First time to Edinburgh in a car. Am hopelessly confused by all I read on parking. We would like to park somewhere near the Castle and spend time walking in the area. Any advice would help.
It's been a long time since I've done that, but I know that I survived (with a paper map but without a GPS or a navigator). Here is the advice from the intro to Rick's Edinburgh chapter (p. 741), in case you haven't seen it:
By Car: If you’re arriving from the north, rather than drive through downtown Edinburgh to the recommended B&Bs, circle the city on the A-720 City Bypass road. Approaching Edinburgh on the M-9, take the M-8 (direction: Glasgow) and quickly get onto the A-720 City Bypass (direction: Edinburgh South). After four miles, you’ll hit a roundabout. Ignore signs directing you into Edinburgh North and stay on the A-720 for 10 more miles to the next and last roundabout, named Sheriffhall. Exit the roundabout on the first left (A-7 Edinburgh). From here it’s four miles to the B&B neighborhood. After a while, the A-7 becomes Dalkeith Road (you’ll pass the Royal Infirmary hospital complex). If you see the huge Royal Commonwealth Pool, you’ve gone a couple of blocks too far (avoid this by referring to the map on page *TK).
If you’re driving in on A-68 from the south, take the A-7 Edinburgh exit off the roundabout and follow the directions above.
There are car parks around Waverley Station, one at the foot of the mound, and also Dynamic Earth near the parliament. All charge. The thing to remember is the Old Town can be a nightmare with a car. Its been a while since I took a car into Edinburgh but for the Old Town those are the three I'd pick. And then walk.
We are staying in Penicuik and intend to drive in, park somewhere in the castle vicinity and spend the rest of the time walking. Have been to Edinburgh 3 times, but always with tours. First time on our own with car.
The A702 is probably going to be your route in. Given where you'll be coming from the car parks at either end of the Royal Mile are sensible options. If you are not sure go by park and ride.
Thanks for the advice. Will check on your reccommendations. We have our Castle tickets already.
You might also ask on TripAdvisor's Edinburgh forum. I think it's still tricky in Edinburgh right now as they finish up the Trams. Realize that Edinburgh is a pretty small place. But if you want to get to the Castle, you don't want to part to the west. That's the steep side. : )
I've usually not picked up my car until I'm leaving Edinburgh or I've ditched it prior to my stay. The one time I had to park a car, I remember that there were lots of parking regulations for the street. I did just this find this really wonderful website that you may find useful. Even better they have something called the parkopedia!
Make sure you schedule time to visit the castle. It is well worth the price of entry.
Thanks, Pam, will check out the sites. By the time we get to Edinburgh we will be on the downside of our trip which starts at Heathrow and takes us through Wales, Lake District, Highlands then Edinburgh. We already have our Castle tickets. I have read Rick Steves and the Edinburgh parking sites, but thought actual experiences might be better. I've been there 3 times with tours, this will be the first on our own.
I can never resist the castle. I've had over ten trip to Scotland, and while I've not visited the Castle trip, I bet it's at least 5-6 visits. I think I go for the view alone! Have a great trip.
Think I have the parking kind of worked out. They certainly are not shy about parking fees are they? Will just have to plan for it.
One thing, avoid parking on the street in Edinburgh unless you can see the signs clearly. The parking enforcers, the Blue Meanies, will by reputation issue a ticket for even thinking of parking where you should not. They can smell fear.
No way do we ever park where we are not sure in GB or Ireland. Actually we're pretty careful over here in the US of A too.