St Giles’ Cathedral

St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh on the Royal Mile. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen).

Nearest Railway Station

Edinburgh Waverley

Walking or cycling is recommended from the Station.

Facilities for Car-Free Visitors

There is a cafe serving warm food and drinks.

Arriving by Foot

Two walking routes are provided: the first is direct but involves a long flight of stairs; the second route is a bit longer but is step-free. Both routes are short (less than half a mile) but involve a significant ascent. The first route is via a characteristic Old Town close and the second along the colourful Cockburn Street.

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Download all walking routes GPX (8KB)
Download walking route with stairs GPX

Download walking route without stairs GPX (4KB)

Download walking route with stairs PDF (4MB)
Download walking route without stairs PDF (3MB)

Nearby Walking Routes

The John Muir Way passes along the bottom of the Meadows (Melville Drive), less than a mile away.

Arriving by Bike

The cycle route is short (just over half a mile), but the first section is up a steep and sometimes busy hill. However there is a cycle lane on this section and it leads to a cobbled and low traffic section.

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Download cycle route GPX (5KB)
Download cycle route PDF (5MB)

Nearest cycle parking

There are several cycle racks in Hunter Square, a short distance down the Royal Mile from the Cathedral. There are also two racks on the Royal Mile itself, also down and slightly nearer the Cathedral.

Cycle carriage on trains

Edinburgh Waverley is served by local, regional, and intercity ScotRail trains which usually have four cycle spaces. Some electric trains have no or only two spaces but allow cycles to be stored in the doorways (on the right side of the train). Bicycles do not require reservations on ScotRail services to Waverley except for trains from Inverness and Aberdeen. Bicycle reservations for these services can be made by contacting ScotRail telesales on 0330 303 0111 or visiting a station ticket office. Full details are contained in the ScotRail Connections Guide.

Waverley is also served by long-distance trains operated by CrossCountry, TransPennine Express, Virgin Trains East Coast, and Virgin Trains West Coast. These operators carry between two and six bicycles and require a reservation, which can be made by contacting the train company or visiting a ticket office.

Nearby Cycle Routes
  • National Cycle Network routes 1, 75, and 76 cross Lawnmarket, passing less than 100 metres from St Giles’ Cathedral.
  • Edinburgh Family Network Route 6 starts from the top of Middle Meadow Walk which is near the Royal Mile – across George IV Bridge.
  • The John Muir Way passes along the bottom of the Meadows (Melville Drive), less than a mile away.

Arriving by Bus

St Giles’ Cathedral is a short walk from Princes Street and so all the buses which stop there can be used. However the closest stops to the Cathedral are:

George IV Bridge (top of Victoria Street)

  • Lothian Buses: 23, 27, 41, 42, 67

North Bridge

Royal Mile

Directions to the Bus Stop

The railway station is too near to St Giles’ Cathedral to use a local bus.

This information was believed to be correct at the date of publication of this website, 23 June 2015. We would encourage users of the site to check the public transport information presented above before setting off.