We hope this section may help you plan ahead of your vacation. You will also find plenty of helpful guidebooks and similar information in your Pilrig House Apartment.
Yes, you are welcome to book 1-3 nights. However, the minimum price policy for that period will apply, i.e. if your booking is during a 4-night minimum stay period of the year, then the tariff will be for 4 nights.
We do welcome enquiries for shorter stays when there is a 'gap' between other bookings, and the normal nightly rate will apply to these bookings.
Pilrig House is just over 1 mile from Princes Street - Edinburgh’s main street – and you can walk there in 15-20 minutes. Pilrig House is also approx half a mile from the ‘Shore’ area of Leith – Edinburgh’s port area – which has lots of trendy restaurants, bars and galleries on the waterfront. It is also where The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed. A taxi to either Edinburgh city centre or Leith costs approx £5-6. The local bus service is also only a few minutes' walk from Pilrig House, and buses travel very regularly to the city centre.
Yes. You can ensure early check-in on the day of your arrival by booking the day before (20% reduction on the nightly rate) - only if it is available. Tick the 'early book-in' option when you make your reservation - this means you can check in anytime from 6am on the day of your arrival - your parking space will also be available at the time of your arrival.
If you do not reserve early check-in, the earliest you can check in is 2.30pm, and, as we may not be at Pilrig House at an earlier time, we are unfortunately unable to facilitate early luggage-drop. Car parking is not available prior to the 2.30pm check-in time. There is, however, free parking in Bonnington Road and Pilrig Street – the streets that border the park and Pilrig House.
Latest departure time is always 10am. We require the time after you leave at 10am (or earlier) to have the apartment cleaned and prepared for the next guests' arrival.
Pilrig House is 2 minutes' walk from the bus stop where you can board the 'hop on, hop off' Majestic City Tour, which includes stops at The Royal Yacht Britannia, Holyrood Palace, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Botanical Garden, the Georgian New Town, Leith.
Pilrig House is also 5 mins' walk (or less!) from:
- Tesco Express food store and a local newsagents
- Nearest bus stop
- Water of Leith Walkways: www.waterofleith.org.uk
- James Pringle Weavers - Clearance Outlet: www.leithmills.co.uk
- Soup & Sandwich shop
- Martin Wishart's Cookery School in Bonnington Road. See: www.cookschool.co.uk or take a look at his Michelin-star restaurant in Leith's Shore area: www.martin-wishart.co.uk
- Twice-weekly Auctions: www.ramsaycornish.com
- Leith Victoria Swim & Leisure Centre
- Pilrig Church
and 10-15 mins' walk from:
- The Playhouse Theatre
- Vue Cinema
- Valvona & Crolla (world-famous Italian Deli) and VinCaffè coffee shop and restaurant (cookery demonstrations and tastings are also held here)
- Leith School of Art - we offer 10% discount on our nightly rates to all Leith School of Art guests (except during August)
- Edinburgh Printmakers Studio & Gallery (Union St) - we offer 10% discount on our nightly rates to all Edinburgh Printmakers guests (except during August)
- The 'Shore' area of Leith, where there is a great selection of restaurants to choose from: Leith - Edinburgh - Tourist Information | Visit Scotland
- Post Office
- Tesco, Sainsbury and Scotmid
The Garden Apartment is perfect for women visiting on their own - a third of the bookings each year come from solo women travellers, many of whom have come back year after year. Scotland is a friendly place - people are happy to chat, give directions and help. There are lots of places nearby where you can eat out, and it is quite 'normal' to dine alone in any establishment in Edinburgh.
We (the owners) live in the house and are on hand to give advice, lend a hand and chat, if wanted.
Edinburgh is a compact city - easy to walk around in - and there are lots of great tours as well as excellent transport links. The feedback from all our solo women guests has been extremely positive. Many have enjoyed touring other parts of Scotland with Edinburgh as their base - Rabbies tours is a favourite as they take a max. number of 16 passengers, making it easy to chat and get to know other passengers.
Sadly, there are steps leading down to the Garden Apartment and leading up to the Balfour Apartment, making wheelchair access impossible. It is an A-listed building, so these things can very sadly not be changed.
Unfortunately, this is something we do not do.
Yes – see Our Location, which has a Google Map showing our location. When we send your booking confirmation, we attach a local map for you to look at before your stay. On arrival, you will be given free fold-out pocket maps of Edinburgh and Leith and there are many Edinburgh guidebooks and a variety of street maps available in all the apartments, plus an AA-Scotland Road Atlas to which you can refer if moving on to the next leg of a touring holiday. We also provide a SatNav in each apartment for you to use while staying here.
We are always looking out for our guests’ arrival but, should we not be there exactly as you arrive, please come down the steps to the back door to Pilrig House (not the door at top of front steps!) and press the buzzer marked ‘Martin Dougray’. Either Philip or Debbie will welcome you and give you keys, show you your allocated parking space and take you to your apartment.
Yes! We are delighted to provide all guests, on booking, the details of a personal driver / tour guide, who has been touring with Pilrig House guests for the last year, and has received outstanding feedback. We worked very closely with Michael, to create some really fantastic tours and special experiences for our guests. He is also something of a golf expert and can recommend and book golf courses, and even play a round with you. Michael can act as a personal driver - for example, taking families with their son/daughter on to St Andrews Uni after their stay here. He can also recommend distillery tours, or book fishing trips for you when you are here. Shopping trips, photographic tours, afternoon tea... you name it, Michael can do it. In short, he is great fun, knowledgeable, and very down to earth - an all-round good guy! His vehicle is a large air-conditioned people carrier - each seat has a panoramic window view. We have even added an 'Outlander Tour’ for 2015, for fans of the book.
Yes, there is an allocated parking space in a private car park to the rear of the property for each apartment, available from 2.30pm on the day of your arrival. If a friend or family member is visiting you during your stay, there is no ‘spare’ parking in the car park, however there is free parking available in the streets bordering the park: Pilrig Street and Bonnington Road.
No, not if you intend to sightsee in and around the city centre – Edinburgh is a really compact city and easy for walking around in. There is an excellent local bus service within a 5-minute walk of Pilrig House, where buses go to the city centre every few minutes, and tour buses in the city centre are easily accessible. Also, trains to Glasgow depart every 15 minutes and take around 50 minutes. A taxi from Pilrig House to the city centre costs around £5-6 (so, if 4 of you are staying, for example, it works as an even cheaper option than taking a bus).
If you intend to drive further afield during your stay, e.g. to the East Lothian coastline, the Borders, St Andrews, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs or the Highlands, then a car is necessary. Please bear in mind:
- There are many Edinburgh tour companies that organise half-day, 1-day and 2-day tours, at very reasonable prices, to places such as Loch Lomond, Stirling, the Highlands, Inverness and the Isle of Skye (see Useful Links)
- There is an excellent train service with frequent trains running from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station in the city centre to St Andrews, Perth, Dunfermline, Glasgow, Linlithgow, Stirling, Fife and Inverness
We recommend hiring a car locally, as navigating your way here for the first time can be fairly tricky, especially after a long and tiring flight. The car-hire firms we recommend, below, are extremely competitively priced and close to our location. And you can collect locally but drop off at the airport on your return.
- Enterprise Car Hire, Leith. T: +44 (0) 131 555 0555
Enterprise Car Hire, Van Hire: 67 Salamander Street, Edinburgh EH6 7JZ
- Arnold Clark Car Hire, Edinburgh. T: +44 (0) 131 657 9120
Arnold Clark Car Rental, 20B-20D Seafield Rd East, Edinburgh EH15 1ED
Our tour guide, Michael, can be prebooked to provide you with a Meet & Greet service when you arrive at the airport, and give you help with your luggage. En route, you may want to chat about him taking you on a tour during your stay. We give you Michael’s details, on booking.
Yes! On booking, we give you Michael's details, and you can prebook before you come to stay. He will collect you at Pilrig House, and drive you wherever you want to go (min. 3 hours). His vehicle is a fully insured, extremely comfortable, air-conditioned people carrier. On booking, we will also provide you with established tours that he can take you on, and longer tours requiring an overnight stay, e.g. the Isle of Skye.
(See also above question about the personal driver / tour guide we recommend)
Please see our Useful Links page on our website for details of all the tour companies that operate in Edinburgh. You may want to consider going with an operator that has smaller buses, choosing e.g. Rabbies, which takes a maximum of 16 people, and which has attracted consistently positive feedback from guests. Or one that may cost slightly more, but which picks you up early in the morning from your apartment and drops you back here when you return.
Yes. We have a personal driver service tailored to meet the needs of golfers who want easy access to and from courses. On booking, we provide you with Michael's contact details, so you can prebook him in advance of your stay.
Here is what Michael says:
As a keen golfer myself, I am pleased to arrange bookings and transfers to some of our best-kept secrets. If you let me know your handicaps and budget, I will choose courses to match both.
I will happily walk round with you to give you the best lines or, if you don't mind looking for balls, even play with you. I can guarantee that you will have a golfing experience to remember.
Yes, we have free high-speed broadband Wi-Fi connection in all apartments. We also have a laptop available for hire, which you can prebook (we advise doing so well in advance of your stay). And there are plenty of local internet cafés (we give details in our Welcome Pack) – the nearest one is a 5-minute walk from the house.
Yes. There is a Philips iPod/iPhone dock/speaker in each apartment.
Yes - Leith Victoria Swim Centre is within 5 minutes' walking distance of Pilrig House. It has a fully equipped gym, sauna, hot pool, recently upgraded Victorian swimming pool, 2 fitness studios and fitness classes, and entry is very reasonably priced. Reviews mention that it is very clean, staff are great, and the atmosphere is very friendly.
Debbie can recommend an excellent massage therapist (who is also a trained physiotherapist) - please email and she can book you an appointment during your stay here.
Yes – all apartments are strictly non-smoking. You are welcome to smoke outside in the garden, or in the park.
Duvets - we have these cleaned/renewed on a regular basis. A quilt is also provided on top of the bed during winter months.
The pillows on the bed are duck feather and down. You can opt for high-quality anti-allergen synthetic pillows when you book, or even ask for a couple to add to your bed for more support - this question is included in your Booking Form. If you advise us in advance of your stay, we can also provide a non-feather duvet.
No, sorry – much as we love animals, we have a strict non-pet policy to respect all guests’ requirements (see below).
No – we have never had any animals at all in the property. This is a rule we take seriously in light of the fact that people have allergies to cat and dog hair, and for hygiene purposes.
Yes – all apartments have a shower. In the Garden Apartment, the shower is over the bath (constant hot water) with a glass shower screen. And in the Balfour Apartment there is a spacious walk-in shower cabinet (no bath).
Yes for adapters. UK voltage is 240V - please check that any electrical items you bring will operate at 240V (the voltage cannot be less than this). There are European/US adapter plugs in each apartment. Note - there is a hairdryer in each bedroom and good-quality hair straighteners in each apartment, so you won't need to bring these with you.
No for transformers. These vary according to make of laptop - we advise that you purchase a transformer before your stay.
Given the unpredictability of the Scottish weather, we would suggest that you always bring at least one pair of warm trousers, one warm jumper, a pair of training shoes / comfortable walking shoes, and a light waterproof jacket with hood. Then the usual items you would pack for spring/summer: layers, T-shirts, loose trousers, summer dress, skirt, shirts, etc.
In the apartments we provide: umbrellas, alarm clock, continental plug, hairdryers, hair straighteners and towels – so, no need to pack those items!
We are located around 1.5 miles from Edinburgh University. It would take around 20 minutes by bus (depending on traffic) and around 35 minutes to walk there. Pilrig House is a short walk (under a mile) to the east end of Princes Street – this is the end that leads via George IV Bridge – around a half mile further on leads to Edinburgh University. It is worth bearing in mind that the Uni has many campuses, spread all over Edinburgh, so please check which building you may be visiting while here.
No. However, there are bags of ice in the freezers of all apartments.
No – in Scotland the weather never hits ‘tropical’ or the levels of humidity that necessitate air conditioning. All the windows in the apartments open, and we supply an electrical fan for those who like one beside their beds. And, with three-foot thick stone walls, the apartments are lovely and cool in summer and retain heat in the winter.
Please let us know in advance of your stay if your flight arrives late. Then we would be very grateful if you could come straight to the apartment (rather than e.g. stopping off for a meal en route) to save us waiting up late to show you to your apartment.
Otherwise, it is ideal if you check in to your apartment as close as possible to 2.30pm, or let us know as soon as possible if you have to arrive later.
No - we are sorry, but, due to the high quality of the accommodation, bikes cannot be brought into the apartments. And the building's historic listed status also prohibits bikes being tethered to the building. However, there is a daily bike-hire shop just minutes from Pilrig House where you could leave a bike overnight and collect it again the next day.
Yes - provided that you give us some advance notice and we have no other plans that day which would mean we would be away, we will be happy for you to leave your luggage with us and collect it later that day.
No – there are no children residing at Pilrig House. Occasionally there are visitors who have a child with them.
As detailed in our Terms & Conditions, we must always be informed, in advance of your stay, of any other person/s who will be staying with you during your visit. Also, it is a legal requirement that we know at all times details of each and every person staying in the apartments, especially for fire and insurance regulations. But usually, and provided that the apartment accommodates the numbers, we are happy for an overnight stay to be included at no extra cost.
Whilst we are reasonable and are happy for, say, a family member to visit you while you are here (see above), we do not permit parties, celebrations or hosting of any kind in the accommodation. We have to consider the peace and tranquillity of other guests.
Yes – each has a smoke alarm, which is regularly checked.
No – the price quoted in your confirmation is all-inclusive. There are NO hidden charges or taxes.
Edinburgh’s Waverley Station (which is just off Princes Street). There is a taxi rank at the station. Waverley Station is around a mile from Pilrig House – a taxi from the station will cost around £8-10.
Waverley station is the main station in Edinburgh and there are entrances off Princes St and Waverley Bridge in the centre of town (Haymarket is the next station on the way out of the city towards Glasgow). Trains depart every 15 mins to Glasgow - on the hour, quarter past the hour, half past the hour, and so on from around 7am each day. You can buy a peak day-return ticket or an off-peak return (cheaper). The journey takes around 56 mins and brings you right into the centre of Glasgow, at Queen St station - just off George Square. The tourist information centre is directly opposite the Queen St exit from the station, across George Square. Don’t get the train that goes to Central Station in Glasgow, as it takes an extra half an hour.
Buses still run in the evening in Edinburgh and we leave bus timetables in each apartment. However, if returning to Edinburgh after dark, you may want to just hop into a taxi at the station as the cost is only around £5-6 to bring you back here directly.
Here is a link to ScotRail, if you want to prebook your train tickets and check prices: Cheap train tickets online, train times and train timetables in Scotland - ScotRail
You can also take a CityLink bus from Edinburgh to Glasgow – this is a cheaper option but it takes around half an hour longer: Citylink :: Green Thinking, Citylinking
Yes, you catch your London train from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. It will take you to King’s Cross Station in London. The journey is usually just under 5 hours to reach London. You can also prebook the Caledonian Sleeper if you prefer a cabin with bed and to travel overnight. See the foot of our website's Useful Information page - Debbie has stayed at the 3 hotels listed and they are all excellent value for money, clean and in great locations in London: Knightsbridge, Marylebone and Soho.
Edinburgh International Airport.
There is an airport taxi rank directly outside the entrance to Edinburgh Airport - you can conveniently and quickly catch a cab there on arrival without prebooking. The journey costs around £25. Please give the address: 30 Pilrig House Close (off Bonnington Rd) to the driver.
Alternatively, reserve a 'Meet & Greet' (£40) with the personal driver/tour guide, Michael, whose details we provide you with when you book your stay. Michael will await you at Arrivals, holding up a board with your name on it, and bring you directly here in an air-conditioned people-carrier.
You can take a Citylink bus from outside the airport to Edinburgh and disembark at the terminus point (this will take around 2 hours), then catch a taxi here. Or you could take an airport shuttle bus to Glasgow’s Queen Street Station and catch a train to Edinburgh Waverley Station (53 minutes by train), then take a taxi from the station to the apartment – however, this will mean changing transport 3 times and will probably save you only around 30 minutes off your journey.
We can arrange a ‘Meet & Greet’ with a private car firm at Glasgow Airport to bring you directly here (car or people carrier – cost is same). This will cost in the region of £120.
We leave full details in our Welcome Pack for this journey, but in short: you get a train from Edinburgh’s Waverley Station to Glasgow Queen St Station (52 minutes), and just outside the station entrance you catch the shuttle bus to Glasgow Airport (shuttle leaves every 10 minutes). Or, you can take a bus to Glasgow Airport from central Edinburgh.
Or, as above, we can arrange a private car / people carrier to take you directly to Glasgow Airport (cost - £100).
Around 60 miles – a car journey of around one-and-a-half hours to drive there.
Hotel du Vin Edinburgh T: +44 (1334) 472611 – overlooks the West Sands and the Old Course.
Yes – exact fare. Daily and weekly bus passes are available and can prove very cost-effective if you’ll be using buses a lot during your stay. We leave details in the Welcome Pack of places nearby where you can purchase these. You can also use the Transport for Edinburgh - Lothian Buses app to buy bus tickets. Ticket option - Lothian Buses
Drop the zero in our dialling codes – T: +44 (131) 554 4794 / M: +44 (7788) 113886.
Please email us and we will send you a file with information and links for whisky distilleries/tours and about whisky tastings in Edinburgh. We also recommend using the services of our driver / tour guide, Michael, who can help you plan a personalised whisky distillery tour. And remember, you will have exclusive membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society when you stay at Pilrig House.
Please email and ask for the file we have created with information and relevant links. And again, Michael, the personal guide we recommend, can help with this - he can arrange fishing days out on the River Tweed and permits for guests.
Yes, in each apartment there are walking guides and maps, in addition to other walking guidebooks containing walk details.
You can buy gluten-free products in all major supermarkets here, e.g. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and in Real Foods health food shop in Broughton Street. Just around the corner from Real Foods is the small café/restaurant Urban Angel, which also sells gluten-free food. In short, there are many eateries and bakers that sell/provide gluten-free food - below are some links that you may want to browse and make notes in advance of your stay. On booking, we also send you a file regarding gluten-free restaurants, etc.