Best Edinburgh attractions & indie shops

All around Edinburgh and the Lothians our independent attractions and shops are getting back on their feet. Here we have listed some of our favourites. All local all highly recommended.

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When to Stay | November

Frosty mornings, long walks, Bonfire Night, St. Andrew's Day and some festive cheer...

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Eastside farm spa

Now open our wee farm steam sauna yurt! Book on arrival for a private session in your very own enchanted woodland spa.

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Best Edinburgh eating out & local larders

While things are starting to get back to normal for the rest of us. Many of our favourite local eateries need our support. Here we have put together our favourites. All local and all highly recommended.

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Tupping time on the Farm

The timings, the boys and the breeding. Tupping time on a Scottish hill farm.

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Explore Outlander locations

Culross, historic village in Fife, Scotland

The Outlander series and books have amassed a huge following, thanks to both the captivating love story between Claire and Jamie but also the breath-taking landscapes that serve as a backdrop to their journey through time. But did you know that many of the memorable scenes from the TV series were actually shot in real-life locations near Eastside?

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Best city & country spas in & around Edinburgh

country spa near edinburgh

Whether you are looking for the most swanky city spa or a delightfully rustic country spa day we've got it covered.

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When to Stay | December

Festive cheer, entertainment, Christmas shopping, light-shows and fireworks! Amongst many other things...

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Slow Travel

Everyday we feel lucky to live where we do.

Today while looking our sheep from a hilltop I could see a two pairs of curlew soaring in the valley, hundreds of little birds hopping about the wild grasses finding insects and grubs, the wheatears flitting over the old dykes, the odd plover with its head periscope-like above the grass and a buzzard carrying off a young hare. I also passed a great bank of bleaberries flowering on the hill and the first of the bracken shoots pushing up through the wild grass.

These things do not immediately present themselves though. You have to be slow, wait a while sat quietly, listen, look, and you will see the hills are not empty after all but teaming with life. I love the philosophy behind slow-living and exploring. You see so much more when you take your time.

The Pentland Hills: Their Paths & Passes

The photograph shows the pioneering mountaineer the Reverend AE Robertson at Eastside Farm road-end in 1946.

In 1885 the Scottish Rights of Way Society first surveyed paths, negotiated with the landowners and erected the first signposts to facilitate access on most of the Pentland paths. The same year they also published the first walking guide book to the Pentlands titled : The Pentland Hills: Their Paths & Passes. Copies of the guide were presented to the Edinburgh Trades Council for distribution amongst working men ‘in order that healthful enjoyment and recreation afforded by rights of way across the hills be better known.’ Now the hills are enjoyed by many all thanks to Rev Robertson, who was a bit of a dude by all accounts, he was also the first man to climb all the Munros in Scotland!

Best lunch spots in & around Edinburgh

Best Bruntsfield restaurants, Montpelliers, dine out, Edinburgh, Scotland

A mixed bag of lunch in town, country bites, speciality delis, farm shops and Sunday lunch gone posh! Some great ideas for eating well in and around Edinburgh at any rate...

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Eastside : Press cuttings & travel blogs

Press cuttings, travel blogs & reviews, online & in good old fashioned print. "...The cottage lights below beckoned us back down the ridge..." & more lovely words...

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Brocken Spectre

This morning we were playing hide and seek with the cloud as it rose and fell in the glens.

When the mist cleared we would grab a chance to move the binoculars over the ewes, checking each before the mist closed in again. Slowly moving through the clouds for closer inspections.

When above the cloud with the sun on my back I would be accompanied by a friendly Brocken Spectre. It was just him, me and the Pentland peaks for a while before the mist receded and we found some new born twins, up and running just a few hours old.

Explore Harry Potter Locations

We have put together the perfect collection of wizarding and magical locations for fans of J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter. Using Eastside as a base, follow our must-see itineraries in Edinburgh and beyond.

We combine sublime Scottish scenery, magical architecture, filming locations, (owls!?) and some great places to eat along the way.

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Self catering made easy... no COOKing

Looking for the best, seasonal British food but don't want to cook it? Get COOK to deliver it to your cottage door at Eastside.

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Logs for the wood burning stoves

Home grown timber, log stack, log pile, lumber jack, Pentland Hills, Scotland

All of the timber we provide free to our guests in the cottages is grown and harvested on the farm. We also use a very efficient biomass gasifier to heat the Steading & Stable cottages fuelled using our own timber. When we have just planted 42,000 trees it doesn't get much more sustainable than that!

Planting 42,000 trees at Eastside!

shafts of light through the pine trees on a Scottish hillside, Pentland Hills, Larch and Scots Pine, Eastside Farm, hill sheep farm Scotland

With Alexander Cowan's legacy of thoroughly ancient scots pines still gracing the hillsides we are now doing our bit, carrying on what he started in 1850!

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Farm spa in the works

A sauna yurt is slowly appearing in the woodland garden, locally soured and hand made in Scotland from steam-bent timber. It really is a work of art.

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Out of control wildfire Scald Law | Pentlands

Last July we rushed to put out a wildfire on the Scald Law with the help of the fire brigade. Having had some wild campers that were in the process of starting a fire!!... can we reiterate how important it is to not to light ANY fires or throw any cigarette butts/ glass etc onto the hillside. The ground come summer is so dry it is like a tinderbox, the damage to flora & fauna especially ground nesting birds at this time of year could have been devastating. We are so so grateful to the fast reactions of kind people & our wonderful fire brigade.

How we are keeping everyone safe

We’d like to take you through the changes so that you can understand what might be a bit different during your stay at Eastside, what we are now expecting you to do and what we are doing at this time.

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A note from our family to yours: Covid 19

Escape to the wilderness with a relaxing break amongst the wild grasses and heather hills

Update 13th July : A new normal

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At the lamb, old ewe & tup sales

Selling our hill grown lambs and ewes is always a busy time of year. Then off to the tup sales to choose the fathers of next years lambs.

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Christmas tree harvest

The Eastside Christmas tree hunt : Harvested on the farm each year a few hours are usually spent walking the woodlands to make sure we get the perfect specimen for the Eastside farm yard. This years tree comes from the Braid Law hillside rising up the South side of our little glen. Now in situ looking just as spectacular in the farm yard as it did on the hill.

When to stay | January

Hogmanay in Edinburgh / sledding / Burns Night ceilidhs among other things...

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When to Stay | February

6 Nations Rugby / evenings out at the theatre / Valentines Day among other things...

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Heather burning October to April

Lighting the fire, Muirburn, heather burning, Scotland, moorland management, fire, gamekeeper, farmer

Heather on the hills needs managed for both the sheep and the grouse, plover and other wild birds we share it with.

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At the building site

As with this entire year everything got put back as the country came to a stand still. We were closed for 3 months all cottages lay empty & the building work we had started stopped. We have started building again though, slowly and safely.

Our new builders are working out the details and materials. Iain drawing beautiful architectural details as we go. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ as dad always says but we’ve made a good post lockdown start.

When to Stay | March

Mothers day celebrations/ family gatherings/ exhibitions galore among other things...

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When to Stay | April

Easter celebrations / Science festival fun/ Fire festivals among other things...

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Treat Mum | Mother's Day stays near Edinburgh

The perfect kitchen for entertaining, double height space with Emma Bridgewater tableware

Spend a delightful week in the country, with family feasts, long walks, spa days and all the best of Edinburgh entertainment.

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Lambing time at Eastside

Lambing ewes require our constant attention. Most lamb without intervention but we are always on hand if any need a little help. Learn about our 'lamb warming box' and other life saving lambing kit in our sheep-shed maternity hospital!

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An Eastside/ Edinburgh Easter

Spend Easter 2022 at Eastside, rolling eggs down the heather hills, hunting for the chocolate variety in Scotland's biggest maze, or getting the old lab coat on for Edinburgh's spectacular Science Festival!

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When to Stay | May

Lambing on the Farm / Whisky & Beer Festivals / Children's theatre festivals among other things...

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When to Stay | June

Warm summer days, Magic, Jazz and the Royal Highland 'spectacle' among other things...

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Nearly there

We are now making good progress on the build and are finally confident enough to open for bookings. The Cartshed opens on the 6th of May and the Wash House a little before it on the 8th April. We are so so exited to finally reveal what we have been working on.

When to Stay | July

Shearing on the Farm / Magic & Jazz festivals / Carnival / The Edinburgh Food Festival among other things...

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When to Stay | August

Edinburgh Festivals galore / Heather hills in full bloom / Book festival / Military Tattoo among other things...

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Haircuts at Eastside!

Clipping at Eastside starts in June through July. With 1400 ewes, 400 hoggs & 30 tups, it's a lot of work!

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When to Stay | September

Cooler autumnal days, golden leaves, chances to see beyond the (usually closed) doors during Edinburgh's Doors Open Day among other things...

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Autumn on the hill pasture

Close up of heather and wild grasses, heather flower, purple hills in Scotland, Pentland Hills near Edinburgh

The autumn colours are often spectacular on a hill landscape with the purple of the heather, the orange browns of the bracken dying back for winter and the crimson and bleached ash of the hill grasses.

When to Stay | October

Wrapping up, eating, drinking and Halloween-worthy ghost tours among other things...

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Cottage for long term let near Edinburgh / Under Offer

Cottage by loch, Scotland, heather hills, purple flowers, flotterstone, Howe

This property is now under offer. An amazing opportunity to buy this beautiful cottage in one of the most stunning locations near Edinburgh. First time on the market. A former shepherd's cottage overlooking Loganlea Reservoir in the heart of the Pentland Hills Regional Park.

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