Normally, flying anywhere from Scotland means using Glasgow or Prestwick. This can be a pain if you live in the East of the country as I do. It’s particularly galling when planes are constantly flying directly overhead to and from Edinburgh Airport which is only 6-7 miles from my house.
So, when I saw an offer from flyglobespan.com, a low-cost operator, for scheduled flights to Barcelona for less than 100 return, I booked up quicker than a greyhound passing a Korean restaurant.
Edinburgh is now Scotland’s fastest growing airport with around 6.5 million passengers using the airport in the last year, flying to around 55 destinations.
A recent 100 million investment program extended and upgraded the terminal and a new runway is in the pipeline.
How to get there
Edinburgh Airport lies on the western fringe of Scotland’s capital, about 7 miles from the city centre, and within a mile of the Newbridge junction where the M8 to Glasgow and the M9 to Stirling and the Forth Road Bridge meet with the A8 trunk road.
By Road – From Edinburgh take the A8 past the Gyle roundabout and follow signs to the airport. From Glasgow take the M8 to Junction 2, then take the M9 north to Junction 1 (the Newbridge roundabout), then follow the A8.
Short and long term car parks are available and there are numerous car hire options in the terminal.
By Rail – The nearest railway station is Edinburgh Waverley and trains run to and from Waverley to the rest of the UK. Buses run from Waverley Bridge (next to the train station) to the terminal building. There are plans to build spur link right to the main terminal but work hasn’t started yet.
The new Edinburgh Tramway will also run directly past the terminal.
By Bus – There is an express bus service to/from Waverley Bridge in the city centre (number 100) which operates 24/7 at 10 minute intervals during the day, and half-hourly at night. The ticket cost is 3.40 single, 5.00 return.
You can also fly there…
Nowadays, airports are not just places to hop onboard a plane, oh no. They’re also great places to offload some of that surplus cash you may be carrying around with you. These days airports are more like a shopping mall than a transport hub. Edinburgh is no exception but don’t go there expecting Schipol’s array of consumer-related opportunities – it’s not quite the Mall of America.
Among others, there are branches of Boots, Tie Rack, Thorntons and Dixons as well as a small outlet for Jenners – Scotland’s premier department store.
Ubiquitous coffee shops abound, in particular Costa, and there is the Granada Food village, which features: La Brioche Doree, Burger King, Franklins of Boston and Village Grill.
There’s also a JD Wetherspoons.
After security, there’s another couple of Costas and two Wetherspoons outlets.
The Edinburgh airport Hilton Hotel is a few hundred metres from the terminal. It has 134 rooms, a restaurant, conference facilities and a full leisure centre. The Quality Hotel is a little further away at around 800m distant.
It’s possible to fly to most, if not all of the UK’s major airports from Edinburgh, as well as:
Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Billund, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen. Cork, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Faro, Frankfurt, Fuerteventura, Lyon, Madrid, Malaga, Milan, Munich, Nice, Palma, Paris, Prague, Rome, Shannon, Tenerife, Toulouse and Venice.
There are rumours that, as Edinburgh is growing faster than Glasgow, that soon it will become Scotland’s transatlantic gateway, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Edinburgh Airport is very convenient for me so when I get the chance to fly from it, I don’t hesitate. It’s possible for me to get a taxi directly from my house, which means no exorbitant parking fees – although it does mean exorbitant taxi fares (around 20 each way). Fortunately for me, but not so lucky for her, my mother lives only about a mile from the airport (you can see the pilot’s face as the plane scrapes the rooftops), so I can park my car there and take a short hop in a taxi for a couple of quid.
The last time I used the airport was in June ’08, flying to Barcelona.
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to check in and place our luggage in the safe and competent hands of those wonderfully gentle, baggage handlers. This left us an hour or so to wander around and grab a bite to eat.
Inside the terminal building is pretty much the same as any airport – anywhere, although having recently undergone a substantial refurbishment, Edinburgh is quite clean and fresh-looking. It’s not a big airport so it’s pretty hard to get lost – not matter how hard you try.
One thing I like here is the view from the upper concourse (where most of the shopping and eating facilities are) – there’s a lovely panorama taking in almost all of the Pentland Hills – it makes you wonder why you’d want to leave.
But we did leave, and we spent a fun-filled fortnight in sunny Spain before returning from the melee of Barcelona to the restrained efficiency of Edinburgh.
It’s an easy airport to arrive in as well as it isn’t too crowded (at least anytime I’ve used it) and you can grab a taxi and be on your way fairly quickly.
For me, that means being back in my house within about 30 minutes of touchdown…if they don’t lose my luggage….and HM Customs don’t decide that I look suspiciously like a smuggler/terrorist/harassed British citizen….and my car starts….and the traffic’s not too bad….and I don’t stop off for some ‘fast’ food….and I haven’t lost my house-key….
So, would I recommend Edinburgh Airport? – The answer is a resounding YES. But only, and I must stress ONLY, if you’re planning on flying!