EduWiki Conference 2014/Edinburgh
Arriving by train
Edinburgh's main rail station is Waverley Station, situated between the city's old and new towns. Upon arrival in Waverley Station, further transport is available in the form of taxi ranks located within the station itself, or by means of the local buses which depart from stances on the nearby Princes Street or Waverley Bridge (see below for details), or the newly operational tram system that runs down Princes St, connecting Waverley to Haymarket Station and Edinburgh Airport. Waverley is also connected to the airport via a 24 hour airlink bus that departs from Waverley Bridge, typically every ten minutes.
Arriving by air
Edinburgh Airport is located approximately 8 miles outside of the city centre. Directions for driving to and from Edinburgh Airport are available on the website's transport links page. For access to the city centre via public transport, the airport is well-connected by both bus and trams. A 24 airlink service (£4 one way, £7 open return) runs approximately every ten minutes, and arrives in the city centre, at Waverley Station, in roughly 25 minutes. The new Edinburgh Tram system runs every 8-10 minutes, and costs £5 one way, £8 return.
Arriving at the venue
The EduWiki 2014 venue, St Leonard's Hall, is located approximately 25 minutes (walking distance) from Waverley Station, and is also well-connected by bus. Lothian Buses is Edinburgh's local bus company, running throughout the city; a single fare costs £1.50 for any trip, while a day pass will allow you unlimited travel for the day of purchase for only £3.50.
Exiting Waverley Station via Princes Street will allow you to access the #30 and 33 buses, which depart across from the Scott Monument on Princes St, or the #14 bus, which departs from the North Bridge around the corner. All three buses stop in front of the Commonwealth Pool, which is a short (2 minute) walk from St Leonard's Hall. The Lothian Buses route map will allow you to see the routes laid out over a Google map of Edinburgh; St Leonard's Hall is located just off of Dalkeith Rd in Newington.
Taxis, particularly black cabs, are common in Edinburgh city centre, and can also be booked by phone. The total cab fare will vary, but the distance between Waverley Station and St Leonard's Hall is approximately 10 minutes. The most widely used taxi companies in Edinburgh include:
- Central Radio Taxis (Black Cabs) - +44 131 229-2468
- City Cabs (Black Cabs) - +44 131 228-1211
- Edinburgh Taxi (minicabs - pre-book only) - +44 131 610-1234
While in Edinburgh
For those new to Edinburgh, the EduWiki conference is being held in the city's Newington district, which boasts some fabulous places to eat and drink, and lies not more than a short walk from the historic attractions of the Old Town. Some of the following information might be of interest should you find yourself with the chance and the inclination to explore the city.
Food and drink
Eating in the tourist heart of Edinburgh can be costly, but fortunately there are dozens of extraordinary places to grab a bite or a drink not far away without paying the high prices. Below are a selection of well-loved Edinburgh staples within close distance of St Leonard's Hall that should cater to every palate and every budget.
- Bonsai Bar & Bistro (46 West Richmond Street) - Informal modern Japanese dining room serving stylish sushi, teppanyaki, miso and salads
- Red Fort (10 Drummond Street) - Colourful budget Indian restaurant; a favourite with University of Edinburgh students
- Spoon Cafe Bistro (6A Nicolson St) - Gorgeously eclectic upper-level café and bistro with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, all reasonably priced and delicious
- The City Restaurant (35 Nicolson Street) - A bright, glass-fronted family diner that is open morning until late, serving up a proper fish and chips and all-day breakfast
- 10to10 in Delhi (67 Nicolson Street) - Laid-back Indian tea house and restaurant, serving delicious dishes for very friendly prices; well worth a visit
- Beirut Lebanese Restaurant (24 Nicolson Square) - Authentic Middle Eastern menu with set-price lunch option and BYO drinks in colourful surroundings
- The Potting Shed Cafe-Bar & Kitchen (32-34 Potterrow) - Creative, farm-to-fork food, plus craft beers and cocktails in eccentric, gardening-themed cafe-bar
- 56 North Cocktail Bar (2-8 West Crosscauseway) - Intimate cocktail bar with booths, a wide range of gins, gourmet burgers, flatbreads and steaks
- The Buffalo Grill (12-14 Chapel Street) - Texan-style BYOB diner for gourmet burgers and steaks
- Yak&Yeti Restaurant (13 Newington Road) - Nepalese and Indian dishes with a modern touch in a relaxed curry house
- Hanedan Turkish Restaurant (41 West Preston Street) - Intimate venue with a Turkish menu featuring hot and cold meze and charcoal-grilled meat and fish
- Drouthy Neebors (1-2 West Preston Street) - Spacious, contemporary pub serving Scottish beer on tap, wines and cocktail pitchers
- Kalpna Vegetarian Restaurant (2-3 St Patrick Square) - Established Indian vegetarian dining in striking, exotic decor with buffet, thali and lunch deals
- Kismot Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant (29 St. Leonard's Street) - Friendly, family-run Indian diner with creative menu and what claims to be Scotland's hottest curry
- Positano Italian Restaurant (85-87 Newington Road) - Buzzy Italian eatery with an extensive menu of classic dishes such as pizza, plus regional wines
- Celadon Thai Restaurant (49-51 Causewayside) - Stylish Thai dining in elegant bare stone and pale green decor with pre-theatre deals
- Hellers Kitchen (15 Salisbury Place) - Wood-floored, family-run cafe eatery known for its brunch, plus sandwiches and European main dishes
- The Southern Bar (22-26 South Clerk Street) - High-ceilinged pub with stripped wooden floors and a menu of gourmet burgers, plus craft beers
What to do
The EduWiki 2014 Google Map details a number of local tourist destinations in Edinburgh and their location, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament Buildings, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the Queen's official residence in Scotland. While these and other popular sites, like the Camera Obscura, Mary King's Close (an historic street preserved underneath the Royal Mile), and Gladstone's Land charge for entry, there are a number of fantastic local and national cultural organisations that provide an amazing Edinburgh experience for free. Be sure to check out the stunningly renovated National Museum of Scotland and the world-famous Greyfriar's Kirkyard (with a statue of the beloved Greyfriar's Bobby in front). The National Library of Scotland also hosts a free exhibition like the current 'Behind the Lines' exhibit that explores the personal stories of Scots in the First World War. There are several free smaller museums off the Royal Mile, like the Museum of Edinburgh, the Museum of Childhood and the Writer's Museum. Or, if you prefer, grab a pint at one of the busy historic pubs that line the Grassmarket, and take in a view of some of the city's incredible historic architecture.