Edinburgh and the surrounding area is an ideal location for student years.

As a student at QMU you will have easy access to Scotland’s beautiful and vibrant capital city, Edinburgh, and also the stunning coast and countryside surrounding the campus.


Situated in the central belt of Scotland, south of the Firth of Forth Estuary, Edinburgh is easily accessible from all areas of the UK and beyond. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and continues to rank high in opinion polls (see Recent Edinburgh accolades below). It is a top tourist destination, particularly in the summer months when the city comes alive and plays host to the acclaimed Edinburgh Festivals. The Fringe Festival is particularly enjoyed by students in the city who embrace the month-long spectacle of comedy, music, drama and art. Late December is also a popular time for visitors to ‘Auld Reekie’ as they come to experience a Scottish New Year at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations — now one of the world’s biggest outdoor parties!

With four universities and a large further education college, the city is highly populated by students and is very student friendly. Much of the culture and activity of the city is focused around student life, with students able to share some facilities — such as student unions and libraries — that each institution has to offer. Part-time job opportunities and graduate job opportunities are excellent and many students choose to remain in Edinburgh or the local area during holidays and after graduating.

Edinburgh is atmospheric and vibrant, with all you’d expect from a capital city: packed with shops, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, pubs, clubs, supermarkets, museums, tourist attractions, landmarks, art galleries, concert venues, parks and sports facilities etc. The city is also home to Edinburgh Castle. Dating back to the 12th century, the spectacular landmark sits in the city centre on the top of a dormant volcano. The city is also home to the Scottish Parliament.

The campus local area

The campus is located to the east of Edinburgh city centre by the coastal town of Musselburgh, in the county of East Lothian. Musselburgh has a population of around 22,000 and offers a theatre, sports centre with swimming pool, supermarkets and shops, a racecourse, golf courses, a harbour and beach, restaurants and bars, a public library and a peaceful riverside. The campus is only a short walk or bus ride from Fort Kinnaird, a large outdoor shopping complex offering high street chain stores, restaurants and a multiplex cinema. There are also several supermarkets in the immediate vicinity. QMU has National Cycle Route 1 running past it which allows a safe and easy cycle into the city centre in only 30 minutes.

East Lothian is a beautiful county with over 40 miles of stunning coastline, golden beaches, rolling countryside, historic sites, award-winning attractions, excellent food and drink and the world’s finest links golf courses. East Lothian enjoys the sunniest climate in Scotland, great local produce, spectacular natural beauty and year-round recreational opportunities including cycling, walking, horse riding, golfing and surfing. The university offers cheap bike hire for students, making it easier to explore.

The campus is also just 20 minutes’ bus journey from Portobello, Edinburgh’s beach, with its independent boutiques, cosy pubs, hipster coffee shops, and the Victorian grandeur of Portobello Baths, which has one of the only original and still-functioning Turkish baths in the country.

A hop, skip and jump to the wider world

Transport links to Edinburgh are excellent – you can easily head north to spend a weekend skiing or hill-walking. You are only 45 minutes from Glasgow, or four hours from London by train. In the city centre, the bus services are extensive, providing frequent links in and around the city. Air links are convenient and widespread – it takes just over an hour to get to Paris, Dublin or Amsterdam. You can check out which destinations you can fly to from Edinburgh airport.

Recent Edinburgh accolades

  • 1st - Edinburgh came first in the Telegraph’s ‘Britain’s Best 20 Cities’ award, for the third time in a row (2016)
  • 1st - Voted Friendliest UK City (Conde Nast Traveller, 2016)
  • 1st -  Edinburgh ranked 1st in the 2016/17 FDi strategy category for Global Cities of the Future
  • 1st - Event and Festival Destination of the Year (Luxury Travel Guide Awards, 2017)
  • 1st -  Edinburgh is the Greenest City in the UK — 49.1% of the city is green space (The Guardian, Jan 2017)
  • 2nd - Edinburgh ranked second in the world for quality of life (The Financial Times, 2017)
  • 2nd - Edinburgh named 2nd top UK Destination in Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards (2017)
  • 2nd - Best UK Destination outside London for second year in a row (Trip Advisor, 2016)
  • 1st - Edinburgh named UK’s most Walkable City (Living Streets, 2017)
  • 4th - Edinburgh voted the fourth ‘Most Beautiful City in the World’ by readers of Rough Guide, behind only Paris, Florence and Rome (Feb, 2016)

Edinburgh - a city of events, attractions and festivals

Events for 2019 have not yet been confirmed, but the calendar here gives you a flavour of the wide variety of events that are anticipated for 2018 and will give you a flavour of what 2019 may offer.


  • Warm up your January by taking part in Edinburgh’s world famous Hogmanay celebrations and celebrate the life of the internationally acclaimed Scottish poet Robert Burns.
  • Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations run until early January and include fun leisure activities and beautiful stalls in Princes Street Gardens. Artists from around the world will perform in the theatrical phenomenon which is La Clique Noël. The show runs until 6th January.
  • Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (31 December) is one of the world’s largest New Year celebrations taking place over a significant area within central Edinburgh. Bring in the New Year with your new university friends while listening to the music in Princes Street gardens and watching the fireworks at the Castle.
  • Burns Night, on 25 January, is another highlight in the Scottish calendar. Take part in a Burns Supper, which celebrates the life, poetry and songs of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. Burns was the author of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Typically, at a Burns Supper you’ll have the opportunity to sample some haggis and enjoy a wee dram of whisky!

February 2018

Brighten up a cold February with a trip to Edinburgh Castle or the National Museum of Scotland with its 8,000 treasures waiting to be discovered.

  • Enjoy the Manipulate Festival, Scotland’s festival of visual theatre, puppetry and animation
  • BANFF Mountain Film Festival World Tour
  • Capital Sci-Fi Conference
  • Holistic Ways Festival
  • Edinburgh Students Arts Festival Markets and Fairs A wide variety of markets and fairs take place in Edinburgh through the year. These sell artisanfoods and gifts, as well as vintage and craft goods.


  • March is a busy time of year for festivals. There is also the Six Nations rugby tournament.
  • Yarn Festival
  • Edinburgh International Harp Festival
  • Edinburgh Students Arts Festival
  • Wee Dub Festival, Scotland’s biggest celebration of reggae, dub and sound system culture
  • Gather Festival, celebrates the diverse communities and cultures at the University of Edinburgh
  • Syn Festival, Greek multi-arts festival
  • St Patrick’s Festival, Cowgate
  • Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland
  • Scottish Tattoo Convention


  • A warm day in April is also a good time to take a city bus tour.
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • Scottish Vegan Festival
  • Edinburgh Comic Con
  • Old Town Street Food Festival
  • Terminal V Festival
  • Dead By Dawn: Scotland’s International Horror Film Festival
  • The Beltane Showcase, a festival involving thunderous drums, wild acrobatics, immersive street theatre and dramatic fire-play
  • Tradfest Edinburgh Dùn Èideann
  • Spring Knitting & Stitching Show
  • Beltane Fire Festival


Whisky month is celebrated throughout the month of May.

  • FestivALE Beer, Spirit & Street Food Festival
  • Ingliston Revival: Classic & Prestige Car Festival
  • Pint Of Science Festival
  • Festival of Museums
  • Fly Open Air Festival
  • Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival
  • Edinburgh International Tango Festival
  • Hidden Door Festival
  • Whisky Stramash
  • Imaginate Children’s Festival


Highlights include the Royal Highland Show and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

  • German Bierfest
  • Gardening Scotland Show
  • Edinburgh Juniper Festival
  • Edinburgh Cup Race Day
  • Meadows Festival
  • Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
  • Leith Festival
  • Leith Late Festival
  • Film Fest In The City: Open Air Cinema
  • Let’s Circus! in the Grassmarket
  • Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
  • Royal Highland Show
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival


August is Edinburgh’s busiest festival month

  • Edinburgh Art Festival
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held in the Castle Esplanade
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of the world’s largest arts events, the Festival stages more than 2,000 shows in hundreds of theatres
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival


Doors Open Day – get free access to hundreds of fascinating buildings across Edinburgh and Scotland

  • Why not explore some of Edinburgh’s excellent markets and fairs?


  • Scottish International Story Telling Festival


  • The autumn and winter months are a great time to visit Edinburgh’s beautiful galleries and museums.
  • Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations



 The following gallery Images of Edinburgh have been sourced from the site 'This is Edinburgh.' Click here to see more.


Queen Margaret University

General Enquiries

Show Contacts

Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University Main Telephone Number
0131 474 0000
Johnny Elmer, BA (Hons) Drama & Performance
“The transport links are great. It takes just six minutes to reach QMU by train from the centre of Edinburgh and the buses even come on to campus.”