It’s the perfect combination, a peaceful rural retreat within a short distance of the bright lights and entertainment a big city offers; in this case Eastside Cottages are just 10 miles outside Edinburgh, in the Pentland Hills, and provide the ultimate country retreat for couples, friends and families.

The cottages are situated on a working sheep farm, Eastside is home to four beautifully designed self-catering cottages for guests to enjoy year-round. 

Each cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room with wood burning fire, cosy bedrooms and private garden. The views of the surrounding heather hills and scenery are exceptional from all cottages.

Boasting eco-friendly credentials, two of the cottages, The Stable and The Steading, are heated by a biomass boiler, burning timber grown on the farm.  The Byre is heated by the wind turbine and the Westside Woodshed by a ground-source heat-pump.  

The diversification process has been an organic process, the first stable building to be converted was finished back in 1984, with two more buildings being converted and finally a new build was completed just this year.

Susan Cowan, who owns the farm along with her family, says: “We are really pleased with each of the builds we have completed over the years. Each cottage is completely unique to its building, aspect and surroundings.

“The conversions at Eastside are sensitive to the 18th Century farm buildings, preserving the original stonework, archways, and structure. A stonemason, who had honed his craft at York Minster, painstakingly chiseled a new chimney to match the original on the Byre Cottage. The Steading Cottage has a beautiful bespoke spiral staircase created by a local blacksmith, and the Stable has a huge arched window set into the original archway. Each has a unique story to tell.

“The cottages at Eastside intermingle with farm life. The sheep still wait in the stack yard (peeking through the Steading kitchen windows). The handling pens are still overlooked by the Byre, and the horses and collies are still stabled and kenneled on the farm - as they always have been.

“Our new build at Westside was a clean-slate as the existing house was demolished due to numerous issues with it. It gave us a chance to use new techniques and materials - but we were keen to be sympathetic to the rural location, we like to think of Westside as “argi-tecture” or “shed-chic”!

“The Woodshed has been just recently long-listed for the Saltire Society Housing Design Awards 2018.”

With the changing seasons comes an ever-changing and beautiful landscape for guests to enjoy throughout the year. Visit to explore and roam freely across the Pentland Hills - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 There is so much to see and do in the surrounding areas, including countryside walks across the incredible landscapes, fishing in nearby lochs, and mountain biking.

With Edinburgh on its doorstep, guests at Eastside Cottages can also enjoy all the history and culture that Scotland’s capital has to offer. Susan continues: “We think Eastside’s location is truly unique. You are just 12 miles to Princes Street (Edinburgh) here, yet surrounded by ‘Highland scenery’. Our rugged heather hills, long walks and fantastic views are within easy striking distance of the city, the beaches of East Lothian, great country spas, and the local pub. Eastside Cottages are hidden a mile up a country lane right in the centre of the Pentland Hills Regional Park.”

The area is home to some of the best food and drink in the country. Edinburgh has an astonishing array of restaurants and eateries - from Michelin Stars to ‘quick bites’, there’s something for every taste. In the surrounding countryside and villages, country pubs and unique dining experiences, such as the nearby Secret Herb Garden, provide plentiful tasty allure. 

Enjoy all of this and more before heading back to your home away from home to relax by a wood burning fire and soak up the tranquility and sensational views. 

And if you haven’t had enough of sheep already, Susan is pleased to find that lots of the visitors love watching the sheep work going on outside the cottages. Many comment on how exciting it is to open the curtains and find a hundred ewes looking in. Each year Susan and her family welcome back a few guests who come complete with their marigolds, and they help out in the lambing shed. One American guest spent almost his entire time in the sheep pens, such commitment isn’t expected of all guests though, and most guests appreciate the farming environment happily from afar.

During a stay in any of the cottages, guests receive tea and scones on arrival, a bouquet of locally grown flowers and free logs (grown on the farm) for the wood burning stoves found in each property.

For more details go to: or telephone 01968 677 842 Email: