Jer & Jess
About the Wedding Photographs Getting There and Back Where to Stay Getting Around What to Do Registry
Where to Stay
Scotland has a more temperate climate than that of the northern US, but it still gets pretty chilly in September. For that and many other reasons, we recommend that you do not try to camp out in the park when you go over for our wedding. Unless you know somebody in Edinburgh, you'll probably need to hire (that's British for "rent") a place to stay. Dalhousie Castle is located in the Midlothian region of Scotland, only 8 miles outside Edinburgh. So, please don't feel limited by the suggestions on this page.

Thumbnail of an Edinburgh Area Map Map of the Edinburgh area from VisitScotland. Click on the image to open the map in a new window. A detail of this map appears lower on this page.
In the US, when you travel, you are almost always going to stay in a hotel. In the UK, this is usually not the best course of action. While there are many hotels, you can usually get a nice place to stay for less money by staying in a bed and breakfast (B&B). These range from veritable mini-hotels to just a room in somebody's house. Jess and I have both had excellent luck with B&B's, and heartily recommend them.
Update &mdash 4/7/03
After visiting Edinburgh and the like, we have a better knowledge of the accommodations situation. We have added several B&Bs around where we stayed, and we have removed the Dalhousie Courte Hotel — we heard that the owner is not a very accommodating host.
Update — 2/2/03
If you want more information on the area around Dalhousie, we recommend Gems of Midlothian. It has information on local travel, accommodations, restaurants, and tourism.
Dalhousie Castle
The castle is very convenient to the wedding, and looks quite nice. (The Scottish Tourist Board gave it 4 stars, and we're staying there two nights!) It has two restaurants and a spa, spacious grounds, and outdoor activities like clay pigeon shooting, archery, horseback riding, even falconry! The castle offers wedding guests a 10% discount; please mention the Blatz/Thompson wedding when you book. It is quite pricey (about £167 per double room, or $275), and is filling up fast, so reserve now if you want to stay there.
The castle's reservations desk can be reached by phone at 011-44-1875-820153, by fax at 011-44-1875-821936, or by email at
The castle's web site is
The Robert the Bruce Room at Dalhousie
Bed and Breakfasts
If you don't want to pay for 3 and 4 star luxury, you can get a quite nice place to stay for a lot less money by staying at a B&B (we're staying at one!). Note that B&B rates change from month to month, confirm the rates when you book your room. If you want to stay near the castle, here's a list that the castle sent us:
Bryans Farm
Located in Newtongrange and run by a Mr. W. Conlan, this B&B has 1 double, 2 twins, and 2 quad rooms. The rooms do not have their own bathrooms. The price is £20 ($33). This includes a full Scottish breakfast. You can reach Mr. Conlan at 011-44-131-660-5079.
Ivory House
Run by a Mrs. Barbara Maton, this B&B in Gorebridge has 1 double, 1 twin, and 1 family room. Staying there costs £20-£25 ($33-$40) per person. Notably, Mrs. Maton will bring guests to and from the castle before midnight. Mrs. Maton's phone number is 011-44-1875-820-755. You can reach them on the web at
Mrs. Blair runs this B&B in Dalkeith, which has 2 family rooms. The rooms are £15 ($25) for single occupancy, or £17 ($28) per person for double/family occupancy (the latter includes a full Scottish breakfast). Mrs. Blair can be reached at 011-44-131-663-2628.
Carrington Barns
This B&B near Gorebridge is run by Lynn and Christopher Mann. It has three bedrooms; one double and two twins (one of the twins has a private bathroom). The cost per night is £20 ($33) per person, or £25 ($40) per person with full Scottish breakfast. You can reach Mr. and Mrs. Mann at 011-44-1875-830200.
B&B’s in Edinburgh
On our trip to Edinburgh this March, we stayed at a B&B on Minto Street, about 1 mile south of the center of the city. It is a nice, residential neighborhood, with bus service to the city center every 5-10 minutes on weekdays and every 10-20 minutes on weekends; the ride to the city center takes only 5-10 minutes (Lothian Bus routes include 3, 3A, 7, 8, 29, 31, 37, and 49). Taxis are also readily available. The guesthouses all include a full Scottish breakfast (typically juice, cereal, toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, potato scone, fried bread, mushrooms and tomato, served with tea, coffee or hot chocolate — some B&Bs have vegetarian options), and there is a choice of private (en–suite) or hall bathrooms. Most have private parking for guests (though we do not recommend that you rent cars!). Although there are city buses that go from this area to Bonnyrigg, the walk from the last bus stop to the castle is several miles, and often does not have sidewalks.
While in Edinburgh, we stayed at the Airlie Guest House. There were several other guesthouses in the neighborhood, most of which seemed nice and reasonably priced. (While we were unable to visit any bedrooms, here are our impressions of the outsides, entrance halls, and staff...) The below are listed approximately by how nice they appeared. All take cash and British pound-denominated traveler’s checks, some take Visa and Mastercard.
Strathallan Guest House Strathallan Guest House  Accepts MC & VISA
The proprietors were very friendly, and the house looked lovely and very well-maintained. All the bedrooms are en-suite, and a vegetarian breakfast is available. The nightly rates for September are £25 (~$40) per person sharing a double room, or £30 (~$48) per person in a single room.
Heatherlea Guest House
Not opulent, but seemed nice and clean. Its proprietors are justly proud of their flowerbeds out front. The Heatherlea has 10 bedrooms, 4 of which are en–suite (including 3 family rooms). The nightly rates for September are £20 (~$32) per person sharing a double room, or £24 (~$39) per person in a single room.
Heatherlea Guest House
Charleston House Charleston House  Accepts MC & VISA
Looked lovely. It has a beautiful stained glass door, and a very friendly proprietress. It has 2 en–suite family rooms, and 3 singles/doubles with private hall bathrooms. In September, the family rooms are £32.50 (~$52) per person, and the singles/doubles are £27.50 (~$44). Email Phone 011-44-131-667-6589
Ivy Guest House
Among the swankier B&Bs, from what we saw. There are 8 bedrooms (6 ensuite, 2 with private hall bathrooms). The September rate was £50 (~$80) per night (with a possible reduction to £45 (~$72) per night for longer stays). We forgot to ask if the rate was per room or per night, so it’s either a good deal or a horrible deal.
Ivy Guest House
Abbotshead House  Accepts MC & VISA (over £50 only)
Seemed nice. At present, there are 3 double/family rooms (all en-suite) available in mid-September; the other rooms are reserved by young working men. The rate is £30 (~$48) per person, per night. Phone 011-44-131-668-1658
Airlie Guest House Airlie Guest House
This was a comfortable B&B with a friendly staff, but it was certainly not among the poshest B&B’s on the street. That said, it was quiet, totally non–smoking, served large, yummy breakfasts, and was overall an excellent value.
Mayville Guest House  Accepts MC & VISA
Seemed very well-maintained, but the proprietress was a bit cold and wore far too much perfume! There are 6 rooms (3 en-suite); in September, the rate will be £25 (~$40) per person. Phone 011-44-131-667-6103
Mayville Guest House
Tania Guest House Tania Guest House
Among the plainer B&Bs we visited, but still seemed well cared for. There are 6 rooms (including one single and two en–suite family rooms). The September rates range between £22.50 and £25 (~$36 and $40) per person, per night. Phone 011-44-131-667-4144
Area Map
Below is a map of the local area from VisitScotland. Click here to see the full map.
Map of the Area Around Edinburgh
Other Accommodation Resources
This is just a sampling of the available hotels and B&Bs. For more choices, there is a list of Midlothian hotels on Midlothian Online, and a list of B&B's on the Glasgow Airport Millennium Taxis web site (who knew?). You could also stay in Edinburgh, which is about 8 miles from the castle. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and has a massive selection of hotels and B&B's.