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Address: Riddles Court 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 220 1232

Riddle's Court is a unique survival, a 16th Century courtyard House set...

Riddle's Court is a unique survival, a 16th Century courtyard House set behind the Royal Mile, just a stone's throw from Edinburgh Castle. The property contains significant architectural features documenting its 400 year history. Many aristocratic, influential and creative people have lived here or been associated with this building including King James VI, Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, Sir David Hume and Sir Patrick Geddes. As a Fringe Festival Venue Riddle's Court has helped put artists centre stage early on in their careers including Stephen Fry and Maggie Smith. The property was taken over by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust in September 2011, who are undertaking a large scale restoration of the property to its former glory and turn it into the 'Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning'. The project will cost £5.7m, of which £75k has yet to be raised . The building is currently closed but will reopen in the Spring of 2017.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Old building in the city

I saw this place, looked at it, may have taken a picture, can't really remember, but I remember it, there is a little alley way going down where you can take some stairs at the... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 January 2017
Dublin, Ireland
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12 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 8: English reviews
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
1,104 reviews
825 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 498 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

I saw this place, looked at it, may have taken a picture, can't really remember, but I remember it, there is a little alley way going down where you can take some stairs at the end into a lower street. Just saw it here for review, so thought I would add it to my numerous reviews. Edinburgh is a fine... More 

Thank Theycallitmadness
Level Contributor
283 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2015

Just off Royal Mile, at the end of a small alleyway. 16th century Riddle’s Court is one of Edinburgh’s older properties. An interesting courtyard with an outside staircase built when some of the building was demolished. Was the one time residence of the famous Scottish philosopher David Hume. It later housed the first summer schools of Edinburgh University.

1 Thank ptrav9
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2015 via mobile

This is a hidden gem of a piece of preserved history this court yard is in its original condition to show it at its best. The original stairs and doorways intact.

1 Thank Maria E
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
115 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2014 via mobile

Like Gladstone Land, we found this fascinating "space" by complete accident. Being the nosey bugger I am, I decided to walk into this close "just because it was there." There was no real signage or advertising at the entrance but, once in the courtyard, we came upon information regarding the history of the close, including the patronage of King James... More 

1 Thank GladiatorDelWino
Una R, Front Office Manager at Riddle's Court, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting. Scottish Historic Buildings Trust is a buildings conservation trust working to save Riddle's Court, 90% raised of the £5.6m target. For more information about the project visit http://www.shbt.org.uk//index.php?cID=210 Be sure to come back and visit in 2017 once the restoration is complete. More 

Level Contributor
93 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2014

I visited Riddler's Court in order to see a rather nice LEGO exhibition as part of this year's Edinburgh Science Festival. The courtyard itself was charming, and there was a cafe tucked away in there next to the exhibition area. There was a very reasonable fee to get inside to see the LEGO models, many of which were LEGO versions... More 

1 Thank Islandling
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

We stumbled across Riddle's Court when a giant LEGO flagged us down on the Royal Mile! As part of the National Science Festival they are holding a LEGO exhibition just now - brilliant for the kids and great opportunity to see an amazing building. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

2 Thank John R
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

A hidden gem that is usually overlooked as it is located at the end of a narrow allyway on the Royal Mile. The building dates back to the 16th century and thus is one of the older buildings left on 'the mile' and in Old Town. I found this place as I was going on a wander around and buzzed... More 

4 Thank Timbuktoo13
Colchester, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2012

Thought it was excellent, the courtyard was really interesting, especially the floating external staircase - i've never seen one before! On entering the building the staff were really friendly, each room was had it own character and the whole building was soo atmospheric. It must be a fantastic place to learn (they are a venue for adult learning classes). The... More 

2 Thank Jenny W

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Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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