1. Welcome to Edinburgh
  2. Weather Report
  3. Getting to Edinburgh
  4. ETAPS Locations: see Venue
  5. Travel within Edinburgh (including travel between ETAPS locations)
  6. Eating Out
  7. Social events: see Social Programme

Welcome to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, also called the Athens of the North. It is one of the greenest and architecturally most beautiful cities in Northern Europe. Its magnificent architecture shifts from the lofty buildings of its medieval Old Town, as they tumble down the spine of the Royal Mile, to the grace of its Georgian New Town. Above it all, in its towering splendour, stands the Castle. Over 2 million visitors enjoy Edinburgh every year. They come not only for the architecture, but also for a city rich in social, cultural, learning and sporting facilities. Each year the city plays host to internationally renowned events such as the Edinburgh International Arts, Fringe, Film, TV and Science Festivals. But more than just a tourist attraction, with a population of 500,000, it is a thriving commercial and financial centre, the site of the new Scottish Parliament and a gateway to the coastline, hills and open country of the Scottish Highlands.

For more information about Edinburgh see: www.edinburgh.org or http://www.ed.ac.uk/city

Getting to Edinburgh

By air

Edinburgh is served primarily by Edinburgh Airport; Glasgow Airport and Prestwick Airport are feasible alternatives.

Edinburgh Airport is situated 13km to the west of the city. Destinations with direct flights to Edinburgh include Dublin, Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Brussels, all London airports and many other UK airports. Travel into Edinburgh by taxi costs approximately £15-£20, approximate journey time 30 mins (unless in rush-hour). Alternatively use the frequent Airlink bus, operated by Lothian Region Transport, £3.30 single or £5 return, journey time 30 mins.
Airlink buses run during the following times: http://www.flybybus.com
For further information: Glasgow airport is about an hour's drive from Edinburgh, with frequent rail and bus transfers. See the Glasgow airport website for details.
Prestwick Airport, served by Ryanair, is not in Glasgow despite the fact that its official name in Glasgow Prestwick airport. Travel to Edinburgh by rail or bus takes about 2 hours.

For further details please see: http://www.gpia.co.uk This gives you information about bus and train travel to Edinburgh, including special offers on rail travel.

By rail

Travel from the South and East travel with GNER (minimum travel times to Edinburgh from other UK cities include: 3hrs 59mins from London, 2hrs 16mins from York and 1hr 23mins from Newcastle). For travel from the South and West travel with Virgin. ScotRail run services from other cities in Scotland and Northern England, and also run a sleeper service from London Euston.
For further information (note that numbers beginning 0345 and 0845 are for use within the UK only):

By coach

National Express online
Day and overnight coaches operate regularly between Edinburgh St. Andrew Square bus station and London Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes 8 hours and 30 minutes and costs approximately £25 for a return journey.

National Express Inquiries +44 (0) 141 331 1341

Or see: http://www.nationalexpress.co.uk

By road

Journey time from London, via the M1 and M6 Motorways, is approximately 8 hours.

By ferry

DFDS Seaways: http://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk

DFDS Seaways sail into Newcastle (2 hours' drive to Edinburgh) from Germany, Sweden and Holland.

North Sea Ferries
North Sea Ferries sail into Hull (5 hours' drive to Edinburgh) from Belgium and Holland. They operate crossings from Belfast and Larne to Stanraer and Troon (1.5 hours drive from Edinburgh). They also operate crossings to Newcastle from Norway and Sweden.
North Sea Ferries +44 (0) 1482 377 177

Car Hire

The following car hire companies have offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Company Location
Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh City Centre Glasgow Airport Glasgow City Centre
Avis +44 (0)131 344 3900 +44 (0)131 337 6363 +44 (0)141 842 7599 +44 (0)141 221 2827
Arnold Clark N/A +44 (0) 131 228 4747 N/A +44 (0)845 607 4500
Easycar.com N/A N/A online booking only N/A
Europcar +44 (0)131 333 2588 +44 (0)131 557 3456 +44 (0)141 887 0414 +44 (0)141 248 8788
Hertz +44 (0)131 333 1019 +44 (0)870 846 0013 +44 (0)141 887 2451 +44 (0)141 248 7736
National Car Rental +44 (0)870 191 0553 +44 (0)131 337 8686 +44 (0)870 191 0551 +44 (0)141 204 1051

Air Travel links

Flights - general
British Airways -
British Midlands (BMI) -
Cheapflights.co.uk -
Easyjet -
Lastminute.com -
Ryan Air -
Student Flights -
Flightline -
Just Flights -
UK Away -

Travel within Edinburgh

General tips for getting around Edinburgh

The conference venue during the week is in the city centre, and Edinburgh's city centre is compact, so you may find that walking is the best way to get around. Edinburgh does not have an underground or tram system, but it does have a frequent (though erratic) and comprehensive bus service. The main operator within Edinburgh is Lothian Buses. Be warned that LRT buses do not give change! The normal fare for a journey is 80 pence. Taxis are also easy to find on most major thoroughfares.
For further information: Here are some numbers for local taxi companies:

Parking in Edinburgh and at the University

Parking in Edinburgh Centre is difficult, with no free parking. You will have to go for one of the big car parks or else feed the meter. This is quite expensive. Look for areas marked “Tickets and Regulations” and avoid areas marked “Residents’ permit”. Parking violations cost at least £30 and the traffic wardens (“Blue Meanies”) are vigilant!

Parking around Appleton Tower and George Square: There are public parking places or meters, but they are expensive. We recommend you come to this area by either bus or taxi or on foot. There is however a large car park in front of Appleton Tower.

Parking around King’s Buildings: There is plenty of free parking in the side streets around King’s Buildings. However, parking on Mayfield Road is restricted during the day and you cannot park before 9.15 am or after 16.30 pm without getting a ticket.

From Airport to Pollock Halls

Many delegates are staying at Pollock Halls of residence. There is a bus service from Edinburgh Airport to the City Centre. The details of which are at:
See information about Edinburgh Airport for instructions on getting from Edinburgh Airport to the City centre.

You will need to get a bus or taxi from the City Centre to Pollock Halls or to your hotel. A taxi will cost around £5.00.

At Pollock Halls

You should report to the reception centre at the entrance of Pollock Halls. You will be given your keys and room details. It is open 24 hours a day, but during the night with limited night staff who will be able to allocate your room but do not deal with any accommodation problems/queries. If you arrive during the night and have problems you will need to wait until the morning to deal with these.

Travel between ETAPS Locations

From Pollock Halls to The King’s Buildings
Please see: http://www.accom.ed.ac.uk/accom_info/maps/index.htm. You are advised to take a bus from the city centre out to the King’s Buildings, and the bus passes will be provided to delegates registering for events on the weekends.

On leaving Pollock Halls walk to Newington Road via East Preston Street or Salisbury Road and get one of the following LRT buses heading South: 3, 7, 8, 29, 31, 37, or 41. Disembark at Lady Road Roundabout then walk up Esslemont Road to the Kings Buildings. With so many routes there is a very frequent service. The fare is 80 pence. To return to Pollock Halls, reverse the process.

Alternately on leaving Pollock Halls walk a bit further to Causewayside via East Preston Street and Preston Street or Salisbury Road and Salisbury Place and get the LRT 42 bus going South. This would take you onto the same route as in the section headed “ Travel between George Square and Kings Buildings”. The down side to going by this route is there is only one bus roughly every 20 minutes. Once again the fare would be 80 pence.

Walking between Pollock Halls and the King’s Buildings via Salisbury Road, Salisbury Place, turn left into Causewayside then straight on through Mayfield Road, the shortest route for walking. It takes about 30 minutes. To get to the James Clerk Maxwell Building it is best to enter the King’s Buildings Campus by Gate 4 on Mayfield Road.

Travel between George Square area and King's Buildings

There is one bus service, Lothian Buses (LRT) route 42, which runs in both directions between the Kings Buildings and the George Square area. These buses run Monday to Saturday at roughly 20 minute intervals from about 08.00 until about 20.30 after which time they run at 30 minute intervals until about 23.00. On Sundays they run at 30minute intervals from about 10.00 until about 23.00.

To travel from George Square to King's Buildings board the 42 bus (travelling South) at the stop on the East side of Potterow and disembark at the stop at the junction of Mayfield road, West Mains Road and Esslemont Road. If you ask the driver to call you at King's Buildings he will do so. The King's Buildings are diagonally opposite to where you alight from the bus. To get to the James Clerk Maxwell Building it is best to enter the King’s Building Campus by Gate 4 in Mayfield Road.

Returning to the George Square area board the 42 bus (travelling North) at the stop on the West side of Mayfield Road at the junction mentioned above and disembark at Appleton Tower.

All buses in Edinburgh work on the correct fare only principle; they do not give change. The fare between George Square and Kings Buildings is 80 pence for a single ticket. They do not issue return tickets.

Walking between George Square and the James Clerk Maxwell Building takes roughly 30 minutes. Turn right from Appleton Tower/George Square (heading South) into Buccleuch Street then straight on through Causewayside, Radcliffe Terrace and Mayfield Road and enter the Kings Buildings via Gate 4.

Travel between Pollock Halls and George Square area

Take a LRT route 2 bus from the West side of Dalkeith Road (the opposite side of the road to the Commonwealth Swimming Pool) and ask the driver to let you off at Potterrow (for George Square and Appleton Tower). To return, board at the opposite side of the road at Potterrow and disembark at the Commonwealth Swimming Pool. Fares are 80p in each direction. The number 2 route runs Mondays to Fridays at roughly 15 minute intervals between 8am and 9pm, then at 30 minute intervals until 11pm. On Saturdays it is a 30 minute frequency from about 7.30 am to 10.30 pm then a 20 minute frequency until about 17.30 pm then 30 minute frequency until about 23.00 pm. Sunday 30 minute frequency from about 10.00 am until 23.00 pm.

Walking between Pollock Halls and George Square/Appleton Tower via Preston Street, West Preston Street, turn right into Causewayside and then straight on through Buccleuch Street, the shortest route for walking. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Registration on the weekends (2 - 3 April and 9 April)

The Registration Desk is located on level 3 of the James Clerk Maxwell Building near the main lecture theatre. Opening hours are 8:30 – 18:00.

KB House (Lunches)

The building is entered at the North-east corner. Lunch will be held on the first floor in “The Grange”. Smokers are welcome to take their food to the bar area downstairs where smoking is allowed. There are two staircases but no lift.

Registration for the main conferences (4 April onwards)

The Registration Desk is located in the concourse of Appleton Tower. Coffee and tea breaks will also be held in the Appleton Tower concourse. Opening hours are 8:30 – 18:00

Eating Out


Lunch is not provided during the main conference, since there is a wide variety of restaurants around the George Square area. You will be spoilt for choice.

For more information see our own restaurant guide.

Or: http://www.list.co.uk/ead/fr1.htm?city=ed

Or: http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/computing/resources/IanS/Ian/EdinburghEating.html