The Real Mary King’s Close has marked its three millionth visitor as it took its place in a global travel hall of fame.

The news coincided with the publication of Lonely Planet’s latest Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist publication, which recommended the visitor attraction for the first time.

Located on Edinburgh’s historic and world-famous Royal Mile, The Real Mary King’s Close takes guests on an underground journey into a warren of uniquely preserved 17th century streets, which were once home to the thriving community that included local resident Mary King.

Paul Nixon, General Manager of The Real Mary King’s Close, said: “This has been an incredibly busy season already here at The Real Mary King’s Close and these successes recognise the hard work of the whole team here, who host thousands of visitors from across the world and really bring Edinburgh’s hidden history to life. 

“I think even Mary King herself would feel somewhat surprised about the number of people who have been keen to learn about her and the other historic residents of the Close!”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, accepted an invitation to meet the team on a visit to Edinburgh’s most unique visitor attraction this week.

On the visit, the Cabinet Secretary congratulated the team on their multiple award successes, including the Thistle Awards (Scotland’s most prestigious tourism awards), at which The Real Mary King’s Close won in the Best Heritage Visitor Experience category and was bestowed a special commendation in the Best Attraction category.  The visit follows the busiest July the attraction has ever experienced as it welcomed a record 34,263 visitors through the doors.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Real Mary King’s Close represents the best of Scottish tourism – an immersive attraction that both educates and entertains visitors in Scottish history and culture in the heart of Edinburgh.

“It was a privilege to join staff today celebrating their three millionth visitor and being awarded a Thistle Award Best Heritage Tourism Experience for 2019.”

Juliana Delaney, CEO of Continuum Attractions, said: “It was an honour to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to The Real Mary King’s Close this week. This has been a standout year for the attraction and I am delighted to have that success recognised through such accolades and above all, through the increasing number of visitors we’ve hosted.  This is a real mark of the pride the team here takes in their customer care – something which is absolutely critical to any successful tourism business.”