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© Morley Sewell

The Craigiebield House Hotel Packs (and Unpacks) its Bags

Update 31/07: The Craigiebield has sold after just five days on the market.

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The future of Penicuik’s tourist accommodation sector has been called into question after the Craigiebield House Hotel was put up for sale.

Dating back to 1883, the Craigiebield is now a popular establishment amongst locals looking for good pub food and drinks, however the support of the local community may not be enough to save this piece of history.

Now available to purchase for £700,000, future buyers are being sought to acquire the nineteen bedroom hotel, its restaurant and the surrounding land. Estate agents Cornerstone Business Agents say:

[The] Craigiebield House Hotel enjoys an attractive position adjacent to the main park in Penicuik and is well placed therefore to attract customers from the population of Penicuik who enjoy the ambience of the hotel and its excellent facilities. It is also a great place to stay for people visiting Edinburgh and Central Scotland with there being a lack of letting bedrooms in this part of Midlothian.

This “lack in letting bedrooms” may only continue to decrease should the Craigiebield close, with Penicuik being left with only one source of tourist accommodation, the Royal Hotel, which has just six bedrooms. Last year Glenferndale B&B closed and the Navaar House Hotel stopped offering rooms leaving just 23 hotel rooms in the town.

The Craigiebield has a long history in Penicuik, being first a regal house in which Professor James Cossar Ewart bred hybridised zebras, as part of what is now known as the Penicuik Experiment.  The natural history professor investigated hereditary traits and hybridisation in enclosures in the grounds of the property. In the twentieth century, the house was converted into a hotel and was later extended to offer additional rooms and a function suite.

Citing a “change in business interests” the hotel was placed up for sale on the 25 July.

Recent reviews of the hotel praised the service delivered by the staff however some travellers complained about the condition of the bedrooms citing that refurbishment may be required. One disgruntled tourist said, “The room (top floor) was dated and in obvious need of refurbishment and it was cold too” they also said that had there been any other choice in the area, they wouldn’t have stayed at the two star hotel.

Whilst not believed to be connected, work has started on constructing social housing on land neighbouring the hotel. Midlothian Council’s application was highly objected to with near eighty objections, including an objection from the Craigiebield House Hotel, however permission was granted allowing construction work to begin.

It is believed that the hotel will continue trading.

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