|Continent: Europe||Country: United Kingdom||Region: Scotland|
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Official Spotting Locations
Other Spotting Locations
River Almond/Boathouse Bridge
This is an excellent place to capture aircraft landing and taking off in either direction especially from late afternoon and during sunsets. Preferably summertime evenings April through to September although not in the morning or early afternoon as you are facing the sun. Head to the village of Kirkliston and when you get to the "Village Cross" traffic lights where the War Memorial can be seen on the corner, head east for a just over a mile. You will see the distinctive Radar towers (the first photograph) as you go down this road. There is almost always someone there plane-spotting, fishing in the river when it's in season or just folk fascinated by watching planes taking off and landing. Parking there is generally ok but always be aware to ** keep clear of the crash gates at the perimeter fence **.
The best location for photographs is to go over the bridge, walk left onto the riverside path of the River Almond or follow the perimeter fence and continue for about 100 metres. The area you are heading for is seen in the third photograph with the wooden marker pole. Also note that you are at a higher elevation than the runway, so any aircraft wheels are not obscured by grass.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Ingliston Car Park - Old Sunday Market area
This is the most popular and easily accessible area. Head down towards the Main Airport terminal building as normal from the A8. Keep an eye open for the "Quality Hotel" signposts. This takes you into the Ingliston Show and Market areas. This large area is on the western side of the airport terminal.
It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to walk to this location from the passenger terminal. When you exit the passenger terminal, turn right and keep walking towards the Control Tower and then you must stay on the road to the Exhibition Centre. After passing the Control Tower there is a 'Golfing Range' on your left and a 'Grampian Foods' granary on your right. At the junction, turn right. You will pass a cafe/restaurant called the 'Woodside Bistro' on your left hand side as you walk towards the 'Secure Air Parks' portacabins. The wide open spaces and runway becomes visible as you continue. (Do not follow the road around the perimeter fence, it will take you to a dead-end into the Tank Farm, car hire depository and service areas)
If arriving by car, you approach the Quality Hotel, you may go through the large galvanised gates next to the Secure Air Parks, it will take you into the area seen in the photo's above. Occasionally, and often, these access gates are closed. It can vary, depending of what events are on show in the exhibition centre..If there is show being held, it could be free access or sometimes there is a charge, so beware! If the gates are closed, continue past the Quality Hotel for another 200 metres and then turn right at the end of the road. (Which takes you to the location where Lothian Helicopters run their 'Pleasure Flights' from!) It will take you back down to the perimeter fence on a narrow road or you can drive over the open ground, formerly the market. Taking photographs from here is ideal in the morning or afternoon as you are facing northwest. Parking up near the B1 link is a very popular location. The mesh of the new perimeter fence is square and not like the old diamond structure.
Step-ladders will be of no use whatsoever because the new fence is extremely high at this location.
Railway Bridge at Lennymuir
At the eastern side of the airport, head up Turnhouse Road passing the ‘Cargo Village’ on your right hand side. There will probably be many cargo aircraft parked facing the ‘Cargo Village’ but unfortunately there are no easy locations to get a clean photograph of any of the aircraft due to the buildings and clutter lying around on the other side of the perimeter fence.
At the top of Turnhouse Road turn left onto ‘Lennymuir’ and head up the hill. You may park your car down on Turnhouse Road and walk up. It is only a couple of minutes walk to the railway bridge. There are some parking places up there but is restricted. From here you can see a single track/access road that takes you down under the approach of Runway 24. Anywhere on this road offers excellent shots of aircraft landing on runway 24. For example, a 135mm lens will capture a B737 in full frame. Even a standard 50mm lens is sufficient for the major jets. The sun is behind you and this is probably the best spot for landing short final shots. As the sun swings around late in the day, try shooting from northern end of this road.(Summer evenings only)
Ratho - Lochend - Newbridge
Specifically for approach shots landing on runway 06, this is the western end of the airport perimeter. It is locally known as Lochend. Beware: there is a sewage treatment plant near here. The stench can be awful at times! You have been warned!
Back on the main road junction A8 and Motorway (M9) you will find a Drive Thru’ McDonalds at the Newbridge Roundabout and a Motorway pedestrian footbridge that will look down the 06/24 runway for the more adventurous photographer!
Locations to Avoid
- FlyBe - Norwich, Belfast, Southampton.
- FlyGlobespan - Stanstead, Malaga, Barcelona, Rome.
- Ryanair - Dublin
- BMI - Manchester, London Heathrow, Copenhagen
- British Airways
- Easy Jet
- Continental Airlines (1 Daily)
- Scot Airways
- Eastern Airways
Facilities and Transportation
Public bus services stop outside the UK Arrivals doors on the terminal forecourt. There is an express bus service to Edinburgh city centre (number 100). The frequency of the service is from every 10 minutes at peak times through the day, to every 30 minutes at night. The ticket cost is £3 single, £5 return. Tickets can be brought from the information desk at International arrivals, from a desk at the bus stop or on the bus itself. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes and terminates at Waverley Bridge, near to the main railway station and bus station and is just off the city's main street, Princes Street.
Edinburgh's main railway station (Waverley) is in the city centre and can be reached by taxi or bus. From here there are services to Glasgow and a variety of other destinations in Scotland and England (operated by Scotrail, GNER, Virgin West Coast and Virgin Cross Country). Most train services also operate from Edinburgh Haymarket station which is on the main bus route between the airport and city centre.