The conference will take place on 6th–7th June 2014 in the Dugald Stewart Building, part of the University's Central area campus. The campus is a short walk from Edinburgh's historic Old Town, with plenty of places to stay and eat around campus.
The official street address for the DSB is 3 Charles Street, which will show correctly in your mapping app of choice, but don't go looking for Charles Street itself (it's a small stump of a street with bollards in the middle). The entrance to the building is on Bristo Square, opposite the McEwan Hall.
If you arrive by train, the easiest way of getting here is to walk. From Waverley station, go up to the Royal Mile via Cockburn Street; or, if you don't mind steps, via Advocate's Close (at the bottom of Cockburn Street) or the News Steps (some way up Market Street, the street that goes uphill to your right if you stand with your back to Waverley). Once on the Royal Mile, go right to the intersection with George IV Bridge / Bank Street (with the statue of Hume and the Deacon Brodie's Pub). At the intersection, turn left down George IV Bridge. At the bottom of that, the road forks into two at the Bedlam Theatre: keep to the left, and Bristo Place will take you to Bristo Square; the DSB is at the far left side of the square.
Edinburgh is well connected to the rest of the UK, Europe and North America by rail and air. Edinburgh Airport (EDI) has flights to most major European hubs and plenty of low-cost direct flights; there is also a direct flight to New York-Newark for an alternative connection from North America. If you cannot get a convenient flight to Edinburgh, you can also try Glasgow Airport (GLA), which offers more transatlantic connections. Glasgow Airport is a short trip away from Glasgow city centre, where you can get a comfortable quarter-hourly train shuttle into Edinburgh. Note there are two major train stations in Glasgow: Central and Queen Street. The best bet for Edinburgh is the shuttle train from Glasgow Queen Street billed as Edinburgh via Falkirk High: other services from Queen Street and all trains from Glasgow Central are local stopping services. Note also that Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK), while offering some cheap flights from Europe, is not very convenient for getting to Edinburgh by public transport.
Edinburgh is well connected to the rest of the UK by rail. Notably, London King's Cross station is served by frequent, comfortable trains that take just over 4 hours to Edinburgh, so it is possible to fly into a London aiport and get a train or flight from there. The well-connected Manchester Airport (MAN) is served by a two-hourly direct train from Edinburgh as well (which takes around 3 hours).
Central Edinburgh is made up of the New Town, to the north, and the Old Town, to the south, with Princes Street and (Princes Street Gardens) in between. Most of the buildings of the University of Edinburgh (including the conference venue) are in the Old Town, towards the south. You should make sure that you have the chance to walk round the city while you're here — it's stunning. Walk up and down the Royal Mile to the castle at the top and the Scottish Parliament at the bottom, walk around the New Town (which starts at Princes Street and carries on northwards for several streets), or walk up Calton Hill and around Holyrood Park.
If you don’t feel like walking, buses are always an option. The main bus company is Lothian Buses (there are a few others, such as First, but they do suburban and long-distance services; do note that the tickets are not interchangeable across bus companies). A single ticket on Lothian Buses costs £1.50: be sure to put exact change in the box. If you anticipate getting on more than two buses a day (e.g. if you’re changing buses), it’s worth getting a day ticket, which costs £3.50. The University is served by two major bus corridors. A number of buses stop just to the north-west of George Square (the stops are Forrest Road when northbound, George Heriot’s School westbound, and Bristo Square when eastbound): these are mostly served by buses from the south, west, and north of the city centre (2, 23, 27, 35, 47). Another option is the stop Surgeons’ Hall on Nicolson Street, which has plenty of services from the north, east, and south-east (3, 7, 14, 29, 33, 37).
Edinburgh is the UK's second most popular tourist destination. This is well-deserved given the dramatic scenery, vibrant cultural life and stunning architecture (Edinburgh's Old and New Towns are included on UNESCO's World Heritage List), but this also means that we strongly advise booking accommodation early.
In the first instance, you might try Edinburgh First. This is the University's residential service company, and they have a range of accommodation available, mostly quite close to the conference venue. If they are full, or you’d like to stay somewhere more luxurious or cheaper, the easiest way to find somewhere is to use one of the many internet accommodation search sites. If you try TripAdvisor, you'll find lots of details and some interesting comments about the hotels (not always to be trusted, but you can probably go by the average opinion). Enter your check-in and check-out dates, select the number of adults staying in the room and click on ‘find hotels’. You can select the currency that you’d like to use and you can ‘sort by’ price or popularity. If you click on ‘map’, you can see where the hotel is — look for one towards the south of the centre.
Some hotels listed there which look suitable are:
The cheapest option would be to stay at one of the many hostels in Edinburgh. These have some very cheap accommodation, and several have private rooms, too. There are a number of hostel searching websites, which should help you to see what's available, and to book accommodation:
There are hostels all over Edinburgh. The following, listed on the hostel websites above, are all quite close (10-15 minutes' walk) to the conference venue:
There are also B&B’s all over the city. You probably want one on the south side of the city (for instance, there are quite a few on Gilmore Place, which is about 15 minutes’ walk from the venue). Anything in the New Town (the part of the city north of Princes Street) is likely to involve buses or quite a bit of walking (much of it uphill to get over the Royal Mile).