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Greenock to Edinburgh?

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Does anyone know how one would get from Greenock, Scotland, where the ship docks, to Edinburgh? I believe there is likely a train, but have no idea which one, where, cost? Alternately, would renting a car be preferable?

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    Some of the travel companies that offer the cruises run a bus from Greenock to Edinburgh if you contact someone like they may be able to help with just booking the bus. Alternatively there is a national express coach service which may be preferable to the train as there isn't a direct line to Edinburgh from Greenock.

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    You have a few options. Train or bus both take between 2hrs 15 and 2hrs 30 minutes each way. Bus from Greenock town centre (roughly every hour) to Buchanan Bus Station (Glaswegians still call it Buchanan Street) in Glasgow, then from Buchanan to Edinburgh. There's not much time to make the connection and if you miss it you could have a one hour wait. The bus terminus in Edinburgh is usually St Andrews Square which is right next to Harvey Nicks if you're here for the shopping, and about a hundred yards from the east end of Princes Street.
    Train - from Greenock to Glasgow Central (again, about one per hour) then walk or taxi (a mile or less) to Queen Street Station which has a regular service to Edinburgh. The main station in Edinburgh is Waverley (public opinion insists on keeping this name although the bureaucrats try to just call it Edinburgh)at the east end of Princes Street. The main Tourist Information Centre is near here.
    St Andrews Square and Waverley are your best options if you want to see Princes Street, the Royal Mile, castle, Holyrood etc. Trains from Glasgow Queen Street also stop at Haymarket, just over a mile west of Waverley, more convenient for less obvious attractions such as the zoo, Murrayfield stadium and the gallery of modern art. On the return journey it's better to go to Waverley and be there about 10 minutes before departure time to be sure of getting a seat - trains for Glasgow are often full by the time they get to Haymarket. Beware - don't get on a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central as it stops at every tree en route and takes at least twice as long as the Queen Street service.
    A possible option is that most cruise lines advertise Greenock as the port of call for Glasgow so you might be able to join an organised trip to Glasgow and get the train from there. As long as you allow for last minute delays on the return from Edinburgh, you only need to get back to get back to Glasgow in time to rejoin the excursion.
    Car hire - I don't know what the cost would be but being a cynic I suspect most suppliers in Greenock will inflate their prices when there's a cruise ship coming in. You won't save much time compared with bus or train. The M8 motorway (freeway) runs from the outskirts of Greenock most of the way to Edinburgh but it passes right through the centre of Glasgow and is a nightmare during morning and evening rush hours. Be prepared for long long delays if you're leaving Greenock by car before about 9.30 a.m. or on the way back if leaving Edinburgh any time between about 3.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. And just in case you still want to go by car, Edinburgh is not the most car friendly city in the world (alternatively, Edinburgh is facing up to tough decisions in its determination to promote more environmentally sustainable forms of transport). Parking spaces anywhere near the centre are not easy to find and are not cheap if you want to stay for several hours.
    A useful web site if you are able to check it before you travel is
    which is part sponsored by the Scottish Government and local authorities. Click on the journey planner link on the left hand side, enter the start and finish points and your time of travel, and it will give you timetable information for rail or bus. Check the times of your return journey on the notice boards on your way to Edinburgh, just in case there are any late changes.
    Useless information. Greenock (pronounced Green as in the colour, not Gren as in Greenwich) is an anglicised version of Grianach which is Gaelic for Sunny Place.
    Is this your first visit? Aye or Naw, ceud mile failte gu Alba - one hundred thousand welcomes to Scotland. And haste ye back - I'll guarantee that after one day you'll wish you could stay a lifetime.

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    Thanks for that very valuable information. Yes, we have been to Scotland before (my wife's heritage) - spent 3 weeks there many years ago as chaperones for our sons' Canadian youth pipe band when they competed at the Worlds. We're very much looking foreward to our brief stay there again!

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