Earth > Europe > Northern Europe > United Kingdom > Scotland > Edinburgh
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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 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.
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 43 or x43 from the city center (George Street, 1.30£) and ask the driver to be told when you're at Barnton juction. 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
There are three main ways south:
- the A70, which heads south-west, through which one will eventually hit the M74 (GB)
- the A68, which heads due south through the Borders
-> 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 a roundabout take in direction of Lauder, Jedburgh, there is place for cars to stop.
- the A1, which follows the east coastline. 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 center, 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.
Some anonymous hitchhiker joined the southbound M74 (GB) by hitching down the A702. Just catch the bus #4 of Dalry rd for 1.20 and get off where the circle Edinburgh city bypass loop passes under a bridge (about 30 mins on the bus). Walk south through two roundabouts and there's a good place to hitch as the cars exit the second roundabout straight onto the A702. This hitching spot has lots of room for cars to pull in as it's parking for a golf course on the west side of the road and some ski slope thingy. You'll see. 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 the above paragraph. If you take the number 4 or 15 Lothian Bus or 100 MacEwan's Bus from the centre of Edinburgh to the location 'Hillend'. From Hillend you will see a big 'ESSO' petrol station which is a perfect location to hold up a sign to hitch down the A702 or A703. 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).
Blackriding is impossible as you pay the driver on entering the city buses.
You need the exact change of £1.30 if you are over 15.
There is a number of sizeable parks right in the center of the city, e.g. The Meadows South of the Royal Mile and the hills around Arthur's Seat. Especially the latter should be a good spot for spending the night provided you're a bit stealthy - remember you're in a big city, even though this part has a very rural appearance.
The Pentland Hills are a perfect location to camp with almost no hindrances whatsoever. The further you walk up the hill - the more spectacular the views of Edinburgh become. The hills are reasonably remote/peaceful with a lot of woodland and long grass for camping. The Pentlands are situated to the very south of Edinburgh and can be seen from almost any location in Edinburgh (note do not get confused with Arthur's Seat). The hills very noticeably have a ski slope on it which resembles the shape of the UK - head in that direction taking the 4, 15 or 16 Lothian Bus (25-45 minutes from centre).