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The Real Mary King's Close

Visitor Attractions

It may be hard to believe, but in Edinburgh’s Old Town there are alleyways hidden underneath the streets that we use today. The Real Mary King’s Close tour takes you underground to relive the history of these old alleys. They remained untouched for 400 years after the plague forced the city council to demolish the buildings and build a new Edinburgh, free from disease. The Real Mary King’s Close was discovered under the Royal Mile when a water pipe broke and needed replacing. That’s when, after digging up the pipe, 400 years’ worth of legends about ghost and secret passages came to light and was put to shame by actual facts. The attraction was opened to visitors in April 2003 and has been attracting increasing numbers of visitors ever since.

Because Mary King’s Close is situated under the Royal Mile, in narrow Warriston’s Close, it can be difficult to spot. Not many signs are allowed on the High Street so it can be a challenge. The best way to find it is to keep to the left hand side of the street when walking down from Edinburgh Castle and when you see St Giles Cathedral on the other side of the street (to your right), that’s a sign that you are almost there. Just keep reading the signs by the closes to your left.


2 Warriston’s Close, Writers Court, Old-Town, EH1 1PG

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