Edinburgh Travel Guide

This page is hopefully helpful for those who are not familiar with Edinburgh and provides some information on accommodation and travel to and inside Edinburgh.  All of the weekend venues and many of the historical sites in Edinburgh, at least those of most interest to Dunnett readers, are concentrated across a fairly small area in the centre of town, but the hills and elevations can be confusing. 

If you want to explore the Dunnett related sites in Edinburgh, then the essential companion is the Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide which describes all the Edinburgh locations, past, present and fictional, mentioned in her novels. This guide is available from the Dorothy Dunnett Society shop – click here for details or to purchase.

Accommodation in Edinburgh

It is difficult to recommend specific accommodation for the weekend as there is such a wide range of options and prices in Edinburgh, and DDS weekend attendees stay in many different places in the city.  Our evening events are all in central Edinburgh, as is the pick-up location for the Sunday coach trip, so many attendees prefer to stay somewhere reasonably central. The conference centre is a little further away in the university area, but it can be easily reached via a short bus or taxi ride or an approx. 30-minute walk from the city centre.

If you are coming by car, you will find parking can be expensive in central Edinburgh, so you may find it better to stay in one of the hotels near the conference centre, or out in Murrayfield where there are nice B&Bs that have parking.


 If you are coming by train or plane, and are therefore a pedestrian in Edinburgh, then much will depend on your budget.  The Radisson Blu where we have our welcome meal has been a popular option in the past and is offering a special rate for Dunnett Weekend attendees (see below) but there are many other centrally located hotels, although it can be hard to find budget accommodation.

 If you would like to be close to the conference centre we also have a special rate for accommodation from the conference centre operator (see below)

There have been also been good reports of Motel One, a German budget chain with 2 hotels in central Edinburgh, and the ‘Hub by Premier Inn’.

Radisson Blu accommodation

The Radisson Blu has reserved a block of rooms for attendees:

  • Superior bedrooms for single occupancy @ £185.00 per room per night
  • Superior bedrooms for double/twin occupancy @ £220.00 per room per night

Rooms include Radisson Blu breakfast & Fast wireless internet access

Guests have to ring /email the Edinburgh hotel, NOT the Radisson Central Reservations, and quote DDS230420. The rate can be used for 1,2 or 3 nights and is valid until the 28th of February.

contact details: Telephone: 0131 473 6530

Email: groups.edinbugh@radissonblu.com

 Note: The Central Reservations will not be able to take bookings using this code so reservations must be made directly with the Edinburgh in house reservations team.

A credit card will be requested as a guarantee. Once reservations are received, individuals will be subject to the Hotel’s standard reservation cancellation terms – Rooms may be cancelled up to 72 hours prior to the day of arrival without incurring any charge.

John McIntyre Centre Accommodation

Edinburgh First, who manage the John McIntyre conference centre, are giving DDS weekend attendees a 15% discount on accommodation at their hotels.  The KM Central is near the National Museum of Scotland and Salisbury Green is on the same campus as the John McIntyre Centre, which and has onsite parking and is very convenient to get to the main Saturday lectures and AGM.  If you want to book this accommodation online please visit:


You will need to enter the code EVENT into the “Promotion Code” box (once you have selected a specific hotel) in order to access the discounted prices.

Other options

There are also AirBnB rooms and apartments and many other forms of accommodation available via all the big internet booking sites:





Transport to Edinburgh

By Air

Edinburgh Airport has numerous daily UK and international flights and lies about 7 miles west of the city centre. Options for transport from the airport include taxi (around £20 to city centre) tram (£6)and Airlink bus (£4.50)



By Train

Edinburgh has excellent links to the UK rail network with direct trains from London and trains arrive at Edinburgh Waverley Station, with some also stopping at the smaller Haymarket Station at the west end.



By Bus

A number of bus companies travel to Edinburgh from other areas in the UK which are detailed below.




By Car

For those travelling by car, the following web sites might be useful for route planning and for parking within Edinburgh.




Travel within Edinburgh


For travel within Edinburgh, there are many different options including black cabs, private hire companies and Uber. With black cabs you can hail them as they pass and there are taxi ranks. You can also phone them or use their apps. Two of the larger firm websites are below.

Central Taxis: 01312292468 https://www.taxis-edinburgh.co.uk

City Cabs: 01312281211 https://www.citycabs.co.uk

Lothian Buses

Lothian Buses are recognisable with their maroon colour. Their website and app have timetables. They drop and pick up at every stop in the centre, but if it’s quieter putting your hand out signals the driver to stop and there are buttons on board to stop.



City centre Route Map:


Tickets are available on board the bus from the driver. You can also use their mobile phone app or buy Day Tickets from the Travelshop. Details of fares are below.

Edinburgh Trams

Website: http://edinburghtrams.com

The Edinburgh Tram route runs from the Airport to St Andrews Square (near Waverley station). The only event location they are near is the Caledonian hotel, but you can use them to connect from the Airport into central Edinburgh. You can buy tickets on the tram platform from the ticket machines. If you have a Day Ticket or Ridacard this needs to be validated in the machines before boarding or you can end up paying £10. Travelshops are located at Waverley Bridge, Hanover Street and Haymarket Station.

Airport Zone City Zone How to get tickets
Single Adult Tram £6 £1.70 Tram vending machines before you board or m-ticket app
Return Adult Tram £8.50 £3.20 Tram vending machines or m-ticket app
Single Adult Bus £4.50 £1.70 On board bus. Exact change required
Day Ticket

Adult Tram and Bus

£4.00 Tram vending machines, driver on any Lothian Buses day service, Travelshop or m-ticket. Unlimited travel on Edinburgh Trams (except airport) and Lothian Buses