The conference dates are 3rd–4th December 2015. As last year, the conference will take place in the Informatics Forum and the Dugald Stewart Building, both part of the university’s central area. We expect to organise a wine reception for delegates and a pay-your-own-way dinner. The fee is £10.
Edinburgh is well connected through Edinburgh Airport and the UK rail system, and the university’s central area is easily accessible, on the edge of Edinburgh’s remarkable Old Town, a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile. Edinburgh is the ancient capital of Scotland, and its Old Town and (18th century) New Town form a large UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University is easily accessible from anywhere in the city, and is within walking distance of the train station and all the city centre shops and restaurants.
If you are bringing handouts, we expect that no one session will have more than 65 people in it.
If you are presenting a poster, each presenter will have their own poster board, and the dimensions are roughly the same size as A0 (2.759 x 3.901 ft). Apparently, A0 poster edges may go over the frame slightly, but this should not be a problem. There are special sticky backed strips/spots to hang the posters up, and we will aim to provide these. We recommend landscape, not portrait.
For most people, travelling to the Symposium 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. Another option is the Edinburgh Trams. In the city centre, the tram stops at Haymarket Station (there are some hotels in that area and around the nearby financial district), Shandwick Place (the stop is called West End — Princes Street), around the middle of Princes Street, St Andrew Square, and York Place on the edge of the New Town (quite close to the YHA hostel if that’s where you’re staying).
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 Bristo 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.
The Informatics Forum is shown on a map here.
If you need to book accommodation for the symposium, we recommend trying the Kenneth Mackenzie Suite or Richmond Apartments (these are both affiliated to the university and are close to the symposium venue and city centre). The university also has some other types of accommodation at other nearby locations, which may also be worth investigating.
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 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’, 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 Grassmarket Hotel 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
Jurys Inn This is in the ugliest building in Edinburgh, but it’s probably fine as a hotel (about 15 mins’ walk)
Royal British Hotel Very central in Edinburgh, maybe a little jaded (about 20 mins’ walk)
Ten Hill Place Hotel Recommended, if a bit more expensive (very close to the conference)
Ibis Edinburgh Centre Fine if faceless (about 10 mins’ walk)
Express By Holiday Inn Edinburgh Royal Mile Looks fine but 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 nice (about 10 mins’ walk)
Radisson SAS More pricey, but meant to be nice, well situated (about 10 mins’ walk)
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:
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.
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 symposium 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.
The symposium coincides with the Edinburgh Christmas Market, which is well worth a visit.
You can find some information about Edinburgh here:
To get in touch with the organisers, email firstname.lastname@example.org