Six Nations Cities: Edinburgh

The Six Nations provides Europe’s best with an annual opportunity to renew rivalries and friendships in six appealing yet contrasting host cities.

The Six Nations provides Europe’s best with an annual opportunity to renew rivalries and friendships in six appealing yet contrasting host cities.

In a new series, take a look at what makes each of them so special, find out what the main attractions are and get some top tips about away day trips on match day.

Next up we head to Edinburgh, the capital city and the location of BT Murrayfield, the venue for Scotland’s home games in Rugby’s Greatest Championship.

Main attractions   Edinburgh is famous for many things – the Festival, the Fringe and of course Hogmanay.

But a Six Nations weekend is one of the jewels in the crown of a city steeped in history and full of sights, sounds and smells to take in.

Edinburgh Castle is the stand-out attraction while Arthur’s Seat is the best way to see the city as a whole and understand where the old meets the new.

Give yourself a full weekend and you might have enough time for a day trip out to Loch Ness to see if you can spot the mythical monster.

Edinburgh Zoo is only a short bus ride from the city centre and also a must-see, with over 1,000 animals and the UK’s only giant pandas.

Or you can keep it low key and taking in the fantastic shopping on offer on Princes Street.   Transport advice   Edinburgh airport lies to the west of the city but transport links into town are regular and easy to navigate.

The city itself has trains, buses and trams, wheelchair accessible with ramps and lifts, to take you anywhere you need to go.

There are also plenty of black cabs should the need arise as well as pre-booked taxis like City Cabs.   How to get to the ground?   On a matchday, you can get to BT Murrayfield via bus, train or tram.

But, if you have the time and the inclination, the best thing to do is to walk from Haymarket Station.

It will take you about 20 minutes on matchday, but the party atmosphere is not to be missed with bagpipes, barbeques and beers flowing freely.

It is also worth noting that parking at the stadium is only available to those supporters that have purchased a car park pass in advance.   Top tips   As a city that is built on seven hills, our best piece of advice to really appreciate what Edinburgh has to offer is – get climbing!

Truly, the higher you are, the more you can appreciate the city’s unique beauty – and sunsets are not to be missed.

Don’t let the maps confuse you however, sometimes it’s better to just use your own personal sense of direction rather than a map that cannot capture the hills and alleyways that curl and climb into each other in the old town.

Also, try to always carry some change for the bus which costs £1.60 for a single journey.   2019 fixtures

Scotland will be looking to continue their upward curve next year with three matches at home at their BT Murrayfield fortress.

They have not lost a Six Nations game at home since England were the visitors back in round one of the 2016 Championship.

And in 2019, it is Italy who arrive on Saturday February 2, for a 14:15 kick off in round one.

Click here for the full 2019 fixture list

A week later and it is Ireland who are the visitors, the defending Grand Slam champions aiming to avenge their defeat in Edinburgh back in 2017.

After a trip to Paris in round three, Scotland return home to face Wales in round four on Saturday March 9, again at 14:15 before heading to Twickenham on Super Saturday in round five.   Three standout matches   BT Murrayfield has witnessed some famous days in Rugby’s Greatest Championship – but you would have to go some to beat the Calcutta Cup clash earlier this year.

Scotland had not beaten the Auld Enemy England in a decade and welcomed the defending champions who were looking for a third straight crown.

But what unfolded an on historic day was one of the great Scotland performances as Huw Jones and Finn Russell ran riot in the backline while skipper John Barclay led the forwards to near total dominance in the first half in particular.

In 2006 a Sean Lamont double downed France – who finished the eventual champions that year – to leave Murrayfield hoarse and happy.

And back in 2000 Duncan Hodge’s try proved the difference in the pouring rain as the Scots sent England home again without a Grand Slam.