London City Airport is consulting on plans to modernise its flight paths to allow the introduction of Area Navigation (RNAV), as part of the wider London Airspace Management Programme, led by NATS, the UK’s leading provider of air traffic services. For more information, including details of how to respond to the consultation click here.

 
 

Edinburgh Guide. Leisure Guides.

 

Edinburgh: staid and reserved? Not a chance. Its raucous rugby fans, boot-stomping ceilidh dancers, boundary-pushing writers, innovative designers and creative chefs would beg to differ. Join them at cool hangouts and thought-provoking festivals, and enjoy unmatched heritage.

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Getting around


The best way to explore Edinburgh is on foot, as most of the attractions are within walking distance. Some sights are a bit further out however, so you may occasionally want to grab a city bus or one of the many hop-on, hop-off tour buses.
 
Lothian Buses runs the majority of buses in Edinburgh; you need exact change to buy your ticket, although you can purchase books of 20 single tickets from Lothian Buses Travelshops. Some city centre bus stops have machines where you can buy your ticket before boarding. A range of passes are available, including a day ticket, which you can buy from the driver. The long-awaited airport tram is expected to be complete in 2014.
 
Most of Edinburgh’s taxis are traditional black hackney cabs. There are several centrally located taxi ranks or you can hail a cab on the street. It’s easy to book one in advance too.
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Getting here

Getting here could not be any easier. We offer many frequent flights from London City Airport and plenty hotel packages. To book flights and hotels please click here.

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Hotels


From luxurious grandeur to chic Georgian townhouses, there’s no shortage of stylish spots to sleep in Edinburgh. For historic glamour, one of the city’s hottest new restaurants, and fabulously revamped rooms, look no further than The Caledonian (Princes Street), relaunched under the Waldorf Astoria umbrella in 2012. Alternatively, check into the über-hip Hotel Missoni (1 George IV Bridge), where bold colours and Missoni patterns dominate the décor. Its location right on the Royal Mile is unbeatable too.
 
For more moderately priced choices without sacrificing on comfort, B+B Edinburgh (3 Rothesay Terrace) in the West End melds cool, modern design with traditional Edinburgh elegance and a terrific library lounge to boot. The Hotel du Vin (11 Bristo Place), an exquisitely refurbished former city asylum in the heart of the Old Town, is particularly handy for popping into cosy pubs. The Place (34-38 York Place) strands three smartly renovated New Town houses and claims to house Edinburgh’s biggest bed.
 
To book a hotel click here
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Nightlife


Wherever you are in Edinburgh city centre, a quick glance either way usually reveals a handy boozer. The Old Town is crammed with historic pubs. An old favourite with a cracking range of real ales is The Last Drop (74-78 Grassmarket), whose name refers to the last public hanging here. Or head to modern BrewDog (143 Cowgate) and sample its tasty own-brand craft beer.
 
For a more chic soirée, follow the cocktail crawl around the New Town; George Street and its environs are peppered with trendy basement bars and hip hotel lounges where champers is more de rigueur than a pint. Then take a cab down to the gentrified Leith Shore, where Bond No9 (84 Commerical Street) serves five kinds of fizz by the glass.
 
On Fridays, give your partner a twirl at Ghillie Dhu’s weekly ceilidh (2 Rutland Place). For a booze-free alternative, catch a newly commissioned Scottish play at the Traverse Theatre (10 Cambridge Street).
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Restaurants


Edinburgh is no slouch in the restaurant stakes, with a steady stream of high-end dining rooms opening in recent years and a respectable five Michelin-starred restaurants in the bag. Choose from myriad city-centre eateries or head down to Leith’s shore for straight-out-of-the-ocean seafood.
 
Receiving rave reviews since opening in 2011, Restaurant Mark Greenaway has relaunched in a new location for 2013 at 69 North Castle Street, serving fine local produce and indulgent desserts. Meanwhile, possibly the hottest table in town is The Pompadour by Galvin (The Caledonian, Princes Street); enjoy haute French cuisine with a Scottish twist amid grandiose glamour.
 
A super spot on a sunny day is the outdoor space at Timberyard (10 Lady Lawson Street). Another moderately priced option for brunch or lunch in Edinburgh is Porto and Fi (9 North Bank Street, The Mound). Tuck into deliciously warming plates of fish pie or slow-roasted lamb shank with celeriac mash and tomato ragout.
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Shopping


Escape the Royal Mile’s tartan paraphernalia or chain store-lined Princes Street. Track down quirkier shopping nooks such as cobbled William Street in the West End; pick up a chic outfit from women’s boutique Arkangel & Felon at number 4 and a swanky handbag from Sam Brown at number 5. Bag books, crafts, cheese and tweed suits on brightly painted Victoria Street in the Old Town. Back in the New Town, George Street is home to upmarket and trendy brands such as Joules, Hollister and Jack Wills, while Multrees Walk showcases luxury labels.
 
A great spot for Saturday breakfast and foodie gifts is the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market (Castle Terrace), where you can stock up on local, fresh produce. The Stockbridge Sunday Market (Jubilee Gardens) sells a tempting assortment of edible creations from teriyaki rolls to black pudding Scotch eggs and mojito jelly, as well as natural soaps, ethical gifts and gourmet treats for your pooch.
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Top 10 sights

Top 5 sights for first-timers

Edinburgh Castle

Perched on rugged volcanic rock at the top of the Royal Mile, the castle dominates Edinburgh’s skyline. Highlights include 15th-century cannon Mons Meg, the Honours of Scotland (crown jewels), the Stone of Destiny (returned to Edinburgh in 1996 after 700 years) and the firing of the One o’clock Gun.

Castlehill
www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk

Palace of Holyroodhouse

When Kate and Wills’ baby heads north for his or her hols, there should be plenty of room for the royal crib at the Queen’s official Scottish residence. The palace was once home to Mary, Queen of Scots and became Bonnie Prince Charlie’s headquarters during the 1745 uprising. Capture a glimpse of interior design through the ages in the ornate Royal Apartments.

Canongate, The Royal Mile
www.royalcollection.org.uk 

National Museum of Scotland

This wonderful museum encompasses an astonishing variety of over 8,000 exhibits, from national artefacts such as the Lewis chessmen and 1,300-year-old Hunterston brooch to a life-size T-Rex model, ancient Egyptian coffins and Dolly the Sheep.

Chambers Street
www.nms.ac.uk

National Galleries of Scotland

Spread over three sites, the National Galleries house an unrivalled collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art as well as an extensive range of international works. Spot paintings of Mary, Queen of Scots and national bard Robert Burns at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Scottish National Gallery, The Mound

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street
www.nationalgalleries.org

Royal Yacht Britannia

For 44 years, Britannia was the Queen’s maritime home, sailing her to over 600 ports in 135 countries. Peer into the regal boudoirs and sick bay (even the royals feel a little queasy at sea). There’s an onboard Rolls Royce for Ma’am’s shoreside excursions.

Ocean Terminal, Leith
www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk


Top 5 sights for old hands

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A favourite with locals, the Botanics make for a serene urban escape. From clambering over the intricate Rock Garden to weaving your way through the labyrinth in the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden to getting hot and steamy in the glasshouses, you’ll come across a multitude of rare plants.

Inverleith Row/Arboretum Place
www.rbge.org.uk

City Art Centre

This first-rate gallery hosts regularly changing exhibitions, showcasing Scottish art from its own vast collection along with new work by local and international artists, plus displays of photography, design and architecture.

2 Market Street
www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk

Scottish Parliament

With an independence referendum fast approaching, a visit to the award-winning, 21st-century parliament building is a must. Free guided tours cover architectural highlights, offer a fascinating insight into the work and history of the parliament, and take you into the debating chamber.

Holyrood
www.scottish.parliament.uk

Museum on the Mound

Ever wondered what £1 million looks like? See for yourself at this interactive money-themed museum based in the Bank of Scotland’s headquarters. Gen up on banking history and try your hand at cracking a safe.

The Mound
www.museumonthemound.com

Jupiter Artland

Half an hour from the city centre via bus 27 is a striking sculpture garden containing an eye-catching collection of installations by leading artists from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Anish Kapoor. Allow a couple of hours to explore the meandering parkland trail. May to September only.

Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston
www.jupiterartland.org


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Top 5 activities

Climbing Arthur’s Seat

That extinct volcano bang in the middle of Edinburgh is begging to be climbed. Power (or saunter) to the top for mesmerising views of the castle, city, Firth of Forth and beyond to Fife.
 
Golfing

Tee off on historic championship courses in East Lothian, just east of Edinburgh. Here you have the pick of some of Scotland’s finest and toughest links courses, including Muirfield, Gullane and new kid on the block, 21st-century Archerfield.
 
Walking

On the southern fringes of the city are the gently rolling Pentland Hills. Choose from 100 kilometres of marked trails, from easy reservoir loops to scenic ridge walks. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Edinburgh, Fife and south towards the Borders.
 
Cycling
 
Take a short train ride to Longniddry, and pootle along the Beaches and Castle cycle route in East Lothian, pausing at dramatic Tantallon Castle and beautiful Yellowcraigs Beach. Or book the bike bus to Glentress, 40 kilometres south of Edinburgh, for terrific mountain biking.
 
Boat trip to Inchcolm

Set sail on the Firth of Forth from South Queensferry for an outing to the tiny island of Inchcolm. Keep your eyes peeled for puffins, guillemots or seals, and stop off to explore the 13th-century abbey and world-war defences. April to October only.
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Top 5 events


Six Nations Rugby

Slap on the face paint and bellow from the stands at Murrayfield to cheer on your team during this passionately fought international rugby tournament. Watch out for stray cockerels on the pitch when France are in action.
 
Date: February/March
Venue: Murrayfield
 
Edinburgh International Film Festival

Highlighting innovation on the big screen, this renowned cinematic celebration attracts big-name Hollywood stars as well as up-and-coming local talent. Previous premieres have included Man on Wire, The Hurt Locker and An Inconvenient Truth.
 
Date: June
Venue: Various
 
Edinburgh Festivals

In August, Edinburgh is an explosion of creativity, with the Edinburgh International Festival and its wacky cousin the Fringe taking over the city along with the book, jazz and art festivals.
 
Date: August
Venue: Various
 
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Staged beneath the magical backdrop of the castle, this glittering spectacle of nearly 1,000 talented pipers, drummers, dancers, musicians and fireworks is an unforgettable, stirring extravaganza.
 
Date: August
Venue: Edinburgh Castle
 
Hogmanay

Pucker up and kiss strangers galore on the strike of 12. The New Year party kicks off with a dazzling torchlight procession, continues with a massive street party, concert and outdoor ceilidh, and nips your hangover in the bud with the Loony Dook, a chilly dip in the Forth.
 
Date: December/January
Venue: Various

Written by World Travel Guide

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