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“Family friendly”
Review of Gladstone's Land

Gladstone's Land
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US$20.61*
and up
City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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US$34.35*
and up
National Trust for Scotland Discover Ticket: Scotland Sightseeing Pass
Ranked #73 of 416 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: "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’.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 10 August 2014

We had an hour to kill on the Royal Mile in between activities - brilliant for that - especially if you're National Trust members! With four kids in tow, the staff were very friendly and took the time to teach us all something in each of the rooms, from ways of life, to architecture, to painting, to cooking. Very worthy of a short stop while touring the mile in Edinburgh!

1  Thank Keirin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (394)
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198 - 202 of 394 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2014

Located on the Royal Mile just downhill from the castle, Gladstone's Land will give you a glimpse into the lifestyle of a well to do merchant of the 17 century... actually quite comfortable compared to what you'll see at "The Real Mary King's Close" which definitely was not inhabited by the well-to-do. It's also worth contrasting Gladstone's Land with another National Trust property: Georgian House, built in the late 18th century to a completely different architectural standard that ushered in a new luxuriousness to the lives of the richer members of society.
As a National Trust property you can expect to meet with and have your questions answered by a knowledgeable volunteer. No need for an audio guide here!

2  Thank LouPotato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

This really is a fascinating place to visit. It's well presented and the support staff are informative and interesting to talk to. Well worth seeing.

2  Thank cwcoulson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Very well preserved house and fascinating. Only 4 rooms on display so it doesn't take long to look around. I wouldn't have paid the entrance price as it would have been pricey for a family, but at NT members in England we got in free. One member of staff was very grumpy who let the other wonderful friendly staff down.

Thank Julia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Gladstone’s Land is on the Royal Mile in the Lawnmarket section on the opposite side of the road to the cathedral. This was a 17th century home of a wealthy merchant and provides a good insight into how a middle class family would have lived in the tenement. It does involve going up a spiral staircase but it is suitably furnished for its 17th period. There is an amazing bureau and the guide was keen to point out a foot warming device that looked well used. The main room was the painted room which was also the room to socialize, despite the 4 poster bed in it. Here the ceiling and walls are decorated in the style of the time (some of it are the original paintings), there is a very ornate cupboard and views of the Royal Mile. The kitchen has a range complete with cooking equipment but no oven. There is also a pull-out wall bed for the servant to sleep on. The dining room is more recent and more lavishly decorated and furnished with actual frames paintings on the wall. On the ground floor is a small shop. This is a good visit and combines well with Mary King Court. The staff were very keen to help.

1  Thank angelaofcastleton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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