Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q: Are the apartments suitable for babies and young children?

A: Absolutely. Both apartments have a UK King (US Queen) bed and a double bed which can be shared by young children. Tollcross has an elevator and avoids you having to climb the stairs with a stroller. We do not have our own crib or highchair, but these can be rented and set up in the apartment for a small charge.

Q: What is the best way to get to the apartments from Edinburgh airport or the railway station with luggage?

A: We do not recommend hiring a car if you are only planning on staying within the city. From the railway station (Waverley or Haymarket) it is a short taxi ride and should cost less than £10. The city buses are a good alternative and cost £1.60 single/£4.00 day ticket. The airport is less than 7 miles from either apartment. Taxi is the easiest and should cost less than £30. Cheaper alternatives are the Airlink 100 or the Skylink 300 buses. The buses cost £4.50 single/£7.50 return, but the Airlink 100 route is along Princes Street to Waverley Station - probably too far to walk to the Tollcross apartments with luggage, which means a second journey by taxi or city bus. The Skylink 300 bus has a stop very close to our Tollcross apartment. The tram is another option at £5.50 from the airport or £1.60 single within the city - our West End apartment is close to one of the stops. Honestly, the taxis are the best option for Tollcross or if you are more than 2 travelers, unless you are feeling like an early adventure on the excellent bus/tram network.

Q: The Tollcross apartment includes a private undercover parking space, is this really an advantage?

A: Yes. Edinburgh tries to encourage the use of public transport and keep cars out of the center. For non-residents, street parking is by meter with maximum stays from 30 minutes to 4 hours (up to £5/hour). You will get ticketed or towed if you overstay during the metered times. There are a few 24h parking lots, but they may not be close to your accommodation and can cost £25+/day. If you have a car or plan to rent one for day trips, then your own parking space is a significant advantage.

Q: I do not know Edinburgh, how does Tollcross compare to the New Town or the Royal Mile?

A: Obviously the answer depends in part on your plans and if you have a car. For tourists we recommend Tollcross because it is a local community with full facilities on the doorstep, not just tourist shops; easy walk to Old Town; well connected by buses to all of Edinburgh; evening entertainment (theater or cinema) in the neighborhood; quieter at night; local restaurants and bars. With a car, parking in the New Town and Royal Mile is almost impossible as the on-street parking restrictions prevent the car being left all day. Being on the west side of the city, Tollcross has good road and rail links to the rest of Scotland. Read our reviews and see what others thought about the location.

Q: I do not know Edinburgh, how does the West End compare to the New Town or the Royal Mile?

A: The West End is to the west of the Princes Street and Lothian Road intersection. Its central location means that the area has many shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as Victorian residential streets. Lothian Road has become the nexus for many arts venues - including the Usher Hall, The Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Royal Lyceum and the Traverse Theatre. The West End Village is home to colorful, stylish boutiques and some of the city's most-loved pubs and bars, combining to create a bohemian feel to this part of Edinburgh.

Q: Would you recommend using your apartment as a base for day trips to other parts of Scotland?

A: It depends on how far you plan to travel and the mode of transport. With Haymarket railway station an easy walk, it is realistic to take day trips by train to places such as Glasgow, Stirling and Perth. Going much further by train would really only make sense if you love trains! With a car, you can probably go further (e.g. Pitlochry) and of course reach places that by train are less accessible (e.g. Trossachs, Fife and St Andrews). The real benefit of the car is you can explore the back roads and get to villages and scenery that defines Scotland. Public buses can be used to go between places in Scotland - generally journey times are longer, but costs are less than the train. Organized bus tours are another option. We are happy to give specific advice and help research the best options for you.

Q: Is Edinburgh expensive to visit and how could we make our money go further?

A: To most visitors (particularly from the US and Canada) the UK is expensive. There are many ways to keep the costs down and still get the maximum enjoyment from your visit. There are many free attractions (generally run by Edinburgh City Council) that will give insights into Edinburgh's history and culture. Places like Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill provide great panoramic views on nice days, whilst the museums and art galleries work well to keep you out of the rain! The all day bus passes (£3.50 adult/£2 child) let you explore all corners of the city and kids love being on the top deck, which gives a completely different perspective - our apartments are well served with buses going in all directions. Most people are surprised how compact the city center is. We highly recommend walking (assuming the weather is kind) to truly experience the city and to take the odd detour up an interesting looking wynd or lane. Discount coupons exist for some attractions so check the tourist information websites and look for flyers when you are out and about. We provide our own specific guides to help you uncover the best secrets and make the most of your visit.

Q: Is eating out expensive?

A: Eating out in Edinburgh covers the spectrum of cost - so yes it can be. Generally we recommend you avoid the "tourist traps" and seek out the more local places. The options are restaurants, bistros, bars (known locally as pubs), cafes and take-outs (including the traditional fish and chip shops). Really the choice is yours. Bars are a center of local life and a lot offer "pub food" throughout the day. You will also find a lot of Indian and Chinese restaurants which can offer good value to eat in or take out. If you prefer to eat earlier in the evening (say around 5-7pm) then look out for places that offer "Pre Theatre Menus", which are excellent value although the menu may be restricted. Our apartments have fully equipped kitchens so you can always shop at the local grocery store and cook at home or order a take out to be delivered - sometimes just nice for a change or if the kids are too tired to venture out again. We have a guest book in the apartment where guests can share recommendations.

Q: I am thinking about coming in August for the Festival and Tattoo, how should I plan for this?

A: Plan early and book early. August is Edinburgh's busiest month for visitors because of these specific events! The later you leave the bookings, the less choice and flexibility you will have. Once you have chosen your "main events" leave some time in your schedule to enjoy the "Fringe". The Fringe provides the stage (literally 10s of different venues of different sizes) for new talent or new productions. While you may not recognize anything or anyone on the listings, follow the locals and select based on the previous day's reviews. Many a new career or blockbuster show has started at the Fringe - just pick carefully as the variety is huge and not all are good or tasteful!

Q: What are the check in and check out arrangements for the apartments?

A: We try and be as flexible and accommodating as possible. On departure we ask that the apartment is vacated by 10am to allow for cleaning. If you are not leaving the city until later, we will try to find a way to help you store your luggage. Arrival arrangements are dependent on the previous guests' departure time - we will try to work with you to give you your preferred entry time. Late evening arrivals are possible, but we have to make a charge for arrivals after 8pm.

Q: Can I order groceries to be in the apartment for my arrival?

A: Yes, we are happy to arrange this for our guests. In addition to the cost of the items there would be a small charge for shopping. We have never had to provide this service when guests realize that there are grocery stores located within a very short walk of both apartments - literally on the doorstep of our West End apartment! They are open early every day and close at 10pm or later - far better to make a impulsive buy than trying to develop a shopping list! Options are highlighted on our Google map

Q: Will you help me plan my complete trip to Scotland or just the time I spend in your apartment?

A: We will help plan and make suggestions for your complete trip to Scotland. We have previously advised guests on the best way to travel from London to Edinburgh (fly, bus or train); proposed an itinerary including Inverness that saved the guest time and money; helped guests appreciate that when driving in the Highlands and Western Isles you do not cover the distance you expect; provided information to help an overseas student move to Edinburgh University; assisted guests navigate the complexities of rail travel options. If we can help we will, if we do not know then we will say! Our only goal is to help you get the best Scottish experience possible.

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