At The Real Mary King’s Close, we are passionate about sustainability, and we strive to do the right thing for the environment, our communities, our guests and our team. We have taken many actions to reduce our carbon footprint and encourage the protection of Scotland’s heritage.
We encourage our team members and visitors to use eco-friendly means of transport. Being part of the Cycle to Work scheme, as a company, we are adding to our ongoing commitment to the environment by providing cycles and safety equipment to team members as a tax-free benefit for up to a value of £750. We have invested in an undercover bike bay in the quadrant.
Furthermore, we encourage the local economy by working with local businesses, from the food and drinks we serve in our café to the products we sell in our gift shop. In our café, we aim to involve only local suppliers. Our coffee is provided by Brodies – a Linlithgow-based supplier of fair-trade coffee beans from South America, Central Africa and Asia. Brodie’s was one of the first suppliers to operate within Fairtrade guidelines. We also provide S. Luca Ice Cream. S. Luca is a Scottish-based ice cream provider, using only fresh Scottish Double Cream and whole milk. In early 2022, we started working with a new small local caterer for our meeting room food packages, Crumbs Café. By engaging local suppliers, not only are we supporting and helping to develop local business, but we are also keeping supplies as local as feasible and, therefore, minimising our carbon footprint.
To help our guests recycle during their visit, we introduced new recyclable bins at key points around the site. In 2022, we joined the Refill scheme, an award-winning campaign from City to Sea to help people live with less plastic. All our visitors can download a free app to tap into a global network of places refilling water bottles for free. We also redesigned our Courtyard to include more plants and biodiversity in the city centre, and are undertaking an audit of the entire site’s lightbulbs’ energy consumption.
The Real Mary King’s Close’s primary mission is to celebrate Scotland’s history and cultural heritage and share it with all our guests in the most inclusive way possible.
We are aiming to make our attraction as accessible and inclusive as possible. We offer our tours half price for anyone with visual or hearing impairment, and we provide guests with hearing impairment a tour script. In 2022, we invested in a new animation video for guests unable to access the site. Following international guests’ feedback, we have invested in new technology for a new audio guides Smartphone application.
We always ensure that our attraction contributes to a thriving community by working with local charities. In 2020, during our first virtual event, we carried out a fundraising initiative for Cash for Kids.
It is also essential that the LGBTQ+ community feels welcome on our site. Consequently, we have done new historical research, approved by Dr Emma Macleod from the University of Stirling, to create our first-ever Pride History Tours supporting LGBT Youth Scotland in June 2022. The news was shared on ITV and STV, which allowed national exposure to LGBT Youth Scotland and the history of the LGBTQ+ community.
In March 2022, for Women’s History Month, we created a (Her)story Tour supporting Strut Safe. During these tours, guests could meet empowering women such as Sophia Jex Blake, founder of The Edinburgh Seven.
Read more about Continuum Attractions’ Sustainability Policy here.