EDINBURGH AND THE LOTHIANS - GETTING AROUND
Edinburgh is a relatively compact city and is easily explored on foot, however be cautioned that the city is built on several hills. You can expect to scale a few inclines, but for a person of average fitness it is not a problem, and the views are always worth the effort! Beyond the city center, not far from the Royal Mile, Inverleith Park and Holyrood Park have sweeping views.
Step outside the city and into the beautiful countryside of the Lothians. Much of the area has beautiful country parks which beg to be explored on foot, and in the towns smaller scale attractions and museums are also easily reached walking. You will, however, need a rental car, or some form of transportation, to get from Edinburgh to the individual towns, parks, and attractions which the region offers.
We recommend sensible walking shoes for days spent in the city/ region, whether shopping or exploring parks!
Edinburgh is readily accessible by car, but parking can be a problem in the city center. There are a range of on-street and covered facilities for parking. Time limits vary, so always be sure to read your tickets and not go past the allotted time, otherwise there can be additional fees or the car may be towed, at your expense. Using a rental car for travel outside the city is much more practical.
As in the rest of the UK drivers use the left lane. Cars produced in or for use in Europe have their steering wheel on the right-hand side. It may not seem like much, but be cautious. It is a bigger adjustment than most realize. Within Edinburgh the speed limit is 20 mph (32 km/h), once outside it generally increases to 30 and 40 mph (48 and 64 km/h). Seatbelts are required and drivers or passengers not wearing them will be ticketed.
By Bus, Train or Tram
Edinburgh has a network of local bus services allowing frequent and cost-effective travel throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. Our recommendation, if you are staying in the area for several days and wish to explore the region in full, is to take advantage of Lothian Buses DayTicket, which allows you unlimited daily travel in and around Edinburgh, with approximately 300 services throughout the Edinburgh area. If you would like a day trip a little further than Edinburgh and the Lothians, tickets for UK and Scottish travel are available from the office near Waverley Station.
Located at: 31 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
Additionally, the area is well served by an extensive railway network,with fast and regular connections to many towns available seven days a week. Edinburgh itself has two train stations, Waverley Train Station and Haymarket, which provide links to towns all around the Scottish mainland.
The North Berwick line serves the region of East Lothian, ending with stops in North Berwick and Dunbar. There are also lines connecting Edinburgh with Fife, Helensburgh, Glasgow, Dunblane, Aberdeen, and Tweedbank. Visit www.scotrail.co.uk to check maps and timetables.
Trams are the latest addition to Edinburgh`s existing range of public transport. The route, as it is now, only covers the city of Edinburgh with stops at Edinburgh Airport, Ingliston Park and Ride, Gogarburn, Edinburgh Gateway train station, Gyle Centre, Edinburgh Park Central, Edinburgh Park train station, Bankhead, Saughton, Balgreen, Murrayfield Stadium, Haymarket train station, West End, Princes Street, St. Andrew Square (for Waverley train station, and York Place. The line connects several bus and car park areas. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines at every tram stop. Return tickets are also available, but can be purchased only for journeys to or from Edinburgh Airport. Payment via debit or credit card is suggested, as the machines are not equipped to return change.
Please keep your ticket for the entire duration of your journey as proof that you`ve paid your fare. You may be requested to show it at any time to a ticket inspector. Tickets cost £1.70/£3.20 for a one-way/return fare. You can also purchase a DayTicket for £4 which includes bus travel everywhere in the city except the airport (£9 with airport privileges). Tram tickets to and from the airport cost £6/£8.50 for a one-way/return journey. For more information, visit www.edinburghtrams.com.
The Lothian countryside is a fantastic place to explore on two wheels; it has a wonderful cycle network, free maps, and clearly marked paths. The country parks are a favorite for cyclists.
We do not recommend trying to cycle between towns as a mode of transportation.
Edinburgh itself is also very cycle friendly. Cycle lanes are shared with buses and motorists, but there are numerous traffic free routes. Spokes is a local cycle campaign group which provides maps and advice for exploring the city on two wheels. The biggest adjustment for most cyclists are the cobbled streets, which are perfectly safe, but unfamiliar to most tourists who are used to smoother pavement.