*Gladstone's Land has re-opened after an exciting £1.5m restoration.*
Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Visit ‘the best address in town’, just a stone’s throw from the castle, and discover what 17th-century tenement life was like in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
The historic townhouse's restoration includes a new immersive visitor experience that takes you through three centuries of Gladstone’s Land history, as well as a brand new coffee shop and ice cream parlour, continuing the spirit of the building’s long commercial use. This has been inspired by the refreshment rooms and ice cream shops that were prevalent on the Lawnmarket in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the public houses and dairies that operated out of the property.
Steeped in history, the ice cream parlour is the perfect place for you to relax after a visit to the house, catch up with friends or pop in for an afternoon treat. Serving a wide range of Equi’s ice cream flavours, sundaes, delicious cakes and hot drinks, you can either sit in or take out. Vegan and gluten-free options are available.
Join one of our specialist tours to find out more about specific aspects of Old Town history. Our experienced tour guides take you on a light-hearted trip through the history of the property. A visit to Gladstone’s Land provides a glimpse into the lives and businesses of some of its former residents, including the sights, sounds and smells that they would have experienced.
Gladstone's Land, a towering 500-year-old building, is a 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 that the National Trust for Scotland acquired, rescuing it from demolition in 1934.
Discover the real Royal Mile of the 17th century. Gladstone’s Land shows how people from a variety of backgrounds went about their lives at a time when the cramped Lawnmarket was at the heart of one of the world’s fastest-growing and influential cities.
Admire the original features that include winding stone staircases, tiny windows and astonishing painted decoration. The stone arcade at the entrance still welcomes visitors, as it did 400 years ago. In the Painted Chamber we catch a glimpse of the wealth of the period in the colourfully decorated interiors, rich with symbolism.