Heriot Watt University

Local Information

Doctoral Workshop

28 October - 2 November 2013

Guide to Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University campus

Welcome to Edinburgh! We hope you enjoy both the Doctoral Workshop and your stay here in Scotland.  You will be based in two main areas throughout your stay – Heriot-Watt University campus and the Haymarket area in Edinburgh.  Heriot-Watt is approximately 5 miles from Edinburgh city centre and has direct links with Haymarket.  This is a quick guide to Heriot-Watt campus, Edinburgh city and all things in between.





The AirLink bus (number 100) leaves from outside Haymarket station and will take approximately 30-40 minutes to get to Edinburgh International Airport.  It is bright blue, so is easy to spot!  Single fares cost £3.50 and an open return is £6.00.  There are other local bus routes between the airport and the city (e.g., Lothian 35), but for our purposes the AirLink 100 is the most convenient. Taxis will also take you to and from the airport, but pre-booking is advisable to get the best price. For pre-booked pick-up, go to the Drop-Off area just outside the terminal (clearly signposted), which is to the left of the taxi rank.


The most direct link from Haymarket to campus is the number 25 bus run by Lothian Buses.  These leave at least every 10 minutes from bus stops along Dalry Road (see bus map) in the day, and also go into the city centre and to Leith.  At night, the N25 will take you to and from campus.

Lothian buses only accept exact change for bus tickets.  The prices are as follows:

Single Ticket (one journey): £1.50

Day Ticket (more than one journey): £3.50

You can also buy pre-paid bundles of tickets online (these also provide a discount on the price).  Bundles come in packs of 10 ‘day tickets’ for £35, or there is a visitor’s pack of 28 day tickets for £88 (which could be split between a group).  Tickets bought online can be collected from Haymarket station. For more information, check Lothian Buses.

To get to the city centre from campus, you can catch the number 25, 34 or 45 buses.  The 34 and 45 will not take you to Haymarket.  Further details on timetables can be found on the Lothian Buses website, where you can also download free apps for Apple and Android. Traveline Scotland also has free apps for Android, Windows, Blackberry and Apple.


A journey to campus costs approximately £40 for a round trip.  If you are on campus, main reception in the James Watt Building will telephone for a taxi for you.  If you are in the city, you can flag down any of the classic hackney cabs. 

To pre-book taxis, City Taxis and Central Taxis have an app for Android and Apple, or you can call them direct.  Capital Cars offers a 20% discount on metered fares pre-booked on their app, and also provides cars that seat 6-8 people. There are many other companies available.


The closest station to campus is Curriehill, which is approximately 15 minutes’ walk away.  Trains leave from Haymarket at 30 minutes past the hour, every hour and cost £3.80 for a return ticket. Trains also leave from Waverly every hour.  For more information, check the Scotrail website.

Curriehill station is in the middle of the countryside, so if you want to get a taxi to campus you will need to book in advance.  Alternatively, you can walk the following route:


The entrance to campus is the first right-hand turn off the main road, next to a small cottage.  Follow the campus road until you get to a junction, and you will then see signs to the main buildings on your right.



A campus map is available here, but if you cannot find a building, ask at the main reception in the James Watt Centre. 


arrive and leave from the area outside the James Watt Centre.


will be provided throughout the conference, but if you want alternatives, there are several options in the Hugh Nesbitt Building (including a student shop and several coffee options), or there is a cafe/restaurant in the Edinburgh Business School. 

If you wish to eat outside or get some fresh air (weather permitting), the sunken garden behind the library is an attractive place to go.


can be accessed through your Eduroam credentials.  If you experience difficulties contact the IT Helpdesk in the Library.

Campus details are as follows: Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS. 



A map has been provided in your welcome pack; however for an alternative which shows the main sites and attractions in the city, try here.

The Guardian also has a very useful interactive map which has recommendations for places to eat, socialise and visit alongside reviews and indications of cost:

The city is divided into different areas, all of which are accessible either on foot or by bus. 



This is the area around Haymarket train station.

To see: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road

To eat and socialise:

There are lots of small restaurants in the Haymarket area (try Morrison Street to start).  Chop Chop on Morrison Street may not look like much, but is a city favourite and was recommended by Gordon Ramsay on the F-Word! Alternatively, the Grassmarket is approximately a 10 minute walk east along Morrison Street and West Port, and has a good mix of pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars and a great atmosphere.

New Town

This area includes Princes Street and the street north of Princes Street

To see: Princes Street Gardens (which provide a good view of Edinburgh Castle), the Scott Monument (Princes Street), the National Gallery (Princes Street).  Calton Hill is at the far east end of Princes Street and provides great views of the Firth of Forth and the Old and New Town (as long as the weather is good!)  Further north you can see traditional Georgian architecture at the Royal Circus.

To eat and socialise: Rose Street has a huge array of pubs.  George Street contains a mix of bars, pubs and restaurants.

Old Town

This is the area south of Princes Street, and is the other side of Princes Street Gardens

To see: The Royal Mile (stretches from the top of High Street to the bottom of the Canongate).  Edinburgh Castle is at the top of High Street and has good views over the city from the esplanade (entry inside the Castle is £16).  The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace and a view of Arthur’s Seat can be found at the other end of the Royal Mile at the bottom of the Canongate.  There is also lots to see in between!

To eat and socialise:

There are pubs, cafes and restaurants all along the Royal Mile.  Deacon Brodie’s Tavern will provide you with traditional Scottish food and drink.  Alternatively, for a wide range of Scotch whisky, you could try The Whiski Rooms on Bank Street.  For non-Scottish fare, Viva Mexico on Cockburn Street is a good Mexican option.


This area is in the north of the city, on the coast.  It takes approximately a 25 minute to walk from the top of Leith Walk in the city centre to Leith.  Alternatively, the number 25 goes either from campus or the city centre to the bottom of Leith Walk.

To eat and socialise:

Leith has experienced a renaissance in the last 20 years and is now a great area in which to eat and socialise.  Shore Road has a great selection of pubs and restaurants – many of which serve high quality seafood. 

A good guide to Leith can be found here