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What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

Watkinsville...
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What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

We will have about 3 to 4 hours after immigration, etc to spend. How long does it take to get into the city? What's the best way to do that? Is there time for us to do something? Would it be better for us to go somewhere other than the city center during that time (we will have 2 1/2 days later in the trip to explore Edinburgh). I will be traveling with my 3 kids and I would like to find something nice to do with them in-between flights.

Thanks!

27 replies to this topic
Bingley, United...
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1. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

Stay at the airport, read a book, have a sleep, eat something.

Scotland
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2. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

That is an awkward amount of time. Unfortunately, it really falls into the category of “by the time you get anywhere it will be time to come back again”. Where are your flights from and to, and how much time do you have in total? Edinburgh isn’t set up for transferring passengers so you’ll have to clear immigration, then collect your bags, then walk through customs, then get to check-in and bag drop for your next flight and go through security.

Advice is normally to be checking in two hours before departure. It’s a half hour trip into town, so there’s your time gone already. To keep the kids amused there are good floor to ceiling windows with runway views - you could make a game out of matching up departing flights with their destinations? There’s also a couple of pretty good play areas with climbing frames, crawl tunnels, slides etc.

Watkinsville...
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3. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

Our flight gets in at 9ish - I figured we would be done with immigration by 11 at the latest. We aren't checking any bags for any flights. My kids are older - 11 and 14 so I don't think play areas would be great. Are there good places to eat in the airport?

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

If you want fresh air then follow the access road round from outside the terminal and it will take you round in a loop. You could go to the Hilton doubletree for food and drink if you want to escape the terminal building although food options in the airport itself are better than most airports I think. Check out if there’s any special offers or free passes online for the pool at the hilton? Other than that your closest place to go by tram would be the Gyle shopping mall but it’s no tourist attraction!

I’m wondering about a taxi to the climbing centre at Ratho too.

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5. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

So i think you are saying your next flight is at 3pm i.e. 4 hours after 11am.

Google the Ratho Climbing Centre. Might fit the bill. It's about 15 mins by taxi. You'd need to book one to come back.I don't use it. So don't know how easy it is to "walk" on to the climbing walls and aerial runway stuff.

Still a bit tight.

Just a thought. Someone might have more info about it.

Scotland
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6. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

I would say it is perfectly possible to get into the city and back in that time. Connections are frequent (although the tram does take an absurdly long time) and worse case, you can taxi back. In fact, with four people, taxis maybe about as cheap. Wander through Princes St Gardens, up the Royal Mile, down to the Grassmarket and around the Castle Rock. Dive into the Galleries if it is raining. Grab a snack whilst you are strolling.

Alternatives could be to visit Linlithgow and see the Palace and stroll around the loch, or take a train over the Forth Bridge and back: either carrying on along the Fife coast a bit (subject to timings, you might even get half an hour on the beach) or get off at Dalmeny on the return and walk down to Queensferry and look at the Forth Bridges and the quaint High St.

Just to ensure the practicality, could you say when the next flight departs? (I am curious about your itinerary - Edinburgh tends to be an end destination, not a layover. And even off a transatlantic flight, I wouldn't think it would take two hours to clear immigration?)

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7. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

If your flight arrives at 0900 then you should be through immigration by 0930 unless there is a huge queue. normally it is the wait on baggage that holds me up at EDI. For such a small airport they can take forever to unload bags onto the carousel but since you don't have any then bingo.

What about the Zoo?

I would be back at the airport at least 90 minutes before your next flight though. There is a luggage storage place in the airport if you didn't want to drag your carry ons with you.

Edited: 10 October 2017, 12:12
Edinburgh, United...
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8. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

The zoo would be expensive for only a couple of hours. I think you’d need to book in advance are ratho, or would be advised to.

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9. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

Please tell us where your onward flight is to and what the departure time is. Then we might agree on whether you can actually do anything or not.

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10. Re: What to do during a 4 hour layover in Edinburgh

Guys I think you are playing with fire here and possibly risk the OP missing their onward flight by suggesting all these options!

I once had a 5 hour layover at Newark (EWR) our the Airport Windows you could see almost within touching distance Manhattan, and apparently it’s only 30 minutes on the train under the Hudson to Penn Station! But would I risk it? No!

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