In the hills just to the south of Edinburgh is Eastside, a working free-range blackface sheep farm which has been in the Cowan family since 1850.
Along with looking after 3000 acres of the beautiful, rolling hills and valleys of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, owners Susan and daughter Jenny also offer Eastside Cottages, four luxurious self-catering holiday cottages, perfectly located for exploring the surrounding hills, making forages into the bright lights of nearby Edinburgh or as the sun shines and the birds sing outside in the garden, doing absolutely, blissfully nothing – at all.
Looking for the perfect cottage to escape to from Edinburgh? We checked into the stunning Westside Woodshed for the weekend.
Scandi style luxury self-catering Edinburgh
Driving the A702 from Edinburgh is usually reserved for our long journeys south to the M74, skipping quickly past the cottages and villages that hug the road beneath the Pentland Hills as you swoosh south to the Scottish Borders.
Instead, 10 miles south of Edinburgh between the hamlet of Silverburn and the village of Carlops, Eastside Farm nestles beneath the peaks of the shapely Kips and towering Scald Law. Turn towards the hills and at the end of a farm track (take it slow, it is a little bumpy!) is the Westside Woodshed, an incredibly stylish Scandi-inspired cottage for two hidden amongst the trees.
With tea and delicious scones awaiting you, the cottage is all set up for your arrival. The cottage has everything you need for an Edinburgh self catering break, with a full kitchen complete with all those things you forget – from organic oil, good coffee, and even herbs for cooking with, to plenty of logs for the wood burner – although with underfloor heating, a heat pump and eco-friendly design – even in the depths of the Scottish spring the cottage is toasty warm.
The downstairs double-height kitchen/ dining/ living room and cosy loft bedroom have sleek retro style – I particularly loved the cottage’s gorgeous velvet cushions inspired by the moody coastal landscapes in the Scottish Highlands – although I flipped them upside down to reflect the Pentlands!
All that’s left to do is swing open the patio doors, pour yourself a cup of tea (or a gin & tonic) and watch the chickens and sheep wander past your door.
Things to do near Edinburgh and the Westside Woodshed
If you can tear yourself away from the giant squishy bed aloft in the mezzanine, then there are lots of things to do just outside.
Edinburgh is only 20 minutes away, explore with my favourite things to do in Edinburgh and head out for dinner at one of my recommended restaurants. History buffs will love Rosslyn Chapel and the walk around Roslin Glen and Whitmuir Farm has a cafe for lunch and a well-stocked shop if you fancy picking up some of their own organic vegetables, pork or beef for tea. I recommend trying their pork & leek sausages for your breakfast.
But it is the cottage’s position in the Pentland Hills Regional Park which just sings location, location, location. From your doorstep you can walk up the Kips to Scald Law, over the heather covered moors to Bavelaw Castle for views of Edinburgh, or stroll around Swanston, Edinburgh’s thatched village and hike the Capital View Walk for incredible views across to the Forth Bridges – look out for pheasants, deer, highland coos and rare black grouse on the way.
Wellies, walking sticks and long walks are a very welcome part of life at the Westside Woodshed.
With an incredibly warm welcome, gorgeous and cosy style and those views – growing up as a country girl surrounded by rolling hills – leaving the Westside Woodshed behind tugged at my heart. You are going to love it too.
Love, from Scotland x
Looking for self-catering Edinburgh? Stay at Eastside Cottages
Thanks to Westside Woodshed for hosting us. Sorry guys for the late night and so much Forest Gin we were just having too much fun!