EDUC 2018 in Edinburgh - getting to the venue

Updated on 2018Apr30
by admin
For those travelling to EDUC 2018 in Edinburgh, I personally would recommend getting a taxi from either the airport or the railway station to the Radisson Blu hotel, especially if you are carrying a considerable amount of luggage, but I am well known for being a tad lazy, so if you wish to take a less expensive route, please follow (what I hope will be helpful) instructions below.
Note, once you’ve safely found navigated to your accomodation, you may like to read Mike’s Things to see and do in Edimburgh guide.
While all modes of transport for getting to Edinburgh are generally easy, the main advantage of taxis is that you will not be left at the final part of your journey with a short(ish) but steep uphill climb walk to the hotel.
Taxis may also have the advantage (?) of a chatty driver who will ask where you have come from in an impenetrable Scottish version of the English language (or possibly some Asian or Eastern European dialect of the same) - listen out for the phrase: Whar ye frum? - making your journey that much more entertaining, and will probably take you through some parts of the city that tourists only ever see on this particular journey!
Otherwise: don’t always trust Google Maps or other mapping applications.  Following their instructions will probably get you there, but if your physician has ever mentioned the word "coronary" then you might wish to consider that Edinburgh, like Rome and Athens, is built on hills (seven, so they say, but that will not matter to you as it is only the one you have to climb which will occupy your attention… and your legs).  "Suitcase-on-wheels" people will find some routes easier than others, so please read on...

From the airport

By Tram (walking part ~800m)

(Note: the trams stop running from the airport at 22:48, so if you are arriving late this may be an issue - use bus or taxi instead if they have stopped.)
As you come out of arrivals, head left on the the airport concourse, following the signs to the Trams, until you exit from the East end of the terminal building.  Carry on and a few more steps will bring you, past the big "EDINBURGH" letters, to the tram terminus.  Buy a ticket (5.50 one-way, 8.50 return - children are 3.00 and 4.50) at the vending machines then board a tram - there is only one route so you can’t go wrong.
Get off the tram at the Princes Street stop; this is the tricky part, but there is only one stop on the near-mile length of Princes Street itself.  It is the one after the confusingly named "West End - Princes Street" stop on Shandwick Place. If there are buildings on both sides of the street it is the wrong one - the one you want has the wide green open spaces of Princes Street Gardens, with Edinburgh Castle beyond, on the right and the shops Primark, The Body Shop, Samsung, Ann Summers and Gap on the left:
Shops on Princes Street
The stop is just before the Scottish Royal Academy and the bottom of The Mound - there is often a ticket collector on the tram who may, if asked, tell you where to get off: ask them for "The Mound":
Princes Street Tram Stop
From there, cross to The Mound (yes, that is the street name - visible in the picture going up the side of the pillared Scottish Royal Academy, which looks a bit like the Parthenon did in better days) and wind your way up it:
Up the mound
At the top of the Mound (it will have become Bank Street), turn left onto the Royal Mile (aka: the High Street):
Top of the Mound
Head down the Royal Mile for around 350m, past St Giles Cathedral on your right, then crossing the busy North Bridge; you will find the Radisson Blu on the right hand side:
Radisson Blu

By Bus

Exit the airport concourse to the front of the building and find bus stand D (bus number 100) and wait for a bus to arrive.  When it does, board and buy a ticket from the driver (4.50 one-way, 7.50 return - children are 2.00 and 3.00).  You can pay by contactless Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay or Android Pay, otherwise you will probably need the correct change.
Stay on the bus until it terminates at Waverley Bridge (if the bus is not marked on the front with "Waverley Bridge" ask the driver to put you off at Waverley Bridge - they are used to people not knowing where they are going!) - then follow the instructions "From Waverley Bridge" (two versions) below.

From the railway station

If coming to Edinburgh by train you should arrive at Edinburgh’s Waverley Station (don’t be fooled into getting off at Haymarket Station, should you come via that).  From the station there are a number of possible routes to the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile, but several of these involve significant flights of steps which will probably not be ideal for tired travellers towing suitcases as the last part of a long journey.
My recommendation is that you exit the station the way the taxis do, up the ramp onto onto Waverley Bridge:
Exit Waverley

From Waverley Bridge (short and steep ~450m)

(Note: this route is quite steep up Cockburn - no sniggering, please!... oh yes you were! - Street.)
Head South (away from the busy Princes Street) and at the mini-roundabout cross directly over onto Cockburn Street (it is pronounced "Co’burn" Street, BTW):
Cockburn Street
(see: steep!)
Follow Cockburn Street as it winds up the hill until it reaches the Royal Mile (aka: The High Street):
Royal Mile
There turn left, and follow the Royal Mile downhill for around 80m, crossing the busy North Bridge, until you see the Radisson Blu on the right-hand side of the street:
Radisson Blu

From Waverley Bridge (alternative route: gentler and scenic: ~750m)

If you want to take in the sights of Princes Street as well as some great views of the city from North Bridge (and also a face gentler climb), instead head North and turn right onto Princes Street:
Onto Princes Street
Follow Princes Street for around 200m until you reach the junction with North Bridge (just past the Balmoral Hotel) then turn right onto that:
Onto North Bridge
Enjoy the views as you cross North Bridge above the station (this is also a good excuse to stop and catch your breath if you feel the need).
View from North Bridge, East:
View from North Bridge East
View from North Bridge, West:
View from North Bridge West
Go up North Bridge for about 350m and on reaching the Royal Mile (aka: the High Street), turn left:
Top North Bridge
The Radisson Blu will be on the right (the other side of the Royal Mile):
Radisson Blu 2

Getting around - get the app

You may find it helpful for getting around during your stay (when not in conference sessons) to get the Lothian Buses app (Edinburgh is in the Lothian Region of Scotland):

Edinburgh City Centre Map

(Note: this is a sketch map, only showing a few of the streets - there are many more.)

Edinburgh EDUC Map

View full size version