The Old Millhouse
A large, luxurious property set within 3.5 acres with beautiful bedrooms eight miles southeast of Edinburgh.
Garden-lovers, hikers, hot-tub devotees and design fans will all relish The Old Millhouse — as will dog owners or anyone looking for a calming retreat within striking distance of the city
It’s hard to believe now, but The Old Millhouse was largely derelict as little as a decade ago. Since then, however, this B-listed stone building has happily been transformed into an award-winning rental home. In the old, bustling town of Dalkeith, only eight miles from Edinburgh, it now offers space, style, luxury and privacy.
Among the most impressive features is an enclosed, 3.5-acre garden which lines the River South Esk. Perfect for croquet or some reading, sweeping green lawns give way to wooded, bird-rich banks where bursts of snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells appear during winter and spring. You’ll even find some resident hens in the grounds.
Back towards the former miller’s home is its ‘Outdoor Swim Spa’: a huge hot tub featuring hydrotherapy jets and LED lighting. This can host up to six adults, and you’ll be provided with robes, spa towels and flip flops to enhance the experience. An elevated patio to one side contains sofa-style seats offering glorious river views and receives evening sunlight, making it dreamily ideal for cocktails.
Plenty more socialising spaces await inside your four-level home, mostly on the ground floor: a large, sofa-strewn sunroom with glass on three sides, a ten-person dining table and a remote-controlled fireplace; an aviation-themed snug to delight whisky lovers; and a sleek, high-spec kitchen whose breakfast bar and Nespresso machine enable casual coffee chats. Ripe for movie nights is the elegant first-floor drawing room, its window seats and working fireplace flanking a wall-mounted TV.
Spread across the first, second and third floors, all five garden-facing bedrooms are en-suite: each has a power shower and underfloor heating, while two also yield an opulent bathtub. Top-end Hypnos cashmere-and-wool mattresses are ever-present, as is 325-thread-count bedding. The second-floor Pentland Room can be configured as a twin room should it suit, and a final pair of sleeping quarters above are loft rooms offering some up-in-the-eaves escapism.
Visible throughout is a sophisticated mixture of handpicked antiques, Asian influences and contemporary design. You’ll find original bricks or beams from 1703 here, then carved ebony elephants there; owner Sally de Waard is an interior designer and it really shows.
How to spend your days? Riverside relaxation is an option of course, including fishing for sea trout and salmon. Permits for this need sorting in advance, as do lessons from a visiting ghillie. Drawing or Pilates classes can also be arranged on the estate, while nearby Dalkeith Country Park and the Pentland Hills offer wonderful walking across various types of terrain. You could also tour Glenkinchie Distillery and buy their single malts, visit Rosslyn Chapel, explore Edinburgh or venture to sandy East Lothian beaches.
Access into the hallway with door leading to garden.
Orangery with two sofas and four armchairs, remote-controlled fireplace, garden views and French doors leading into the garden. Sonos music system.
Dining area with dining table and seating for ten guests.
Kitchen with breakfast bar seating four guests, integrated electric oven, microwave, electric range-style cooker, Nespresso machine.
Snug with two armchairs and bar with two stools.
The Miller's Room with Hypnos Wool and Cashmere super king bed, dressing table, armchair, wardrobe.
En suite bathroom with underfloor heating, bath with shower over, WC and basin.
Drawing room with open fire (logs provided), wall-mounted TV, large sofas, armchair and window seats.
The Pentland Room with Hypnos Cashmere and Wool zip and link beds, which can be configured as a super king double or twin, as preferred. Large wardrobe, dressing table.
En suite bathroom with underfloor heating, walk-in shower with rainforest head, WC and basin.
The Esk Room - master bedroom - with Hypnos Wool and Cashmere super king bed, wardrobe, two armchairs and side tables.
En suite bathroom with underfloor heating, roll-top bath, separate walk-in rainforest shower, bidet, WC and basin.
The Dalkeith Room with Hypnos Cashmere and Wool zip and link beds, which can be configured as a super king double or twin, as preferred. Side tables and armchair.
En suite bathroom with walk-in shower, WC and basin.
The Toile de Jour Room with Hypnos super king bed, side tables and dressing table.
En suite bathroom with walk-in shower, WC and basin.
The Old Millhouse is surrounded by 3.5 acres of beautiful gardens and sweeping lawns. There is a patio area with large table seating ten guests and additional bench seating. There is a fence around the garden and grounds so the only access is via the main gate but please note that the fence is not solid.
Please note there are resident hens in a secure pen in the grounds. With guest permission, they may be let out during the day.
There is additional sofa-style seating on the raised patio overlooking the swim spa.
The swim spa (3m x 4m, heated to 37.5 degrees) with jets and LED lighting is suitable for up to 6 adults. Robes, spa towels and flip flops are provided for guests.
There is plenty of parking available on the gravel area in front of the property.
Babies & Children
A travel cot and highchair are available on request. Please note that there is a swim spa in the garden and the River Esk runs through the grounds so children should be supervised at all times. There is a fence running around the garden and grounds but this is not solid.
Two dogs are welcome and we ask that dogs are kept downstairs and off the furniture. Please note that the fence around the garden is not solid so dogs could gain access to the river.
Luxurious 325 thread count bed linen and feather bedding is provided. Guest toiletries, white bath robes and slippers are provided for each guest. A hairdryer is provided in each bedroom.
Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage
Wi-Fi is provided. Mobile coverage is good on most networks.
There is a remote-controlled fire in the Orangery and an open fire in the Drawing room with baskets of logs and kindling provided. There is underfloor heating in the Esk en suite bathroom.
The property is within Dalkeith town but sits at the end of a private driveway amongst 3.5 acres of garden and is not overlooked.
Fishing on site
Fishing can be arranged at just £25.00 per person on the River South Esk that runs through the grounds. The river is home to sea trout and even the occasional salmon and is a perfect place for beginners. Please contact us for further details.
The Old Millhouse has the best of both worlds. Sitting on its own, sounded by woodland and the River South Esk, yet just a short 7 minute walk from the town centre of Dalkeith.
In Dalkeith you’ll find a post office, butcher and family bakers, as well as the Black Bull Pub and the Cavaliere Italian Restaurant. You will also find two large supermarkets for all the supplies you may need.
The Restoration Yard and Wellbeing Lab sits within Dalkeith Country Park (1.2 miles) offering great shopping, homeware, food and drink, giftware and more. There is the Fort Douglas Adventure Park to keep children entertained with treehouses, zip wires, suspension bridges, slides and climbing walls. The Coffee Bar and The Kitchen restaurant offer tasty breakfasts, lunches or afternoon tea using fresh, local produce.
The Secret Herb Garden (6 miles) is set within an old nursery and serves delicious and seasonal produce, such as soups, quiches and cakes which can be enjoyed in the gardens or in the glasshouse.
Travel into the city centre of Edinburgh (10 miles) for a wide choice of bars, cafés and renowned restaurants. Tom Kitchin’s The Kitchin comes highly recommended (be sure to book in advance), as well as Six by Nico, where you’ll be served six courses from their tasting menu, based around a different theme changing every six weeks. Or taste what’s in season through the tasting menu at Aizle, then have drinks afterwards in the spectacular setting of The Dome (a must-visit at Christmas time for the incredible display of lights).
It’s better to use public transport when heading into the city, as parking can be tricky, but fortunately, Lothian Buses offer regular services from Eskbank and Dalkeith, or there’s a train station just 7 minutes away (Eskbank Station), where you can take a short 20-minute ride to Edinburgh Waverley, right in the centre.
Nearby is Dalkeith Country Park (0.9 miles), 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland with family-friendly routes for walkers and cyclists and a jam-packed events calendar featuring music festivals and shows, wellbeing retreats and trail runs. The Fort Douglas Adventure Park, with its sky maze, magical turreted treehouses, zip wires, suspension bridges, slides, climbing walls and secret tunnels, will keep children entertained for hours. Later, stop by the Restoration Yard and Wellbeing Lab for great shopping, homeware, food and drink, giftware and more, grab a coffee and cake from their café, or dine in The Kitchen restaurant.
The area benefits from the largest dry ski facility in Europe at Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend (6.5 miles) and a few miles further north will take you to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Ratho (17 miles) where you can experience rock climbing, abseiling and bouldering, as well as the highest indoor aerial assault course in the UK.
Local attractions include Roslin Glen Country Park (6.5 miles) where fans of Outlander may spot a few familiar filming locations. There are many walks in the park, including to Rosslyn Chapel in the village of Roslin, which dates back to 1446. Prominently featured in the best seller The Da Vinci Code, this beautiful heritage attraction has been the topic of many mystical theories including the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail. A fascinating place, a fascinating history!
For those who appreciate quality whiskey, or the ‘water of life’ as it is known in Scotland, booking a tour at Glenkinchie distillery is a must. Serving as one of the Four Corners of Scotland distilleries of Johnnie Walker, you will be able to sample their rare Lowland style whiskey and learn about their rich heritage. Finish your day in their bar where you can enjoy drams, cocktails, coffees and sharing platters.
Avid fans of the ‘Royal and Ancient’ game can spend the day at Archerfield Links (20.6 miles), where you can play on world-class courses set amongst whispering pines and sweeping fairways. Stop off at Archerfield Walled Garden (19.9 miles) to explore the grounds of this 18th Century garden which once used to grow produce for Archerfield House. Now, it’s a pretty perennial meadow, wildlife area and kitchen garden. A visit here wouldn’t be complete without embarking on a magical fairy trail around the woodland or stopping in at the Garden Café to devour some hearty, delicious food with an emphasis on seasonality.
So close to the wonderful Pentland Hills (20 miles), walkers and cyclists will be in their element with a vast number of waymarked routes to choose from. The Capital View Walk explores the Hillend Country Park, starting with a steep climb up Hillend Hill and along the path to the top of the ski-slope, offering amazing views across Edinburgh and towards the Firth of the Forth.
For mountain biking and forest trails, Glentress (23 miles) is a superb destination with trails to suit all ages and abilities. With a brand new £8.5m visitor centre, it also has a cafe, bike hire and instruction on offer but with some fantastic opportunities for walking and wildlife too.
Despite its peaceful rural location, the City of Edinburgh Bypass can be reached in just five minutes by car and allows easy access into Edinburgh and all that this magnificent city has to offer. Here, you can explore the fascinating architecture of the old town and soak-up the culture and heritage of this beautiful vibrant city. Wander the cobbled closes and narrow stairwells of the Royal Mile and Grassmarket; take a tour of the underground vaults of the old city; savour the atmosphere of the vibrant Edinburgh Fringe Festival or exceptional Jazz & Blues Festival, or visit its most famous landmark - the iconic Edinburgh Castle.
The spectacular East Lothian coast can be reached in half-an-hour with miles of expansive sandy beaches which are a haven for wildlife and birdlife. Favourite spots include the glorious family-friendly beach at Gullane; the dune-fringed sands at Belhaven; the dog-friendly cove at Yellowcraig; or the secluded sands at Seacliff - an enchanting gem with a tiny harbour and wonderful views north towards the Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle.
Children and families
Here at Crabtree & Crabtree, we like to think we’ve pulled together some rather nifty ideas to keep tots to teens happy and entertained during your stay.Find Out More
Welcome to the realm of the king of fish, the mighty River Tweed. Every year thousands of Atlantic Salmon make their way up river, an annual odyssey that is one of nature's miracles.Find Out More
Classes at your holiday home
Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...Find Out More
Historic houses and castles
With more stately homes, castles and historic sites here than you can shake a proverbial stick at, visitors are quite simply spoilt for choice.Find Out More
Our region is home to outstanding scenery which boasts emerald forests, pristine lochs and rivers, heathery hillsides, sweeping moorlands as well as a picture perfect coastline.Find Out More
Horse riding is intrinsically linked to the history and heritage of the area and goes right back to the 13th and 14th centuries where townspeople would ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands. Thankfully our riding pursuits today are not quite so dramatic!Find Out More
Shopping, arts and crafts
We are extremely fortunate to have a region where independent shops are king, and to have an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles.Find Out More
From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.Find Out More
If you love a challenge or just crave a little excitement away from the day-to-day bustle of working life, we have lots to offer - whether it be watery pursuits, muddy blasts or thrill seeking, adrenaline-charged adventures.Find Out More
There are 40 golf courses in Northumberland, and another 21 in the Scottish Borders offering visitors an incredibly wide and varied range of golfing options.Find Out More
Cycling & mountain biking
Whether you ride fast or slow, on-road or off-road, there is something uniquely special about enjoying some outdoor time on two wheels. Here in the region we have something for everyone from high-energy mountain biking blasts to gentle forest paths the whole family can enjoy.Find Out More
For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.Find Out More
Spas and beauty treatments
Everyone needs a little time-out to relax and for many that may involve a little pampering, the chance to experience new therapies, or simply some dedicated ‘me time’ to enjoy or practise disciplines which bring a sense of well-being and good health.Find Out More
Ancestral history research
Crabtree & Crabtree know that tracing the history of your family can be a wonderful journey of discovery. Here are our top tips for starting your family tree.Find Out More
Cooks and chefs
Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cookFind Out More
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.Find Out More
Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.Find Out More
Nannies and babysitters
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring a fully qualified registered and experienced nanny or babysitter to come to your house.Find Out More
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.Find Out More
Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.Find Out More
Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.Find Out More
- Two dogs are welcome.
- Typical arrival day: Flexible
- Arrival time: 4pm
- Departure time: 10am
"Listening to lovely birdsong in the garden, and trying to believe that Edinburgh is only eight miles away."Johanne, Manager of The Old Millhouse