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3rd International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications
Travel and Transport

Travel to/from Edinburgh

Edinburgh is easily accessible by air, rail or road, and has good public transport within the city (see below).


Edinburgh Airport has direct flights from many cities in Europe, and some in North America.

There are regular buses between the airport and the city centre (Edinburgh Waverley train station), and airport taxis. (See below for details of transport within Edinburgh)

The following are low-cost airlines which have a range of flights to/from Edinburgh:


There are rail links to London (4 to 5 hrs), Manchester (around 4 hrs), Birmingham (around 5 hours) and many other UK locations. The main station in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Waverley, which is about 10 minutes walk (or a short bus ride) from the main university area (uphill, unfortunately), although there is a further 20 minute walk to reach Pollock Halls. There is also a smaller station, Edinburgh Haymarket which is quite central but not so convenient, although several buses run from there to the university area. Taxis are available at both stations, but the Haymarket rank is very small.

(See below for details of transport within Edinburgh)

National Rail Enquiries provides facilities for exploring train times, connections, and fares, or you can telephone (UK) 08457 48 49 50.


Long-distance coaches arrive at the St Andrews Square depot in the centre of Edinburgh, about 5 minutes walk from Waverley train station (i.e. on the other side of the train station from the university). (See below for details of transport within Edinburgh)

See sketch map of St Andrew Sq/Waverley Station area.

National Express coaches: UK-wide services.

Scottish Citylink coaches : services within Scotland, including a regular service from Glasgow Airport, and links to England.


If arriving by car from the south, the A68 (Old Dalkeith Road), and the A7 meet at the City Bypass, and become the Dalkeith Road on entering the city. This runs directly past Pollock Halls, beside the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

Map of Pollock Halls

Just over a kilometre past the Royal Commonwealth Pool/Pollock Halls, a left turn into West Richmond Street and then a right turn into Richmond Place takes you to the Kenneth Mackenzie Suite.

Map showing Pollock Halls and Richmond Place.

If arriving from other directions, you need to head for the south side of the city centre. Useful landmarks to aim for are: the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh or Dalkeith (to get on to the right routes out southwards from the city centre), the Royal Commonwealth Pool or Pollock Halls (once you have crossed the city centre).

Transport within Edinburgh

Edinburgh has good public transport within the city.

To/from the airport

A taxi from the airport to the city centre (15 to 30 minutes depending on traffic) will cost about 15, perhaps slightly more to Pollock Halls. Skycabs are the official airport taxis, and usually have a good supply of taxis waiting.

It is possible to phone for a city-based firm (black cab) to come out and collect you at a specified time; the city cabs are not permitted to pick you up unless you have ordered them specifically. In principle, this could be useful if the airport taxis are in short supply or the queue is very long. The city firms claim to be able to get there -- from a nearby rank -- within two minutes of a call. Some large city taxis firms are: Central Radio Taxis (229 2468), City Cabs (228 1211), Radio Cabs (225 9000).

For going to the airport by taxi, the city cab firms (there are several) are the only option -- airport taxis don't pick up in town. Black cabs can be booked by phone or hailed in the street. (Although they retain the bodywork of traditional "black" cabs, they are often multi-coloured, being covered with advertising.)

There is a regular bus service (Lothian, number 100), between the airport and Edinburgh Waverley train station, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ticket cost is 3.40 single, 5.00 return. Tickets can be bought on the bus. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. The frequency of the service varies from every 10 minutes at peak times through the day, to every 30 minutes at night.


Taxis are plentiful and generally fairly professional. They can be hailed in the street (if their roof light is illuminated), or booked by phone. Some large city taxis firms are: Central Radio Taxis (229 2468), City Cabs (228 1211), Radio Cabs (225 9000).

There is a large taxi rank inside Waverley Station. A taxi from here to Richmond Place (for the Kenneth Mackenzie Suite) should cost about 5 pounds. To Pollock Halls, it will be around 7 pounds.


There are several bus firms, but the biggest two (by far) are Lothian Buses and First Bus, though both of them have distinctly unhelpful websites at present.

Bus tickets are bought from the driver on entry, and no change is given -- try to carry a good supply of change. Most trips around the city will cost 80p. There are good value "day-tickets" (also bought from the driver) if you intend to make three or more trips in a day. Lothian and First have different fare structures and rates, and day-tickets from one company cannot be used on the other's buses. Most bus-stops have notices giving a certain amount of information about timetables, routes and fares.


Parking is not plentiful in central Edinburgh. There are on-street short-term parking spaces with meters or ticket machines. Adjacent to Appleton Tower there is a commercial car park, but it is not cheap. Parking in university car parks (e.g. the one on the south side of Appleton Tower) is not allowed for visitors.

Buses from city centre to university

Edinburgh Waverley train station and St Andrews Square coach station are both near the east end of Princes Street (Edinburgh's main "boulevard"), at the junction with North Bridge (which runs south).

Most of the buses running up North Bridge go near the university. Virtually every one of these buses goes the short distance to Nicolson Square, the stop for the Kenneth Mackenzie residence. This will cost 60p and take five minutes or less. You then have to walk a short distance to the left to find Richmond Place.

For getting to Pollock Halls, take the 14, 30 or 33, Lothian, from North Bridge (80p).

To get to the North Bridge bus stops from the rail or bus station, get on to Princes Street, head away from the Scott Monument (large dark pointed fake-Gothic monument about 60 metres high) and towards the Balmoral Hotel (large square Victorian building with picturesque clock tower on top). Cross over North Bridge at the traffic lights at the corner of the Balmoral Hotel. Turn right on reaching the other side, walking up North Bridge to the bus stops.

See sketch map of Waverley Station area.

Arriving at Pollock Halls

On arrival at Pollock Halls, report first to the Reception Centre.

If coming by taxi, the driver should be able to find this; show him the Pollock Halls map from the web if he has problems!

If arriving by bus, get off at the stop outside the Royal Commonwealth Pool. Then walk back about 100 metres and take the first turn on the right (up the side of the Royal Commonwealth Pool). Walk another 100 metres (ignoring the entrance to the Pool's car park) and the main Pollock entrance is on the right. The Reception Centre is just inside on the left.

Map of Pollock Halls

Buses from Pollock Halls to main university buildings

For getting to the university area from Pollock Halls, take a Lothian bus from outside Pollock Halls (on the other -- west -- side of the main road).

For getting to Buccleuch Place, use 14, 30 or 33 and get off at St Patrick Square, which is immediately after -- on the left -- the Odeon cinema, and walk through the alleyway just past the bus stop. St Patrick Square has a small patch of grass and three little trees, right next to the bus stop.

For Appleton Tower, use 14, 30 or 33, get off at Nicolson Square (one stop after St Patrick Square), then walk one block west to Appleton Tower. The 2 is also a possibility, but it doesn't follow the same route as the others, and doesn't go past St Patrick Square/Odeon, so vigilance is needed.

Sketch map of Appleton Tower/Buccleuch Place area.

Map of Pollock Halls

Walking from Pollock Halls to main university buildings

Cross the Dalkeith Road, and walk down Salisbury Road, the narrow road down the side of The Crags pub. After one block, at the traffic lights turn right on to the main street, Newington Road. Follow this street until you reach the landmarks mentioned in the bus information, above. (This street -- whose name changes every few hundred metres -- has lots of shops if you need to buy food or other everyday supplies. Also, almost every Lothian bus going along here will take you to St Patrick Square and Nicolson Square.)

This should take about 20 minutes.

Transport information from City of Edinburgh Council.