Not only is the Grassmarket the home of our little hotel here in Edinburgh, it’s also steeped in rich history and part of Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.  Dating back to the 1300s, The Grassmarket, Edinburgh was populated with cattle fairs and stables when around the 1670s the market became a trading point for goods.

This is where it gets a bit macabre and grim, The Grassmarket was also a traditional place of public execution.   Margaret (Maggie) Dickson, a fishwife who was hanged in the Grassmarket in 1724 for murdering her illegitimate baby shortly after birth. After the hanging, her body was taken back to Musselburgh on a cart. However, on the way there she awoke. Since, under Scots Law, her punishment had been carried out, she could not be executed for a second time for the same crime (only later were the words “until dead” added to the sentence of hanging). Tales of Maggie can be heard in Edinburgh Dungeons.

In 1937 a memorial was created to commemorate the Covenanters who died on the gallows between 1661 and 1688 during a period known as the killing time.  This feature can be easily seen from many of our front facing bedroom windows.

Today the Grassmarket is a hub of things to see and do, from weekly markets, events, independent shops and boutiques to bars, cafes and restaurants.

But what are the hidden gems?  We highly recommend a trip to Marys Milk Bar for the best hot chocolate in town and The Wee Pub is Scotland’s smallest pub and well worth a visit.   Are you a cat lover?  Maison de Moggy is Scotland’s first cat café and really does have some cool cats!  If you’re a fan of vintage clothes shopping W. Armstrong & Son is a must and our friends at Biddy Mulligans make the best Irish stew in town!

All of this is just a stroll from our Grassmarket Hotel and this is just a taste of with Edinburgh has to offer!  Why not start planning your experience and join us this summer…

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