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 apartment.
How far is Pilrig House from the city centre/Princes Street? Can I walk?
Pilrig House is just under 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.
Can I check in early in the morning as my plane gets in at 8am? Can we check out later than 10am on the day we leave?
You will need to book an extra day to accommodate either an early arrival or late departure, as we take bookings on the same day and need that time to clean and prepare the apartment for new guests.
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.
How close is the nearest bus stop/food shop?
Pilrig House is 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
- Edinburgh Woollen Mill & Clan Tartan Centre: 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 Supermarket
Are your apartments wheelchair accessible? How many steps are involved in getting to the apartments?
There are around 12 wide steps in the Palladian staircase entrance leading to the Park Apartment’s front door so, sadly, wheelchair access is not possible. And, 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.
Do you have a map?
Yes – see Our Location, which has a Google Map showing our location. When we send your booking confirmation, we attach a 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.
When I arrive at Pilrig House, where do I go?
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.
Is there a car parking space for us if we come by car?
Yes, there is an allocated parking space in a private car park to the rear of the property for each apartment. 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.
Do I need a car if staying in Edinburgh for a few nights?
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, eg 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); and
- 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, Inverness.
Should I hire a car at the airport or on day 1 or 2 of my stay?
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
What tour would you 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 eg Rabbies, which takes a maximum of 16 people, and which has attracted consistently positive feedback from guests who have stayed here. Or one that may cost slightly more, but which picks you up early in the morning from your apartment, and drops you off here when you return.
Do you have internet/Wi-Fi access in the apartment?
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 cafes (we give details in our Welcome Pack) – the nearest one is a 5-minute walk from the house.
Do you have an iPod/iPhone Docking/Speaker?
Yes. There is a Philips iPod/iPhone Dock/Speaker in each apartment.
Is there a gym/leisure centre nearby? Can you recommend a good massage therapist?
Yes - Leith Victoria Swim Centre is within 5 mins' 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 a good massage therapist - please email and she can book you an appointment during your stay here.
Is the apartment non-smoking?
Yes – all apartments are strictly non-smoking. You are welcome to smoke outside in the garden, or in the park.
Do you provide blankets or duvets on the beds?
Duvets - we have these cleaned/renewed on a regular basis.
I am allergic to feathers - can you provide hypoallergenic duvets/pillows?
The pillows on the bed are feather pillows, but we leave a foam pillow in all apartments for guests who may be allergic to feathers. And if you advise us in advance of your stay, we can provide a non-feather duvet.
Can I bring my pet?
No. Sorry – much as we love animals, we have a strict non-pet policy to respect all guests’ requirements (see below).
Have you ever allowed animals in the property (I am allergic to dog hair)?
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.
Is there a shower in the apartment?
Yes – all apartments have a shower. In the Park and Garden Apartments, the shower is over the bath (constant hot water), with glass shower screen. And in the Balfour Apartment, there is a spacious walk-in shower cabinet (no bath).
Do you supply adapters?
Yes. 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 adpater plugs in each apartment.
What clothes should I pack for (April to August)?
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, 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, hair-dryers and towels – so, no need to pack those items!
Is Pilrig House near Edinburgh University?
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.)
Is there an ice-making machine?
No. However, there are bags of ice in the freezers of all apartments.
Do you have air-conditioning?
No – in Scotland the weather never hits ‘tropical’ or the levels of humidity that necessitate air-conditioning. All the windows open in the apartments, and we supply an electrical fan for those who like one beside their beds. And, with three-feet thick stone walls, the apartments are lovely and cool in summer, and retain heat in the winter.
Can I arrive late in the evening?
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.
Can I bring a hire bike into the apartment, or leave a bike tethered to the outside of Pilrig House?
No - we are sorry, but, due to the conditon 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 again the next day.
Can I leave my luggage with you on the day of departure to collect later that 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.
Are there children living at Pilrig House? Any loud pets?
No – there are no children (and no barking dogs) residing at Pilrig House.
Can a friend/my son/daughter/friend join us on, say, night 2 of our stay for a couple of nights, and is there an extra charge?
As detailed in our Terms & Conditions, we must always be informed 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.
Can we entertain when staying in the apartment?
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.
Do the apartments have smoke alarms installed?
Yes – each has a smoke alarm.
Are there any extra charges for my booking?
No – the price quoted in your confirmation is all-inclusive. There are no hidden charges or taxes.
Which station do I come to in Edinburgh (if travelling from elsewhere in the UK)?
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 £5-£6.
I am thinking about taking a trip to Glasgow during my stay. From which station in Edinburgh do I get the train?
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 the 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 – but 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
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
After my stay at Pilrig House, I am going to London. Do I catch the train from the same station? And which station in London do I go to?
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.
Which airport do I arrive at in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh International Airport.
How far is it from Edinburgh International Airport to Pilrig House?
How do I get from Edinburgh Airport to Pilrig House?
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 £22. Please give the address: 30 Pilrig House Close (off Bonnington Rd) to the driver.
How do I get from Glasgow Airport to Pilrig House?
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 (50 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 and Greet’ with a private car firm at Glasgow Airport to bring you directly here (car or people carrier – cost is same). It will cost in the region of £120.
When I leave Pilrig House, I am going to Glasgow Airport. How do I get there?
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 in region of £120).
How far away is St Andrews?
Around 60 miles – a car journey of around 2 hours to drive there.
St Andrews Golf Hotel T: +44 (1334) 472611 (overlooks the West Sands and the Old Course – hotel restaurant has won many accolades, including two AA rosettes).
Do buses in Edinburgh take the exact fare? Can I buy a bus pass?
Yes – exact fare. Daily and weekly bus passes are available and can prove very cost-effective if you be using buses a lot during your stay. We leave details in the Welcome Pack of places nearby where you can purchase these.
Will my free bus pass in England be valid in Scotland?
What do you dial when contacting Pilrig House from abroad?
Drop the zero in our dialling code ‘0131’ – T: +44 (131) 554 4794 / M: +44 (7788) 113886.
We are interested in whisky and would like to visit nearby distilleries, can you advise?
Please email us and we will send you a file with information and links to whisky distillery tours and about whisky tastings in Edinburgh.
Where can I go salmon/trout/fly-fishing near Edinburgh?
Please email and ask for the file we have created with information and relevant links.
We love walking, do you have any guides or maps in the accommodation?
Yes, in each apartment there are walking guides and maps, in addition to other general guidebooks containing walk details.
Pilrig House Apartments
30 Pilrig House Close
Edinburgh EH6 5RF
T: (UK): 0131 554 4794 (International): +44 (131) 554 4794
M: (UK): 07788 113886 (International): +44 (7788) 113886