Prestonfield House – Iconic country house hotel in a private park at the foot of Arthur’s Seat.
A destination in its own right since long and a favorite with royals, celebrities, and travelers looking to mark a special occasion, this seventeenth-century mansion is like something out of a Jane Austen novel. Inside, it’s all brocades and silks, a priceless collection of oil paintings, and rooms that outdo each other when it comes to sumptuousness. There are four-poster beds that require steps to climb into; a décor of ebony, crimson, and gold; mood lighting; a wealth of antiques; and extravagances such as a silver chariot bath in one of the suites. Past guests have included the Queen Mother and members of the Rolling Stones, and there’s a suite that Ewan McGregor particularly likes. The restaurant offers terrific, well-priced, contemporary Scottish cuisine and an unparalleled wine list, while the service is personalized and faultless, with the staff catering to the guests’ every whim.
Prestonfield House – Location
- Address: Priestfield Rd.
- Area: Twenty acres of immaculately landscaped gardens surround this country house which is reachable via a long driveway that branches off from the quiet, affluent residential area of Prestonfield. This grand former home of Edinburgh’s Lord Provost is overlooked by Arthur’s Seat, with the entrance to Holyrood Park just a short drive away. Poles apart from the bustling center of Edinburgh, Prestonfield House is actually only a 10-minute drive (2.5 miles) from the Royal Mile and buses #2, #14, and #30 connect nearby Prestonfield Ave to central Edinburgh.
- How to Get There: If using public transport, from Edinburgh Airport take the tram to the Princes Street stop, walk for 5 minutes, and then catch bus #30 down North Bridge to the Prestonfield Park stop, from where it’s a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) to the hotel. Alternatively, take an Uber/taxi directly to the hotel (around £35).
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about £40 from Edinburgh Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: Holyrood Park, Palace of Holyrood, Royal Mile.
Prestonfield House – The Basics
- Ages: This is very much an adult hotel, though older children can be accommodated in extra beds. No children are allowed in the restaurant after 7.30pm.
- View: Rooms look out over the landscaped, tree-studded grounds, Arthur’s Seat, and the ruins of Craigmillar Castle.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: In-room laundry service available at an extra charge.
- Parking: Free parking on-site.
- Extras: Turn-down service, croquet lawn, historic private dining rooms, complimentary shoeshine, helicopter landing pad, chauffeur and car by arrangement, complimentary bottle of champagne if you book directly with the hotel, personal shoppers, and dog walkers.
- When to Book: Reserve 3-4 months in advance for the summer high season (May to September) as well as much of December (Christmas market) and the Christmas/New Year period.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +44 131 225 7800
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: prestonfield.com
Prestonfield House – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa on-site but treatments can be arranged in-room.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center. The staff can provide running routes for the hotel grounds and the surrounding area.
- For Disabled Guests: Several accessible rooms with roll-in bathrooms available. The dining rooms and Yellow Room lounge are wheelchair accessible.
- For Families: No cots but extra beds are available, child-minding services can be arranged at an extra cost, and while there is no formal kids’ menu, special diets and preferences can be catered for.
- Activities: There’s a golf center next door. Art lovers can ask for a tour of the artworks displayed in the hotel’s common areas.
Prestonfield House – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Rhubarb (noon-10pm) is renowned for its creative Modern Scottish fare and is very well-priced, given the remarkable ambience and quality of the dishes. Lunch is £22 for 2 courses and a 3-course dinner is £38; book well ahead. Prestonfield House is also the place to go for decadent afternoon tea (regular/Champagne £30/£40), served from noon to 7pm.
- Lounge/Bar: There is nothing as ordinary as a regular bar here but guests can have anything from signature cocktails to rare single malt whiskies in various venues around the hotel – from the Tapestry Room to the Leather Room, paneled with Cordoba leather. Drinks and bar menu available around the clock.
- Breakfast: Complimentary and cooked to order. You can have anything from French toast to kedgeree to smoked Arbroath kippers, full Scottish fry-ups, and freshly-baked croissants.
- Room Service: Available around the clock.
Prestonfield House – Rooms
- Room Types: Luxury Double • Luxury Twin • Lord Provost Suite • Allan Ramsay Suite • The Churchill Suite • Benjamin Franklin Suite • The Owner’s Suite • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: Prestonfield House is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The 5 signature suites are individually styled, so it depends on preference. The Owner’s Suite is the most opulent and indulgent of the 5, with a private turret entryway, priceless antiques, terrific views in 3 directions, and a free-standing chariot bath large enough for 2.
- For Families: No family rooms per se but children can be accommodated in the suites.
Prestonfield House – Local Transport
- Walking: It’s possible to walk from the hotel to central Edinburgh; it would take around 40 minutes (2 miles) to reach the Royal Mile. The nearest entrance to Holyrood Park is about a 20-minute walk (1 mile) away. While there are no restaurants or bars in the vicinity of the hotel, there are numerous options along Newington Road, a 25-minute walk (1 mile) away.
- Taxis, Uber: Taxis charge around £35 from the airport to the hotel, while Uber charges around £25.
- Public Bus: Several buses pass close to the hotel, with the nearest bus stop, Prestonfield Park, a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) away. You can take buses #2, #14, and #30 north along Newington Street and alight at the South Bridge stop for the Royal Mile and other central attractions.
Prestonfield House – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
Most of these depart from locations either on or near the Royal Mile.
- Invisible Edinburgh – Themed walking tours with homeless people trained as guides. Choose between the likes of Powerful Women (JK Rowling, Maggie Dickson, etc.), Crime & Punishment, and more. Book in advance. Start location: Depends on tour.
- The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour – Fantastic 2-hour walking tour that takes in pubs associated with Edinburgh’s literary history. Meet at the Beehive Inn on Grassmarket. (2.5 miles).
- Mercat Tours – Good range of history walks. Their ‘Ghosts & Ghouls’ tour takes you to the underground vaults beneath South Bridge. Tours start at the Mercat Cross on the Royal Mile. (2.5 miles).
- City of the Dead Tours – Spooky nightly tours of Greyfriars Kirkyard, complete with ghostly encounters. The ‘Mackenzie Poltergeist’, a 17th-century ghost of a judge, allegedly haunts the prison in the corner of the graveyard. Depart at 9pm Easter-October; at 8.30pm rest of the year. Start location: “Tree of the Dead” outside St Giles’ Cathedral (2.5 miles).
- The Cadies & Witchery Tours – Entertaining ‘Murder & Mystery’ tours of Old Town conducted by the becloaked Adam Lyal. Expect costumed actors to jump out at you from dark corners off the Royal Mile. Start location: The Witchery Restaurant (2.5 miles).
- Trainspotting Tours – Witty, engaging tour of locations from the 1993 Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting and its 1996 movie adaptation. Adults only. Meet at Docker’s Club in Leith. (4 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
With the exception of Angels With Bagpipes and Cannonball Contini, most of these are located on or a short walk from Newington Road that becomes South Bridge as it reaches the city center. Travel times are given from the Prestonfield Park bus stop, a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) from the hotel.
- Aizle – Every month, the chef changes the dishes according to what’s fresh from the monthly ‘harvest’ of produce. Book ahead and enjoy the 5-course surprise menu. 8-minute bus ride (1 mile).
- Noodles & Dumplings – Heaped platefuls of Chinese noodles and dumplings cooked right in front of you. Popular with local students. 9-minute bus ride (1 mile).
- Macau Kitchen – Authentic flavors from Macau along with a blend of Chinese and Portuguese cuisines in an intimate, friendly venue. Prawn and chicken dishes are outstanding. Bookings recommended. 10-minute bus ride (1 mile).
- Kampong Ah Lee – Generous portions of Malay and Chinese dishes, cooked up by a Malay chef at this location for over a decade. Choose between curries, char siu pork and rice, Hakka-style tofu, and more. 10-minute bus ride (1.5 miles).
- Mosque Kitchen – This place has been feeding local students with cheap curries since time immemorial. Lots of veggie dishes. 11-minute bus ride (1.5 miles).
- Dai Pai – Grab a seat at one of the communal tables and tuck into street food-style Asian fusion creations such as sushirrito, filled hirata buns, gyoza, and noodle dishes. 12-minute bus ride (1.5 miles).
- Kalpna – This informal vegan and veg place specializes in thalis (set meals) and a lunchtime buffet of South Indian dishes. Cheap and cheerful. 13-minute bus ride (1.5 miles).
- MONO – Minimalist interior and short, beautifully executed menus of contemporary Italian food, courtesy of a partnership between a Michelin-starred chef and an Italian foodie. Moderately priced, romantic ambience. Book ahead. 14-minute bus ride (2 miles).
- Angels With Bagpipes – One of Edinburgh’s fine dining highlights, in an atmospheric 17th-century building. Creative, beautifully-presented dishes crafted from seasonal ingredients. 2-course lunch is a steal at £17.50 and it’s well worth splurging on the 4-course tasting menu (£45) that might include sea trout with fennel and rhubarb and duck egg custard with rose hip. Reserve ahead. 20-minute bus ride (2 miles).
- Contini Cannonball – Inside the historic Cannonball House, this is a sleek, modern restaurant that serves excellent Scottish food: ‘cannonballs’ of haggis with whisky sauce, Highland beef, smoked salmon, and creamy Cullen skink (smoked haddock soup). Service is friendly and efficient and you’re just steps from Edinburgh Castle. 20-minute bus ride (2 miles).
Best Nearby Cafes and Tea Shops
- Brew Lab – One of the best specialty coffee shops in town, with single origin beans carefully sourced from small producers worldwide and numerous methods of preparation. Really good cakes and baguette sandwiches also. (2 miles).
- Edinburgh Larder – A solid local favorite for full Scottish breakfasts with sausages, black pudding, and bacon from local butchers, as well as homemade granola, gluten-free brownies, specialty coffee sourced from small producers around the world, locally blended teas from Eteaket, and more. Soups, salads, and sandwiches served till mid-afternoon. Communal tables encourage socializing. (2 miles).
- Mums – Ye olde café with retro decor and British and Scottish comfort food on the menu. Come here for fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and full Scottish breakfasts, with ingredients sourced from the best of local produce and a good range of Scottish craft beers. (2 miles).
Best Nearby Bars and Pubs
- The Royal Dick – Excellent beer garden with its own brewery and gin distillery attached, behind the Summerhall venue. Check out the changing visual arts exhibitions. (1.5 miles).
- The Dog House – Classic high street pub with a decent selection of beers, including the unusual Butter Beer. (1.5 miles).
- The Pear Tree – Come to this historic yard turned beer garden for quality gastropub food, pitchers of Pimms, and local and imported beers. (1.5 miles).
- Brewdog – The Cowmarket branch of the hugely popular Scottish craft beer empire that’s always experimenting and offering new creations. Their Punk AF IPA and Vagabond Pale are justifiably popular, or you can opt for their new range of OverWorks Wild and Sour beers. (2 miles).
- Bannerman’s – Grungy live music institution popular with local students and backpackers, with almost nightly performances by indie, rock, and punk bands. (2 miles).
- Sandy Bell’s – This locally-beloved place had been around since the 1960s and is terrific to catch a traditional Scottish music performance on weekday evenings at 9pm or on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. (2 miles).
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- The Meadows Pottery – Going strong since 1988, this is a great place to watch ceramics artists at work and purchase some of their stoneware and porcelain. (1.5 miles).
- Backbeat Records – Vinyl record store specializing in jazz, funk, and house. Terrific selection. (1.5 miles).
- Lighthouse – Independent community bookshop, particularly strong on radical and left-wing politics, environmentalism, and LGBT+ writing. (1.5 miles).
- Ragamuffin – One of the best outlets in Old Town for Harris tweed, Scottish knitwear, and cashmere sweaters by Johnsons of Elgin. (2 miles).
- Royal Mile Whiskies – One of the best whisky shops on the Royal Mile, with a vast selection of single malts and blended whiskies, both in full-size bottles and miniatures. Also sells bourbon and Irish whiskey. (2.5 miles).
- Fringe Shop – Been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? Come here for a range of festival keepsakes, from hoodies, KeepCups, and bamboo t-shirts to vintage canvas bags and a limited edition of Edinburgh-themed Monopoly. (2.5 miles).
Most of these attractions are located directly on or right near the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s famous historic street that bisects Old Town and runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Holyrood Palace. The Royal Mile is easily reachable from Prestonfield by public bus.
- Holyrood Park (for Arthur’s Seat) – This vast green space, crowned with the rocky peak of Arthur’s Seat (251m), starts right near Holyrood Palace. The hike from the palace to the top takes around 45 minutes (2 miles) and you’re rewarded with tremendous views of the city from up there. It’s a favorite place for outdoorsy locals. (1 mile).
- National Museum of Scotland – Spread across 2 buildings – a contemporary and a Victorian one – this terrific museum is a stampede through the history of Scotland, presented using an engaging variety of media highlighting the period from the earliest prehistoric signs of humanity until the 1990s. There are occasional themed exhibitions too, while the older building is home to displays on the decorative arts of China, the Islamic world, Japan, and the West, as well as design and fashion, science and technology, and natural history. (2 miles).
- Museum of Childhood – Take your kids here to explore the huge collection of dolls, toys, games, and books through the ages. There are engaging exhibitions on various issues related to childhood – education, health, and upbringing – as well as digital footage of kids playing street games in the city in the 1950s. (2 miles).
- Real Mary King’s Close – Preserved unchanged for the past 250 years, the lower levels of this medieval lane make for a fascinating, eerie labyrinth that visitors explore with the aid of costumed guides. Ghost stories make up a large chunk of the tour and some of them are genuinely creepy, given the setting. Check out the dolls and teddy bears left by visitors for the ghost of a little girl called Annie. (2 miles).
- Writers’ Museum – Take the close (alleyway) that connects the Royal Mile with the Mound to visit this literary museum inside the 1622 Lady Stair’s House. Here you can immerse yourself in manuscripts and memorabilia of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns, three of Scotland’s most famous writers. (2 miles).
- The Scotch Whisky Experience – Walk your way through this entertaining multimedia center that showcases the creation of whisky, from barley to distillation to bottle. All your senses are engaged here and you can also check out the world’s largest collection of malt whiskies. Depending on the tour option, you may get to sample a number of whiskies paired with Scottish nibbles. (2 miles).
- Palace of Holyroodhouse – The official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland, this stone castle was founded in 1128 as a monastery and grew around a guesthouse attached to the abbey. Self-guided tours lead you through the opulent royal apartments, including the bedchamber of Mary, Queen of Scots, where she watched the murder of her favorite secretary – David Rizzio – by the henchmen of her jealous second husband. Other highlights include the 89 portraits of Scottish kings in the Great Gallery, the ruins of the Holyrood Abbey, and the stunning Queen’s Gallery where changing art exhibitions are held every 6 months. (2 miles).
- Edinburgh Castle – Perched on the crag of Castle Rock, this historic fortress and former royal residence dominates the Edinburgh skyline. It’s the city’s atmospheric, heavyweight attraction, where you can see the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels), the bed-chamber where Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her son who’d unite the English and Scottish crowns, the National War Museum of Scotland, the prisons inside the Castle Vaults, and the One o’Clock Gun, a WWII Goliath that’s fired at 1pm daily. The views of the city from the battlements are tremendous. (2.5 miles).
- Museum of Edinburgh – The exhibitions inside this bright yellow and red 16th-century building tell the story of the city from prehistory to modern times through a series of entertaining exhibits. Look out for the dog feeding bowl and collar that belonged to Greyfriars Bobby, a Sky terrier who maintained vigil over his master’s grave from 1858 to 1872, plus items of national importance such as a copy of the National Covenant of 1638. (2 miles).
- Scottish Parliament Building – Designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles, the seat of Scottish government divides opinion. There are a lot of symbolic elements to the concrete creation, e.g. the asymmetrical panels on the front of the buildings which represent a curtain being opened (and symbolizing open government). Or the journey from the dimly-lit concrete cavern of the entrance hall to the magnificent Debating Chamber, flooded with light. Check the website if you want to see parliament in session. (2 miles).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Old Tolbooth Market – A new addition to the Edinburgh market scene, the Tolbooth is open from 11am daily, just off the Royal Mile, and is a good place to browse craft and food stalls and have a coffee or beer as well. (2 miles).
Prestonfield House – The Hotel
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