Can anyone help with ideas for lodging near the University? I'm not even sure what the neighborhood around the University is called, so I am lost when looking at lodging websites. We will need to find something for 3 adults in early September. Is it possible to find something near the University, but also be close to the sites and Royal Mile?
If by "near" you are ok with two miles, Rick Steves recommends Dalkeith Road, a short 10-15 minute bus ride from city center and the train station. The bus line for it goes very near the University/Royal Mile.
Dalkeith Rd BnB's are located near Common Wealth swimming Pool for a landmark. We stayed at Kenvie Guest House. The decor is basic. Very Clean. The Vidlers are very good hosts. Generous traditional breakfast provided. Transportation to Royal Mile is an easy and cheap bus connection. The exit point is Bridge St., about 1/2 way point on Royal Mile -but a bit closer to the castle. We en joyed our one week stay there.
Edinburgh is not a very big place. You can stay half way to Leith and still get to the University on the Bus in around 20 minutes. The Bruntsfield area is not far either. The University practically abuts the Royal Mile, so any of the hotels on the Royal Mile would be appropriate. You want to be south of Prince's Street and not to the west--so no Murrayfield and you don't want to be close to the Haymarket railway station. The New Town area is okay, but a little far. This is the area immediately to the North of Prince's Street. Calton Hill area is okay, but not as good. It's to the east of New Town. You don't want Stockbridge area or to be near the Royal Botanic Gardens--both are a bit of a hike.
Here's a suggestion, go to Visit Scotland and pick the accommodation Tab. Chose Ediinburgh and the Lothians as the area and then add University of Edinburgh to the Key words. Choose the map view so you can immediately eliminate the ones that are up near the Firth or too far out. You don't want to be in Musselburgh for example. As you zoom in on the choices you'll be able decide which ones to investigate.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and advice! This will really help and is much appreciated!