One of the traditions of Christmas that will never be allowed to slip away while we work in Edinburgh’s Old Town is the telling of ghost stories on Christmas Eve.

The Old Town is reputed to be one of the most haunted sites in the British Isles and the closes just off the Royal Mile, where we are located, possess the historic character and moody atmosphere for the best scary tales.

While part of a re-design now breathing new life into Advocate’s Close, Roxburgh’s Close and Warriston’s Close the uniqueness of our serviced apartments has a lot to do with our 15th century foundations, with the sense of history essential to the experience of staying at Old Town Chambers.

Next to us is the Real Mary King’s Close. Buried deep beneath the Royal Mile is a warren of hidden streets that were once home to the good, the bad and the ugly of Edinburgh’s often gory past. It is said that you can hear the revellers at a long gone bar, or the scratching of a child stuck in a chimney and then there is the shrine to ‘Annie’ where tourists leave their gifts of toys.

Tunnels are also said to exist from the Castle to Holyrood Palace and when these were re-discovered a hundred years ago a piper was sent down to explore. He played his bagpipes so that his progress could be tracked by those above. When he got to the Tron the music stopped. He had vanished, never to be seen again. Although, it is sometimes said the sound of his pipes can be faintly heard by passers-by on the Royal Mile today.

At our official launch in the New Year we are planning a tribute to the heritage of our location, with history tours provided with the help of Mercat Tours, The Real Mary King’s Close and history festival co-founder Susan Morrison. We hope to capture the historic nature of our setting alongside the style and panache of modern ideas in architecture, hospitality and service. In the meantime I expect there may be some ghost stories told in our apartments on Christmas Eve and who knows, someone might spot Santa as he delivers to all the good children staying with us, after all with many of our apartments occupied on Christmas Eve, he’s going to be with us for a while!

Julie Grieve 


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