Getting to School in Edinburgh

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Back to school and back to the daily school run. How do you do it?

Parents are pleased and kids are disappointed. The last week of the summer holidays is upon us!

If you have children already in school you probably have your route and routine for getting there well planned but if you have kids starting school for the first time or are new to the area, it's time to consider how exactly you will be doing the school run. Even if you're down south and not back to school for a few more weeks, these tips can b used all over the country.


Being a city, Edinburgh has quite a few schools and placement into each is first decided on catchment areas. As such, if your children are placed within their local catchment school, you're likely not living too far away. Walking is a great option for travelling to and from school - not only is it good for you and good for the enviroment, it is generally quite a predictable option. You avoid the traffic...even when there is roadworks affecting the pavements, pedestrian diversions will be in can take shorter routes through housing that may not be accessible unless on foot... There's also the advantage of meeting other parents and children, allowing friendships to form and grow. The downside? The Edinburgh weather of course! Although that being said, it won't be something that comes as a massive shock and as such, you and the kids are probably already prepared with a decent waterproof coat and a pair of wellies. Even on the worst of days, schools will happily allow children to bring along, or even keep a spare pair of trousers at school to change into, should they get soaked on the way in.

Bikes and Scooters

An option that has grown massively in popularity over recent years is for children to whizz their way to school on their own wheels! Whether it is a bike or a scooter, you'll find hundreds of them chained up outside schools during the day. These can be a god-send for those with kids who drag their feet in the mornings or like to dither on the walk to school. The chances are they will go on ahead and often forget your even there but it does allow for you leaving a little later if they are going a little faster. Just be sure to make them wear their helmets - even when they're on the pavement, accidents and collisions can (and do) happen, particularly at such a busy time of day.
It is also worth investing in a decent bike lock, as bike-theft in Edinburgh is on the rise and although we'd like to think a childs bike is not a risk, it's best to have the deterrent in place, rather than find yourself consoling a upset child over a stolen bike.

Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitor estate agent Edinburgh - Getting to School in Edinburgh - Our Guide to the School Run


If you do need to travel that bit further, then by bus is a great option. Edinburgh benefits from a fantastic bus service and Lothian Buses offer passes in the form of their Ridacard for both adults and children. In the mornings you will generally be travelling during peak times too, meaning you will have the advantage of bus-lane travel, although this will mean busier buses so just be preapred that sometime you may need to stand. Come the afternooon, you are likely to be travelling before the bus lanes come back into play so if you are going to any after school activites via bus, be sure to allow a little extra time to your journey.


Edinburgh is not a city designed for cars, nor any transport really. Being such a historical city, it means there is a lot of one-way streets, roads which are only open to buses and taxis, as well what seems like a never ending stream of roadworks... Much like our Guide to Commuting in Edinburgh, we'd generally advise against driving, especially through the city centre. If you must drive though, be sure to plan your route in advance. Taking into account the bus lane restriction times, checking you route for roadworks that may have appeared over night and planning where you will park once you eventually get there. Most school have restrictions on driving and parking outside during pick-up/drop-off times so you may stuggle to get close to the school and need to park a short distance away and walk the last remaining stretch.



Passionate about property and providing great service at value for money.

Amy Lorimer
Content Creator at Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitors and estate agents, Edinburgh
0131 555 1234


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