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Getting to / spending time at Royal Yacht Britannia

Using Lothian Buses’ website and Google Maps, I think I’ve figured out how to get to and from my hotel to Britannia. I’m hoping someone with more experience of Edinburgh transport can spot-check this and tell me if I’m missing anything or if there’s a better way to do it, etc.

This’ll be on a Wednesday morning, and I’m hoping to arrive at the yacht around 9:30 a.m.:

Walk approx. 10 minutes from 35 Drumsheugh Gardens to Princes Street just before Castle Street. Bus stop is in front of a Build-a-Bear (according to Google, anyway). Take bus 11 or 22 (£1.50) to the Holiday Inn near Ocean Terminal. Walk three minutes to Ocean Terminal. Access to Britannia via the 2nd floor. To return, reverse the process. Bus ride takes approx. 35 minutes.

Britannia’s website suggests a visit of 2-3 hours, which, if I get there around 9:30, would take me to lunchtime. It looks like there are plenty of places to eat inside Ocean Terminal. I’d like to be back to 35 Drumsheugh Gardens in enough time to collect my luggage, walk to the “West End – Princes Street” tram stop, and get to EDI in plenty of time for my 5:00 p.m. flight. I think this is doable, and I’ll still be able to have an unrushed visit at the yacht.

Does this sound solid? The one thing I’m definitely confused about is whether the buses go all the way to Ocean Terminal, or if getting off/on at the Holiday Inn is the way to go. BTW, I don’t want to take a taxi but will for the return journey if I’m running short on time.

Any tips for the bus (e.g., only exit at the rear; must do X to make the bus stop; drivers think they’re competing at Daytona so bring motion sickness meds)?

Thanks for your advice and assistance!

Posted by
5669 posts

It sounds doable to me. I don't think we spent the full three hours on the yacht--closer to two I think. You could always catch the bus back up to Princes Street and have lunch up there closer to luggage and tram stop. It's a great tour of the yacht.

Posted by
2534 posts

There is only one door on the bus , entry and exit. Best buy an Airport day ticket, this will cover you for any buses you use that day as well as your tram to the airport, cost £9 and you can get it from the driver on the first bus you use, exact fare only.
The bus stop is right outside Ocean terminal, there is one outside holiday inn but just ignore that. ,it is a big shopping mall and when you go it just head to the right hand side and up the escalators to the Brittania area, all very obvious.

Posted by
875 posts

Thanks, both of you!

Pamela, thanks for the reminder that I don't have to have lunch at Ocean Terminal. It's kind of obvious, but it honestly hadn't occurred to me! :D Going back into town to eat will definitely keep my overactive stress level in check.

Posted by
5617 posts

If you need to use a restroom at any time during your Britannia visit, there are toilets on board the yacht, as well as in the shopping mall, but they're at the opposite (left) end of the mall, which was a pretty long walk after we'd left the ship. It's a little stroll from the bus stop outside the mall to the mall building, but shouldn't take you too long to get inside and up to the Britannia exhibit entrance.