We stayed in Glenlockhart Cottage in November 2021. I must apologise for taking so long to write about this gorgeous accommodation. I wonder if I secretly didn’t want to share this gem, in case the world discovered how fabulous it was. We booked a two-week stay in the cottage to coincide with Scotland’s autumn international rugby matches at Murrayfield. It was perfect for us: a home from home for our long stay in Edinburgh, with two bedrooms so our son, Rory, could join us for a few days in the middle.
Owners, Cindy and Paul, are wonderful hosts and as they live in the house next door, they are on hand to welcome guests and deal with any queries. They also provide a sensational welcome pack including a bottle of wine and plenty of pods for the Nespresso coffee machine.
Where is Glenlockhart Cottage?
South of the city centre and sitting on the edge of the Craiglockhart Hills nature reserve, this 160 year old cottage was once the home of the gardener for the Glenlockhart Estate. At the end of a private lane in a beautiful residential area, the cottage has its own private parking. We drove here and used the cottage as a base for exploring further afield. It’s also a stone’s throw from two different bus routes so we could easily pick up the No. 23 or No. 36 bus into the centre of Edinburgh. Just a short walk from Morningside, we loved living like locals, relishing the independent shops, cinema and cafes.
A cosy cottage in the city
Another apology. I didn’t take many photos of Glenlockhart Cottage. Normally when we go to a hotel or self-catering property, I’m snapping away in every room, looking daggers at Dougie if he so much as perches on the edge of the bed. This time, I felt so relaxed as soon as we entered the cottage, photography didn’t seem important. You’ll have to trust me that this bolthole was beautiful. Or check their website for better pics.
The heart of the cottage is its toasty warm kitchen/dining room which has a huge range oven and a large table for six. This worked perfectly when some of Dougie’s Scottish relatives popped round for dinner. We spent a lot of time here as it’s a bright sunny room. It was great to sit around the table with a coffee or glass of wine. There’s a TV on the wall, ideal for watching breakfast news as we pottered about.
The living room has a wonderful Scottish feel with its mountain heather palette of pink and lilac. This was our evening room, a place to curl up with one of the books off the shelves.
Also on the ground floor is a contemporary bathroom with spacious shower. There are plenty of fluffy white towels and excellent toiletries from Scottish Fine Soaps.
The hall is well-designed with a place to sit and remove muddy boots and lots of coat hooks.
Upstairs are two double bedrooms, with top quality mattresses and bedding. The main bedroom has a kingsize bed. The second bedroom can be configured as two singles or a superking. There’s no ensuite bathroom so any midnight loo trips require negotiating the stairs down to the bathroom. Worth keeping in mind if that’s likely to cause a problem.
A November visit isn’t the best time to make the most of the space at the front of the house and the large garden at the back. I imagine on warmer days, this would be a huge asset. Nevertheless, being able to watch the birds feeding and admire the autumn leaves was just lovely.
What to eat in the local area
It’s easy to walk into Morningside, and a little further to Bruntsfield, for a bit of shopping and dining. But we took the car to do a big shop at the nearby Waitrose. We also found the Cook shop to stock up the freezer.
I can recommend Cafe Grande for a pre-rugby brunch, Seeds for the Soul for a vegan feast and Word of Mouth Cafe for delicious Greek pastries. But honestly, there are pubs, cafes and restaurants all along the main street so you can’t go wrong.
Things to do near Glenlockhart Cottage
Take in a movie at the Dominion Cinema – splurge and go First Class for reclining sofas, complimentary snacks and access to Bond’s Bar.
Drive to Rosslyn Chapel – only 17 minutes from the cottage, discover the mystery and history of this unique building, made famous in Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code.
Pull on your boots and head to the Water of Leith Visitors Centre. From there, use the trail maps provided to follow Edinburgh’s river as it winds through the city. We walked all the way into the city centre but took the bus back.
Explore the Colinton Tunnel Mural Project – less than 10 minutes drive away, the artwork in this old tunnel is fantastic. You’ll also find the tunnel on the Water of Leith trail, mentioned above.
Climb one of Edinburgh’s seven hills – Craiglockhart Hill is just round the corner. We also clambered up Blackford Hill which is an easy walk away. Pick a good day and you’ll be rewarded with superb views across the city and beyond.
Head to the coast – we drove to Cramond on the Firth of Forth in less than half an hour. It’s worth wandering along the shoreline before heading inland along the banks of the River Almond. If you work up an appetite, a takeaway from the Cramond Bistro is highly recommended – the best lentil soup we’ve ever tasted.
Just hop on the bus to the city centre and you have all of Edinburgh to discover: museums, art galleries, theatres, shops, restaurants.
Staying at Glenlockhart Cottage gave us the best of both worlds: a home-from-home for relaxing yet within easy reach of public transport straight into the heart of the city.