I wholeheartedly agree with other positive reviewers, because we enjoyed the same hospitality and consideration by the genuinely nice folks of Edinburgh Self Catering. They could not have been more accommodating or receptive, and I highly recommend ESC. Glenn was very responsive to my email inquiries and Dave was great on our arrival in familiarizing us with the place.
My husband and daughter and I stayed in this apartment over Christmas and Hogmanay, and we had a truly memorable holiday. To say this building is well located is an understatement. The Old Town Ceilidh on December 31 is held in the courtyard of St. Giles, which is literally outside the front door.
Online photos of this apartment don't do it justice - the rooms are good sized and the high ceilings and beautiful large windows add to the ambiance. Overall, the apartment is roomy, well laid-out and incredibly well appointed – especially the kitchen. (Need a corkscrew? I found three.) I never had a great appreciation for appliance manuals before – but the binder of manuals was especially helpful when trying to figure out things like the unfamiliar combo washer/dryer.
The bedrooms were very comfortable, and the shutters worked well to block both sound and light to ensure a good night’s sleep. Our daughter loved her room with the view of the cathedral (which she immediately Instagrammed). The bathroom was very large with a number of shelves, which is useful. The shower itself was fantastic.
I'm not a shopping expert by any means, but I did come across a few shops nearby which you may want to check out:
Groceries: Close by Sainsbury's (79 South Bridge) is convenient. For a larger, more upscale grocery store, there’s M&S.
Scottish goods: Cranachan & Crowdie (263 Canongate). Not only does it offer a nice variety of Scottish goods at reasonable prices, but the owner and her staff were very friendly.
Hats: For a great selection of hats, Fabhatrix (13 Cowgatehead).
Scarves/Sweaters: It seems nearly every store on the Royal Mile sells wool and cashmere, so you’ll have many options. I gravitated toward Marchbrae (just up the street) and Dunedin Cashmere (around the corner next to Starbucks) – both nice shops with good selections and conveniently located.
Souvenirs: Victoria Street/W. Bow is not only picturesque, but there are a number of fun shops to explore on this street, including The Mutt’s Nuts (108 W. Bow). This fun, funky shop is filled with clever and quirky items, affordably priced. The gift shops at both the Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse had a nice selection of souvenirs as well.
And, of course, during the holidays, be sure to check out the Christmas market.
As mentioned in previous reviews, the only negative for this property is the stairs. Inasmuch as navigating Edinburgh generally involves climbing many hills and stairs, these were just additional steps that offset our intake of shortbread. The good news is at the top of those stairs is an apartment with a wonderful fireplace…..a perfect setting to cozy up in front of on a cold December night.
Positives: location, incredible views, comfortable, well appointed, well maintained, well-managed, very clean.
Negatives: stairs (I know, everyone says the stairs).