to hear your 1st Walking with Scientists tour was a success – it’s a brilliant idea.
The Walton & Glenora Guesthouses,
Morag and I are just back in Canada and (while I sit and sip a dram) we wanted to thank you for one of the most memorable parts of our trip. Your ability to both inform and entertain is a true gift. We hoped to see a little of Rebus’s Edinburgh but left with not only an appreciation of the Rankin characters and settings, but a better understanding of the character of the City. We enjoyed the 12.00p.m. tour so much that we returned for 3.00p.m. Your knowledge and enthusiasm for the writing of not just Ian Rankin, but all of Scotland’s artists, made the tour particularly enjoyable. To quote the Bard, – “to make a tour an tak a whirl, to learn bon ton an see the worl’".
Morag and Jeff McNamee, Ottawa, Canada
It was fantastic to get a real context to the books I’ve read so many times. I’m realy looking forward to revisiting them with fresh eyes, and a new understanding of Rebus’ world.
Brent Proctor, Presenter
“Colin, our very Scottish tour guide, regaled us with tidbits of history and a long soliloquy on the Roberts (Fergusson and Burns) as he led us around parts of Edinburgh ignored by conventional tours. A fascinating walk fron a real local.”
Three Weeks, Edinburgh Festival Guide
Take the tour and you can even see some of Rebus’ favourite pubs and pick up a dab of local history besides. Rankin himself has even been along and said: “I learned quite a bit – I remembered things about my own books I’d managed to forget.”
Toronto Star, January 2003
My partner and I did this when in Edinburgh last November. It was wonderful!. Highly recommended.
Rebus Rocks!, Twitter Site
I thouroughly enjoyed your informative and entertaining Walking with Scientists tour.
Neil Anderson, Holy Island, Northumberland
My daughter and I (the non-Rebus reader) enjoyed the Tour immensely and it was a nice sunny day for the occasion. My daughter has read all the Rebus books and your Tour brought it all to life. It was a nice Birthday Treat. We will come on your other Tour when she is next back in Edinburgh. I enjoyed your humour and banter, and I’m now converted.