Exploring the UK

An overview of: Edinburgh

Where is Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and is located in the southeast of Scotland, near the country’s eastern coast.

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, cultural festivals, and vibrant arts scene.

The city is a popular destination for tourists and is home to many important historical and cultural landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Scottish Parliament Building.

About the region

The Central Belt of Scotland encompasses a vibrant and economically significant region stretching from east to west. It includes two major cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, each with its distinct cultural charm. Edinburgh, the capital city, stands out for its historical landmarks like the Edinburgh Castle and lively arts scene during the renowned Edinburgh Festival. Glasgow, the largest city, boasts a thriving music and arts culture, with numerous museums and entertainment venues.

This region benefits from excellent transportation links, fostering connectivity and economic growth. The Central Belt’s green spaces and parks offer opportunities for outdoor activities amid the urban landscape. With prestigious universities, diverse industries, and a mix of urban and suburban living options, the Central Belt plays a pivotal role in shaping Scotland’s social, economic, and cultural landscape.


Edinburgh has a well-developed and extensive transportation network, offering various options for getting around the city and connecting to other parts of Scotland and beyond.

  • Car: Edinburgh is well-connected by road, and the city is served by several major highways. The M8 motorway runs through the city, connecting Edinburgh to Glasgow and other destinations in the west. The A1 is another important road that connects Edinburgh to the northeast of England. Additionally, the Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) provides a convenient route around the city, connecting different areas and suburbs.
  • Train: Edinburgh’s main railway station is Edinburgh Waverley, located in the city centre. Waverley is one of the busiest railway stations in Scotland and offers frequent and direct train services to various destinations across the UK. The East Coast Main Line connects Edinburgh to London in the south, and the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line connects the two major cities in Scotland.
  • Air: Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is the busiest airport in Scotland and serves as the primary gateway to the city. It is located about 8 miles (13 kilometres) west of the city centre. Edinburgh Airport offers both domestic and international flights to various destinations across Europe, North America, and other parts of the world.
  • Public Transport: Edinburgh has an efficient and well-connected public transport system operated mainly by Lothian Buses. The city’s extensive bus network covers most areas, including the city centre and suburbs, providing easy access to different parts of Edinburgh. There are also night bus services for late-night travel. Additionally, the Edinburgh Trams system runs between the city centre and the airport, offering a quick and convenient way to travel.

Overall, Edinburgh’s transportation links make it easy for residents and visitors to move around the city and access other parts of Scotland and the UK. The city’s integrated transport system ensures that various modes of transport work together to provide efficient and accessible travel options for everyone.

Living in the area

Edinburgh offers a diverse array of housing options to suit different preferences and budgets. The housing market encompasses apartments and flats, varying from traditional tenements in the city centre to modern developments in suburban areas. Additionally, there are various types of houses available, including terraced, semi-detached, and detached properties, catering to various lifestyles. The city’s status as a university hub also means there is a range of student accommodations available.

Edinburgh’s cost of living is relatively high compared to other UK cities due to its status as the capital and popular tourist destination.

Housing costs, particularly in the city centre, are a significant expense, whether renting or buying. Transport expenses can also add up, despite a well-connected public transport system. Grocery prices are comparable to other cities, and dining out and entertainment expenses vary based on preferences.

Edinburgh’s cultural attractions and opportunities make it an attractive place to live.


  • Primary Schools: At the primary level, Edinburgh has numerous public (state-funded) schools that offer education for children aged 5 to 11 years. Edinburgh also has a selection of independent (private) schools offering alternative educational approaches.
  • Secondary Schools: Edinburgh’s secondary schools cater to students aged 12 to 17 years. The city provides a mix of public and independent secondary schools, each offering a broad curriculum and opportunities for academic and extracurricular development.
  • University Level: Edinburgh is home to several prestigious universities, making it a thriving hub for higher education. The University of Edinburgh is one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the world, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across various disciplines. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, and Queen Margaret University are also well-regarded institutions in the city, each providing diverse study options.

Edinburgh’s universities attract students from around the globe, contributing to the city’s vibrant and diverse community. The educational institutions offer modern facilities, access to research opportunities, and a supportive learning environment.


Edinburgh offers a plethora of leisure activities, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The city’s rich history and culture make it a paradise for history enthusiasts, with iconic landmarks like the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile providing a glimpse into the past.

The city’s arts scene is vibrant, with numerous theatres, galleries, and live music venues offering a diverse array of performances and exhibitions. Edinburgh hosts the famous Edinburgh Festival, a world-renowned arts festival that attracts artists and visitors from all over the globe. Nature lovers can explore the city’s beautiful parks and gardens, such as the Royal Botanic Garden and Holyrood Park, which boasts the iconic Arthur’s Seat Hill. The city’s proximity to the coast and the nearby countryside also presents opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, and watersports.

For those seeking retail therapy, Edinburgh’s shopping districts, like Princes Street and George Street, offer a mix of high-street brands and independent boutiques. The city’s culinary scene is diverse, with a wide range of restaurants and eateries, from traditional Scottish fare to international cuisine. With its unique blend of history, culture, nature, and entertainment, Edinburgh provides a vibrant and fulfilling leisure experience for residents and visitors alike.


NHS Lothian is the health board responsible for providing healthcare services in the Lothian region of Scotland, which includes Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. As one of the major health boards in Scotland, NHS Lothian is committed to delivering high-quality healthcare to its diverse population. It operates a network of hospitals and community health services, catering to the medical needs of residents and visitors in the region.

The Royal Edinburgh Infirmary, commonly known as the Royal Infirmary or REI, is one of the flagship hospitals within NHS Lothian. Located in the southwest of Edinburgh, the Royal Infirmary is a large teaching hospital and a centre for medical excellence. It offers a wide range of medical services, including specialised care in areas such as neurology, mental health, and rehabilitation.

As a teaching hospital, the Royal Infirmary is actively involved in medical education and research, contributing to advancements in healthcare practices and medical knowledge.

Relocation support

How do Doctors Relocate assist with your relocation?

In addition to providing personalised career guidance, facilitating interviews and managing negotiations to secure the right job opportunity for each individual, we offer ongoing relocation support to our candidates, helping with practical matters such as accommodation arrangements, banking, and setting up other essential services.

Our dedicated team is readily available to address any concerns or queries that you have along the way, ensuring that you feel supported and confident throughout your relocation.

With our guidance, you can confidently navigate the relocation journey, focusing on your professional and personal growth in the UK.

Your essential reading list: Top blogs to help with your relocation to the UK

Moving to the UK: Planning and packing tips

Driving in the UK with an overseas license

Buying a car in the UK

The UK education system

School Holidays in the UK

Supermarkets and grocery stores in the UK

Public holidays in the UK

International airports in the UK

Urgent and emergency care services in the UK

Useful information and contacts in the UK

Registering with a GP and Dentist in the UK

Childcare in the UK

Arranging accommodation in the UK

If you’re a doctor interested in NHS positions, please contact our team to discuss the opportunities available to you.