Posted by: travelrat | October 5, 2009

Edinburgh Bus Ride

Edinburgh 8th August 2009

If you’re staying on the north bank of the Firth of Forth, the Ferrytoll Park & Ride is a good way to get into Edinburgh. You park your car and one of the frequent buses whisk you over the Forth Road Bridge into the city. And, some of the buses are equipped with free wifi … useful, I suppose, if you want to check your email on your way to work but, small and compact as it is, I don’t carry my Netbook around when sightseeing.

Buses that aren’t equipped with wifi are the vintage open-top Routemasters operated by MacTours. These were ‘rear-loading’ buses, necessitating the employment of a conductor. The driver cannot collect fares, as he sits in splendid isolation in his separate cab. Despite this, they were only recently withdrawn from service in London … amid loud protests.

There are two or three companies offering open-top bus tours of Edinburgh but, in addition to these splendid old buses, MacTours offer the services of a live guide. However, the guide did concede that, if English wasn’t your first language, a recorded guide in your own language might be a better option … and here, City Sightseeing got a mention, for both franchises are operated by Lothian Buses.

Edinburgh is a bit chaotic at the moment. Princes Street is all barriered off, and dug up for the installation of a new tramway … they withdrew the old one several years ago, and the fact that the Edinburgh Festival has just started didn’t help.

I did hear an unconfirmed story that MacTours will have to withdraw their buses, as Edinburgh is shortly to be granted World Heritage status, and their old buses can in no way conform to the emission standards laid down. I hope I’m wrong; I’d hate to see Routemasters disappear from the streets completely.

My latest piece … about the Edinburgh Tattoo is live at


  1. […] more from the original source:  Edinburgh Bus Ride By admin | category: netbook | tags: buses, eb1501, ferrytoll, firth, forth-road, […]

  2. ‘There was a soldier, a Scottish soldier…’ now I’m going to have that tune in my head for the rest of the day. LOL.

    It was great to see old Edinburgh again. She’s still as beautiful as she always was…

    • Good Lord! Andy Stewart! I’d forgotten him! I’d even forgotten there were words to ‘The Green Hills of Tyrol’!

      And, of course, I just remembered Donald, whaur’s ye’re troosers?

  3. […] Scotland Keith Kellett presents Edinburgh Bus Ride posted at Travelrat’s […]

  4. […] Scotland Keith Kellett presents Edinburgh Bus Ride posted at Travelrat’s […]

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