Cruachan Guest House: Scottish Hospitality in Edinburgh’s West End
For me, finding cheap, comfortable lodging is always the hardest part of travel planning. So when I had no idea where to stay in Scotland, I turned to VisitScotland.com for help to figure out accommodations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and in the Highlands.
The site offers a one- to five-star rating system for registered lodging throughout Scotland, making it a heck of a lot easier for me to choose a place to stay that fit my tastes and budget. I was really pleased with the guest house in Glasgow I called home for a couple of nights, so I was really optimistic that Cruachan Guest House in Edinburgh would satisfy my needs equally as well.
Cruachan Guest House is one among a series of pale tan rowhouses on Gilmore Place in Edinburgh’s West End. The masonry exterior is punctuated by dollops of green and color, with plants growing in the small front yard and flowers popping out of pots and window boxes arranged near the entrance.
When I arrived, the front door was unlocked but beyond it was another glass door which was solidly secured. Rapping lightly against the glass pane, and attempting futilely to see beyond its rippled surface, I wedged myself and my suitcase into the tiny anteroom and resolved to wait.
Not long after, I was joined by a pair of women–a German student vacationing with her mother–and the three of us waited for around 10 minutes before someone finally arrived. A slim, middle-aged man with graying hair and a few friendly wrinkles around his eyes came to the door. He introduced himself as Graham, our host. I liked him almost immediately.
When Graham showed me to my room, I felt I’d hit the jackpot. A cosy ensuite single, complete with all the necessary amenities (including a strong, consistent Wi-fi signal–hallelujah!) was mine to command. Behind a small pocket door was a full bath, complete with shower, toilet, and sink. The bed was small but comfortable and more than enough for the two nights I was staying in Edinburgh.
A cozy, bright conservatory illuminated by intermittent beams of sunlight (Edinburgh’s famously mercurial weather was on full display, naturally) was where I took breakfast each morning with the other house guests, including a couple from Wales with whom I struck up a lovely conversation on the second morning. The meal? So good! A full Scottish breakfast with options for cold cereal, muffins, and the like for travelers with stomachs less ready for the hearty Scottish morning fare.
When it was time to go exploring, a short walk a couple of minutes down the quiet street deposited me at the nearby bus stop with two route options for getting into the heart of Edinburgh on Princes Street in about fifteen minutes. If I wanted to tackle Edinburgh on foot, the walk from the guest house to Old Town Edinburgh was just under half an hour.
Surprisingly affordable (I paid a rate of £45 a night), I experienced wonderful hospitality at this comfortable guest house in Edinburgh’s West End. So if you’re traveling to Edinburgh solo, coupled, or otherwise, I can heartily recommend a stay at Cruachan Guest House.