Barnton Quarry Nuclear Bunker – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Barnton Quarry Nuclear Bunker

Long abandoned underground complex to keep royals safe from a nuclear war that never came. 


This nuclear bunker is situated 100 feet below Corstorphine Hill, embedded in the Barnton Quarry and adjacent to Edinburgh Zoo. It was built in 1944, in 1951 it was commissioned as a Cold War shelter for the British government and the Queen, should she happen to be at her Edinburgh residence. It was even outfitted with a broadcast room for the BBC. By 1955 it was was declassified and all but abandoned.

It was still used as a protected control centre up until the mid-1960’s. The Soviet nuclear attack on Scotland never came, and thus the bunker was never used. It was a secret until 1963 when a group called Spies for Peace exposed it to the public. It was purchased in 2005 by a private owner who intends to turn it into a museum, although the bunker has long been explored by intrepid spelunkers. (Warning: due to two fires, it is full of asbestos.)

Know Before You Go

It is reported to be open only on the weekends from 9 am - 5 pm. Speaking to some local dog walkers, they said it has been closed for years.

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