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Trip Report Random reflections on our recent trip to Edinburgh and London

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Got back last week from a cruise out of Southampton, with pre and post cruise visits to Edinburgh and London, would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences, though this is not your typical Trip Report. Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions and input, you guys are just great:)

We flew straight to Edinburgh and I can't say how much we loved this city, the people were warm and welcoming, despite the dreary skies. What thrilled me the most was the seeing the huge hulk of Edinburgh Castle looming against the skyline everywhere we went.

Days 1 - 3 we spent in Edinburgh, taking in Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Scottish National Gallery. Walking up and down the Royal Mile was wonderful, we'd stop to listen to the bagpipes every now and then; St. Giles was an unexpected gem, I strongly urge everyone to put this on their list of must-sees. We'd been wanting to climb up to Arthur's Seat but somehow never made it there, neither could we see Holyroodhouse Palace nor the Portrait Gallery as the Queen was in residence.

Day 4 and 5 we did day trips to St. Andrews and the Fife fishing villages ( DH got to putt at the Royal & Ancient and was in seventh heaven, must say I was pretty excited too ) and Stirling/ Linlthgow. We got the 3 day Historic Scotland pass which is great value for money, gives free entry to several historic sites.

We took the Caledonian Sleeper down to London on the 5th night and found it quite comfortable, if a bit cramped due to our suitcases, which wouldn't go under the seat. I even managed to catch some sleep, despite the train's rocking, or maybe that was what lulled me to slumber:)

We spent 3 days in London pre-cruise, took a bus down to Southampton on the 4th day with a stop at Stonehenge en route, with another 3 days in London on our return. Museums were high on my list and we visited the National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain & Modern ( the latter was a bit of a let down as my fav Monets were on tour of Liverpool ), the British Museum and the British Library. We thoroughly enjoyed the Westminster Abbey Vergers tour, as well as St. Pauls, the Tower of London and Greenwich. A huge bonus was the glorious weather, some of the first sunny days of this rainy summer.

We got single day Travelcards from a train station, which, though a bit more expensive than the Oyster PAYG, was more than worth it since we availed of the 2-4-1 deals.

Now for our hotels. In Edinburgh we stayed at the Priestville Guest House; Colin & Trina run this small B&B and they immediately made us feel at home, I'd highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Edinburgh. Our first stay in London was at the Hilton Metropole, the usual huge chain, nothing special, though it was conveniently located near the Edgware Road Tube station. On our return we stayed at the Jury's Inn Heathrow ( we were originally to stay just one night and later extended to 3 ). Had read indifferent reviews of this place, but I found it quite comfortable, Hatton Cross Tube is just 3-4 minutes away and getting into town very easy; T4 is also a short ride away, which was great for our early morning flight.

Once again thanks a ton to all of you for helping me put together this itinerary, I couldn't have done it without your help. There's still loads of things I wanted to do in London and much more of Scotland that I'd like to see, hopefully some day not too far away...

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