Travel around Edinburgh
Navigating your way around a strange city can be difficult enough and Edinburgh can sometimes seem trickier than most. The Midgie offers a step-by-step guide to navigating your way around
Edinburgh offers an extensive bus service and every stop has a full timetable and schedule. The number 22 is a favourite for its quick, direct route down to the bar and cafe-lined shores of Leith. Also, the numbers 12, 26 and 31 will take you from the city centre to Edinburgh Zoo, to spend a day with the animals. If you crave more tranquillity (and fewer monkeys and lions), then an hour’s journey on the number 49 will take you to Rosewell, a stone’s throw from Rosslyn Chapel – that now famed historical site featured in the book The Da Vinci Code. Or if you’re a thrill seeker the number X48 will take you out to Ratho Climbing Arena (35 metre-high climbing walls, anyone?). For all you night-birds, a range of buses operate into the small hours. The N22 goes from Princes Street to Leith, the N27 will take you to Tollcross and the N37 goes up Waverley Bridge.
All buses £1.20 single, £3 day ticket and £3 for night buses. For information, including maps and full timetables, visit www.lothianbuses.com or phone 0131 554 4494.
For comfort and speed, a taxi is the way to go. Over 1000 traditional black cabs can be hailed on the street. Alternatively you can pre-book a taxi or find one at designated taxi ranks (see information below). You can also book special 8-seater taxis. Note: only ever hail a licensed taxi, which will be clearly marked with a numbered licence plate. The driver will be required to have an ID tag on show.
Radiocabs 0131 225 9000, City Cabs 0131 228 1211, Central Taxis 0131 229 2468, Festival Cars (for special 8-seaters) 0131 552 1777; Central ranks: Waverly station, Lothian Road, Radisson SAS Hotel, Omni Centre
By bike is a good way to see a city from a different perspective. The central hire shops offer a range of bikes, including mountain bikes, slim city bikes, two-seater Tandems or the more stylish option (because that is a key concern) of a Brompton: a fold-up bike with a low frame and long elegant handle bars. Or if you feel the need for speed, opt for the brand new Powabyke – an environmentally-friendly, rechargeable bike with a 200 watt motor that will propel you round the city.
Bike Trax, 11-13 Lochrin Place, Edinburgh, 0131 228 6633, www.biketrax.co.uk, £16 a day, £70 week; Edinburgh Cycle Hire, 29 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh, 0131 556 5560, www.cyclescotland.co.uk, £10–15 a day, £50–70 week; Leith Cycle Company, 276 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, 0131 467 7775, www.leithcycleco.com, £10 a day, £50 week.
Obscure ride of the issue: Trikes
These beastly machines are like a motorbike with a two-seated back section. They come with a personal chauffer who will whizz you around the city, whilst playing your favourite tunes on the integrated iPod system. It doesn’t get much more ‘Hell’s Angels’ than this.
A trike ride costs £55 for two people and departs from the city centre, 0800 056 7779, www.triketourscotland.com, (pre-book to arrange times and departure details).