Hiring a car in Edinburgh

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Hiring a car in Edinburgh

Pick up your hire car at Edinburgh airport and get ready for the buzz of Scotland's capital city.

60-second guide to Edinburgh

in its own head

"Brace yourself for the most fantastic city on earth. We've got breathtaking architecture draped over dramatic hills and the city is steeped in culture. You might never leave."

but more realistically

Ok, so moving here permanently might be pushing things, but Edinburgh is so packed full of good stuff you'll find you keep returning to the place.

the vibe

Imagine a happening place with great places to eat, drink and shop. Somewhere that'll have your cultural and entertainment senses overflowing. That place is Edinburgh.

the natives

Given they have to share their fabulous city with loads of tourists, they're remarkably friendly. Locals generally take pleasure in having so many visitors wandering around.

the weather

You'll need to wrap up warm. Edinburgh can be quite windy, even in high summer, because of its position between the sea and mountains.

the local speciality

You'll need to wrap up warm. Edinburgh can be quite windy, even in high summer, because of its position between the sea and mountains.

the celebrity

Given how Edinburghians like a good old natter, it's hardly surprising that Alexander Graham Bell - the inventor of the telephone - was born in the city.

did you know?

The Edinburgh Festival, which takes place each August, is the world's largest festival.

they say

"From April to September, temperatures are mild and compare favourably with other European cities; annual rainfall is the same as Frankfurt, New York and Rome." - Edinburgh office of www.visitscotland.org

5 to see in town...

1. Edinburgh Castle

The centrepiece of the Edinburgh skyline, the castle is the city's main attraction and well worth a visit. How often do you get to stand in a castle that's more than 1,000 years old?

where to park?

You can park on the surrounding main roads and streets but it is metered and monitored by parking wardens.

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2. Royal Botanic Garden

One glance at the city and you're realise that Edinburgh knows a thing or two about rocks. But the rock garden at the huge Royal Botanic Garden is so good you'll be planning how to spruce up your patio at home.

where to park?

There's loads of parking around the perimeter of the garden and on adjacent side streets. It's free at weekends and after 5:30pm but is metered Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm.

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3: Edinburgh Dungeon

This place of torture will test just how fearless you really are. But beware, one look in the 'horror labyrinth' and you could find yourself running for the nearest exit.

where to park?

Street parking is available in New Street or you can park your hire car in Waverley Station car park.

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4: The Royal Mile

This is the picturesque road that runs between the castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It's packed with attractions from the Whisky Heritage Centre, Parliament Square and various museums to the shops, cafes and bars of the Grassmarket.

where to park?

Park at the Castle Terrace car park below the castle and climb up the hill to the castle grounds. It'll cost you £.

5: St Giles' Cathedral

An unmistakable landmark on the Royal Mile, this imposing building was also the spot where a riot began in 1637 following the King's efforts to introduce English religion in Scotland. He didn't get his way.

where to park?

Parking around the cathedral is prohibited. You can park at the Castle Terrace car park (£4 for two hours) and either take the bus up to the Cathedral or walk.

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and 4 to drive to...

1: Gullane Bents

A short drive from the exceptionally pretty village of Gullane, Gullane Bents is one of East Lothian's best-kept secrets. This beautiful, dune-backed beach offers great surfing, views of Edinburgh and has terrific sunsets.

how to get there?

It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Edinburgh. Go north-east on the A1140 before heading east on the A1. Take the A198 exit towards North Berwick.

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2: Roslin Glen Country Park

Go for a walk in Roslin Glen and you'll take in Rosslyn Castle (built in 1304), a river valley, Rosslyn Chapel (featured in the The Da Vinci Code film), plus over 100 'green man' carvings.

how to get there?

Roslin Glen Country Park is about 20 minutes south of Edinburgh. Take the A701 then the B7006.

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3: St Andrews

It would be criminal for any golf enthusiasts to visit so close to where the game originated without having a round. And if the famous St Andrews Old Course is full, there are plenty others to try.

how to get there?

Head north on the Forth Road Bridge, before taking the A92 then the A915 towards St Andrews. It will take about an hour and 25 minutes.

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4: Glasgow

After considerable renovation, Glasgow is buzzing with activity. The old Victorian buildings have been revitalised, bars and restaurants are popping up all over and there's a thriving live music scene.

how to get there?

Take the M8 west, then follow the signs for the A8 into Glasgow. It should take just over an hour.

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