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The Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

Edinburgh Old Town

Built in amongst the rocks and crags of its landscape, Edinburgh’s World Heritage Listed Old Town is a vibrant, lively city centre as well as a beautiful and historic monument. During the day the alleys, or closes, are a hive of commerce as well as a magnet for visitors getting lost in the city’s charms, and after dark the famous pubs and rather decadent restaurants are just as popular with local revellers as those from far away. And it’s that life which makes this such a great base. And why our Gurus say that many of the best hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town are also the best places to stay in Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile is probably the place to start your ramblings, starting with the Castle at one end, a thousand years old and in excellent condition, and with the Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyrood at the other - most famously its known for being the home of Mary Queen of Scots, the Royal Mile is also lined with St. Giles Cathedral, Mary King’s Close, Gladstone’s Land and plenty of ‘closes’ or alleyways to explore and pubs and restaurants to review your experiences in. Behind the Royal Mile is the Old Parliament Hall and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where you’ll find the grave of Greyfriars Bobby. And on Chambers Street you’ll find the excellent National Museum of Scotland.

Greyfriars BobbyFlickr user Drew Richardson

The Grassmarket is a focal point in the Old Town, where the gallows once stood and Burke and Hare once operated, but also where you’ll find the White Hart Inn, which claims to be the city’s longest serving pub - it’s been serving since 1516, and was patronised by Robert Burns and William Wordsworth. Cowgate was where the cattle were driven, but it’s now one of the liveliest streets in Edinburgh come nightfall.

The Meadows, which is like Edinburgh’s Central Park but on a much more modest scale, is a good place to stroll and relax, as is Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, which is designed to be a Scottish landscape in miniature. The views are well worth your effort.

The Old Town is well connected to the rest of Edinburgh by bus, but it’s only a short walk across North Bridge to the elegantly arranged Georgian New Town, which is where you’ll find the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, The Georgian House and the Scott Museum.

The Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

For the Highlights of the Royal Mile

The Scotsman

  • The Scotsman is good for being in the thick of things, and effortlessly blends old and new and has great facilities, including a top notch spa and 3AA Rosette standard brasserie.
  • You can’t get closer to the action than The Inn on The Mile, a nine room hotel and inn on the Royal Mile just five minutes stroll from the castle.

For Romance

Witchery by the Castle

  • For complete over the top decadence it'll have to be a night at the Witchery by the Castle - think gilded ceilings, panelling and swathes of jewel-coloured velvet.
  • Prestonfield feels more like a country house hotel than a city central one, but here you’re just five minutes from the Royal Mile - despite being surrounded by 20 acres of spectacular parkland. The dining is fine, the bedrooms divine and nothing is too much trouble.

Hip and Happening

Hotel du Vin

  • The Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh is close to the National Museum of Scotland, just past Cowgate, which is a great, central location. This version of the chain has a whisky snug as well as an extensive wine list in its bar and brasserie.

If you haven’t found your idea of the best hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town on our Guru’s list you could:

The Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

  • The Witchery by the Castle 9 rooms from £325

    Edinburgh (Royal Mile)

    Superbly located at the gates of the Castle, on the Royal Mile, sits this intimate, Gothic hotel. The rooms are luxurious, romantic & eccentric – think candlelit, wood paneling and plenty of velvet. Enjoy delicious Scottish food in the equally atmospheric restaurant.

    Foodies  -  Serving Scottish beef, lamb, game, the Witchery's famous steak tartare, briny-fresh seafood platters and even some haggis.
    Romantic Break  -  The glamourous, plush yet cosy interiors with love seats, four poster beds, and plenty of candles are perfect for couples
    Local markets  -  Edinburghs Haymarket bustles with independdent shops and cafes selling local produce.
    Sights nearby  -  In the heart of the Old Town on Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide
    Check prices
  • The Scotsman Hotel 59 rooms from £195

    Edinburgh

    This historic hotel overlooking Edinburgh Castle, was formerly the HQ for the Scotsman newspaper. Come for Michelin star restaurant, close promiximty to Princes St and a world-class gym. Chic interiors in traditional rooms.

    Swimming Pool  -  State of the art stainless steel indoor pool
    Great walks  -  Calton Hill, is just a short stroll from the hotel, enjoy 360 views of the city at the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Sights nearby  -  Overlooking Edinburgh Castle.
    Views  -  Good city views.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide
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  • The Inn on the Mile 9 rooms from £146

    Edinburgh

    Those looking for a ringside seat for Edinburgh's famed Hogmanay celebrations, or who just like to be in the heart of things at any time, will like the Inn on the Mile.

    Sights nearby  -  Within five minutes walk of Edinburgh Castle and St Giles Cathedral.
    Great walks  -  Take a walk up the nearby picturesque Arthur's Seat.
    Landmark  -  Situated on Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile.
    Check prices
  • Prestonfield 23 rooms from £252

    Edinburgh (Priestfield Road)

    Opulent extravagance at the Prestonfield just 5 mins from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Come for attentive service, divine bedrooms and spoiling galore. Fine dining is served in an ultra romantic setting. The concierge have a 'nothing's too much' attitude. Best for a truly indulgent stay.

    Exclusive offer  -  Decadent Country House
    Romantic Break  -  This hotel oozes glammour, romance and seduction, with its wildly opulent canopied beds, rich fabrics and roaring fires.
    Local exploring  -  The best of both worlds- set in 20 acres of spectacular parklands, yet within spitting distance of Edinburgh.
    Great walks  -  Don't forget your welly boots, there are 20 acres of parkland to explore.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Hotel du Vin Edinburgh 47 rooms from £105

    Edinburgh

    Contemporary hotel close to the Royal Mile. Wine cellar, whisky snug, bar and brasserie. Large comfortable rooms.

    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices

 

Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Tuesday, 15th May 2018
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