Getting to and from Edinburgh

How to reach Scotland’s Capital from the rest of the World.

Reaching Edinburgh is easy, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, there is a flight, train, ship or car which will bring you to the capital city of Scotland.

By Car

From the south – if you are travelling from England you need to head to Carlisle which is the border city in England. That is if you are travelling up from the west of England ie Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and also London.

The M6 motorway takes you to Carlisle, from there drive over the border at Gretna and into Scotland – this stretch of motorway now becomes the M74. If you continue on this road, within 1 hour and 20 minutes you reach the city of Glasgow. To head to Edinburgh, leave the M74 at Crawford and Abingdon and join the A702 – this brings you to Edinburgh via the small town of Biggar (nice tea rooms for a driving break), the road passes the Pentlands Hills Regional Park and brings you out by the Hillend dry ski slope, from here you can drive directly into the city centre.

If you are travelling by car from the East of England via Newcastle Upon Tyne, you take a different route through the Scottish Borders via the A1 motorway. The A1 begins just south of Leeds near Doncaster and would be your main route throughout the north east of England. Once you are across the Scottish Border at Berwick-upon-Tweed you will drive the coastal route directly to Edinburgh. Time scale from the Scottish border to Edinburgh city centre is approximately 1.5 hours.

To reach Edinburgh from the north of Scotland – if you are touring the country by car, the easiest route from Aberdeen is via the A90 which joins the M90 at Perth. If journeying from Inverness or Aviemore you must also head to Perth via the A9 then join the M90 through Fife and over the Forth Road Bridge into Edinburgh.

By Air

Arriving in Edinburgh by plane is also easy, with the city’s own airport being only 25 minutes from the centre. You can also fly into Glasgow airport which is approximately an hour away, then drive or take a train which takes around 45 minutes from Glasgow Central. If you cannot reach Edinburgh directly by plane from your preferred regional airport, there are many connecting flights from London Heathrow and other UK airports which will take you there.

By Train

Edinburgh has two main train stations, Waverley (which is the main central station) and Haymarket. Waverley station receives all major trains from England including the Virgin Pendolino – the fast train from London and Birmingham to Scotland.

By Ship

Occasionally cruise ships will dock in Rosyth which is close to the Forth Road and Rail bridge, and smaller vessels will continue to the Port of Leith close to the Royal Yacht Britannia.


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