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Revised N. England/Scotland Itinerary - where to start?

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As my recent post indicated, Mom and I are planning to visit N. England and Scotland from 12-28 May 2016 (not including travel days). My original itinerary included the Lake District, but for various reasons we are thinking of narrowing our focus to the east coast (York, N. Yorkshire, Northumberland and Edinburgh, with a Rabbie's tour of the Highlands from Edinburgh).

I'm having trouble figuring out how NOT to break up our time in Scotland, if possible. Ideally I'd start in York and work our way to Edinburgh, ending with 7-8 nights in Scotland, including 2-3 nights with a Rabbie's tour. The idea was that we'd drive ourselves for the England part of the trip and have a relaxing tour on the Scotland part.

My question: Is there a better way to tackle this itinerary than to fly in/ out of Edinburgh? If we fly into Edinburgh, we'd probably spend 3 nights to see the city, then take the train to York for a couple of nights before hiring a car to work our way back north. What I don't like about this plan is that we'd end up in Edinburgh at either end of our trip. The only other options I see are to fly into Newcastle and take the train to York (not sure how this would be after a long flight), or start in London, but we aren't really interested in visiting London this trip.

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