Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is Scotland’s busiest and the 6th busiest in the UK, processing over 14 million passengers per year.
Its 38 partner airlines fly 221 routes to 157 destinations, including Alicante, Belfast, Basel, Chicago, Ibiza, London Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, and New York JFK and Newark.
Edinburgh Airport to exploring fishing villages
Located in Ingliston just outside Edinburgh, it’s a short drive into the city centre and Edinburgh’s central location makes it a superb base for exploring the fishing villages of Fife to the north and Dundee beyond, Stirling in central Scotland and Glasgow to the west. But the beautiful Scottish Highlands are only a couple of hours away too, and a trip to Newcastle in England’s north east is also more than manageable.
Reliable EDI car hire companies like Alamo, Europcar, Keddy and Green Motion can offer you customised packages with features like 24 hour assistance, theft protection and free cancellation 48 hours prior to the start of the rental period.
And you can choose the perfect vehicle for your highland fling – whether it’s a cute and compact Peugeot 108 that’s ideal for nipping around the New Town, a rugged Nissan Qashqai that’s great for family trips to other cities or a nine-seat Mercedes Vito that’s well-equipped for an extended family trip taking in the hills and glens of the north of Scotland.
With Enjoy Car Hire, renting a car at Edinburgh Airport is a stroll in the park – pop your details in the search box, hit the button and you’ll be comparing affordable deals in an instant.
Edinburgh is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and Scotland has a unique culture that’s fierce and uncompromising yet fantastically friendly. Lets take a look at driving around here and making the most of your Caledonian trip.
Driving in and around Edinburgh Airport
Drive east from Edinburgh Airport on the Glasgow Road/A8 and A8 and you’ll hit Edinburgh city centre in around 25 minutes if traffic is light, although you can also take the A90 or Western Approach Road and get there in roughly the same time.
But of you have a little time to spare, then before driving into the city, take the B800 to South Queensferry and you’ll see three of Scotland’s marvels of engineering – the Forth Bridge, Fort Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing. This trailblazing triad spans the River Forth and three centuries of ingenuity, all while offering one of Scotland’s most iconic views.
Scottish roads and speed limits
Roads around Edinburgh are reasonably quiet and well signposted, but if you need some reassurance, download the Traffic Scotland app to keep abreast of real-time data in any possible roadworks or unexpected congestion.
Like many cities across Britain, Edinburgh has recently introduced a 32 km/h speed limits in busy residential areas, with a 48 km/h limit in other built-up areas. Apart from these lower limits, the others follow the same pattern nationwide: 96 km/h for single carriageways, 112 km/h for dual carriageways and 112 km/h on motorways.
The same Highway Code applies in Edinburgh as in the rest of the UK – it’s easy to find and download a free copy online. Studying the traffic signs can help too and, although you’ll see many of the same signs in Scotland and England, you might notice a proliferation of certain types the further north you reach – those warning of deer on the road, for example. Here are some more tips for driving in and around Edinburgh:
- You always drive on the left hand side in Edinburgh and in all other parts of Scotland and the rest of the UK. Scotland has its own devolved parliament and a separate legal system means there’s some divergence between laws and rules here and those in England and Wales, but the correct side for driving is uniform across the UK.
- If you’re driving in Scotland in the winter, please be careful – it can get very cold here and black ice is common on the road. Keeping antifreeze in your car is a good habit to get into and if you want to be really prepared, carrying a small foldable shovel can help you dig yourself out of slippery spots.
- It’s mandatory for drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts in Scotland if they’re fitted in your vehicle. Child seats should also be fitted properly and used to keep kids safe whenever you travel, while a restraint should be used for any child under 1.35m tall and under 12.
- Holding your mobile phone to make or receive calls while driving is illegal, but if you have a hands-free set, this is fine to use provided you’re not distracted.
- The drink driving laws in Scotland are stricter than they are in England and Wales and blood alcohol levels can still be high the day after a night on the town, so please be sure you give yourself plenty of time to recuperate and flush the alcohol out your system with good old water.
- The Edinburgh Greenways traffic system prioritises black taxis, buses and bikes during rush hours. These are signposted, so please remember that you can’t drive your hire car in these lanes between 7:30 – 9:30am and 4 – 6:30pm Monday to Friday.
- The main thoroughfare in Edinburgh city centre is Princes Street, but you’re not permitted to drive your vehicle for the entire length of this street.
A guide to the Edinburgh area for EDI car hire customers
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, a UNESCO City of Literature and every summer hosts the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
A gothic and beautiful city
It might be the most beautiful city in Britain, with an elegant neoclassical New Town complemented by a historic Old Town full of cobbled streets, dark alleyways and mysterious crevices and corners. Even if you live here, there’s always something new to discover, hence its unique history and outward looking contemporary culture have a magnetic attraction to visitors from all over the world. Here are a few highlights:
- Take time to stroll along Princes Street and you’ll soon realise what’s so special about this city. On one side of the road, cafes and boutiques are nestled in fine old buildings, while the other side is dotted with grand galleries and monuments set on the edge of sunken gardens and topped off with the jaw-dropping Edinburgh Castle, which sits perched imperiously on top of a volcanic plug.
- If you love trendy restaurants, bustling bars and gorgeous Georgian buildings, you’ll feel at home in the New Town’s George Street. From designer store Harvey Nichols to jewellers ROX, this is the place for some serious retail therapy. And once your credit card is glowing red hot, cool off with a Kir Royale at The Dome and soak up the luxe ambience and inspirational interior.
- Leith is an old port situated in the north of Edinburgh and it was once a separate city. Today, ‘Leithers’ retain a proudly independent identity and this wonderful working class community has gradually become one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods. For foodies, there’s Michelin star dining in Restaurant Martin Wishart and The Kitchin, fresh seafood at The Ship On The Shore, and Bross Bagels has elevated the humble bread product to a gourmet meal. Meanwhile, if you’re hankering for a lively bar where you can mix with locals and enjoy delicious burgers and refreshing beers, The Lioness of Leith on Duke Street is the place to be.
- Fancy a day trip out of town? Head north over the Queensferry Crossing into Fife and stop off at Dunfermline, one of the ancient capitals of Scotland. The palace ruins are fascinating to walk around and King Robert the Bruce is buried in the ancient Abbey with Sir William Wallace’s mother laid to rest under a thorn tree outside. There’s also a statue of Dunfermline-born US industrialist Andrew Carnegie in Pittencrieff Park, the stunning green space he donated to the people of his birthplace. In today’s money, Carnegie would be worth a whopping $372 billion – he donated most of his fortune to charity before he passed away in 1919 because he believed that ‘the man who dies rich dies disgraced’.
As you can see, Edinburgh is a brilliant place to visit, with an endless choice of activities and excursions available in the vicinity – which is exactly why millions of visitors flock to it each year and return again and again.
Furthermore, in the unlikely event that you run out of things to do in the city itself, its central location means it’s a superb HQ for trips to Glasgow and the west coast, the Highlands and the Borders.
With Enjoy Car Hire you can pick up your ideal ride at EDI and embrace the best of Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland with ease.
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