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|Major roads:||M8, M9, M90|
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Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland.
West towards Glasgow
A sign stating your destination or the road you're hoping to get onto might be helpful due to the high concentration of towns and places in the central belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
To head West take a bus out to Ratho Station (number 12/X12, stops at Princes Street), and get off at the petrol station on the A8 before the M9 meets the M8. This is a good place: cars can see you from a way off, there's plenty of space for them to stop and it is easy to backtrack from if necessary. Don't go with the bus until Ferrytoll, the Park & Ride Area - it's difficult there. This is also a good spot for getting on the M9 to Stirling and the West and North West of Scotland - take a sign saying "Stirling".
It is better to get dropped at the Ratho Station and then walk about 5-7 minutes ahead until a roundabout and a BP Petrol station with Mac Donalds appears. Round about is before the petrol station that has Mac Donalds. Here on the left od roundabout, is the M8 going to Glasgow. If you turn left walk about 100 meters and then stand with a sign saying Glasgow drivers will find it easy to see you and even STOP for you. Do not stand too close to the turn, else it is difficult for them to notice you in a second and stop for you, while looking out for cars coming from behind.
A harder spot, due to the nature of the junction, is close to the train station Edinburgh Park / Hermiston Gait commercial centre. There is a roundabout there that precedes the junction of the A8 with the A720 (Edinburgh bypass). The junction itself is a high-traffic area, but the Hermiston Gait roundabout offers some space for cars to stop and some visibility. To get there, simply take the high-frequency Lothian Bus 22 from the centre, and get down right at South Gyle mail centre. There is a walkway after the DHL warehouse (Cultins Rd), which leads to the Edinburgh Park station. Pass the station and turn right on the boulevard: the roundabout is right there.
North towards Perth
To head north (through Perth) the best place seems to be on Queensferry Road, just past Barton junction: plenty of traffic going north, they see you from far and there are many good spots with some space for cars to stop, especially a large bus stop. To get there, take bus 41 (Lothian buses) or 43/X43 (First) from the city centre (George Street, GBP 1.50) and ask the driver to be told when you're at Barnton junction. Follow the bus for about 500 metres and you'll reach said bus stop. A sign might be helpful but is not absolutely necessary.
Heading South or East
To Galashiels / London / Borders
There are four main ways south:
- the A68, which heads due south through the Borders
- the A7 which takes you to Galshiels and then the Borders
- the A1, which follows the east coastline.
- the A702, which heads south-west, through which one will eventually hit the M74 (GB)
To get on the A68, get a bus until Dalkeith (village south of Edinburgh), ask to drop off in the city center, then get or ask for Newmills road, pass the little river and get Lauder road, pass a traffic light and after, you get to a roundabout that takes you in direction of Lauder, Jedburgh, there is place for cars to stop. Do not walk past this roundabout, there is no good spot further on! You can get to this roundabout easily from the centre of Edinburgh on bus 3 or 33. get off at "Primrose Tce, Dalkeith" or maybe at "Hepburn Rd, Dalkeith which is closer but i am sure i didnt see this stop as i walked past.
For Galashiels ( or the A7 ) best if to catch the bus number 29 from The North Bridge in the direction of Dalkeith. Your station to goto is called Eskbank at Tesco ( Dalkeith ). Tesco is a huge shopping center with a bus stop where Bus No. 29 goes directly while bus number 40 goes after going through the whole town of Dalkeith. Right next to this huge store is a petrol station , get out of here and then is the A7 national road ( historic road ) towards Galashiels. Just walk down here atleast 100 meters away from the circle with a sign and there is plenty of space for cars to stop.
There has been some success getting on the A1 from Tranent: a safer bet is to take the bus 44c from st.Andrews square to Musselburgh, get off before the crossing of the River Esk, and walk south along the river towards the A1. There is a service station there: on occasion rides also go from there down the M74 (GB) and the A68.
To get on the A1 from Tranent is pretty easy: take the bus number 26 that says Tranent on it, from the centre, it goes through Portobello and Musselburgh in case you're located there. Get off the bus after 30-40 min, ask the driver for the last stop before the bus crosses the A1. Walk alongside the road there and go left on the roundabout and you're already on the sliproad to the A1. You can try it on the road onto it, cause cars are going more slowly, or you just walk til the end of the sliproad and you find the first layby just about a few metres further on, you can see it as you walk along from further away. Here you can get the cars from both directions.
To get on the A702 you need to get to the Esso petrol station at Hillend. Take bus #4 from the city and get off at the first stop after the bus goes over the Edinburgh ring road. It's easy for cars to pull in outside the petrol station, and a busy road. You could also ask drivers at the petrol station. Some anonymous hitchhiker hitched here twice. First time took 10 mins, second took about 50. Probably be quicker for a girl. As an Edinburgh local and someone who has hitchhiked from Edinburgh before I completely agree with this. One piece of advice though - make sure that the person picking you up is going a reasonable distance as you do not want to get stranded somewhere in the Boarders of Scotland (it can be pretty remote)! You get people going almost going as far as London/Dover for work/holidays as the A702 eventually leads onto the M74 (GB).