Accommodation and travel
For most people, travelling to the conference will involve either flying into or getting the train to Edinburgh and then either walking or getting a bus or a taxi to the conference venue (or to your accommodation first, perhaps). It's easy to get into the city centre from Edinburgh airport: use the number 100 Airlink bus which leaves every few minutes and which drops you off next to the main train station (this is the last stop on the bus journey). This station (called Waverley Station) is where most intercity trains terminate, too.
Waverley station is a good orientation point - it's situated right in the centre of the city, between the New Town and the Old Town, just next to Princes Street (Princes Street is the main central shopping street in Edinburgh), and there are normally lots of taxis available at the station (if you want to take a taxi to the conference venue, ask them to take to the Informatics Forum at the University, next to George Square). It's about 15 minutes' walk from the station to the University. You need to head south: walk up from the station into the Old Town along Cockburn Street and then up the Royal Mile and along George IV bridge. Use this map to guide you (that should take you to Bristo Square, from where you can see the Informatics Forum).
You could also take a bus: walk north to Princes Street and take any bus that goes over North Bridge and down South Bridge (you should be able to see this on the timetables at the bus stop). Ask the driver for an £1.20 ticket (you'll need to give the driver the exact fare, which is £1.20 per person) and get off once you pass the Festival Theatre on the right and the Royal College of Surgeons on the left. You should be able to find your way to the Informatics Forum on foot from there by using the maps.
The conference registration desk in the Informatics Forum will be signposted. It will be staffed from 9am on Thursday 22nd, and registration will also be possible on the 21st, at the Workshop.
You will need to make your own reservation for accommodation, and we hope that the information given below will help you. There are many places to stay in Edinburgh, ranging from luxurious hotels to cheap hostels.
The invited speakers will be staying in the Kenneth Mackenzie Suite. This is a relatively inexpensive (c.GBP40) guesthouse which has pleasant ensuite rooms. There aren't that many rooms there, so if you'd like to book it, you are advised to book quickly.
If it's 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 Trip Advisor, 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 this hotel', it will show you where the hotel is - look for one towards the south of the centre
.If you click on the 'check rates' button in Trip Advisor, your may get several booking options. Make sure that you check them all as they can vary. Some hotels listed there which look suitable are:
This one may be quite loud (the Grassmarket is a popular drinking area), but seems quite cheap, and is 10 minutes' walk from the conference venue
This is in the ugliest building in
Royal British Hotel
Very central in Edinburgh, maybe a little jaded (about 20 mins' walk)
Looks fine (very close to the conference)
Fine if faceless (about 10 mins' walk)
By Holiday Inn
Looks new and quite nice, may be a bit loud (about 10 mins' walk)
Travelodge Edinburgh Central
Faceless but probably fine (about 15 mins' walk)
Apex City Hotel
May be quite loud (it's on the Grassmarket), but seems quite cheap (about 10 mins' walk)
More pricey, but meant to be nice, well situated (about 10 mins' walk)
Another hotel-searching website, Hotel Club, has some hotels for about GBP 30-40 which look fine but are a bit further out:
Herald House Hotel
The cheapest option would be to stay at one of the many hostels in Edinburgh. These have some very cheap accommodation: under GBP10 in a dorm with a shared bathroom, and several have private rooms for around 20 pounds, 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:
Castle Rock Hostel
Royal Mile Backpackers
Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls
The main YHA hostel in Edinburgh
is new and looks nice, although it's a bit of a distance from the
conference (30 minutes' walk). There are lots of buses, though.
If you have any questions about
booking accommodation, do get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Edinburgh: orientation and information
Some further useful information about Edinburgh can be found here:
- the Lonely Planet website for Edinburgh has some general information about the city
- the Edinburgh Tourist Information website also has some handy information about the city (click on 'City & Area Guide')