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One difference, on this trip to Scotland, was using Edinburgh as home base. Rather than traveling around the country and staying in various accommodations, we stayed in the Braid Apartments in Edinburgh for the duration of our visit. We took several day trips into the Borders, however we returned to Edinburgh each evening.
Thistle Street, in the New Town section of Edinburgh, became home for 10 glorious days.
In the Heart of Edinburgh
When we planned this trip to Scotland, my sister Debbie and I gave our travel agent, Ken, very specific requests about accommodations. We hoped for a central location close to Old Town and within walking distance of Charlotte Square in New Town. When Clan Maitland activities began, we’d need to catch the bus in Charlotte Square.
Ken’s choice of the Braid Apartments on Thistle Street served us so well. We found ourselves located minutes from Princes Street, the Royal Mile, the hop on/hop off buses and Charlotte Square. In addition, we discovered nearby vegan restaurants and cafes, a grocery store and we easily located the specified meeting places for Maitland family teas and dinners. The location proved to be perfect!
The cobblestoned Thistle Street.
The History of Thistle Street
New Town, in Edinburgh, is not new by most standards! At more than 200 years old, it is only new in comparison with Old Town, which is considerably older.
New Town, created during the reign of King George III, is set up in a grid pattern with streets named after the king. There is a George Street and one named Princes, Queen Street and Hanover.
Two smaller streets in New Town represent the union of Scotland and England. Rose Street is named after England’s flower emblem, while Thistle Street represents Scotland’s national flower.
Thistle Street is a small commercial lane, filled with tiny shops, pubs, cafes, boutique hotels and apartments. The building that currently houses the Braid Apartments served as a hub for offices previously. The interior underwent a renovation two years ago, creating 20 modern apartments for short term leases, while retaining the charming exterior.
View from the living room window.
At Home on Thistle Street
The cozy apartment on Thistle Street housed us well during our stay in Edinburgh. Large windows offer spectacular views of the city as it ambles down to the Firth of Forth.
The spacious rooms provide homey comfort and plenty of storage space. I loved unpacking and putting clothes away, rather than living out of a suitcase for 10 days. Apartment amenities include two large screen tvs, an ironing board and iron, a blow dryer, toiletries, use of a free cell phone, towels and robes and daily cleaning service.
My favorite room in the apartment was the large fully functional kitchen. The refrigerator, stove (called a hob in Scotland) and microwave meant we could cook at home. We shopped for groceries our first evening in Edinburgh and prepared healthy, wholesome meals during our stay, for a fraction of the cost of eating out. I enjoy cooking. And cooking in Edinburgh? Precious.
All the Conveniences of Home
The apartment also provides a dishwasher and all the kitchen essentials such as pots and pans, cutting knives, silverware, plates, cups and glasses. Braid Apartments stocked the kitchen with a large assortment of teas, a loaf of bread, milk, juice, jelly and butter. I loved the electric tea pot. It made creating cups of hot tea a snap.
A washer/dryer unit in the kitchen allowed us to do laundry, which was a great help. How wonderful to pack clean clothes for the trip home.
And due to the recent renovation, the bedroom has a wall air conditioning unit. Most buildings, homes, hotels, restaurants and businesses in Edinburgh do not have air conditioning, since Scotland is so cool, even in summer. However, during our visit a rare occurrence happened. All of Europe, including Scotland, experienced unusually hot temperatures, creating a host of heat related problems. Debbie and I felt gratitude for that air conditioner unit! We slept comfortably with it running. Thankfully the extreme heat only lasted a few days before more typical Scottish weather returned.
Cute apartments across the street. I love the different colors on the doors.
Grateful for Thistle Street
During our stay, I became quite fond of our little apartment on Thistle Street. We spent most of our time out exploring Edinburgh or traveling with our Maitland/Lauderdale family members throughout the Borders. But as the days wound down and the light softened toward dusk, our steps always led us back to that quiet cobbled lane.
The Thistle Street apartment was many things during our visit: convenience, sanctuary, pit stop, shelter, personal café…and for 10 days, it was home. It’s where we dwelled in peace and comfort, rested tired feet, refreshed ourselves with healthy meals, pots of tea and hot showers, and set out on new adventures.
We felt sad, locking the door of the apartment for the last time, and yet grateful for all that it provided. I highly recommend the Braid Apartments at 27 Thistle Street, Edinburgh. I hope to stay there again…soon.
Check out this Guide to Edinburgh:
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61 Replies to “At Home on Thistle Street”
Edinburgh is on my list of places to visit so this was great. Like you I want a base and to venture out from here. Just more relaxing and want to soak up the city.
Soaking up the city was exactly what I wanted too and that’s what happened. I love Edinburgh!
ive never been but this looks like such a fun place to visit- i love all the architecture! cant wait to try and visit sometime!
I love Edinburgh! I could live there.
This is such an interesting city. I love this apartment!
There is always so much to do in Edinburgh!
I would love to visit Edinburgh! The apartment looks so cozy and intimate! I too like being able to unpack and have everything there as opposed to living out of a suitcase!
Yes it was so nice to unpack and settle in for the entire visit!
This looks so beautiful and charming! I definitely have to go here sometime!
I think you’d love Edinburgh!
How awesome! Edinburgh looks just stunning. I love the idea of staying in an apartment when you travel. I’m planning a trip to Italy in the spring and that’s the kind of space I really want to stay in!
If you are making your own travel arrangements look for VRBO properties!
I miss Edinburgh so much! I loved the Royal Mile!
Don’t think I discovered this street on my trip to Edinburgh, but it looks very mysterious and chic – like all Edinburgh’s streets.
The Royal Mile is so fun! Always something going on there. Thistle Street is in the New City part, in that section between Princes Street and Queen. It was an ideal location. We could easily walk to the Royal Mile.
I love the idea of setting up a home base to go back to each night. Thistle Street looks so gorgeous!
It was wonderful to have a home base! We could unpack and I loved having a kitchen to prepare meals in.
That looked lovely! I definitely would have wanted to just permanately move in. Visiting Scotland is the only thing on my bucket list/
I want to go to Scotland so badly! My mom went a year ago and her videos were so amazing. I love your little apartment!
I love Scotland. It’s such a beautiful country. And the little apartment was perfect for our needs.
This is amazing! I love everything about this place! What a perfect way to immerse yourself in the city…. I’m saving this one!
Yes that was it exactly! For our time there it was like we were residents. We had so much fun exploring Edinburgh.
I’m so jelly that you got to go to Scotland! Can’t wait to go one day. Now, I’m off to see if there are any more posts about your Scotland trip. 🙂
There are a few posts up and more coming!
What a perfect place to stay! I’m happy to hear that there are vegan restaurants nearby for those occasions that we would want to eat out, though the full kitchen (and an electric teapot!) sounds perfect for our money-conscious style.
It was a wonderful place to stay! The kitchen was so useful. And I love that electric teapot so much I’m ordering one for home.
Sounds like a great trip and a stay in a truly beautiful area. I have never gone but definitely now on my list of places to visit
Edinburgh is so beautiful!
“living” while you are traveling is the best. Cooking on a HOB, love to hear the language too. Thank you for sharing your adventure.
And that’s exactly what life is…an adventure!
Lovely! Trying to decide where we want to stay when we head to Scotland next year!
There are so many great possibilities! I’ve stayed in hotels and bed & breakfasts and in an apartment twice. I love the convenience of a full kitchen.
I am enjoying your articles on Scotland. It is on my bucket list and Ilove reading about what you have seen and done.
Thank you! More to come. I loved this trip so much.
Love the history of this area & staying in apartment-style accommodations are our favorites.
Yes so convenient and I loved being able to cook.
What a perfectly charming place to call home during your stay!
It was! I love that apartment.
I hate the term “Bucket List” but Scotland is on mine. Thanks for sharing!
I understand! I’ve quit using the term too. Scotland is gorgeous!
I have never been to Scotland, but have always wanted to go as I am part Scottish. Thanks for sharing about your trip.
I hope you get to go. For me it feels like going home.
This is exactly how I pictured it would be! It looks amazing!
It’s such a beautiful old city!
That sounds like a wonderful place to stay!
It was perfect!
This looks so amazing!
It was the perfect place!
What an adorable place to stay in Edinborough! It’s always nice to have a kitchen and laundry. And thank goodness for the air conditioning!
Yes that little apartment had everything we needed!
Edinburgh is such a wonderful city. How great to get to have accommodation so centrally located!
It’s my favorite city in the world!
Looks like a wonderful place, and I love the history!
It was a beautiful place, conveniently located.
I love the idea of an apartment versus a hotel! It looks like a wonderful trip…Scotland is on my wish list!
It was so convenient. I loved being able to cook!
I love this post! Your photos are amazing and your insight is helpful. My husband and I are planning our 10th anniversary (in a few years) for this area, touring different countries and sights. I love taking tips from those who’ve been there!
What a wonderful way to celebrate your journey together!
I was stationed in Spain and spent some time in England as well, but never made it to Scotland. It’s on my bucket list, though!
It’s a gorgeous country. I’d love to visit Spain!
What a lovely post! That is my kind of vacation!
It was so fun!