Charles Darwin and his brother Erasmus took lodgings at 11 Lothian Street, but the house was knocked down to make way for the Royal Museum of Scotland. Nonetheless the museum is worth a visit for its geological and natural history collections, which include Dolly the sheep. A plaque has been installed over the rear entrance to the museum, commemorating the Darwin connection [BBC News link | Blog post from Kevin Williamson | Darwin's first letter home from 11 Lothian Street]
John Edmondstone, the former slave who taught Darwin taxidermy, lived at 37 Lothian Street—this building apparently survives. The medical school is located across the main road from Lothian Street.
The evolutionary tourist can re-live one of Darwin’s geology field trips by a visit to the Salisbury Crags, a series of 50-metre cliffs that rise in the centre of the city in Holyrood Park. Here, Professor Jameson bored Darwin with a lecture on the origins of the rock filing a local crevice.
It is also possible to re-trace Darwin’s exploration of the local marine life by a walk along the rocky shore of the Firth of Forth at low tide at nearby Prestonpans, where Robert Grant had a winter residence at Walford House (post code EH32 9AZ,at the junction of the High Street and Ormiston Place).
The first Charles Darwin (1758-78), uncle of the famous evolutionist, also studied in Edinburgh, where he died from meningococcal meningitis. He is buried in the Duncan family vault in th Chapel of Ease in St. Cuthbert’s Church, which is located in Lothian Road, at the eastern end of Princes Street.