Where to stay in Edinburgh: our favourite pads
We often get asked by friends, travellers and fellow intagrammers about accommodation recommendations in the 'burgh. With the festival starting in only a couple of weeks' time, we put together a curated list of apartments where we would love to stay as Edinburgh visitors. While we have not personally stayed at these places, these are the type of pads we would pick for our holiday - expect no magnolia walls here, but period features, lots of history and uniqueness.
I included a wide range of holiday lets in the list, from stylish yet affordable private rooms to luxurious historic buildings, in case you are after a special treat - from birthday trips and proposals to honeymoon suites. Even if currently you are not looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh, these properties are well worth checking out for some serious interior inspiration.
The Pavilion at Lamb's House
Lamb's House is one of my favourite buildings in Leith. The A-listed building is a great example of early 17th century architecture typical of Hanseatic harbour towns. The site was originally owned by Edinburgh merchant Andrew Lamb and it was here that Mary Queen of Scots sheltered on a misty morning when she sailed into Leith Harbour from France in 1561. The building almost burnt down in around 1936 when children broke in and lit a bonfire. From 1958 the house was owned by the National Trust for Scotland and in 2010 bought by two coservation architects at Groves-Raines. Today the pavilion is used as a holiday let, the Icelandic Consulate takes up residence on the ground floor and the rest of the house is used as a family home.
Photos: Murdo McDermid and Lamb's Pavilion
Yes, you read it right - this is a converted 17th century stone dovecot in the heart of Edinburgh, situated between Bruntsfield and Morningside. Don't worry, you won't need to share the pad with pigeons, they have moved out long time ago. The cottage is petite, yet contains everything you need during your stay: double bed in the tower, a large wetroom, a cosy sitting/dining room with wood burner and a bespoke wee kitchen. The dovecot is tucked away in the middle of a large mature garden - it is a truly romantic hideaway.
Photos: Dovecot Cottage / Sarah and Ron
I first heard about Dave and Tokes' Brunton Bothy through an interview at the Hidden Edinburgh website. I remember we were in the middle of our own flat renovations and were considering painting our bedroom Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball. Seeing the bold colours used throughout Dave and Tokes's flat confirmed our choice - they used this beautiful dark blue colour for their living room from floor to ceiling, and it looks absolutely stunning.
Photos: Brunton Bothy / Dave and Tokes
Tessa's beautifully colourful home is an Instagram find - I was actually browsing for interior inspiration for our own home renovation. It's a stunning flat in a 200 year old building in Edinburgh's Broughton area, which is an excellent base to explore the Scottish capital. Two rooms are available in the property, both unique and full of period details.
Photos: Tessa Macgregor
Rock House is the perfect secret luxury hideaway - oh, how many times we have visited Calton Hill without noticing its discretely tucked away entrance! We first heard about the property through Doors Open Days and we were lucky to have visited it twice. Originally built as an 18th century merchant's house, Rock House is famous for being the studio of David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson pioneering Scottish photographers. The building has been recently refurbished and we love every single detail about the new decor.
Dickins is a lovely local company and they manage some beautiful properties on behalf of their owners. The Dickins Collection include unique places full of character and personal touch - our favourite picks are:
- 5 Gayfield Square: a stunning Georgian property spread over four floors with private parking. Did I mention there's a freestanding bath?
- 35 Royal Terrace: this property has the prettiest modern staircase and a huge private garden. The dining room is perfect for large family and friend gatherings.
- 18 Northumberland Street: this stunning three bedroom home has the most glamourous Victorian staircase.
Riddle's Court Apartment
The King's Chamber is a holiday apartment situated in the historic Riddle's Court, just a few steps away from Edinburgh's Royal Mile and the Castle. The bedroom you can stay in once hosted a dinner party of King James VI of Scotland, hence the name. The building itself is a 16th century merchant's house and it has just been extensively renovated. We were lucky to visit Riddle's Court both pre and post the major renovation works and they have done a brilliant job - for example, they have beautifully restored the painted beams in the bedroom. The apartment is managed by the lovely folk of Airsorted who look after everything, from check-in to on-call support.
Artist's Mews House
I don't know about you, but I always wanted to try mews living, even if it was just for a couple of days. They were originally built as stables with accommodation above for servants, today these tiny houses are the hottest tickets on the property market. There is certainly something cute and romantic about staying in a typical Edinburgh mews house - luckily for visitors, quite a few of them are available for short term lets. We love the Artist's Mews House due to its simple design and the well preserved beautiful period features. Book your stay at this mews house via Airbnb.
Porteous Studio is a beautiful holiday home located in the heart of Edinburgh. It's right next to the touristiest spots of the 'burgh, the bustling Grassmarket and the Instagram hotspot of The Vennel - yet so well hidden that even among locals it often remains unnoticed. Converted from an old garage of Porteous Pend, it is a very special place to stay. We have written up a separate blog post on our lovely stay at Porteous Studio - read more about it here.
If you would like to spend your holiday at Porteous Studio, you can book your stay here. Alternative to a stay, you also can come along to one of the monthly Supper Clubs held at the Studio. Keep an eye on the @porteous.studio Instagram account or sign up for their newsletter to get notified about future dates.
Acknowledgement: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and purely my own. We have not personally stayed at these apartments (with the exception of the lovely Porteous Studio) and this is not a sponsored post.
Photos by The Edinburgh Enthusiast (C) unless other source stated.