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The Real Mary King’s Close

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Location: Edinburgh
Region: Scotland

Postcode: EH1 1PG

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Visit The Real Mary King’s Close

Discover the hidden world beneath the streets of Edinburgh at the Real Mary King's Close.

Visitor Information: The Real Mary King’s Close

  • The Real Mary King’s Close

    Real Mary King’s Close: Step into Edinburgh’s Hidden History

    Nestled beneath the bustling streets of Edinburgh lies a hidden world waiting to be discovered: the Real Mary King’s Close. This historic site offers a unique opportunity to explore the city’s past and learn about the daily lives of its inhabitants.

    The Real Mary King’s Close was once a bustling street, inhabited by merchants, traders, and other members of Edinburgh’s society. However, in the 18th century, the street was partially closed off and the buildings above were built over it, effectively sealing the street off from the outside world. It was not until the 1990s that the close was rediscovered and opened to the public.

    Today, visitors to the Real Mary King’s Close can explore the hidden streets and underground buildings that once made up this vibrant community. Led by costumed guides, visitors can experience what life was like for the people who lived and worked in the close during the 17th and 18th centuries.

    The close is filled with fascinating stories and anecdotes, from the plague doctor who worked tirelessly to treat the sick during the outbreak of the Black Death, to the merchant who made a fortune trading with the New World. The close is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of its former residents, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the experience.

    One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to visit the home of Mary King, a wealthy merchant who gave the close its name. Visitors can step inside her beautifully restored house and learn about her life and legacy.

    Throughout the tour, visitors will learn about the history and culture of Edinburgh, including the city’s dark past and its role in the Scottish Reformation. The close provides a unique perspective on the city’s history and culture that is not found in any other tourist attraction.

    The Real Mary King’s Close is suitable for visitors of all ages and interests. Children will love the interactive exhibits and engaging storytelling, while adults will appreciate the historical significance and fascinating insights into Edinburgh’s past.

    So, book your tickets today and discover the hidden history of Edinburgh at the Real Mary King’s Close. And while you’re in Edinburgh, be sure to explore the city’s many other attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.

  • Highlights
    Not to be missed when visiting

    Guided Tour: A costumed character guide leads you through the labyrinth of hidden streets, telling tales of the people who lived, worked, and died here.

    Mary King’s Close: This preserved 17th-century close (a narrow street or alley) is a time capsule, showing what life was like in Edinburgh hundreds of years ago.

    Annie’s Room: Discover the heartbreaking tale of the young girl named Annie who was abandoned during the plague and is said to still haunt the close.

    Plague Room: Learn about the devastating impact of the plague on the people who lived in the close and see a recreation of a plague doctor.

    17th Century Living: The close offers an insight into the living conditions of its former residents, with well-preserved rooms and streets.

    The Chesney’s House: A glimpse into the life of a sawmaker’s family in the 17th century, this house gives visitors an authentic view of historical domestic life.

    The Royal Exchange Coffee House: Hear stories about the first coffee houses in Edinburgh, which played a central role in social and economic life in the 18th century.


  • What is the Real Mary King's Close?

    The Real Mary King’s Close is a historical attraction in Edinburgh, Scotland that offers guided tours of a preserved underground close, or alleyway, dating back to the 17th century.

  • Where is the Real Mary King's Close located?

    The Real Mary King’s Close is located on the Royal Mile, in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town.

  • Is there an admission fee for the Real Mary King's Close?

    Yes, there is an admission fee, and it’s recommended to book tickets in advance online. Check availability and book tickets for here the Real Mary King’s Close

  • How long does a tour of the Real Mary King's Close last?

    A typical tour lasts about one hour, but you should plan extra time for arriving, checking in, and browsing the gift shop.


  • Is the Real Mary King's Close suitable for children?

    Yes, the Real Mary King’s Close is suitable for children, but due to the nature of the stories told during the tour, it may not be suitable for very young children.

  • Is the Real Mary King's Close really haunted?

    Some people believe that the close is haunted, particularly Annie’s Room. However, whether or not you believe in ghosts, the close’s fascinating history is sure to captivate you.

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