A weird attraction in Edinburgh – Mary King’s Close

Entrance of the Mary King's Close zoetnet/Flickr

Entrance of the Mary King’s Close ©zoetnet/Flickr

The university town, the famous Scottish capital city, Edinburgh is an extremely popular tourist destination, being actually the second most visited city in the UK. Both the Old Town and New Town of the city were inscribed on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The deluge of the breathtaking landmarks attracts more than one million overseas tourists yearly. The most important sights within the city are the following: Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles’ Cathedral, Holyrood Palace, Holyrood Abbey and others. In case you’ve already visited these attractions and you are looking for something unusual, I suggest you to visit Mary King’s Close. It is a weird attraction in Edinburgh which is absolutely worth visiting.

What is a close and who was Mary King?

A close is actually a series of underground spaces and streets. Some people living in the Old Town used to make their residences in such closes. The closes were usually named after the residents who were the most prominent personalities or had business there. Mary King is supposed to be an important businesswoman during the 17th century. It was unusual to name a close after a woman, fact which proves her standing in the close.   

Entrance of the Mary King's Close zoetnet/Flickr

Entrance of the Mary King’s Close ©zoetnet/Flickr

About Mary King’s Close

Mysteries and myths about murderers and ghosts used to overlay the closes of Edinburgh for years. Today Mary King’s Close is a popular, yet weird attraction of Edinburgh. In case you visit the Scottish capital city, I suggest you not to miss a visit. The close can be found under the Old Town and the entrance is through Writer’s Court and Warriston’s Close.

A great thing about Mary King’s Close is that authentic costumed tour guides present fascinating stories. The costumed guides are based on one time residents. Visiting the close is like stepping back in the past. It might be hard to understand the history of the closes or the reason why residents used to choose this location for their homes, but guides will help you with their stories. Besides Mary King’s Close, the tour includes Pearson’s, Allen’s and Stewart’s closes, too.  

Mock-up of Mary King's Close Shadowgate/Flickr

Mock-up of Mary King’s Close ©Shadowgate/Flickr

Mary King’s Close as a tourist attraction

As I already mentioned it, the close is very popular among visitors. In case you are looking for a weird attraction in Edinburgh, Mary King’s Close is the place to go. The close can be visited November to March, Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 until 17:00, on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00; March to October, Monday to Sunday from 10:00 until 21:00. (May 2013)

Towards Mary King's Close eagleapex/Flickr

Towards Mary King’s Close ©eagleapex/Flickr

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