REVIEW – Mary King’s Close, children’s visit


Edinburgh has many visitor attractions to choose from and one all-weather choice is to the Real Mary King’s Close.  Two mini-Spotlight members paid a visit to Mary King’s Close last week.  The minimum age to visit is 5 and child’s admission is £6.  

An inhabitant. Image courtesy of venue.

Both of them had a great time and we’ve translated what they had to say about their visit.

Lauryn (aged 11)

 I found the tour really interesting as I have been studying ancient times at school. It was good to think back to the way Mary King’s Close would have been when it was lived in all these years ago.

I bet it was really smelly when people used to shout “Garde loo” and throw their toilet out of the window. Our guide Megan, who was pretending to be a maid for a rich family that lived in Mary King’s Close 400 years ago, was funny and her stories were good, especially the ones about ghosts. The stories about the plague were really sad, and it is a shame that so many people including children died. There have been lots of toys, teddies and gifts left by people from all over the world for one of the wee girls that died – even a Westlife CD. I don’t think I will ever look at Princes Street Gardens the same any more now that I know that it used to be the Nor Loch. They used to pour all kinds of things in there, including bodies, and it must have been horrible.

I am glad Edinburgh has changed now, because I don’t think it would have been very comfortable living next to the cows and the chickens as the people did back when Mary King’s Close was still open.

Michael (aged 5)
I liked the ghost stories but I had to hold on to my dad’s hand because it was dark and there were a lot of steps to go down. I liked the figures and the stories about Mary King. I would go back again, and I hope I see a ghost next time. The Loch sounded horrible and smelly!

We say:

Mary King’s Close is an excellent attraction to take your kids too, provided they are over five and not too squeamish. The two children that visited have a healthy curiosity in the macabre, so the ghost stories were right up their street (or Close in this case). The guide, Megan, was spot-on with her blend of humour and history, and it was a good all-round experience, especially on a rainy day. My only slight quibble is that the gift shop was too pricey – but this is par for the course with most city centre attractions.

You can find out more on their facebook page and on twitter.

Suitable for disabled?  Please read their access policy before visiting.

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