Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Coronavirus: The Balmoral hotel boarded up during lockdown

The Balmoral
Image caption The Balmoral's building dates back to 1902

One of Edinburgh's best-known hotels has been boarded up in a bid to stop vandals and thieves while it lies empty during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Balmoral is located in a landmark building at number 1 Princes Street which dates back to 1902.

There are now wooden boards covering every ground floor window and the glass panels in the grand entrance.

The five star hotel, owned by Sir Rocco Forte, is one of a number of Edinburgh businesses that have been boarded up.

Others include The Merlin bar in Morningside, while other pub owners have been seen removing the alcohol from their premises.

The Balmoral began life as the North British Station Hotel, before being renamed in 1991 after a refurbishment.

Its famous guests have included Laurel and Hardy and author JK Rowling, who spent six months there writing the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

General manager Richard Cooke said: "The Balmoral has been an icon of hospitality and strength in Edinburgh for decades, through both good and globally challenging times."

He said the hotel would reopen its doors "even more proudly" when the time came.

Image caption The Merlin bar in Morningside was also boarded up