Rankin’s Edinburgh

With our interactive map you can explore Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh from anywhere in the world. Visit some of the key locations found in Ian’s writing and walk in the steps of Rebus as he investigates crimes amongst the streets of his home city.

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is one of seven hills in and around the city; it’s an extinct volcano that last erupted 340 million years ago. In 1836, 17 miniature coffins where found concealed here, which are now on display in the Museum of Scotland, and in part inspired the plot of The Falls.

West Bow

The home of Major Weir and his sister, who, despite apparently living lives of extreme piety, confessed to sorcery, bestiality and black magic and were executed for their crimes in 1670. Major Weir appears in the prologue of Dead Souls as a ghostly headless horseman.

The Dean Village

One of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets; a village of cobbled streets, old restored mills and mews cottages. In Hide and Seek, Rebus confesses he’d like to live here.


Stockbridge appears in many of Ian’s novels. In Set in Darkness, Siobhan and Rebus have tea in a café in Raeburn Place. That’s in the days when smoking was allowed . . . In The Falls, Rebus tracks Donald Devlin through the streets of Stockbridge before both tumble into the freezing Water of Leith.

The Writers’ Museum

Dedicated to the lives and works of Scotland’s greatest literary figures, particularly Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. The first Rebus story, Knots and Crosses, was inspired in part by Stevenson’s most famous work The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Scottish Parliament

Devolution and the creation of the Scottish Parliament drove the plot for Set in Darkness, and proved the ideal scenario for Rebus to voice his mistrust of Edinburgh’s political set-up.

Oxford Terrace

A basement flat on Oxford Terrace was the home of Rebus’ girlfriend Dr Patience Aitken in the early Rebus books. Rebus spends quite a lot of time there in Dead Souls, and comments in The Black Book that living with Patience on Oxford Terrace represents life on ‘the other side of the tracks’.

Mary King’s Close

An alleyway off the Royal Mile that was closed off and built over in 1753. This hidden street spawned myths and urban legends. A body is discovered here in Mortal Causes.

Howden Hall

Home to the city’s forensic lab.

Holyrood Palace

The Queen’s official residence in Scotland, situated at the end of the Royal Mile. The Queen’s Gallery holds some excellent exhibitions. Doors Open explores the art world through a classic heist story.

Gayfield Square

The former headquarters of Lothian and Borders Police until April Fool’s Day 2013, when Scotland’s eight police regions were replaced by a single organisation called Police Scotland.

Fleshmarket Close

So called because it was close to the meat market and used to link down to the slaughter house. The title of Ian’s novel about immigration, asylum seekers, racism and related issues – ‘a market in human flesh where human beings are reduced to a commodity’.

Greyfriars Kirk

Famously the site on which Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier, reportedly guarded his master’s grave for 14 years. Rebus muses on the churchyard’s history in The Falls.

Edinburgh Castle

The castle is still a working barracks, and from its battlements you get a fantastic panoramic view of the city. The Naming of the Dead opens with a body found underneath the battlements.

Police Scotland

Fictional police officers Inspector Rebus and Malcolm Fox – who is an Inspector for the Complaints and Conduct office, the cops that investigate other cops – have gone through this door.

The Oxford Bar

Known to the locals as ‘The Ox’, this small, homely pub represents the hidden Edinburgh of Ian’s books; it’s the perfect drinking spot for Rebus, where he can enjoy a pint and a chat with friends and criminals alike.

Rebus’ Flat

Rebus lives in the top-floor flat at 17 Arden Street – across the road from Ian’s home while he was writing Knots and Crosses.