I visited Gladstone's Land when I was in primary school, many years ago, but have had friends go recently and I have been told it is still the same.
As I was with my school we were all told to change into 17th century clothes which was interesting to say the least, we were then given a guided tour around 6 different rooms that showed different walks of life in that era from the poor lifestyles to the richer lifestyle. The rooms are full with objects from that period where we were given stories about each, and interesting pieces of information about life at that time.
The one thing that really sticks out is the ceiling in one of the rooms, it was truely magnificent, and I also believe is handpainted.
Today, to go in as a visitor you can walk around the rooms yourself and spend as much time as you like. If you would like a guide, you can request one, at an additional cost.
They have a souvineer shop there but there are also some downfalls.
There are no toilets and there isn't a cafe within the centre either. There is nowhere for car parking, unless you enjoy to walk.
The prices are fairly reasonable though and downfalls aside, it makes an educational and interesting day for the whole family!
Good but not large, well-preserved and presented 17th century tenement in the Lawnmarket portion of The Royal Mile. Enter through the authentic luckenbooth (what shopping used to look like back when) and follow a self-guided tour through the atmospheric period rooms. There are staff in each room to answer questions and lots of interesting details. The ceilings and walls in the painted chamber are worth seeing. All it needs is the girl with the pearl earring. I can tell there are other floors with more delights that are not on show and for the prices being charged, these ought to be on display as well. It would be nice to see what became of these old houses once the great and good abandoned the Old Town for the spacious geometries of the New Town. They should show what became of the tenements when hordes of desperately poor people divided and subdivided the floors into especially dire living conditions. Most were finally swept away by the civic-minded Victorians. Gladstone's Land is a remarkable survival. I would like to either see its scope widened or its admission price lowered. Better yet, a combined ticket to allow access to its sister museum, The Georgian House in Charlotte Square. Both museums are must-sees for anyone curious about the real old Edinburgh.
It's good. It should be either slightly cheaper if left as it is or slightly better at the same price. And the no toilets thing is a real let-down. Had to run our desperate three year old out to The Hub and back to use the toilet and that's a fair walk in heavy rain. That said, well-presented displays of period furniture show you what life was like in one of these Olde Worlde tenements back when this was a swanky address. It does not show the awfulness of what it was like when the well-to-do decamped to the New Town and the great unwashed all moved in. Often several families to a single, small room. I think that should have been shown as this was a major aspect of these buildings and why many were knocked down or even fell down. The painted ceiling in Gladstone's room is genuinely gorgeous and worth seeing. There were docents in each room who helpfully answered questions and were informative but a guided tour might be a better way to experience the place. There may be one a day, check with staff. If you like history and want to see what The Royal Mile and Old Edinburgh were like then definitely check this place out.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.