Travelling to Edinburgh


At Imaginate we are making changes to our travel habits and choosing lower carbon forms of transport more often, as part of our carbon management plan to reduce our contribution to climate change.

We urge those travelling to the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival to consider the climate impact of different modes of travel, and to choose more sustainable options if you are in a position to do so. (This is most relevant to those travelling from within the UK or Western Europe.)

Example journeys to and from Edinburgh, showing the emissions from different modes of travel:

Example journeysAn Edinburgh - Bristol return flight produces 5 times more emissions than the train. Edinburgh - Paris return flights produce 3 times more emissions than the train, while driving (one person in a medium-sized car) produces the most emissions for this journey. Data:

Tips for Lower Carbon Travel

  • If you are going to fly, choose a non-stop flight over multiple flights where possible, as the take-off produces the most emissions. Alternatively, you could try substituting one short flight with a train journey, then fly the rest of the way.
  • Budget airlines tend to be a slightly better choice than traditional airlines, as they have newer, more efficient planes, and they carry more people at once, reducing the emissions per person.
  • From Western Europe, you can take the Eurostar through London, and then enjoy a scenic train journey (most are 4-5 hours) to the centre of Edinburgh. The Eurostar goes directly to London from Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and more, and from Ghent, Strasbourg and several other European cities to London with one or more changes. 
  • If travelling by train, make sure to book well in advance, as the prices do increase substantially as you get closer to the date of travel. Eurostar trains are now available to book up until July.

Helpful Websites for Travelling by Land or Sea

Links to Travel Operators

By Coach: Services provided by National Express, Megabus and Scottish Citylink

By Rail: For rail journeys in Scotland check out Scotrail. Services from the rest of the UK are provided East Coast, Virgin Trains, First TransPennine Express, First ScotRail and others. For all train times and fares to Scotland, visit National Rail Enquiries. For all other rail journeys (including ferry details) try The Man in Seat 61

By Car: AA Route Planner is a great tool for planning your journey to Edinburgh. Please also consider car sharing.

By Ferry: For sailing times and ferry information visit Direct Ferries or Ferry Savers

By Plane: For the best advice on cheap flights to Edinburgh, visit Skyscanner. For information on transport links between the airport and city centre and what airlines fly to Edinburgh visit Edinburgh Airport.

Download more information about how to get to Edinburgh from the Airport