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The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

(4/5 based on 9,500+ reviews on the web)
Experience 17th-century Edinburgh by touring The Real Mary King's Close. This collection of underground alleyways features buildings dating back to period of the Plague, and gives you a glimpse of Edinburgh life hundreds of years ago. Take a tour with a guide in period dress who will recount the close's history, share its associated ghost stories and myths, and bring you into a handful of homes left in their original condition. Named for Mary King, a famous local fabric trader and seamstress in the 1630s, the area was open to the sky before the city built over it and put it beneath street level. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, because you'll be walking on cobblestone streets. Plan to see The Real Mary King's Close and other attractions that appeal to you using our Edinburgh tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The staff were very knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Everything they tell you is historically verifiable. You get a good lesson on what life was like in the 1600-1700s in a close or narrow alley f...  more »
  • Heard good reports about this place,so thought we'd give it a go, it was an interesting history lesson by the guide,who was very friendly & knowledgeable,but there wasn't really a little t to see, the...  more »
  • First clarify that it is not of any tour of fear or anything, guided by the ground floor of the old Edinburgh, "Isabel de Toledo" guide was great. Do not leave the city without getting to know these corners.
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Google
  • Our tour guide was in 'character' straight away and put great energy into her part and looked after the group well with warnings of a safety nature. Some good stories , some history which I felt was enough time allowed. Disappointingly some part visitors snot allowed in as preservation orders and no photography due to orders of a government building built over head , not a good enough excuse . A single photo taken on the Close road, but most of the group didn't want this. Photos available upstairs cheapest £6 but the tour was £14.70 so felt I'd paid enough . Not long enough and restrictions on access and photos . Disappointing in that respect but still a good tour.
  • Came here before with my Wife and had an excellent time, so cam back with my 6 year old son. (Boys weekend away!). Again, loved it. The guides here are great and really engaging, working on both my level and my sons. Really worth a visit.
  • Tour was not what I expected. This tour is very focused on Edinburgh's archaeological history and lacks any paranormal stories. Despite my interest into Edinburgh's history this tour didn't quite catch my full attention or have an interesting element to it; instead it was story after story about how well built certain buildings were. So if you were expecting an hour of interesting background stories about previous residents or the paranormal then I DO NOT recommend this tour, however, if an hour of Edinburgh's archaeological history sounds like your thing then I certainly do recommend it. One last thing, our tour guide Mark (dressed as Robert Ferguson) did not seem interested in his job whatsoever and so brought the overall feeling of the tour drastically down.
  • Are you the type of person that would enjoy colonial Williamsburg? No? Then skip it. Just read the history online and walk down some of the other closes. The tour was lead by a guide in character and didn't even really cover the history.
  • Worth seeing! It gets busy so good to book ahead. It's a historical tour where an actor brings to life what it was like to live back in the 17th Century. It brings you underneath the street to where the old buildings was built upon and launches into interesting tales about families who lived there - murders, the pneumatic disease and the black plague. I've been on a couple 'ghost' tours and although perhaps not as dramatic, it was still very interesting and went through many more buildings underground than the others.. no dram of whisky at the end, which would have topped it off nicely. I liked how there was a cap of 19 which limited the normally really large groups on ghost tours. One star down for price, as it is nearly the price of going into The Castle or Palace!