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Edinburgh accommodations during August Festival

We are going to be in Edinburgh August 2020 which is an extremely busy time with the Festivals. We usually stay in B & Bs but were thinking it would be nice to be closer to the Royal Mile and Castle for accessibility. It looks like most of the B & Bs are 25-30 walk away. Can anyone recommend nice accommodations that won't break the bank close to the castle. We can go into the low 300/night if needed. I'm thinking the prices are inflated in August so I don't expect to find cheap. We are also looking for apartment situation for other family members. My daughter is getting married in England and several other family members and wedding party are joining the travel fun to Edinburgh. Need units with 2-3 bedrooms. Any recommendations? They are mostly young professionals so the dorm thing isn't really on the list.

Posted by
623 posts

This excellent trip report about Edinburgh was recently posted, and mentions a nicely located Airbnb where they stayed: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/one-week-in-edinburgh-scotland-pre-tour-report-detailed

As to your accommodations close to the castle - how many is "we"? Two? Four? How many nights?

It's not really clear, but I think you mean that the "several other family members and wedding party" going to be in Edinburgh at the same time you'll be there. And they all need an "apartment situation" instead of hotels or a "dorm thing" (hostel?). Correct?

Sounds like a fun expedition. (Edited to add: that wasn't intended as snarky. It does sound like fun to visit Edinburgh with family and friends during August. I spent a few days there a few years ago although not in August, and hope to return.)

My recommendation: a lot of internet searching and review-reading including TripAdvisor. "Apart hotel" seems like a helpful phrase.

Posted by
18746 posts

There are several Premier Inns in Edinburgh. I stayed at the one on Princes Street in July. If booked way ahead of time, even the "flexible" rates can be reasonable. You're right that August sees a sharp uptick in hotel rates.

Posted by
600 posts

We stayed at the No. 1 Apartments George IV Bridge for the Tattoo this summer, and we loved it. Our 2 bedroom apartment was about $300 per night, but there are smaller 1 bedroom units available. Our living room had a view of the castle, there was a kitchen with a washer and drying, and it was very comfortable. The location was perfect for walking everywhere- the door is directly next to the Elephant House Cafe, just down the street from Greyfriars and a very short walk to the Royal Mile. We would definitely stay there again!

Posted by
18746 posts

Although I don't think this is what Mimi is looking for, maybe this is a good place to report on the place I stayed solo in July this year. It's the Destiny - Murano student housing off Elm St. (which becomes Leith Walk). It isn't terribly far beyond York Place, and there are buses headed toward the center of town. I don't have the details on those because I always just walked. Clearly there are more geographically convenient places to stay.

The rooms are mostly furnished with single beds; I don't know whether there are any rooms with two beds or larger beds. And to say you will be subjected to "dorm-room décor" is being kind. The carpet is the indoor/outdoor variety. The only semblance of decoration is the orange bulletin board mounted on the wall. There is no air conditioning (some fans are available). If you don't book directly you have to pay (I think 3 pounds) to rent a towel. I don't remember whether the rooms were serviced daily. The good news:

  • My room was clean.
  • The rooms are en suite.
  • Each pod of 5 to 7 rooms shares what seemed to be a fully-equipped kitchen
  • About 100 feet from the front door of the building was a free-standing kiosk with washers and dryers. (I never used them.)
  • There's a Sainsbury's Local within about 2 blocks and a decent variety of food options in the neighborhood. Better-than-basic Indian restaurant even closer than Sainsbury's.
  • I asked in early July about room availability for August during the festivals and was told they were not fully booked. The staffer spot-checked a couple of random dates for me and the rates were both between £70 and £95. For people traveling solo, I'm not sure there is a cheaper option. Rates are much lower outside of festival season. I'd stay there again--but I like to walk, and I'm cheap.

My room faced the front of the building, and there was some evening noise from people gathered there or perhaps in the lobby (door was kept open because the temperature was so pleasant). I recommend asking for a room facing in a different direction. I'd also avoid the top floor, because the building heats up in sunny weather. I was OK in my non-top-floor room, but I needed to keep my window open for several hours in the evening to cool it off. I almost needed a fan. And it was not remotely hot in Edinburgh during my visit, just apparently sunnier than usual. The room was a lot warmer than it was outdoors.

There are other student-housing options in the city, at least one run by the same company and located not far away.

Posted by
6394 posts

. Can anyone recommend nice accommodations that won't break the bank close to the castle. We can go into the low 300/night if needed.

For how many people?

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you everyone. This all helps a lot. My husband and I will probably stay at closer hotel, but the rest of the group can do apartments. We have about 9 more people (30's age) that can do apartments and 3 more 22 year old fellows that can do a hostel. Any hostel recommendations?

Posted by
222 posts

We stayed at coinye house just off the royal mile on south grays close. Wonderful AirBnB. Check the listings on airbnb. See my trip report on Edinburgh.

Posted by
4 posts

I recently rented an Airbnb for August 2020 in Edinburgh. It is in Grassmarket, has a castle view and averages $280 per night. There were quite a few to choose from.

Posted by
593 posts

We stayed at Market Street Hotel this October and enjoyed it tremendously. Unfortunately, it’s highway robbery pricing in August!

Have you looked at Motel One Edinburgh? They seem to be basic but clean, stylish and boutique style with good locations and great pricing. We almost stayed at one before switching to the brand new Market Street Hotel.

Posted by
1 posts

My husband and I stayed at Old Town Chambers a couple of years ago which is located just off High Street (Royal Mile) in Roxburgh’s Court opposite Saint Giles Cathedral. We stayed in Apt #24 which is a one bedroom but I seem to recall it had a sofa bed in the living room which could accommodate another person. Closet space was minimal so we lived out of our carry-ons, but the apartment was lovely and equipped with kitchen appliances, pots and dishes if you wanted to eat in and a private deck that overlooked Scott's Memorial and Waverly Station. The hotel is located inside a courtyard so it's away from the noise of High Street. I received an online discount at the time of booking and seem to recall the cost was less than $250/night. This was when the pound to dollar exchange rate was at $1.60. We felt the hotel was ideally located, just walk out on to High Street and there are restaurants up and down the street or around the corner. Walk up one end of High Street to Edinburgh Castle and the other end to Holyrood. We would have no hesitation to rebook Old Town Chambers on a return trip to Edinburgh.

Here is the link to their site: https://www.lateralcity.com/property/old-town-chambers. They also manage other
properties so you might find something to suit you.