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South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland

Royal Mile, Edinburgh


South Queensferry is the port for Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-burah) for large cruise ships. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and 18km east of South Queensferry.

Where You're Docked

Ships anchor in the River Forth and tenders take passengers to Hawes Pier in the town of South Queensferry. Smaller cruise ships may dock at the Ocean Terminal in Leith beside the Royal Yacht Britannia. Information for cruisers available here http://www.cruiseforth.com/ Port info here http://www.forthportscruise.com/ and schedule here http://www.forthportscruise.com/terminals-and-ships.asp

Hawes Pier

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Money & Tipping

Scotland's currency is the British Pound (GBP) though Scottish banks issue their own notes at a 1:1 rate. English Sterling notes are usually mixed with Scottish notes. Ask for change in Sterling notes since they will be easier to change outside of Scotland. Banks should exchange with no commission. A small tip (5-10%) is appreciated when dining in restaurants. Post offices in the UK will offer currency exchange.

Local Transportation

There is frequent commuter train service from South Queensferry to Edinburgh but the nearest station is up the hill at Dalmeny Station. There is a staffed ticket office here (check website for hours) and one ticket machine that accepts cash and credit cards (chip and pin). Turn left with your back facing the pier and follow signs to the station leading uphill to your right. Journey time is 20 minutes and fare is approx £4.60 one way and £7.70 return (Aug 2014). Get off at Waverley Station.

Signpost to Dalmeny Station by Hawes Pier

There is usually a private shuttle bus service running to take you into Edinburgh at the pier for £10 return (Euros and USD accepted). Drop off and pickup location is Charlotte Square (a block north of the west end of Princes St). On Your Own tours may drop off and pick up on Waterloo Pl (east end of Princes St).

In Feb 2014, Stagecoach introduced service between Queensferry and the city center. Round trip tickets are £3.50 (Aug 2014) for a return ticket on route 40 (return on route 40A). Bus stop is by the police station in town approx 1/2 mile west of the pier. Timetable and map available here (search route 40). https://www.stagecoachbus.com/

Taxis should cost around £20 one way to get to Edinburgh.

Within Edinburgh, most sights are walkable within the city. The first phase of a new tram line opened in May 2014 which makes it convenient to get to the airport. An extension to Ocean Terminal/Leith was originally planned but remains in limbo. http://edinburghtrams.com/


Search hotels in Edinburgh here


  • Royal Mile - This famous street leads from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace in the middle of the old town.
  • Edinburgh Castle - This royal fortress is on a hill and home to Scotland's crown jewels. The one o'clock gun is fired every day except for Sundays. Entry £16 (Aug 2014). Buy tickets online to save time waiting in lineups. http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/
  • Holyrood Palace - The official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Entry £11.30 (Aug 2014). http://www.royalcollection.org.uk
  • Scott Monument - Climb the 287 steps up this small memorial on Princes St. Entry fee £4 (Aug 2014).
  • Scottish Parliament - Free tours are available of this modern building beside Holyrood.
  • Calton Hill - Climb this hill to view monuments and a view of the city.
  • Arthur's Seat - A hill in Holyrood Park with excellent views.
  • Royal Yacht Britannia - A must for fans of ships and royalty. Enter from the adjoining Ocean Terminal shopping complex in Leith. Reachable by bus 35 from High St eastbound from Edinburgh or tram once it is completed. http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/
  • If you are planning to visit many sights, consider purchasing an Edinburgh Pass. http://www.edinburgh.org/pass

Been Here Before

Head out to Stirling made famous by Scotland's national hero, William Wallace, and the movie Braveheart. There is a castle and memorial here.

Special Events

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs every August featuring lots of street entertainment. Also in August is Edinburgh's famous Military Tattoo held in temporary stands setup in front of the castle. Cruise ships will often offer tours to this event accompanied with a late sail. http://www.edfringe.com/ http://www.edintattoo.co.uk/

Shopping & Restaurants

You will find plenty of shops on Princes Street and on the Royal Mile. There is a small mall by Waverley Station. You will find most of the British chain and department stores along Princes Street.

For a budget lunch, grab a sandwich at M&S (Marks and Spencer) and eat on a bench in Princes St Gardens.

Post Offices

In South Queensferry, there is a post office inside the Co-op supermarket in the centre of town west of the tender pier.

In Edinburgh, there is a post office in St James Centre just north of Waverley Station.


McDonalds, cafes, and restaurants may provide free wifi for customers.

Maps (right-click to save)


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Page last modified on April 18, 2016, at 12:39 PM
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