Focus on Event City: Edinburgh
Introduction to Event City Edinburgh
With a population of around half a million, it is the seventh most populous city anywhere in the United Kingdom, though it is not Scotland’s most populous city (that honour goes to Glasgow). The Scottish capital and former royal seat of Edinburgh is steeped in history. Founded by King David I in the early 12th century, it was not referred to as the capital of the kingdom until the mid-14th century.
Today, people visit from all over the globe to marvel at the UNESCO listed architecture, and especially the castle and historic vaults and other features of the Old Town. As an events city, Edinburgh has much going for it – one of the UK’s capitals of science, finance (including insurance) and tourism.
Getting Around Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport is understandably the busiest in Scotland, handling roughly 10m passengers every year. Expansion of the main terminal began in early 2014 and to turn it into a truly world class airport for Scotland. For many years, there was debate about whether the airport needed a second runway – though following consultation this is unlikely to go ahead in the near future. Edinburgh Airport does not have a railway station but bus and tram links now provide easy transport between the two – the line it is on cuts through the city, terminating at York Place in the east.
Rail arrivals enter the city by one of two stations – Waverley and Haymarket. Waverley is near the Royal Terrace and Holyrood (handling 20m passengers a year), Haymarket is a little to the west but not too far from the centre – it is close to the Murrayfield stadium. Its passenger numbers are smaller, around 2 million annually. There are other smaller stations but these largely support commuters to the city’s business park to the west.
Most people get around Edinburgh using the extensive bus network and since spring 2014, the new network of trams introduced since the closing of the older lines in the 1950s. The new trams have proven a success and there are ongoing consultation plans to expand the network to cope with traffic congestion in the city.
The other way people get around Edinburgh is on foot, especially when visiting The Old Town. With pedestrianised areas, it is a great place to go walking.
Hotels & Venues of Event City Edinburgh
Edinburgh has some 244 hotels with a range of privately owned boutiques up to large well-known chains, catering to tourist and business visitors alike. There are 24 5-star hotels and a choice of 155 4-star hotels – meaning that as an event city, Edinburgh spoils you for choice. Many people travel to the city to get married and have those memorable wedding photos against the skyline; it’s an ideal photoshoot destination and as a centre of finance, a great place to hold your corporate event.
The George Hotel caters to corporate events in the city, and has received the BDRC Gold Standard (Research Consultancy) award for excellence. It is close to the central Waverley Station and therefore has good links to the airport, to other areas in the city and to other major cities in the UK. It is an ideal place to hold your event in Edinburgh with 9 conference suites, a luxurious library for private meetings and “The King’s Hall” with over 314sqm of space. The Forth View Suite has impressive views of the city – hold your business event in luxury.
It is home to several dedicated conference and exhibition centres; the EICC is considered a world class conference centre with at least four suites, one main hall, and three sets of smaller room complexes. All of their areas are flexible and suitable for exhibitions and conferences alike. The new facilities are fully integrated so you don’t need to leave the site.
Edinburgh is geared up as a conference city and you may find some unusual venues. Try the brand new Odeon cinema if you are organising an independent film launch. With a separate reception and bar for event attendees, you will find that Odeon Wester Hailes with its dedicated team of event staff can help your movie launch go smoothly. As an events city, Edinburgh has so many choices.
Things to Do in Edinburgh
The history junkie is spoilt for choice in the event city of Edinburgh. Fans of culture and arts should not feel left out though.
- The main tourist attraction in Edinburgh is the castle – located in The Royal Mile. It dominates the skyline from Edinburgh Rock. Once the seat of power in royal Scotland, it is now a national monument. Most of the buildings date to the 17th century and later and the rock area is UNESCO World Heritage Listed and has the highest protection designation in Scotland and the UK
- Staying with history, the National Museum of Scotland represents one of the best collections of world culture, national history, art and science. It is amongst the most visited museums in Scotland and has regular exhibitions. It is also possible to hire the conference facilities for your event
- The Royal Botanic Garden is just a short walk from Waverley Station and Holyrood so if it is the quieter pace of life you prefer, then visit this national botanical collection. Founded in 1670 as a medicinal garden, it is now an important place research centre and tourist destination
- You are also spoilt for choice with food options too. For high-end cuisine try the Number One at Balmoral – one of the best luxury restaurants in Scotland. For good hearty food, many people recommend the no frills but friendly and welcoming Pickles Bar in the city centre