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2014: Scottish Thistle Award Finalist - Best Holiday Accommodation (Scotland South-East)
2013: Entry in 'Top 100' Guide (Self-Catering Properties in Scotland)
2012: Winner: Top Vacation Rental - Edinburgh/ Award
2009: Scottish Thistle Award Winner - The Extra Mile
2008: Scottish Thistle Award Finalist - Accommodation - Customer Care
100% of all reviewers said they would recommend Pilrig House to a friend
Pilrig House - The Balfour Apartment (Sleeps 4 max.)
Perfect for: One or two couples, 3 adults; or 2 adults with older children (over age of 7)
Our lovely 4-star graded, 2-bedroom 'Balfour Apartment' is within Pilrig House - an A-listed, 17th-century Scottish townhouse (built in 1638), which has a distinguished history and a wonderful literary connection with Robert Louis Stevenson - it was his mother's family's home. RLS, as a child, visited and played in the gardens here - he mentions Pilrig House in many of his novels and letters, eg Kidnapped and Catriona.
An Enviably Peaceful Park Location
Pilrig House is uniquely located in a tranquil park, yet it is only a short stroll or 5 minutes by bus to Edinburgh's city centre and all the main attractions. Guests can enjoy sitting in the private garden, which offers secluded seating areas and is teeming with birds and squirrels - a wonderfully tranquil retreat, away from traffic noise.
A Treasure of an Apartment
Occupying a commanding second-floor position in Pilrig House, the Balfour Apartment offers impressive views of the entire park and front gardens, plus Edinburgh skyline, from the two window-seats in the spacious living-room.
The interior is extremely comfortable & beautifully furnished: L-shaped oak-floored hall, wonderfully spacious living-room with designated dining area, double-aspect windows; two bedrooms - both doubles (1 with double bed and the other with super king-sized bed that can be separated to twins); a fully-equipped kitchen; and, a luxurious, fully tiled bathroom with spacious walk-in shower cabinet, heated towel rail and shaver point.
Rare for Edinburgh city center rentals, we offer the bonus of a FREE allocated parking space in a safe private car park to the rear of the house.
A Home-Away-From Home: Included in the Price
FREE Unlimited High-Speed Broadband Wi-Fi internet access (you can prebook a laptop should you want to leave yours at home), fine bedlinen, Egyptian cotton towels, all utilities - heating & electricity (no hidden costs). And, on arrival, refreshment tray, fresh flowers, crystal decanter of whisky, Scottish fudge, shortbead and fruit bowl; luxury Scottish toiletries; fluffy towelling robes/slippers, full Welcome, Places to Visit, Restaurant and Edinburgh Tour Packs, up-to-date Tourist information file, telephone (FREE local & national calls & with telephone answer service), Pilrig House postcards, bookmarks & stationery; a selection of novels, Edinburgh guidebooks/ maps/DVDs, AA-Touring Atlas, board games, binoculars, CDs/DVDs, and many other thoughtful extras.
Broadband Wi-Fi access, iPhone/iPad Docking Speaker, flat-screen TV, Digital TV, CD-Player, DVD-Player, Digital Radio, Clothes Washer/Dryer, Ironing facilities, Fridge, Freezer, Dishwasher, Blender, Microwave, Oven, Hob, Coffee-Maker, Hairdryers, Real Flame-Effect Fire, Adjustable Heating & Overhead Dimmer Lighting in all rooms.
We - Debbie and Philip, the Scottish owners - live in Pilrig House and personally warmly welcome all our guests, and are on-hand throughout your stay to offer advice and assistance, if required or wanted!
We could add hundreds of 'Owner-Added Reviews' from our apartment Guestbook, but we prefer to let previous guests review us and award us their star grading on VRBO. We hope this reassures you as to the authenticity of all the reviews you read. On our own website, you can also read in excess of another 150 independent guest reviews, and view some typical comments left in the apartment's Guestbook.
Open all year. The apartment is non-smoking, but you are welcome to smoke outside, and, sorry, no pets.
For bookings of 7 nights or less, we ask for payment on booking. For bookings exceeding 7 nights, we ask for 50% payment on booking, and 50% is due 8 weeks before your stay.
To book, send in a Booking Form via our website. On receipt, we send you a Booking Confirmation followed by a secure online payment request via CardSave; you can pay by credit or debit card. On receipt of payment authorisation, we always send a payment receipt.
We ask all guests to read our clear Terms & Conditions page on our own website.
Please view our extremely competitive nightly rates & reduced weekly rates on our owner's website (NOT the 'per person per night' rate which we feel is disingenuous as it does not give the actual min. price per night or per week).
Discounts (on nightly rates) for longer stays:
2 weeks: 15%
3 weeks: 20%
4 weeks or longer: 25% (we are flexiblle and can offer bigger discounts here if for a long stay in low season - do ask!)
We also offer reduced nightly and weekly rates for 1 or 2 people staying if both other apartments are already booked - please enquire.
Note: if your party comprises 2-3 people and the Balfour Apartment is already booked for the dates you want, do look at our Park and Garden Apartments' availability!
Keywords: Apartment, Flat, Historic, Unique, Peaceful, City, Romantic, Award-Winning, Luxury, Unusual, Four-Star
Age 7 or over. This apartment is ideal for couples, couples plus an older child or two older children, 3 adults, or two couples. Many couples prefer the additional space that the Balfour Apartment provides - both double bedrooms are spacious and sunny. For one couple staying - If both other apartments are already booked for your chosen dates, we can offer a discounted nightly rate....moreless
The apartment, being on the second floor of the house, from the living-room window-seats offers the most wonderful views over the park, and of the Edinburgh skyline - Holyrood Park, and Calton Hill....moreless
In Scotland, we sadly never hit the tropical heat that merits air-conditioning and so do not require air-conditioning - sadly! You can open all windows in the apartment should the occasion arise when you feel too warm! We also have fans in the apartment if you want them......moreless
Fine, high-threadcount Egyptian-cotton bedlinen on beds, plus neck bolsters & cushions; luxury, top-of-the-range, ultra-deep duck feather and down mattress toppers - for that 'sleeping on a cloud' experience; mattress protectors, pillow protectors, feather pillows (foam pillow provided if allergic to feathers), and throws on all beds. Quilts also provided in winter-time....moreless
Washer/Dryer for small loads. We also supply details of a local laundrette, where you can leave your larger-load washing for a 'service wash' - you drop off and collect it later - washed and dried - for a small charge...moreless
We have no gas appliances in the apartment - there is an electric real flame-effect fire in the living-room, and wall-mounted electric heaters in all other rooms - so, you can adjust the temperature to suit how you like it! We always ensure the apartment is nice and warm for you on arrival....moreless
Fully-equipped kitchen with every appliance you could need: oven, hob, microwave, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, refreshment tray with shortbread, and many extras you will find extremely helpful....moreless
Real coffee & filters for coffee-maker, teabags, herbal teabags, instant coffee/decaff, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt & pepper, sugar, milk, minerla water, napkins, dishwasher tablets...moreless
Park your car here and enjoy the best Scottish courses nearby - Muirfield, Archerfield, Dunbar, St Andrews Old Course... On booking, we will refer you to our personal driver service - a golf expert...moreless
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Jun 1 - Jul 31, 2015
7 night min stay
Aug 1 - Aug 31, 2015
7 night min stay
Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2015
5 night min stay
Nov 1 - Jan 31, 2016
4 night min stay
Feb 1 - Mar 31, 2016
4 night min stay
Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2016
5 night min stay
May 1 - May 31, 2016
7 night min stay
Jun 1 - Jul 31, 2016
7 night min stay
Aug 1 - Aug 31, 2016
7 night min stay
Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2016
5 night min stay
Nov 1 - Jan 31, 2017
4 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
The rates here are based on 4 people sharing. If our other apartments are booked, we can offer a slightly reduced nightly rate for 1-3 people sharing.
These are reduced weekly rates. See our actual nightly rates on our website.
To book, fill in a Booking Form via our website; we will send a booking confirmation & payment request.
We offer solo travellers a 10% reduction on our nightly rate.
For bookings of 7 nights or less, we ask for full payment on booking. For bookings in excess of 7 nights - 50% paymernt on booking & 50% 8 weeks before your stay.
On receiving your booking form via our website, we send you a booking confirmation, and online payment request. We accept payment by CR card, including AMEX, and DR card.
On payment, we send you a receipt for the full amount paid.
Pay with an approved method (credit card, check, or bank transfer) to protect your payment up to $1,000. Before making a payment always call the owner at the number listed on our website, and never use instant money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram.
Adding our Vacation Protection services can make sure your getaway goes smoothly, no matter what. We offer Cancellation Protection, Carefree Rental Guarantee, and Damage Protection so you can truly relax.
Car: Not Necessary
At Pilrig House, you are in the heart of the city just 15-20 minutes' walk (1.2 miles) from Princes Street and all of Edinburgh's main attractions - Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Museum of Scotland, Holyrood Park, the Royal Mile - to name a few. But, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you're in the middle of the Scottish countryside.
Why? To begin with, there's the greenery. People tell us that staying in Pilrig House is like staying on a country estate. And then there's the peace. Our parkland location is wonderfully tranquil, and the House's thick stone walls ensure that any noise has a long way to go before it disturbs your relaxation.
From Pilrig House, you are also a 10-minute walk from the trendy 'Shore' area of Leith - Edinburgh's historic port area, which boasts many highly recommended wine bars & restaurants on the waterfront, including three Michelin-star restaurants. It is also where The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed.
We are also located a 15-min stroll from: Edinburgh's Botanical Gardens; Newhaven Harbour - where you can dine overlooking the harbour and sea at the Loch Fyne Seafood Restaurant; the Playhouse Theatre; and a multi-screen cinema.
We are located within a 5-minute walk of the nearest bus-stop (buses travel to the centre of town every few minutes), gym/leisure centre with pool, supermarket, post office, Edinburgh Pringle Centre, auction house, laundrette, church, Martin Wishart's Cook School (Michelin-star restaurant owner), Leith School of Art, ATMs, riverside walks & cycle paths, and a large selection of other independent shops and restaurants.
Pilrig House is also a 15-min walk or 5 mins by bus from the 'village' of Stockbridge - which has a fab weekly farmers' market and a great range of independent shops/cafe's and charity shops - for those of you who like browsing for antiquarian books and bargains! From Stockbridge, there is also a lovely stretch of the riverside walkway that takes you through the historic Dean village and brings you to the Gallery of Modern Art, and directly across the road, the Dean Gallery (Modern 2).
With the added bonus of FREE parking (very rare for Edinburgh!), you also have the advantage of being able to take some beautiful drives in the nearby countryside, or even further afield - we have a specially created file in each apartment for those people with cars - which gives great recommendations of places to visit within a 2-hour boundary of Edinburgh, and includes maps and photographs. Our AA-touring atlas also comes in handy, and you are welcome to mark it up and take it with you on trips.
The Majestic hop-on, hop-off bus tours depart from a bus-stop right outside the rear entrance to Pilrig House.
If you don't have a car, and don't want to go on organised bus tours, we are delighted to be able to offer the services of a personal driver during your stay - at very competitive rates!
We have also negotiated 'fixed fares' with a local cab company to places of interest near Edinburgh.
Membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Guests of Pilrig House can enjoy full membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society when they stay here - this enables up to 4 adults to dine in their fabulous premises - in Leith and in central Edinburgh, and partake of the most wonderful sinlge malts - casked and bottled exclusively for the Society.
Pilrig House is a great central base for golfers – wthin a half-hour drive along the lovely East Lothian coastline, you will be spolied for choice of courses to play: Craigielaw, Gullane, Archerfield, Muirfield, Dunbar, North Berwick – to name but a few of the outstanding 22 courses to pick from.
St Andrews and the East ‘Neuk’ of Fife
We are only an hour-and-a-half’s drive from St Andrews for St Andrews Old Course and King’s Barns, as well as the ‘East Neuk’ of Fife courses en route to St Andrews, eg Lundin Links.
Gleneagles, Carnoustie and Troon
We are an hour’s drive from Gleneagles; an hour-and-a-half from Carnousite; and c. 2 hours from the Ayrshire coast for Troon Old Course and Turnberry.
Book Our Golf Driver Service
If you want to relax, and be collected at Pilrig House and taken to and from the courses you want to play, we are delighted to recommend, on booking, a personal driver service with an outstanding driver/golf expert (at extremely competitive rates). Mike will collect you at Pilrig House (as early in the morning as you want to set off) in his air-conditioned, fully insured and extremely comfortable people carrier and take you wherever you want to play. He can also take you further afield, and arrange overnight stays for you. In fact, where golf is concerned, he will take you as far and for as much time as you fancy.
Year Purchased: 2006
About the owner: Readers, we liked it so much we got married here - here we are several years and several pounds on... Philip is a retired mechanical engineer, who travelled the world as a naval engineer for many years - living in Mexico & Belize for periods of time. He is an amateur historian & has amazing local & Scottish historical knowledge... and, is also a keen 'treasure hunter' - goes off frequently to local sites with his metal detector. I am an ex-copy editor who worked for over 20 years in the field of publishing, & then on a freelance basis as an editor/proofreader. We both enjoy travel, books, films &, life in general. We decided, after meeting, that we couldn't bear to sell Philip's apartment in Pilrig House - it was just so special, & so we decided to turn it into a rental apartment. A year later, with great joy, we moved back into the house ourselves, then we purchased another apartment for renovation and rental, and so it just grew over the years since we started up. We have made many great friends, and still gain enormous joy and satisfaction in welcoming visitors here from around the world. It is also lovely that so many people come back time and time again. Our emphasis, right from the start, was to create incredibly clean & exceptionally comfortable, accommodation, with in excess of the usual facilities found in vacation rentals – & to maintain this high standard. We also wanted to ensure we met our guests’ needs, and so listened to our visitors and took on board, almost without exception, all comments and suggestions over the years. We always personally offer a warm welcome, and are really pleased to be able to provide further support your stay, if it is wanted! On arrival, we take you into the apartment, showing you all the need-to-know things, and will always take as long as you want to answer all your questions – it is nice to meet the owner & to know we are on-hand should you need us & not worry that you are dealing with an anonymous third party
Why the Owner Chose Edinburgh:
Well - there's the fact the Pilrig House is utterly unique as an historic 17th-century townhouse in Edinburgh, then there's the lovely location, and the parkland and Edinburgh skyline views... And the peace! Then, there's the wonderful ambience in the house itself - it really is special. And, the private parking, the beautiful gardens... there is so much to enjoy about living here. We just couldn't replicate what Pilrig House offers if we searched the length and breadth of Edinburgh. And the fact that we can walk into the centre of Edinburgh in 15 mins, or take a bus right outside the park... more than anything, we love the feeling of living in the country while living in the city. And, the centre of Edinburgh is under a mile away – most guests walk there, and sometimes take a bus home at the end of the day… and describe their pleasure at returning to the peace and tranquillity of Pilrig House. Great shops are almost on your doorstep – supermarkets, cafes, bars, restaurants…all within easy walking distance. In each apartment, the living-rooms & bedrooms have park and/or garden views – a lovely change from looking out onto city streets or other buildings! The house’s history also gives it a special feel – some people liken it to staying in a Scottish castle… Robert Louis Stevenson’s mother lived in Pilrig House and he visited here often as a child – we include his novels in all three apartments, so you can read extracts that refer to Pilrig House, and imagine living in another time… One national newspaper journalist wrote after staying here that the house has a ‘timelessness’ that made for instant relaxation…. We have many US & Canadian guests who come back every year, & European guests who visit at least 6 times per year – and they have stayed previously in the best hotels and now choose to stay here… Our Guestbook comments and reviews on all independent sites have been 100% positive - hopefully reassuring you of what you will find when you come to stay.
The Unique Benefits at this Townhome:
All of the above! We awaken to birdsong, can gaze out our windows and see the park in all seasons in all its beauty, or sit in the garden to the side of the house in total privacy and enjoy the tranquillity, and read a book... We often walk down to the Port of Leith, where there are great restaurants right on the waterfront, and grab a bite to eat. Everything we need is close-by - shops, transport links, restaurants, Edinburgh's main train station... and, there are beautiful drives to the East Lothian countryside and coastal trail, including some charming villages and historic castles - within a half-hour's drive. There are also 22 stunning golf-courses along this coastline, eg Gullane, North Berwick, Craigielaw, Muirfield - for golf fans! Another great bonus is the fact that we can offer guests free parking in a private car park directly to the rear of the property – this is incredibly rare in Edinburgh – most properties have ‘metered’ parking on a street outside their property, which never guarantees a space, and is incredibly expensive – it means you have to top up the metre every couple of hours! Philip and I often walk to the ‘Shore’ area of Leith, on the waterfront – which is Edinburgh’s port – a 5-10 minute walk from Pilrig House – it has great restaurants and bistros. You can also use your membership card to visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s ‘The Vaults’ premises here – even if you don’t like whisky – a great place to have a bar lunch in the oldest building in Leith.
A room with a view - Historical Pilrig House (1638) in its unique park setting
Blue plaque on the wall of Pilrig House with RLS quote from his novel, Catriona
Your very own castle - well, almost!
Hall table - FREE local and national telephone calls - books and DVDs aplenty
Modern, fully-tiled bathroom with curved shower unit & heated towel-rail
Sunny and immaculate kitchen supplied with everything you will need
Beautiful second double bedroom with dual windows and a sense of peacefulness
Enjoy summertime in Pilrig House - the perfect location to enjjoy the city and the season
Pass me the binoculars - the foxes are playing in the garden...
Coffee, shortbread, fruit - a good way to start your holiday
Winter night sky...
Gullane Golf Course - half an hour along the coast - one off 22 to choose from!
Balfour Apartment living-room windows (two) - parallel to sundial - what a view!
Summertime in the front garden... a green and tranquil oasis
Pause and smell the roses - you're on holiday....
Lovely hallway in the Balfour Apartment with real oak flooring
Spacious curved walk-in shower cabinet and full-length heated towel-rail
Double bedroom with super-king size bed that can be separated into twins
Spacious & elegant living-room - with three windows offering panoramic views
Fire on, DVD started, cushions plumped - still want to go out anyone?
Dine in style and take in the tree-tops as you relax...
Welcome Pack read, laptop connected to free Wi-Fi, write a postcard home?
Fireworks explode above Edinburgh Castle at the Military Tattoo
Autum in Pilrig Park
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This listing was first published here in 2006.
Date last modified - Thursday, July 02, 2015
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