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4-Star Historic Rental - Once home of Robert Louis Stevenson's family in Edinburgh

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vacation rental description

2013: Entry in 'Top 100' Guide (Self-Catering Properties in Scotland)

2012: Winner: Top Vacation Rental - Edinburgh/ Award

2009: Scottish Thistle Award Winner - The Extra Mile

2008: Scottish Thistle Award Finalist - Accommodation - Customer Care

100% reviewers said they would recommend Pilrig House to a friend (161 out of 163 reviewers awarded us 5 stars!)

Pilrig House - The Balfour Apartment (Sleeps 4 max.)

Perfect for: One or two couples, 3 adults; or 2 adults with older children (over age of 7)

Our lovely 4-star graded, 2-bedroom 'Balfour Apartment' is within Pilrig House - an A-listed, 17th-century Scottish townhouse (built in 1638), which has a distinguished history and a wonderful literary connection with Robert Louis Stevenson - it was his mother's family's home. RLS, as a child, visited and played in the gardens here - he mentions Pilrig House in many of his novels and letters, eg Kidnapped and Catriona.

An Enviably Peaceful Park Location

Pilrig House is uniquely located in a tranquil park, yet it is only a short stroll or 5 minutes by bus to Edinburgh's city centre and all the main attractions. Guests can enjoy sitting in the private garden, which offers secluded seating areas and is teeming with birds and squirrels - a wonderfully tranquil retreat, away from traffic noise.

A Treasure of an Apartment

Occupying a commanding second-floor position in Pilrig House, the Balfour Apartment offers impressive views of the entire park and front gardens, plus Edinburgh skyline, from the two window-seats in the spacious living-room.

The Accommodation

The interior is extremely comfortable & beautifully furnished: L-shaped oak-floored hall, wonderfully spacious living-room with designated dining area, double-aspect windows; two bedrooms - both doubles (1 with double bed and the other with super king-sized bed that can be separated to twins); a fully-equipped kitchen; and, a luxurious, fully tiled bathroom with spacious walk-in shower cabinet, heated towel rail and shaver point.

FREE Parking

Rare for Edinburgh city center rentals, we offer the bonus of a FREE allocated parking space in a safe private car park to the rear of the house.

A Home-Away-From Home: Included in the Price

FREE Unlimited High-Speed Broadband Wi-Fi internet access (you can prebook a laptop should you want to leave yours at home), fine bedlinen, Egyptian cotton towels, all utilities - heating & electricity (no hidden costs). And, on arrival, refreshment tray, fresh flowers, crystal decanter of whisky, Scottish fudge, shortbead and fruit bowl; luxury Scottish toiletries; fluffy towelling robes/slippers, full Welcome, Places to Visit, Restaurant and Edinburgh Tour Packs, up-to-date Tourist information file, telephone (FREE local & national calls & with telephone answer service), Pilrig House postcards, bookmarks & stationery; a selection of novels, Edinburgh guidebooks/ maps/DVDs, AA-Touring Atlas, board games, binoculars, CDs/DVDs, and many other thoughtful extras.


Broadband Wi-Fi access, iPhone/iPad Docking Speaker, flat-screen TV, Digital TV, CD-Player, DVD-Player, Digital Radio, Clothes Washer/Dryer, Ironing facilities, Fridge, Freezer, Dishwasher, Blender, Microwave, Oven, Hob, Coffee-Maker, Hairdryers, Real Flame-Effect Fire, Adjustable Heating & Overhead Dimmer Lighting in all rooms.

The Owners

We - Debbie and Philip, the Scottish owners - live in Pilrig House and personally warmly welcome all our guests, and are on-hand throughout your stay to offer advice and assistance, if required or wanted!

Our Reviews

We could add hundreds of 'Owner-Added Reviews' from our apartment Guestbook, but we prefer to let previous guests review us and award us their star grading on VRBO. We hope this reassures you as to the authenticity of all the reviews you read. On our own website, you can also read in excess of another 150 independent guest reviews, and view some typical comments left in the apartment's Guestbook.


Open all year. The apartment is non-smoking, but you are welcome to smoke outside, and, sorry, no pets.


For bookings of 7 nights or less, we ask for payment on booking. For bookings exceeding 7 nights, we ask for 50% payment on booking, and 50% is due 8 weeks before your stay.

To book, send in a Booking Form via our website. On receipt, we send you a Booking Confirmation followed by a secure online payment request via CardSave; you can pay by credit or debit card. On receipt of payment authorisation, we always send a payment receipt.

Cancellation Policy

We ask all guests to read our clear Terms & Conditions page on our own website.


Please view our extremely competitive nightly rates & reduced weekly rates on our owner's website (NOT the 'per person per night' rate which we feel is disingenuous as it does not give the actual min. price per night or per week).

Discounts (on nightly rates) for longer stays:

2 weeks: 15%

3 weeks: 20%

4 weeks or longer: 25% (we are flexiblle and can offer bigger discounts here if for a long stay in low season - do ask!)

We also offer reduced nightly and weekly rates for 1 or 2 people staying if both other apartments are already booked - please enquire.

Note: if your party comprises 2-3 people and the Balfour Apartment is already booked for the dates you want, do look at our Park and Garden Apartments' availability!

Keywords: Apartment, Flat, Historic, Unique, Peaceful, City, Romantic, Award-Winning, Luxury, Unusual, Four-Star

vacation rental location

property availability

  • dates with deals
  • unavailable dates

Last modified on 08-20-2014 at 1:42 AM.

email owner view full calendar

++44 131 554 4794

apartment rental amenities

  • Property Type
    • apartment
    • floor 2
  • Meals
    • guests provide their own meals
  • Location Type
    • town
    • monument view
      • The apartment, being on the second floor of the house, from the living-room window-seats offers the most wonderful views over the park, and of the Edinburgh skyline - Holyrood Park, and Calton Hill.
  • Theme
    • historic
    • away from it all
    • tourist attractions
  • General
    • heating
      • Adjustable heating in all rooms.
    • parking
      • Free parking - rare for Edinburgh - in a private car park to the rear of the property. Allocated space reserved on booking.
    • computer available
      • Laptop available should you wish to leave your laptop behind.
    • living room
    • iron & board
    • internet
    • towels provided
    • activities guide
    • alarm clock
    • bottled water
    • hair dryer
    • laundry soap
    • local activities guide
    • local maps
    • paper towels
    • local restaurant guide
    • shampoo
    • basic soaps
    • toilet paper
    • fireplace
    • thermos bottle
    • free local calls
    • floorboards
    • broadband access
      • Free Wi-Fi.
    • washing machine
      • Washer/Dryer for small loads. We also supply details of a local laundrette, where you can leave your larger-load washing for a 'service wash' - you drop off and collect it later - washed and dried - for a small charge
    • clothes dryer
      • See Washer.
    • telephone
      • Free local and national calls, and with Call Minda telephone answering service.
    • air conditioning
      • In Scotland, we sadly never hit the tropical heat that merits air-conditioning and so do not require air-conditioning - sadly! You can open all windows in the apartment should the occasion arise when you feel too warm! We also have fans in the apartment if you want them...
    • linens provided
      • Fine, high-threadcount Egyptian-cotton bedlinen on beds, plus neck bolsters & cushions; luxury, top-of-the-range, ultra-deep duck feather and down mattress toppers - for that 'sleeping on a cloud' experience; mattress protectors, pillow protectors, feather pillows (foam pillow provided if allergic to feathers), and throws on all beds. Quilts also provided in winter-time.
    • wireless internet
      • Free Broadband, High-Speed Wi Fi internet access - log-in details provided in the Welcome Pack.
    • wood stove
      • We have no gas appliances in the apartment - there is an electric real flame-effect fire in the living-room, and wall-mounted electric heaters in all other rooms - so, you can adjust the temperature to suit how you like it! We always ensure the apartment is nice and warm for you on arrival.
    • mobile phone
      • We have a cell phone you can have when here, on request - preloaded with £10 calls on it - all you pay is the 10 of calls preloaded. Top-Up card supplied with the phone.
  • Kitchen
    • pantry items
      • Real coffee & filters for coffee-maker, teabags, herbal teabags, instant coffee/decaff, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt & pepper, sugar, milk, minerla water, napkins, dishwasher tablets
    • kitchen
      • Fully-equipped kitchen with every appliance you could need: oven, hob, microwave, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, refreshment tray with shortbread, and many extras you will find extremely helpful.
    • freezer
    • stove
    • oven
    • blender
    • stove
    • grill
    • coffee maker
    • toaster
    • dishwasher
      • Full-size, fitted dishwasher, and dishwasher tablets provided.
    • refrigerator
      • Full-size fridge with milk and mineral water on arrival. Freezer is same size and has bag of ice on arrival.
    • microwave
      • Standard size (instructions supplied as for all kitchen White goods).
    • cooking utensils
      • All the utensils you could possibly want or need: crockery, good-quality cutlery, glasses, pots and pans, oven dishes, bowls, blender, and much more!
  • Dining
    • dining area
  • Bathrooms
    • 1 bathroom
    • bathroom 1:
      • Curved walk-in shower cabinet. Full-length heated towel-rail, WC, basin with light above and shaver point.
  • Bedrooms
    • 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4, beds for 4
    • bedroom 1:
    • bedroom 2:
      • 1 Super-king-sized bed, sprung mattress and base. suede headboard, and the very best mattress toppers on all beds - to ensure you get that you get the most comfortable night's sleep (see 'Bedlinen'). And, NO restrictive bed end!, Double Beds (1) Standard double bed of the highest quality. The SKS bed can be separated into twins for your convenience.
  • Entertainment
    • radio
    • stereo
    • audio tape player
    • books
    • books for adults
    • books for kids
    • games
    • games for kids
    • music library
      • Large CD library to suit a range of tastes. iPad/iPhone Docking Speaker - so you can listen to your own music.
    • video library
      • Extensive DVD library to choose from, and to suit all tastes, including an Edinburgh and Scotland DVD, and many box-sets of the best film and TV series.
    • television
      • Large, flat-screen television.
    • satellite / cable
      • Digital TV - an extra 20 or so channels, including 'World News'.
    • cd player
    • dvd player
  • Outside
    • golf
      • Park your car here and enjoy the best Scottish courses nearby - Muirfield, Archerfield, Dunbar, St Andrews Old Course... On booking, we will refer you to our personal driver service - a golf expert
    • binoculars
    • lawn / garden
  • Suitability
    • minimum age limit for renters
      • Age 7 or over. This apartment is ideal for couples, couples plus an older child or two older children, 3 adults, or two couples. Many couples prefer the additional space that the Balfour Apartment provides - both double bedrooms are spacious and sunny. For one couple staying - If both other apartments are already booked for your chosen dates, we can offer a discounted nightly rate.
    • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
    • wheelchair inaccessible
    • long-term renters welcome
    • non smoking only
      • You are very welcome to smoke outside in the gardens or park..
    • pets not allowed
  • Notes
    • Scotch Malt Whisky Society Membership We are delighted to offer Pilrig House guests membership of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This entitles you to attend exclusive tastings and events, or to dine in either of the Society’s distinctive premises in Edinburgh – the historic Vaults at the Shore area of Leith - a 10-minute walk away, or in the city centre's beautiful Georgian townhouse Queen St premises. Discover the best single cask, single malt whisky available to mankind – uniquely bottled for the Society from over 120 distilleries.

activities and attractions in Edinburgh Scotland

  • Attractions
    • health/beauty spa
    • restaurants
    • cinemas
    • botanical garden
    • churches
    • library
    • playground
    • museums
    • live theater
    • zoo
    • autumn foliage
    • marina
    • water parks
    • coin laundry
    • ruins
  • Leisure Activities
    • bird watching
    • walking
    • horseback riding
    • shopping
    • sight seeing
    • miniature golf
    • antiquing
    • scenic drives
  • Sports & Adventure Activities
    • swimming
    • cycling
    • tennis
    • rock climbing
    • golf

contact owner

please fill in the form below to inquire about this rental.


  • phone ++44 131 554 4794
  • 2nd phone ++44 7788 113886

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payment methods

Owner has not provided their accepted payment methods

Prior to paying a reservation deposit, always verify payment instructions by calling the phone number displayed on this listing page. By contacting the owner directly and paying by an approved method - credit card, paypal, check or bank transfer - your reservation payment will be protected up to $1,000.

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vacation rental rates

Rental Basis:
Per property
Rental rates quoted in:

Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekend Weekly Monthly * Event Minimum Stay
Aug 1 2014 - Aug 31 2014
£ 1,680
£ 6,720
7 nights
Sep 1 2014 - Oct 31 2014
£ 160
£ 1,008
£ 3,360
5 nights
Nov 1 2014 - Jan 31 2015
£ 140
£ 882
£ 2,940
4 nights
Early Spring
Feb 1 2015 - Mar 31 2015
£ 150
£ 945
£ 3,150
4 nights
Apr 1 2015 - Apr 30 2015
£ 160
£ 1,008
£ 3,360
5 nights
Early Summer
May 1 2015 - May 31 2015
£ 1,102
£ 3,675
7 nights
High Summer
Jun 1 2015 - Jul 31 2015
£ 1,260
£ 4,200
7 nights
Aug 1 2015 - Aug 31 2015
£ 1,680
£ 6,720
7 nights
Sep 1 2015 - Oct 31 2015
£ 160
£ 1,008
£ 3,360
5 nights
Nov 1 2015 - Jan 31 2016
£ 140
£ 882
£ 2,940
4 nights

Additional information about rental rates

For bookings of 7 nights or less, we ask for full payment on booking. For bookings in excess of 7 nights - 50% paymernt on booking & 50% 8 weeks before your stay.

On receiving your booking form via our website, we send you a booking confirmation, and online payment request. We accept payment by CR card, including AMEX!, and DR card.

On payment, we send you a receipt for the full amount paid.
The rates here are based on 4 people sharing. If our other apartments are booked, we can offer a slightly reduced nightly rate for 1-3 people sharing.

These are reduced weekly rates. See our actual nightly rates on our website.

To book, fill in a Booking Form via our websit; we will send a booking confirmation & payment request.

We offer solo travellers a 10% reduction on our nightly rate.

email owner

++44 131 554 4794

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email owner

++44 131 554 4794

traveler reviews for this edinburgh apartment rental

Best Location since Years

Review submitted: August 10, 2014   Date of arrival: July 12, 2014

We visited Scotland for 2 weeks and stayed the first week in Edinburgh Pilrig House. An excellent choice as we know yet. The apartment was the best we rent for the last Years. It is equipped perfectly with so much love for details and warmly welcome to the guests. We cannot think of any missing equipment to make our stay in Pirig House unforgettable. Never have so much very good information’s about Scotland and its interesting sites to visit. Thank you so much Debbi and Philipp for your hospitality, we felt like at home. It was not the last stay in this beautiful location in Scotland.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thank you for this lovely review Christoph- we are delighted you enjoyed your stay - and look forward to welcoming you here again!

Best wishes, Debbie & Philip

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Just Perfect

Review submitted: June 5, 2014   Date of arrival: May 12, 2014

My husband and I just returned from two wonderful weeks in Edinburgh. We stayed at the Pilrig House in the Balfour Apartment for both weeks and it couldn't have been more perfect. The apartment was so lovely. Spotless, beautifully decorated, quiet, and was appointed with everything we could possibly need. The amenities were top notch.

Philip and Debbie are incredibly kind and generous hosts and they take a genuine interest in their guests. When we first arrived at the house, Philip was standing in the driveway waiting for us. Just about every day we would find ourselves in long, interesting conversations with him. He is extremely knowledgeable about the history of Scotland and told us some great stories. Our first evening there we were going to walk to the grocery store and Philip, who happened to be going there himself, offered to give us a ride. He ended up giving us an impromptu tour of the city! On another day, Debbie, on her way to go shopping, led us on a drive into a couple of the nearby villages, pointing out things we might be interested in going back to see. She also recommended some wonderful restaurants.

The location of Pilrig House is perfect. Pilrig Park is beautiful and we enjoyed sitting in the window seats in our apartment and watching all the people and dogs playing late into the evening. It's a pretty quick walk to Leith and just a short bus ride to city centre (the number 11 bus stop is right on the other side of the park). We rented a car while there (best decision!) and the location was perfect as a "home base". We took day trips into the country and surrounding villages and then would come back every evening to cook dinner and relax. I joked that all I needed was my dog and some more clothes and I could have stayed forever! We fell in love with Scotland and the people and hope to go back to Edinburgh and the Pilrig House one day soon. We wouldn't stay anywhere else! Thank you, Philip and Debbie, for a wonderful experience!

Recommended for: age 55+, sight seeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway

Owners response: Hi Wendy & Charro,

What a lovely review - thank you. As we said at the time, we wished you could just stay and become part of the Pilrig clan! It was so nice having you stay here and, Philip has just said over my shoulder, that you were a delight to chat with! I think he missed your daily chatterings when you'd left... so, you'll just need to come back again - soon!


Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Little Gem

Review submitted: March 18, 2014   Date of arrival: February 17, 2014

Looking through all the reviews for Pilrig's House, this place had a lot to live up to and it certainly did from the moment we arrived which was met with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, chocolates and Champagne for my wife who was celebrating her 50th Birthday. The generosity of the owners was beyond compare and the apartment itself is a true home from home plus some more. As self catering goes this has got to be the best it can get. Situated within easy walking distance of Central Edinburgh and very close to the bus services. Many excellent eating places within 10 minutes walk. If you are looking for that extra bit of comfort and luxury then you can't go wrong and with the lovely owners on hand this was a very memorable and thoroughly enjoyable break.

We stayed here as a family for my wife's 50th Birthday.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Thanks so much Jim and Hilary, and Amy and Chloe - we are pleased you enjoyed this special stay, and that we managed to live up to expectations - after all these years, we still worry about that! You were lovely guests and just hope we see you some other time back here at Pilrig House, Best Wishes Debbie & Philip x

Helpful votes: 0 / 0


Reviews are the subjective opinions of travelers and not of, Inc.

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++44 131 554 4794

Edinburgh vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 11/16/2006.