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Gladstone's Land

477B Lawnmarket | Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2NT, Scotland
+44 131 226 5856
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"The best address in town" - One of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, boasting wealthy residential and commercial tenants in its heyday - The main apartments are decorated with lavish Renaissance, hand-painted interiors with deep hidden meanings - The 1600s stone arches were erected to shelter customers, but became the ideal place for criminal activity - The grocers on the ground floor sold all the exotic spices and dried foods you would have needed to throw a banquet - 400 years ago Edinburgh’s elite purchased their imported silk, ribbons and lace in our cloth shop Just a stone’s throw from the castle, this 500 year old building is a towering testament to tenement life in Edinburgh’s Old Town and was once owned by merchant Thomas Gladstone. He extended and remodelled the building to attract wealthy tenants for his opulently decorated apartments, as well as for the high-end grocer and cloth shop on the ground floor and the tavern located in the basement. By the 1800s only the poorest of the city’s inhabitants remained in the Old Town. Gladstone’s Land was one of the first buildings the National Trust for Scotland acquired, rescuing it from demolition in 1934. A local wealthy resident, Helen Harrison, donated £1000 to help restore the building from its derelict state, in order to provide affordable homes for people of ‘little means’.
  • Excellent49%
  • Very good36%
  • Average11%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“national trust” (49 reviews)
“georgian house” (27 reviews)
“royal mile” (89 reviews)
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Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
477B Lawnmarket | Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2NT, Scotland
Old Town
+44 131 226 5856
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Reviews (397)
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11 - 20 of 359 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2017

Small but interesting historic house on the Royal Mile. Large shop area, but to access the house, you have to pr-book on a guided tour. The guide was very informative, but the tour was a bit too long - there are only 4 rooms (all...More

Thank rachorse
Reviewed 27 July 2017 via mobile

We had read about this historic 6 floor building and decided to go on our last day in Edinburgh. We arrived just after 10:45am thinking we could complete a quick self guided tour, but were told you have to book for guided tours. One had...More

Thank OldBear
Reviewed 23 July 2017

This 500 year old building is owned by the Scottish National Trust so entry is free to members. It is recommended to book ahead for the guided tour however we were very lucky to get straight on a tour. They last just under an hour...More

Thank Jobenina
Reviewed 22 July 2017

After doing some research prior to our trip, we targeted Gladstone's land as one of the things we wanted to see. We were not disappointed. A knowledgeable and witty docent provided the history or the building and an insight into the social customs of the...More

Thank Robert E
Reviewed 11 July 2017

Outstanding tour and makes you understand what life was really like. This tour helps to fund historical group that restores sites. Definetly worth your time but appointment only.

Thank julyvaca33804
Reviewed 5 July 2017

This property is owned by the NT of Scotland. It was a charming place to visit but visits are by guided tour only and we would have preferred to walk around without a guide.

Thank JHReading
Reviewed 5 July 2017

We visited this interesting building, and there was plenty to see, which we were told about by our very informative guide, However, it's a small house, and an hour was too long really - some people left in the middle - I could have seen...More

Thank SwindonMoomin
Reviewed 9 June 2017

There are a number of small museums on or near the Royal Mile, but I thought Gladstone's Land was the best. The tour takes about an hour and you need to reserve in advance because they fill up quickly. It's best to advance the day...More

Thank Sue H
Reviewed 5 June 2017

Yes, it is best to call and reserve a spot in advance. Yes, the pained ceiling is incredible. Unfortunately, I thought it was a long, drawn out tour when really half the time would be enough. You see 4 rooms (including kitchen, bedroom, dining room)...More

1  Thank Jessica H
Reviewed 29 May 2017

A really good tour of this 500-year old building; the building is looked after by the Scottish National Trust (free entry to National Trust members). The tour starts on the ground floor in what is now part of the shop but then moves upstairs to...More

1  Thank Cliff J
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its
labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests
this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly
visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers
that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the
place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as
the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal
Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the
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