We sometimes just need a bed to crash in when traveling, while more effort and expensive is put into the day time activities. However we’re maybe missing a trick and a part of the travel experience.
There are some incredible hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and even hostels, with chandelier and polished ornate surroundings. It can be a minefield with all the accommodation on offer these days, not to mention all the different booking sites.
My love of accommodation has stemmed over two decades, experiencing the luxurious to the bland and the basic.
There is a wide variety of accommodation in Edinburgh, something to suit everyone’s needs and budgets. Edinburgh is known for its historical monuments and of course Edinburgh Castle proudly overlooking the city, but what about its historical hotels!
Historic Hotels in Scotland: Edinburgh
The Scotsman Hotel located on North Bridge in central Edinburgh is one of my favourite’s, with its decorative art baroque ceilings, rooms with views over the city and of course its history. The grade two listed building, dating back to the 1900’s once the busy hub of The Scotsman Newspaper is said to still be “haunted by a host of ghosts, including a phantom Printer and a phantom forger”. Today you can see the original wooden panelling and emerge yourself in luxury, in one of the editor suites or treat yourself to the penthouse suite. It has a balcony with a prime viewing location for the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks.
There are many more historical hotels including The Balmoral which opened in 1902, located at the East End of Princes Street. Famous guests have included J. K. Rowling, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. J. K. Rowling stayed in room 552 while completing the final book in the Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows which was completed in 2007. Look out for the black marker signed bust which J. K. Rowling signed while in residence at The Balmoral.
Historical Accommodation Throughout Scotland
There are a lot of great historic hotels in Scotland. The oldest hotel is The Salutation located in Perth, only an hours drive from Edinburgh. The country of Perthshire takes up the belt of Central Scotland including Drumocter in the north, Strathmore to the east, Rannoch Moor on the west and Aberfoyle in the south. The area has lots to offer including great scenery with lakes and mountains. Activities including horse riding, hill walking, falconry, fishing, golfing and lots more!
The Salutation Hotel first opened its doors to residents in 1699. It is said that Bonnie Prince Charlie used room 20 (the Stuart room) to hold meetings and make plans for his rebellion. Located in Perth’s bustling town centre and only a 10 minute walk from the train station. The market town is also home to the Ferguson Gallery, the River Tay and centrally located for both the Castle and Whisky tourist routes.
Another one of my favourite historic hotels in Scotland was Carbisdale Castle was built between 1905 – 1917. Located in the country of Sutherland, up past the City of Inverness in the small village of Culrain stands the nicknamed “Castle of Spite”. Upon arrival you were welcomed with the red carpet, and throughout the hostel you were transported back in time with the nostalgic suits of armour and classic oil paintings. It is said to still be haunted by several ghosts, including fallen soldiers from the Battle of Carbisdale and a lady in white. Fortunately nothing went bump in the night on the evening of my stay.
It is sad to report that Carbisdale has been sold on and no longer a Youth Hostel Association property. There are so many unique and charismatic properties throughout the world. Do take the opportunity to experience them before they disappear.
A great way to explore Scotland is to hire a car, as it gives you flexibility of where you would like to stop and stay, but also some of the best accommodation in Scotland can be found in rural locations.
Did you visit Carbisdale Castle? or another charismatic property? We would love to hear your stories. Please comment below. Thanks.
If you enjoyed our guide to some of the best historic hotels in Scotland, don’t forget to share with your friends and family. Happy Travels!