Travel & Visa

Arrival by plane

Edinburgh has an international airport (EDI) which is about 12 km away from the city centre. There are Airlink express buses  every 10 minutes (£7.50 return trip, service between 4am and midnight) and a tram connection  every 10 minutes (£8.50 return trip, service between 6am and 11pm) between the airport and the city centre. The nightbus N22 operates between midnight and 4am. Bus 35 requires about one hour from the airport to the city centre but is cheaper (£1.60 single trip), while a taxi from the airport to Pollock Halls should cost about £20, and a little more to the Royal Observatory.

Glasgow airport  is also a short distance away and has a number of useful connections.

Arrival by train

Edinburgh's main station is Waverley . It serves several train lines, connecting to most of the major UK cities. The fastest EastCoast trains take less than 4.5 hours between London and Edinburgh, which is a 630 km trip. Waverley is about a mile and a half from Pollock Halls: taxis are available at the station, while Lothian Buses services 14, 30 and 33 from North Bridge (just above Waverley Station) stop at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, next to Pollock Halls. Buses 41, 42, and 67 from The Mound (a short distance to the west of Waverley) go near the Royal Observatory, but none goes up Blackford Hill, so a taxi may be better if you have luggage. (N.B. bus drivers do not give change, so the exact fare must be paid)

Arrival by car

Edinburgh is well connected to the rest of the UK by several motorways. Popular route planners can be found on the AA  and RAC  web pages. Parking at the Royal Observatory is currently limited, due to construction work.

Visa Information

General information regarding the requirements for entry to the UK may be found on the UK Border Agency website:
It must be noted that the UK is not part of the Schengen agreement, hence Schengen visas will not be accepted by passport control.

Attendees can find out if a visa is required by following the link below:

An online application for a visa can be made on the UK Border Agency website:

Visitors attending conferences are classed as business visitors:

Visa Help

If you require a letter of invitation for visa purposes, please contact Lyndsey Ballantyne (l.ballantyne [at] with the following details:

  • your name exactly as it appears on your passport
  • the postal address of your current home institution
Last updated: 12 Jul 2017 at 9:18