The Riccarton campus is situated to the west of Edinburgh near Currie, between the A70 and A71. Some basic information about how to get here is below, and some information about local accommodation (of course, there is much more information about Edinbugh accommodation online and via the Edinbugh tourist information services, so I won't try to replicate that here).

If anything is out of date or could be improved, let me know:   .

University directions web page

There is a university web page with directions and maps. Unfortunately, it is often the case that much of the information on the university page is either out of date or not very helpful.

There is further information about public transport at Traveline Scotland and at Visit Scotland.

Maps of the campus (and surroundings)

Campus map     (pdf file - 135KB). This is probably the clearest map of the central campus that I can currently find (there were better ones in the past but they were all deleted and replaced with worse ones). This one is particularly useful in that it shows the bizarre naming convention adopted by the university for its buildings (even people who work here don't understand it).
If the above university link is broken (and the university regularly changes and breaks links) then here is my copy of the map.

Campus map     (pdf file - 5MB!). This is a fairly good map of the campus, and also has maps of the surrounding transport network and a summary of the directions as to how to get here from the University web page.

Campus car parks map     (pdf file - 95KB). This map specifically shows the campus car parks.
The visitor car parks (no permit required) are A, B, J, H. If you park in the other car parks, without a permit, you are likely to get a warning notice glued to your windscreen.

OpenStreetMap map     Open source streetmap showing roads and footpaths on the campus and surroundings.

Google map.     A google 'map'. I find that this 'map' becomes considerably clearer if you click on the word 'map' in the box on the bottom left. It has a 'clickable' index of the campus buildings so is handy for finding buildings, but once you have found what you want I think the above OpenStreetMap map is clearer.

OS Map     This is an Ordnance Survey map of the campus area (from Streetview).

How to get here

By Air

From Edinburgh International Airport (Turnhouse) airport the most convenient way is by taxi, approximate cost £12, approximate time 10 minutes. From Glasgow International Airport, there are some buses direct to the centre of Edinburgh (to St Andrew's Square Bus station, walk outside and turn left into St Andrew's Square to catch the 25 to Riccarton). Alternatively take a bus or taxi to Glasgow (Buchanan St.) Station and catch a train to Edinburgh (Haymarket).

By Train

See here for train information. Arriving by the East Coast line at the main Waverley Station in the city centre, walk up the steps to Princes St and walk west along Princes St until you reach a bus stop where Lothian Buses 25, or 34, see below, is indicated. Arriving from the West, it is slightly quicker to get off at Haymarket Station, walk 100m east towards a large road junction (Haymarket), turn right and cross the Dalry road to reach a Lothian Buses 25 bus stop. Local trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central via Shotts stop at Curriehill Station just south of the campus, and is about a fifteen to twenty-minute walk from the campus (see the above OS or google maps).

By Bus

Lothian Buses services 25, 34 and 45 run between the city centre and the James Watt Centre on the campus. All these bus routes terminate at the campus, so you can simply sit on the bus until it is clearly no longer going anywhere. Exact fare must be tendered - at present (Sep 2016) the fare is £1.60 from the city centre, on any route, or you can get a 'day ticket' for £4.00 which you can use repeatedly, on any Lothian Bus route, for the duration of the day on which you buy it (obviously, you can't use a Lothian Bus day ticket on the buses of their competitor First Bus). There is also a 'day and night' ticket for £3.50, which is similar to the 'day ticket' except that it is valid on day and night services between 1800hrs on the day you buy it and 0430hrs the following morning.

Bus routes  

25   This runs along Princes St (by Waverley Station) and then passes Haymarket Station (approximately 10 minutes after Waverley Station). The journey time to Riccarton is approximately 35 minutes from Waverley Station and 25 minutes from Haymarket Station. Between 8.00 and 18.30 the 25 runs roughly every 10 minutes. After that it is every half hour.

34   This also runs between Princes St (by Waverley Station) and Riccarton Campus. The journey time to Riccarton is approximately 35 minutes from the Scott Monument on Princess St, near to Waverley Station.

45   This runs from Princes St (close to the Bus Station), via North Bridge, South Bridge, Chambers St and Lauriston Place, passing close to George Square in Edinburgh University (about 10 minutes from Princes St), and then on to the Riccarton Campus. It runs Mondays to Fridays only. The journey time to Riccarton is approximately 45 minutes from Princes St and 35 minutes from George Square.
NB This service is most useful for travelling between Riccarton and George Square; it is significantly slower than the 25 or 34 for getting between Riccarton and Princes St.

Late buses are also available: The N25 leaves from Waverley Steps on Princes St and runs via Haymarket.

Bus timetables and up-to-date information can be obtained from Lothian Buses (click on 'Find your bus' then 'timetables').

By Taxi

Central Radio Taxis telephone 0131 229 2468 (24 hrs).
A taxi from the City Centre costs about £15; normal tipping rate in the UK is about 10%, but personally I don't tip taxi drivers.

By Bike

If the link hasn't broken, there might be some information about alternative bike routes to Heriot-Watt at:    HW bike information
(unfortunately, University web page links break far too often for me too keep them maintained....
If this link is broken email me; if this link works, but the onward links are broken when you get there: give up and use the information below).

For OS maps of the Union canal see:   Heriot-Watt approach    city centre start.

My preferred route is to come out along the Union canal. The canal starts at Lochrin Basin, near Tollcross and Lothian road in the city centre (for an OS map, see the above link), and heads out past Harrison Park, Slateford, Kingsknowe, Wester-Hailes and then crosses the Edinburgh bypass and continues on westwards to Falkirk. If you are not starting in the city centre you could trace out the route of the canal from the above link and find a suitable place to join it. The other link above shows an OS map of the approach to the university. For this, probably the best route is:

By Car

The University is half a mile from the Calder Junction of the A720 Edinburgh By-Pass and the A71, heading out of town along the A71 (there are signs for Heriot-Watt University on the approach to the Calder Junction).

Visitor parking: all visitors must use Visitors Car Park A or B on entering the campus.
Accessible visitor parking: (blue badge holders only) an accessible car park is located at Gait 10 next to the Centre for Sport and Exercise. Additional accessible parking spaces are available throughout the Edinburgh Campus. Disabled visitors should make arrangements in advance to ensure an appropriately allocated parking space is made available.

There are no restrictions or charges at the moment on parking in the main visitors car park, which is on the right as you enter the campus from the big roundabout at the main entrance.


On campus

If you have booked accommodation on Campus, the Reception Desk in the James Watt Centre is staffed 24 hrs.

Some local hotels

The Department of Mathematics has put people up in the following hotels and they appear to be quite pleasant. However, check them out yourself via their web sites.

Notes (Nov 2014)
The Grosvenor Gardens and the Apex Haymarket are, apparently, nice, and are handy for both the town and the 25 bus out to the university.
The Grassmarket Apex is right in the middle of town, but not so handy for getting out here.
We used to use the Edinburgh Thistle for seminar speakers but it has got a bit expensive recently.

This page was last updated on

Please send comments and suggestions to: