The Real Mary King's Close The Real Mary King's Close

COVID information has been updated. Please view reviews and venue details below.

The Real Mary King's Close

High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG, United Kingdom | Website

Venue Description

Beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh's deepest secret a warren of hidden streets where real people lived, worked and died between the 17th and the 19th centuries. A time capsule of streets beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile bringing history to life. On a one hour tour led by a character tour guide depicting a former resident of the Close, guests will delve below to learn the real stories from Edinburgh’s incredible past between the 16th and 19th centuries. Hear the stories of the people who lived, worked and died on these streets and discover how all social classes lived together stacked on top of each other in tenements that are said to have been the world’s first skyscrapers! The Real Mary King’s Close offers guests an authentic insight into the social history of these uniquely preserved streets and houses.


From the street to the main entrance, there is level access. The Royal Mile is sloped, but fairly level at the main door into the attraction. Steps lead from the admissions area and exhibition to the rest of the site. Our café, shop, and toilets can also be accessed via the Warriston’s Close entrance to the attraction. There are a total of 58 steps to be descended and 38 ascended as part of the tour. There is no lift access, unfortunately. The character-led experience lasts approximately one hour. There is a minimum age limit of 5 for the tour, and children aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult. Due to uneven surfaces and some steep inclines, sturdy footwear is recommended. Many areas are dimly lit, and some guests may experience disorientation or claustrophobia. Guides are equipped with radios. If you need to leave the tour at any stage, your guide will arrange for a member of the team to take you back upstairs. Due to the historic nature and layout of the site, as well as to protect the health and safety of all of our guests, we would like to make you aware of the following: - Guests can view a model of the Close in our free exhibition. - Our knowledgeable team is always on hand to answer any questions and to explain the site in more detail. - There’s free admission for carers when accompanying visitors with disabilities. Tickets are not available via our website at the moment. - We have free multi-language audio guides available. The audio provides an overview of the tour but isn’t an exact character guide interpretation of the experience. To reserve, please email - A copy of our script is available for guests with hearing impairment needs. To reserve an e-reader, please email

Access Statement

Access Statement Link:


Information about the toilets has not been added for this venue.


Information about the staff has not been added for this venue.

COVID Precautions

Last updated:

These are the things we are doing: 1. Checking in: We have set up an Arrival Zone at the Admissions Desk where you will be met by a member of the team who welcomes you and offers you hand sanitiser. 2. Reduced capacity: We have reduced the number of people we are taking on each tour to ensure you have space and an enjoyable experience with us. 3. Our team safety protocols: Where applicable, the team will be wearing masks or visors. Prior to every shift, the team will complete a pre-check, including hand washing and a temperature check, to ensure they are ready and able to work. 4. Wash / Sanitising hands: We have installed hand sanitiser points at regular intervals around the attraction. 6. Cards not cash: Our online booking system is easy to use. We encourage you to book online in advance where possible. As capacity will be reduced this means you can guarantee your place on a tour at a time that suits you, at the best possible price, and avoid disappointment. On-site, please use contactless payment where possible to reduce the cash handling. We have increased our limit to £45. 7. Clean it, clean it, clean it: We already maintain the highest standards of hygiene on site, but now more than ever we will be going above and beyond to make sure the attraction is super clean. We’ve upped the regular cleaning regime of surfaces and touchpoints and have invested in more thorough deep cleans as well.

The venue says it has...

  • Audio Described
  • Carer Discount
  • Access Statement

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