Discover the rich heritage of the Edinburgh Campus

Formal Garden at the Edinburgh Campus

On 22 September Heriot-Watt University will host a guided tour exploring the rich history of our Edinburgh Campus as our contribution to Edinburgh Doors Open Day.

The guided tour starts at 2.00pm for approximately  one hour. To book a place email or telephone 0131 451 3218

Origins in 1821

Today Heriot-Watt is Scotland's international university, at the forefront of innovation in research and teaching. We are a leading institution in science, technology, engineering, business and design; ranked in the top 5% of universities world-wide. But our heritage dates back almost 200 years to our ground-breaking origins in 1821 as the world's first Mechanics Institute, giving life changing opportunities to generations of young people. When Heriot-Watt University was gifted the Riccarton Estate to form its Edinburgh campus in 1969, the University inherited a proud tradition of stewardship dating back over 700 years.

The campus development plan, produced by consultant architects Alan Reiach, Hall and Partners and Professor Arnold Weddle, landscape consultants, was designed to meet the challenge of building the campus in harmony with the historic landscape of the estate. In this guided walk we will visit some of the historical features and public art on the campus and end with a visit to the University museum to find out more about the remarkable history of two centuries of learning at Heriot-Watt and the rich history of its Edinburgh campus at Riccarton. Maps and directions to our Edinburgh campus can be found on our website at

Doors Open Day

Organised by the Cockburn Association, Edinburgh Doors Open Day is an annual festival that celebrates the city's rich architectural and cultural heritage.

More information about Edinburgh Doors Open Day can be found on the Cockburn Association website at or by picking up one of the Doors Open Day brochures in the University reception.