Real Mary King’s Close

During my trip to Edinburgh, I didn’t want to miss any of the tacky touristy highlights, so the Real Mary King’s Close was on my list! I booked my time slot a few weeks ahead and showed up about 15 minutes before the alloted time.

There are toilet facilities and a caf√© and souvenir shop available at this attraction, if you show up way early or have to wait for your time slot to come around. Once it’s time to go in, your costumed guide will announce the time slot and check your ticket before starting the tour.

The close consists of a network of old streets and buildings underground, left over from the 17th century when Edinburgh was much steeper and lower than it is today, with many of the old closes (side streets that used to have gates on both sides and were thus closed off to anyone but the residents) filled in and built on top of.

Our guide was unfortunately very stiff and rehearsed, even his movements seemed fake and studied, so it wasn’t the most exciting of tours. To be honest, some of the walking tours I did were much more interesting and informative. 

The small network of old buildings is definitely interesting and well preserved, it’s nice to see what the closes used to look like, but you don’t have much chance to explore in this guided tour. It wasn’t terrible, but not a must-see either.

Basically, it’s like a diet version of the Dungeon franchise, so if that’s your thing, do go! Otherwise, you might want to skip this and do one of the underground walking tours instead. Three out of six rainbow sloths for this attraction. 

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