REVIEWS : Accommodation at Allan Ramsay Hotel, Carlops

Ever heard of Allan Ramsay? The name sounds familiar but I can’t say that I am very familiar with his life nor his works. In the Scottish Border village of Carlops, (20 minute drive from Edinburgh on the A702) they hold Allan in such high regard that they’ve named the hotel and pub after him.

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So who is Allan Ramsay?

He was a jack of all trades really and pretty mastered in a few. He was at the forefront of the arts in Scotland and was a Poet, a book seller (credited as having Britain’s first subscription library); founded Britain’s first art school; and author of Scotland’s first folk opera - The Gentle Shepherd - which is set in Carlops! His son, also called Allan, went on to become one of Britain’s finest portrait painters.

He is buried in the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, he’s one of sixteen Scottish Poets and writers depicted on the Scott Monument and there is a statue of him on the corner of Princes Street gardens and the Mound, Edinburgh; and to top it all off they have an annual Allan Ramsay Festival in Carlops!


The hotel is situated in the main street or A702 that runs right through Carlops. It was build in 1792 and is an old coaching inn. The pub is very historic and and retains its charm.

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The hotel has four guests rooms all ensuite on the upper floor which are accessed from an external entrance around the side of the building. The accommodation offers single, double, twin and family occupancy options.

There is also a lovely self-contained apartment, on the ground floor with its own separate entrance. The apartment sleeps six and has one double bedroom with an ensuite shower room, a second double bedroom and a twin room plus a comfortable lounge, kitchen and a bathroom with shower.


The rooms are basic but they are clean, comfortable and practical. Our room came with a single and a double bed, with a shower room.There’s a TV and tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.

Pillows were comfy and duvet clean and cosy. White fluffy towels are provided as well as basic toiletries.

What more do you need?!

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Essentially you come to the Allan Ramsay for the pub, for the ye olde charm, for the open fires, the penny bar and the rare country pub-ness that’s hard to find.

The Allan Ramsay is a hot accommodation spot for festival goers to the many Edinburgh festivals (only 20 minutes drive from Edinburgh with bus access); it’s a stop over for many travellers en-route up and down the country and its a walker/hikers haven with many gorgeous walks such as the Allan Ramsay Heritage Trails (between 1 hour and 3 hour walks).

AND you also come here for the Allan Ramsay Festival. If you love Burns, you’ll love Ramsay!

Allan Ramsay Festival 2019 takes place on the 18th and 19th October with Folk Night and the Annual Ramsay Dinner. More info here

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After dinner (review to come soon), we retired up to bed, snuggled in and watched the Great British Bake off. After a restful nights sleep and we were up, dressed and at breakfast for 8am!

The breakfast menu is filled with traditional breakfast items, that you can mix and match. Breakfast cereals, fresh fruit, porridge with fresh cream and honey, toast with jam and butter, the Full Scottish or eggs every which way you want them.


A carafe of orange juice is on your table and its not long before our ordered pot of tea arrives. It’s a good strong cuppa and the perfect thing to wake you up!

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Carmin LOVES eggs almost as much as I do. She chose poached eggs on toast. Their eggs are organic and freshly laid by the hens out back, so the wibble wobble of these eggs was eggy perfection!

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I chose scrambled eggs (look at the colour of those eggs ~ sure fire way to tell they are organic!) with sausages. Scrumptious!

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The Allan Ramsay is country hospitality at its very best. The managers (Kenny and Rosemary) are passionate about what they do and work hard to deliver a very community orientated, welcoming, wonderful country pub that makes you feel right at home as soon as you put a muddy boot over the door.

Allan Ramsay Hotel, Carlops, EH26 9NF. Tel : 01968 660258

My Spoon Award - Bronze Spoon 7/10

  • Room - 7

  • Ambience/Decor - 6

  • Service - 8

  • View/location - 8

  • Food - 9


I was invited by The Allan Ramsay Hotel review their accommodation. Bed and breakfast were complimentary but the views are very much my own.