Superhero Day 2017

Forth 1 Cash for Kids launched its ‘Superhero Day‘ campaign this week, and we were delighted to be involved. Cash for Kids Superhero Day is a national fundraising campaign which asks supporters to dress up, fundraise and donate on Friday 5th May. The Real Mary King’s Close regularly makes donations to local children’s charities and as the Cash For Kids campaign touched our hearts, we have not only donated a private Prosecco Tour for six to the Supervan we have also donated £2000 to the campaign.







We were delighted to welcome the Forth 1 team on site to collect our donations, including Boogie, Marty Ewart, Arlene Stuart, Micky Gavin and Barrie Wilkins.






Craig Miller, general manager at The Real Mary King’s Close, comments:

“The amount of money donated by our guests is incredible, and we are delighted to donate it to Cash For Kids.  To be able to facilitate helping the city’s disadvantaged children in such a significant way is a great honour.”

Cash for Kids raises funds for disadvantaged children in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. Everything raised locally stays in the area, helping children in local communities who live in poverty, have a serious or life-limiting illness and many others are subject to neglect or abuse.

Thank you to everyone who has donated!

New Group Events Packages Launch at The Real Mary King’s Close

Are you looking for something extra special for your event in Edinburgh? Whether you’re planning a staff excursion, an educational visit, or even a hen do with canapes and Prosecco, our in house team can help you arrange create a unique, hassle free event for your group. From exclusive private tours with the Plague Doctor to tailor made experiences on the Close, The Real Mary King’s Close has a wealth of offerings available.







The new events packages were officially launched last week at VisitScotland Expo, by VisitScotland Chairman Lord Thurso.

Craig Miller, General Manager of The Real Mary King’s Close comments:

“We’re honoured that VisitScotland Chairman Lord Thurso launched our new events packages. The Real Mary King’s Close already offers a unique environment for guests, and our team are experts at putting together exclusive visits for groups. We’re really excited to be introducing even more bespoke experiences to the Close.”

The Real Mary King’s Close offers various benefits for groups of 15 or more people, advance booking is required. For further information, contact Marta Coco or call 0131 225 0675.*







*Group discounts are restricted on Fridays and Saturdays; during UK and Scottish school holidays; July and August; and on our special themed tours over Halloween and Christmas. Full price admission charges will apply during these times and no discounts will be given. Please call for further information and clarification on when discounts are available.


Photo Credit: Chris Watt Photography

Mary King’s Coffee House Awarded Taste Our Best Award

We’re delighted to announce that the new menu at our very own Mary King’s Coffee House has been recognised by VisitScotland with a Taste Our Best award for 2017/18.

Since its inception in 2013 over 1,000 Scottish businesses have taken part in Taste Our Best – the VisitScotland’s accreditation scheme which recognises and celebrates businesses which not only offer a quality experience, but also provide locally sourced food and drink prepared with care and delivered with passion.







Not just that, for the fourteenth year in a row The Real Mary King’s Close has been awarded a five star VisitScotland rating. Since opening as a visitor attraction in 2003, The Real Mary King’s Close has consistently retained its five star status and has attracted over 2 million visitors ranking us as one of the top things to do in Edinburgh.

Easter on Mary King’s Close


This Easter we decided to have a little fun at The Real Mary King’s Close, as we hosted our first ever egg roll on The Close.


The tradition of rolling hand decorated eggs down grassy hills goes back hundreds of years, and has always been about having fun – first by decorating eggs and then by rolling them. The winner is the egg that travels the furthest and survives with the least amount of cracks.


Did you know, egg rolling is a global tradition? Since 1878, American presidents and their families have celebrated Easter Monday by hosting an ‘egg roll’ party. Held on the South Lawn, it is one of the oldest annual events in White House history.


We decorated our own eggs, and rolled them down the subterrean cobbled streets of Mary King’s Close. Although these eggs were not made of chocolate, they were still pretty sweet – they were decorated to represent the historic site including a Cobbled Street, Plague Doctor, rats, Mary King’s Close buildings.


When you’ve finished rolling your eggs, why not have a day out in Edinburgh over the Easter holidays, and join our character guides on a journey through hidden streets and uncover Edinburgh’s incredible past.


The Real Mary King’s Close is a time capsule of closes, or narrow streets, with real town houses and rooms dating back to the 1500’s. These streets were once open to the skies before they were closed and used as the foundations for the Royal Exchange, now the City Chambers.


Families visiting The Real Mary King’s Close will be able to save with the family ticket which is based on admitting 2 adults and 2 children.


A family ticket is £39.95. Pre-booking is strongly recommended and advance bookings can be made by calling 0131 225 0672, online at or in person at the attraction.



Let the good times roll!



*Due to the nature of the site, this tour is not available for children under 5yrs.  A child refers to those aged between 5yrs – 15yrs.


Cask Is King: The Truth Behind The Taste


We are delighted to announce a new experience is launching at Edinburgh’s five star rated historic attraction The Real Mary King’s Close to celebrate May’s Whisky Month. ‘Cask Is King’ will give a limited number of guests the opportunity to learn more about history and whisky, as they are taken on a journey through the dark closes below Edinburgh’s Old Town.


Following last year’s sell out ‘The Perfect Blend’ tour, ‘Cask Is King’ is sure to be a popular event for whisky buffs and budding connoisseurs, Edinburgh locals and travellers alike. Each 90minute tour begins at 9.15pm every Thursday throughout Whisky Month, and brings together the historic knowledge of The Real Mary King’s Close and the expertise of Skene Scotch Whisky.




The tour will begin with beer brewing in the 12th century, before introducing the ‘raw’ spirit and aqua vitae, which was first referenced in 1494. As visitors continue their travels through time and Mary King’s Close, they will hear the true tales of its inhabitants and learn the real history of whisky from the Porteous Riots to Prohibition. Throughout the tour guests will be given the opportunity to enjoy whisky samples including peated and unpeated single malts and blended whisky in different areas of The Close, finishing up with a delicious whisky cocktail created just for this experience.


Tickets are priced at £35 each, and can be purchased online at, by phone on 0131 225 0672 or in person at The Real Mary King’s Close on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.


Whisky Tasting at Real Mary Kings Close


The tour will also see the launch of The Real Mary King’s Close blend. This exclusive expression has a distinctive taste and is bottled at 40% ABV. Presented in a bespoke bottle which is decorated with The Real Mary King’s Close’s own tartan, the malt will be available to purchase in our gift shop. The perfect souvenir for anyone visiting Edinburgh, or a treat for a fan of our national drink!



Date: every Thursday in May at 9.15pm

Ticket Price: £35

The evening includes 3 x whisky samples, 1 x cocktail

Over 18s only (ID may be required)

Mary King’s Coffee House Launches Exciting New Menu

Afternoon Tea


The new menu launched today at Mary King’s Coffee House, and we want to tell you all about it!


Mary King’s Coffee House has an exciting new menu which is full of exceptional Scottish flavour and authentic local produce to tantalise the taste buds. Our fantastic new range of outstanding fresh soup and sandwiches are made daily on site, and our five star trained team provide service with a smile. We now serve Brodies Fairtrade Tea and Coffee which is locally roasted in Musselburgh, just seven miles from The Real Mary King’s Close! Brodie’s have blended tea in Scotland for over 100 years and have been a member of the prestigious Tea council since 1979. Our delicious cakes, pastries and tray bakes are expertly made for us here in Edinburgh by Saltire Patisserie. Whether you fancy a cheeky croissant for breakfast or a muffin for an afternoon snack, we cater for all tastes at Mary King’s Coffee House.


Our Coffee House is the perfect meeting place for Edinburgh residents meeting friends, families on a day out and visitors to the city alike. Escape the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile and enjoy a hearty soup and sandwiches, a baked potato or indulge with a cake and coffee. Or if you fancy a real treat, why not try our sumptuous afternoon tea, presented with a glass of prosecco!


The impressive, fully licenced Coffee House has a beautiful setting in the majestic former Burgh courtroom, within the five star rated Real Mary King’s Close visitor attraction. On the historic site previously was The Royal Exchange Coffee House which operated between the mid-18th and early 19th centuries.  At its height, the Royal Exchange Coffee House was one of the city’s main talking shops where key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment met to debate the issues of the day.


We love talking about our locally sourced products, if you have any questions feel free to ask us in Mary King’s Coffee House where you will enjoy a truly Scottish experience!


Rare Dinosaur Species Unearthed on the Close!

As The Real Mary King’s Close prepares for its upcoming redevelopment works, an “eggciting” discovery has been made suggesting that the Close dates back further than originally thought.

Fossilised eggs have appeared in the deepest, darkest depths of the Close. Craig Miller, General Manager of The Real Mary King’s Close said, “This wasn’t what we were expecting to find at the bottom of the Close but the discovery in itself is both seasonally and archaeologically intriguing.”

Following a thorough excavation and inspection of the area where the eggs were discovered, Dr Lipra Folos, a local palaeontology expert, was able to confirm that the eggs are of the Aprilfooliosaurus species which would have inhabited the city of Edinburgh alongside other species such as the Porcus Volaticus.

dinosaur eggs

Fossilisation of the eggs in the underground warren of hidden streets has resulted in their shells turning a pastel shade. The outward appearance of these eggs is not too dissimilar from the candy coated ones seen lining supermarket shelves up and down the country in the run up to Easter.

Due to the delicate nature of the eggs, they will be on display for a limited time only before being sent off for further scientific analysis.

The discovery comes as The Real Mary King’s Close extends its opening times in the lead up to the Easter break and beyond. From Friday 27th March until Saturday 31st October tours will run from 10am-9pm. Pre booking is highly recommended; advance bookings can be made by calling 0845 070 6244, online any time up to 48 hours in advance at or in person at The Real Mary King’s Close.

The Real Mary King’s Close is a Continuum Heritage Attraction run by Continuum Attractions. The site is currently undergoing a £500,000 development project due to be completed in June 2015.

Continuum Attractions offer a host of cultural visitor attraction experiences across the UK, from the hallowed cobbles of Coronation Street to Portsmouth’s Iconic Spinnaker Tower.

Happy New Year!

The Real Mary Kings Close is wishing everyone a very happy New Year by providing a welcome escape from the adverse weather conditions.


Visitors to Edinburgh’s famous underground attraction can explore some of the city’s hidden streets and closes where the wind and rain won’t reach them, then enjoy a hot drink in the café with a cosy blanket and hot water bottle to keep them warm.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

The guides at Christmas (1)Sunday 22 December
10.15am, 11.30am, 12.45pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm, 4.15pm & 4.30pm

This December visitors can expect a further chill in the air at The Real Mary King’s Close as they learn the shocking truth that until recent times, Christmas in the city was banned. For one day only, on 22nd December, the attraction will hold ‘Christmas On The Close’ tours which reveal the history surrounding Christmas as a once ordinary working day for Scots, with celebrations moved to Hogmanay instead!

From the ‘daft days’ which ran from Christmas Eve until Twelfth Night – which included mischief-making and practical jokes – to the ban on celebrating Christmas that started in 1575 and was not officially lifted until 1958, visitors will learn of the merrymakers who paved the way for Edinburgh now playing host to one of the biggest New Year parties in the world.

It’s hard to imagine Edinburgh without its Christmas lights and festive markets, but people enjoying Princes Street Gardens today might spare a thought that they’re walking on what once the fetid Nor Loch, filled to the brim with household waste from The Close’s original residents.

Christmas Lantern (1)Starting in the 16th century, the festive tour takes visitors through more than 300 years of the Close’s history allowing visitors to step back into Christmas past! Christmas on the Close tour will take place on Sunday 22 December at 10.15am, 11.30am, 12.45pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm, 4.15pm & 4.30pm. Book in advance by calling 0845 070 6244.