This article covers the outlying areas of Edinburgh to the west of Haymarket Railway Station and Granton Harbour, and north of Lanark Road.
West Edinburgh has South Edinburgh on its southern boundary. To the east it's bounded by (from south to north) Old Town, New Town, Stockbridge and Canonmills, and Leith. It's quite a spread-out area: Murrayfield is walking distance from central Edinburgh but most other attractions are some miles away from the centre and from each other.
All trains from the north, west and south-west will stop at 1 Haymarket station. Trains from Fife also stop at 2 South Gyle station. Local trains serving Edinburgh from Stirling and Glasgow (Queen Street Low Level) also stop at 3 Edinburgh Park station. There are also stations at 4 Slateford, 5 Kingsknowe, 6 Wester Hailes and 7 Curriehill served by stopping trains on the Edinburgh-Glasgow Central line.
Lothian Buses have a comprehensive service throughout the west of the city. Many services depart from Princes Street in the New Town. The Airlink 100 passes through the area between the airport, the zoo and Haymarket.
The new Edinburgh tram passes through the west of the city on its way between the city centre (via Haymarket) to the airport. Most of the route is not close to attractions, but the tram does stop at Murrayfield and Edinburgh Park.
- 1 Murrayfield Stadium, Roseburn Street (tram stop: Murrayfield Stadium), ☏ . The home of Scottish rugby and a most impressive stadium. The highlight of the season is the 6 Nations Championship - effectively the European Championship of rugby, taking place every February and March between Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy and England. The teams play each other once per year, and alternate home and away games. In odd-numbered years, Scotland host Wales, Ireland and Italy at Murrayfield, with England and France visiting in even-numbered years. On the weekend of a home match, Edinburgh is absolutely full to bursting, and the atmosphere is like nothing else, especially if Wales or Ireland are in town. It can be easier to obtain tickets for the Autumn Test series, generally 3 matches in October and November against southern hemisphere or "non-6 Nations" European opposition. Another Murrayfield highlight is the Edinburgh Sevens Rugby Festival, the final event in the IRB Sevens World Series, an annual circuit featuring national teams in rugby sevens, a variant of rugby union with 7 players per side instead of 15. The Edinburgh Sevens is held over one weekend, typically at the end of May. On non-match days, stadium tours are available (must be booked 48 hours in advance, call +44 131 346-5160) M-Sa at 11AM. Generally you can walk around the stadium for free 9AM-5PM. Match tickets from £15-60. Stadium Tours £6 adults, £3 concessions.
- 2 Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road (Catch Lothian Buses 12, 26, 31 or Airlink 100), ☏ . Apr-Sep 9AM-6PM; Oct & Mar 9AM-5PM; Nov-Feb 9AM-4:30PM. Watch the world famous Penguin Parade, and visit the acclaimed Budongo Trail chimpanzee attraction. The only koalas in the UK are here, and there are some beautiful tropical birds. Home to the UK's only giant pandas. £17 adults, £12.50 children (under 3s go free), £14.50 concessions (includes students). Family and group discounts available.
- 3 Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South, Davidson's Mains, ☏ . The castle is only accessible via guided tour which always starts at 2PM and is offered as follows: Apr-Oct: M-Th Sa Su, and Nov-Mar: Sa Su. Gardens are open daily as follows: Apr-Sep 9AM-8PM & Oct-Mar 9AM-5PM. This 16th-century tower house was extended in the 1820s and left to the nation by its last private owners in the early 20th century. It is now owned and managed by Edinburgh City Council. The house has been occupied over the years by many notable figures. The gardens are particularly notable for the croquet lawn. Lauriston Castle is also used as an event space (e.g. events organized by the Usher Hall). £5/£3. Family Ticket (up to 2 adults & 3 under 16's) £12.50. Gardens are free.
- 4 Corstorphine Old Parish Church, Kirk Loan, Corstorphine. Church open Wed 10:30AM-noon. Interesting old church founded in 1429, but with history going back to 1128.
- 5 Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston EH27 8BB, ☏ . May-Oct: Th-Su (& daily in Jul, Aug) 10AM-5PM. A modern sculpture park in the grounds of a 19th-century country house. Mainly outdoor works including an imposing landform by Charles Jenks and sculptures by artists including Antoney Gormley and Nathan Coley. Upmarket cafe and small gallery of indoor works. The garden and wood settings enhances the artworks - best visited on a sunny day. £8.50.
- 1 Murrayfield Ice Rink, Riversdale Crescent (Next to Murrayfield Stadium), ☏ , (curling), ✉ email@example.com. Daily (may be closed during special events). Popular ice-rink, hours vary daily. Regular leisure skating sessions, plus ice-discos on Friday and Saturday nights very popular with local teens. Both Leisure skating and ice-hockey tuition available. Plays host to the Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey team, plus a curling club on a separate rink. Adults depending on session: £4.50-6, skate hire £1-1.80.
- 2 Corstorphine Hill (adjacent to the Edinburgh Zoo). Local nature reserve. Low wooded hill, lying between Corstorphine Road and Queensferry Road. Popular with walkers and joggers (and sledging in the winter!) Don't be afraid if you hear exotic animal sounds, especially on the southern slopes - the zoo has firm fencing in place! The tower near the top is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott (as if his Gothic Rocket on Princes Street wasn't enough).
- 3 Cramond (Catch the No. 41 bus from central Edinburgh). Pretty little seaside village, popular with amateur painters, now absorbed into the city. Archeological evidence suggests that Cramond is actually older than Edinburgh itself, having been inhabited since around 8500 BC. Its location where the River Almond flows into the Firth of Forth meant it was strategically important, and the Romans had a fort here, the remains of which can still be seen. There are several options for waterside walking, with a path along the wooded Almond riverbank to the south, a seafront promenade along the Forth to the east, and a causeway out into the Firth of Forth to Cramond Island (check the noticeboard for tide times before crossing!). It used to be possible to walk to the west across the Dalmeny Estate towards South Queensferry, but the ferry across the River Almond stopped running when the boatman found a Roman statue of a lioness buried in the muddy riverbed, and retired on the monetary reward (you can see the impressive statue in the National Museum of Scotland). Once you've done walking around admiring the sights, enjoy a well-earned refreshment in the welcoming Cramond Inn or Cramond Tearooms.
- John Muir Way (Take any westbound bus along the A90 towards South Queensferry or Fife, and get off at Cramond Brig). The John Muir Way passes through Edinburgh and South Queensferry. A great 10-km section for hiking is between Cramond Brig (starting west of the River Almond) and South Queensferry which runs almost always along the coastline and passes Dalmeny House and Branbougie Castle. It offers great views of the Firth of Forth rail bridge. Note that the rowboat ferry across the River Almond has ceased, so you can't access the trail from Cramond village which is east of the river.
- 4 Water of Leith Walkway. Walk or cycle along the Water of Leith. The route follows the river right through the City from the suburb of Balerno, on the edge of the Pentland Hills, to the sea at Leith. The walkway is indicated by brown direction signs featuring a water wheel logo. Haunting post-industrial landscape. There are brown trout plus a dozen other species of fish in the river and birds including the grey heron, goosander, dipper and kingfisher can be seen along the banks.
- Fishing (Angling) on the Water of Leith. Permits are required, and can be obtained free of charge from the City Council offices at Waverley Market in the New Town and Cockburn Street in the Old Town. Most fishing tackle shops throughout the city can also provide permits.
- Watch football ie soccer at 5 Tynecastle Stadium, Gorgie Road EH11 2NL. Heart of Midlothian FC ("Hearts" or "The Jam Tarts") play in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier of Scottish football. The all-seater stadium has a capacity of 20,000, with a new main stand opened in 2017. It's a mile west of Haymarket Station, take any bus up Gorgie Road, or a tram to Murrayfield.
- Take in a match of the city's professional rugby team, Edinburgh Rugby, at Murrayfield. The team play in the Pro12 League, which features 12 teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Italy; and also in the European Rugby Champions Cup.
- 6 Cineworld, 130 Dundee St (This is about 20 mins on foot from Princes Street. Or take bus no. 1, 22, 30, 34 or Skylink 300), ☏ . Mainly mainstream and arthouse cinema.
- 7 Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston (near the airport). An exhibition ground with several halls and large grounds. The main event held here is the 'Royal Highland Show for 4 days in late June. Also of note is Gardening Scotland, a 3-day horticultural show in late May/early June. Other events are held throughout the year, some of these are public, others are invitation only.
- 1 Corstorphine (About 1km west of the zoo). It used to be a village on its own, but is now part of Edinburgh. There are an assortment of chain and independent shops on St John's Road. Near this is a large Tesco (24-hr supermarket) on Meadow Place Road, behind PC World.
- 2 Gyle Shopping Centre, South Gyle Broadway, EH12 9JY. An indoor shopping centre with Marks and Spencer and Morrisons as the anchor stores, and about 50 shops. Located at the Western edge of the city, near the Gogar roundabout.
- 1 First Coast, 97-101 Dalry Road, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa lunch noon-2PM; dinner from 5PM. Popular neighbourhood bistro. 3 course set diner £26.
- 2 Miller & Carter Cramond Brig, Queensferry Road (Right on the edge of the city, just before the A90 to South Queensferry becomes a dual carriageway), ☏ . Daily noon-10:30PM (F Sa to 11PM). A steakhouse chain. Popular meeting spot due to good road connections and plentiful parking. Work off your lunch by following the River Almond walkway upstream through the Cammo estate, or downstream to the Firth of Forth at Cramond Village. Most dishes between £11 and £25.
- 3 Guru Balti Restaurant, 9 Dundee Terrace, ☏ , . Specialising in Indian Balti cuisine, the dishes are refreshing after having the same old curries at other restaurants. mains from £10.
- 1 Murrayfield Bar, 57-59 Roseburn Terrace, Murrayfield, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. full food menu available 11AM-10PM daily. Friendly pub close to Murrayfield Stadium. Decent pub grub menu including breakfasts. As you would imagine in this location, it's a popular place for watching televised sport.
- 2 The Cramond Inn, 30 Cramond Glebe Road, Cramond Village, ☏ . Food served: M–Th noon–8:45PM; F Sa noon–9:45PM; Su 12:30PM-6PM. Bar open: M–Th 11AM–11PM; F Sa 11AM–midnight; Su 12:30PM–11PM. Traditional village pub in this traditional village turned city suburb. This is a northern outpost of Yorkshire's Samuel Smiths Brewery, and serves only in-house drinks - no branded beers at all, and even the cola and lemonade are own-brand. You won't mind missing out on Guinness or Stella when you see the prices though - generally less than £2 a pint which is almost unheard of in Edinburgh. Sunny (or even non-rainy) weekends bring the crowds, and service sometimes suffers as a result. Tables outside for al-fresco drinking but food service is indoors-only.
- 1 Bainfield Ensuite Accommodation, Fountainbridge (Opposite of the FountainPark shopping mall), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Offered by Edinburgh Napier University during summer only (semester break). Used as student accommodation throughout the rest of the year. Send an email or call for booking requests. Between 4 to 8 single rooms in one shared apartment. Linen, towels and WiFi included.
- 2 Holiday Inn Edinburgh, 132 Corstorphine Road,Edinburgh, EH12 6UA (Next the Zoo, about 2 miles from the city centre, on 12, 26, 31 and Airlink bus route.), ☏ . The hotel has a restaurant. It is next door to the zoo, and so don't be surprised if you hear animals at night.
- 3 Holiday Inn Edinburgh City West, 107 Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3HL (Near the Craigleith shopping centre, about 1 mile from the city centre, on 41, 42, 43 bus routes.), ☏ . Rooms on the east side have a distant view of Edinburgh Castle.
- 4 Dunstane House Hotel, 4 West Coates, Haymarket, EH12 5JQ, ☏ . The hotel offers the comfort and elegance of a Scottish country house. The same people run the Dunstane City Hotel across the road.
- 5 Novotel Edinburgh Park, 15 Lochside Avenue, Edinburgh EH12 9DJ, ☏ . Not the most inspiring of locations, but very convenient adjacent to the City Bypass for road trips around the rest of Scotland and right next to Edinburgh Park Station for speedy transport to the city centre. Pool, gym, steam room, restaurant.
- 6 Norton House Hotel, Ingliston EH28 8LX, ☏ , (high cost). Hotel & spa in woodland 5 miles west of city, close to airport. 10 mins walk to main bus routes on highway to Glasgow, but you really ought to be arriving by limo or helicopter. Hosts a lot of functions for people who wished they were.
- 1 Fountainbridge Library, 137 Dundee Street, ☏ . M W 1PM-8PM; Tu Th-Sa 10AM-5PM. Free WiFi.
- 2 Corstorphine Library, 12 Kirk Loan, Corstorphine, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M W 1PM-8PM; Tu Th F Sa 10AM-5PM. PCs with free internet access. Free Wi-Fi.
- 3 Balgreen Library, 173 Balgreen Road, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M W 1PM-8PM; Tu F 10AM-5PM; Sa 10AM-2PM. Free WiFi.