Southside Guest House at a glance

• Privately owned and operated
• Recommended by many Travel Publications and On Line Travel Sites
• Victorian Town House built in 1867
• Great location on the edge of the Old Town between the Meadows and Holyrood Park, ideal for walking to all landmarks
• Eight individually designed bedrooms with character
• All bedrooms en suite
• Quality linen, toiletries and welcome hospitality tray
• Award winning breakfast all inclusive
• Non-smoking house
• Free Wi-Fi (fibre optic speed)
• Free parking (couple of minutes off-site and reservation needed)
• No lift!

Southside Guest House Edinburgh


Southside has had the pleasure of welcoming guests from all over the world and our horizons have certainly expanded.  People have so much more in common than some of the world troubles would lead us to believe.

The guides and online travel sites have been good to us  and we continue to strive to meet and where possible exceed expecations.

We are not a 5 stars hotel but do try and provide comforts and enhancements, , and some of the little touches are appreciated by many guests staying at Southside.

Our location is one of our great strengths and whilst there are many excellent Guest Houses further out, we sit right on the edge of the Old Town with everything close by…including some great restaurants and really nice pubs.

We pay a lot of attention to breakfast and cannot understand why an increasing number of establishments are downsizing breakfast and even Jove’s forbids going totally continental. A proper British breakfast is an institution (alongside Black Cabs and Red Phone Boxes – the latter being replaced by ugly looking structures) and we fly the flag! We offer of course an excellent selection of fruit, bakeries etc. to cater for all palates. Guests on a Vegetarian and Vegans are well looked after!




No. 8 Newington Road, Edinburgh built in 1867

The House and its inhabitants


We enjoy dipping back into the history of the house we live in and finding out about its past inhabitants. We are doing this at a leisurely pace and will keep adding information and filling gaps as the research unfolds. If you, the reader, by chance or design, are able to assist us or comment on its content, please feel free to get in touch.

There are two starting points for our research. Firstly, the property deeds which are in our possession and such documents outline the changing of ownership from the time the house was built in 1867 until the present time. Secondly the online resources of that excellent Scottish genealogy site: Scottish genealogy.
this site provides the springboard for research beyond Edinburgh and Scotland.

The House at 8 Newington Road, Edinburgh, was built in the 1860s and is part of a Victorian Terrace which includes at No 10 next door, West Newington House (1805) formerly occupied among others by Thomas Nelson the publisher. History repeat itself, as West Newington House is now the home of Scotland’s most prestigious publishers; Birlinn.

Among the early owners of 8 Newington Road (Southside) were Andrew Somerville the Surgeon and also Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Aitken Ross who was born at the Curragh Camp, Kildare, Ireland on 12th November 1861 the 2nd son of Lt. Col. Alexander Aitken Ross of the Leicestershire Regiment. After an infancy spent in Nova Scotia and earlier boyhood in Farnham, Surrey, he entered George Watson’s College in 1871, graduating MB, CM from Edinburgh University in 1893. He built up a large medical practice in Newington, the family home being at 8 Newington Road (now Southside Guest House) and from 1908 commanded the 1/3rd Lowland Field Ambulance RAMC which was to see active service in the Gallipoli campaign. On 3rd September 1913 he married Dorothy Margaret Cooper in Southampton, their only son Alastair Aitken Cooper Ross being born at 8 Newington Road on 4th November 1914. Under the strain of events in Gallipoli the health of Lt. Col. Ross gave way and he was evacuated, firstly to Malta, then to Southampton where he was transferred to London, dying on 24th November 1915 age 54 in a temporary hospital for officers at 24 Park Street Mayfair. The funeral took place on Saturday 27th November 1915, the service being held in Hope Park United Free Church, Edinburgh, followed by a procession and interment with full military honours in Newington Cemetery
(With grateful thanks to Tony Harris who undertook the research from which this extract is taken)

The Caplan family, well-known Edinburgh drapers owned the House between 1924 and 1953. In 2000 Southside was lovingly restored bringing back many of its original features and creating a little gem. The vicinity is rich in history and heritage with links to many historical and literary figures.

The south side of Edinburgh

is one of the most fascinating districts in Edinburgh. Protected by its own green fringes of the Meadows on the West and Holyrood Park, Arthur Seat and Salisbury Crags on the East, it still retains something of a neighbourhood atmosphere. The area is rich in association with many historical and literary figures and within its confines there is be found almost every conceivable type of Scottish domestic architecture.

Snippets of History!

The Edinburgh Review was founded in Buccleuch Place. Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott only meeting took place at Sciennes House just off Causewayside. The famous photographer David Octavius Hill spent many years at 38 Mayfield Terrace. The gallows stood on the site of the school at the end of East Preston Street! Dr Knox of body snatching fame lived in Newington Road. The old Jewish Cemetery was next to the Meadows. The convent of St Catherine of Siena, again near the Meadows gives the name to the Sciennes district. At the Old Hospice of St Leonard’s the monks maintained 12 old men! Jeannie Deans immortalised by Sir Walter Scott lived in St Leonard’s Bank. Round the corner, where the Vet College is now, existed the famous Summerhall Brewery!!

..links to sites we like!


A goldmine of information for Opera lovers – composers, operas, libretti, performances history and more! Opera Glass

Opera World has links to many Opera Companies websites and Schedules of Performances across the world – as well as a range of other Opera information resources.  World of Opera

The National Opera Company for Scotland. It deserves great support for its consistent excellence. Scottish Opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York is a wonderful institution. Its Live Radio Broadcasting Programme is a major force in spreading the love of Opera across the globe. Met Opera

The legendary La Scala of Milano. Teatro Alla Scala

Visual Art

Artcyclopedia is a fantastic  online database of museum-quality fine art which indexes 2,900 art sites, links to around 160,000 works by 9,000 artists.  Wow ! Artcyclopedia.

How lucky we are in Edinburgh! Three fantastic galleries with free access (apart from some special exibitions). National Galleries of Scotland

Art News has been covering Art in style since 1902. A gem. Art News


You can never replace the joy of reading a real book!! However this site listing over 20,000 free books on the Web is a very helpful and fast tool for dipping in and for research.You can simply select the book you wish to read to view without downloading.

The site is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library. Online Books Library

The original digital library. Over 19,000 available. A real gem for research and sheer enjoyment! The books need downloading  Gutenberg Digital Books Library

The British Library’s website ~ invaluable for serious researchers is also very handy for the general public. British Library

Birlinn is a major Scottish Independent Publishing house with one of the best publishing list in Britain. By a fortunate coincidence it is also our next door neighbour! You will love browsing its exciting catalogue. Birlinn Books

Abebooks is a site for book lovers – it searches 13,000 booksellers world-wide for: new, second-hand, rare and out of print books – we have often used it and so far it has never failed to find the book we were looking for!  Abebooks


Ever stuck for ideas on what to cook? Here is an answer: a web site with a huge number of links to recipes by type, style, country etc. Recipe Source

An excellent and easy to use source of information on food ~ most recipes are from celebrity chefs.BBC Recipes 


This is the internet’s premier film website. The huge database contains a wealth of movie infromation, which you can search by actor, film title, character or famous quotes. IMDB is an online insitution! All about Films
Since mid-1996, this site, composed of thousands of pages, has been an award-winning, unique resource for classic film buffs and all who are interested in films. Includes interpretive and detailed plot synopses, review commentary, an unparalleled wealth of film reference material, and historical background for hundreds of classic Hollywood/American and other English-language films in the last century.
 Films Resources 


Well, we are going to be really patriotic and stick our necks out by saying that we believe that in spite of the inevitable criticism Britain has in the BBC the best broadcasting corporation in the world. So there you are! Its ups by far surpass its downs! British Broadcasting Corporation

If you are looking for a personal and highly professional touch in Web Site design, then our friend Tom Fraser is the guy for you ~ WellMadeWebsites build websites that are easy to find in search engines, fast to download, easy to use, simple to maintain and great value for money – WellMadeWebsites .