Merchiston Castle School

Type of school: Boys Senior school

Nearest international airport: Edinburgh (8km)

Age Range: 7-18

Number of pupils: 470

Number of boarders: 330

Fees per term: Boarding: £5,865–£9,155
Day: £4,175–£6,730


Merchiston is set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland, four miles from the centre of Edinburgh and just 20 minutes from Edinburgh’s international airport, which has over 100 direct routes. Only an hour’s flight from London, Edinburgh’s rich culture offers stimulation and excitement to the boys, whether they are visiting an art gallery or attending an international rugby fixture.

A value-added education
With an ethos based on traditional values, Merchiston encourages self-reliance and independence, as well as respect and tolerance for others. The School’s goal is to help every boy reach his full potential and leave Merchiston ready for the world. Merchiston has strong and effective approaches to develop each boy’s personal achievement and boasts an impressive record of helping boys excel far beyond their expected results at GCSE and A-level. Merchiston was named the Top Scottish School for A-levels in 2011 and 2012 (The Herald and The Sunday Times Parent Power) and has an unrivalled reputation for providing a first-rate all-round education.

Home away from home
Merchiston was rated ‘Excellent’ in all areas by the Care Inspectorate in 2013.


‘It is my common experience in life that when I buy something new, after the original excitement of the purchase dies down, I often start finding small faults with it. With our children’s education at Merchiston, however, it has been exactly the opposite. In every respect – academic, sporting and pastoral – the School has exceeded our expectations, and continues to do so. In particular, the staff appear to have an almost magical ability to maximise the potential of every boy, irrespective of their natural talents. But above all, it is the Merchiston “end product” that impresses us year after year; the young men that leave the School for university each year are polite, confident gentlemen, that any parent would be proud to call their sons.

Current parent

There is a sport for every boy at Merchiston
There is a long and successful tradition of sport at Merchiston, with equal emphasis on recreation and excellence. Within fantastic facilities, there are over 20 sports on offer which cater for all interests and levels of ability. As one of the leading innovators of sports education in the UK, the School established Scotland’s first tennis academy in 2007 and more recently its own golf academy. The School is currently represented at national and international level in many sports including athletics, cricket and rugby.

The School provided excellent opportunities and activities for me to participate in, which catered for my interests, as well as giving me the best teaching and tuition, which led to my gaining a place at Cambridge.

AAGuide_Merchiston_2Scholarships and financial assistance
A range of scholarships are available at ages 10+. Means-tested financial assistance is available subject to application.

‘Our main objective is to motivate pupils to try their hardest and to strive to achieve the highest levels possible in all areas, whilst living as part of a community. Whilst we are concentrating on the academic platform of each boy, alongside the importance of co-curricular activities, we also try to focus on developing boys who are all-rounders with a sense of values.’
Andrew Hunter, Headmaster

‘A balanced curriculum, excellent pastoral care and a high A-level pass rate make Merchiston one of the UK’s leading independent schools.’