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1st time to London and Edinburgh, in 4 1/2 days?

1st time to London and Edinburgh, in 4 1/2 days?

Jan 24th, 2006, 10:16 PM
  #1  
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1st time to London and Edinburgh, in 4 1/2 days?

We decided to go to Edinburgh and London for 4 1/2 days for a Valentine's treat. We have been to Europe many times, but never to the UK. We will arrive in London on Saturday at 2pm. (total of 2 days there, Sat afternoon to Mon lunch) On Monday we will fly to Edinburgh and arrive there at 4:30pm until we fly back to London on Wednesday and rearrive there 2:30pm. We will fly back to the States the next morning. I know this is a real quickie, but this is all the time that we can swing. Any suggestions as to the highlights of these places that are not to be missed would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance
danandlara is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 10:35 PM
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I strongly suggest you pick one city and spend the whole time there. Either one has plenty to keep you occupied for four days.
Barbara is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 10:39 PM
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Actually, two days isn't too bad for Edinburgh. It is a very compact city and while you can't see everything, you can manage quite a lot.

But your big problem is London. Sat is mostly a non-starter. Not getting into your hotel London until late afternoon and probably being very jet lagged, you won't have time to do much on Sat.

And packing, checking out and getting to the airport by mid afternoon Monday means you would at most have time for a short morning walk and maybe one site.

So in fact you really only have Sunday to see/do much. What sorts of things do you like? To recommend which 2 or 3 or 4 of the hundreds of options in London, we need to know a bit about what you'd enjoy.
janisj is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 10:42 PM
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Barbara and I were posting at the same time - and I totally agree w/ her. One or the other makes sense. My info was just IF your flights are all already set in stone . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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We like to do just about anything. I guess I was after "the thing" or a few that we must do. I know we will go back, but we couldn't get any more child care for our 3 kids and it was really just a last minute get-a-away for Valentine's Day.
We really just want to get the essence of London. The Scotland thing we have to do for my husband, whose family was from Scotland orginally.

We will be staying at 150 Piccadilly, so it seems that we will be right in the heart of it in London.

Realistically, we have the evening on Saturday, all day Sunday and then Monday until noon. Our flight to EDI leaves Heathrow at 3:05, so we should be heading there by 1:00pm at the latest.

Once in Edinburgh, we should not be tired and have that evening, all day Tuesday, and then again until noonish on Wednesday. We arrive back to Heathrow at 2:35 on Wednesday, so we could have one last hurrah for the day in London before we leave the following morning.

Also in Edinburgh we are staying across from Waverly Station, so again centrally located there.

Any thoughts on 2, 3, 4 "most-do"s in each city will be greatly appreciated.

The plane tickets to EDI are already purchased, so changing to one city is not an option.

We enjoy most things, walking, museums, seeing the sights, hanging out in cafes in Paris, does that translate to pubs in London?

Big Ben, the crown jewels, changing of the guard, Buckingham palace?

The castle in Edinburgh?
danandlara is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Sounds like a nice getaway....though it might be chilly and damp in Edinburgh. Fine with me! and I imagine the days will still be pretty short in February.
You can taxi (or walk) UP to the Castle,visit that, then take the wonderful stroll DOWN the Royal Mile (so very interesting) toward Holyrood House.
There is also a city bus tour that starts around Waverly Station and shows you the whole city, takes you to the outskirts etc. Very comprehensive.
Then there is walking and shopping in the new town----Princess Street, the gardens etc.
mari5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Having seen all the usual touristy things in London,great shops,museums etc.,i would say that the most exciting thing that I've seen is Sir John Soanes museum.......Well worth a visit...It's a house converted into a museum ,full to the brim of one man's collection of Greek and Roman artefacts,busts,etc...
Even to see the Castle in Edinburgh ,viewed from Princes Street is spectacular...It is a beautiful city.....The only thing is ,I love the buzz of the Fringe Festival,on in August,where you are desperate to get to smallish venues,to see plays,etc.,sometimes never seen before by any human beings......Unfortunately,a lot of them are never seen again except for the seven people who paid to get in,at the venue.....But what a great city!!!
carioca4ed is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Mari5,

The city bus tour of Edinburgh sounds good and comprehensive, do you know the name of the tour company by chance?

Thanks.
danandlara is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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As you can't change anything now, then yes, don't miss the Castle in Edinburgh. You will get fabulous views of the city from the Castle..if the weather's clear.Walk down the Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood Palace and go on the tour there too. At the Castle you can go round by yourself..they have audiotour things to rent, but at the Palace it's a guided tour only. This is because the Palace is the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. If any of the Royals are actully there, then you don't get in at all.

Go to the Cafe Royal Oyster Bar for lunch. Stroll Princes Street, the Gardens, George Street, Charlotte Square, St. Andrew's Square. There should be crocuses in Charlotte Square, I think. Shopping possibilities on George Street and Princes Street. Rose Street, a narrow lane in between Princes Street and George Street is known for the many, many pubs scattered along it, antiques, restaurants.. Thistle Street, a similar lane between George Street and Queen Street has some antique shops and a few restaurants.

Or, from the Palace, go into the Royal Park and hike around and up Arthur's Seat. If you ever saw "Chariots of Fire" there was a scene on Arthur's Seat. Love that movie.

You'll be exhausted, but you'll see a lot.
Barbara is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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In Edinburgh do the castle. There is also a dinner and show with the men in kilts, playing the bagpipes and doing traditional dancing. It's kind of hokey, but fun. Why don't you go ahead and book a play for Saturday night in London. You should see Buckingham palace, Big Ben, Westminister Abbey and possibly ride on the London Eye. Have fun. Wish I was going again.
loves_to_travel is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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danandlara....sorry I don't remember...however the good tourist office is RIGHT at Waverley station and they will tell you exactly about the bus tours. YOu would catch it practically outside the tourism office.
mari5 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Of course you can't do everything, but if you haven't been to London before and you have less than 48 hours I would suggest the following for the "Londonness" of it:

Sat. walk from National Gallery past 10 Downing Street, houses of Parliament to Westminster Abbey. Being outside and walking is the best cure I know for jet lag. Dinner in a pub. Your hotel can probably suggest a good one nearby.

Sun. Day at Tower of London. Evening theater or dinner at a Modern British or gourmet Indian or Chinese restaurant. Your hotel can recommend the restaurant nearby.

Mon. Morning another walk and a couple of hours at an art or history museum. We liked a walk we made last time down Fleet Street past St. Pauls cathedral across the river to the Tate Modern. The museum will likely have a cafe where you might have breakfast or lunch.

Some time saving tips. Buy your Tower of London tickets on line before you go. Email or phone your hotel concierge for restaurant and theater recommendations in advance. Buy theater tickets on line too.

I did a trip like yours last January and while I had been to London before and knew the specific things I wanted to do, I found out you can do and see a lot in 48 hours.
laurie_ann is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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If you aren't able to get Tower tickets before you go, get there at least half an hour, preferably longer, before it opens on Sunday morning. There will be a long line at the ticket booths.
Barbara is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Go to Tower Hill tube station and buy your tickets to the tower there. No queue!
luckykat is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 12:21 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for all the great tips, if anyone has any others, that would be great too!
danandlara is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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You can purchase tickets for The Tower at ANY London Underground Station up to seven days in advance, in order to aviod those queues.
Lovejoy is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Thanks Lovejoy!
danandlara is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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We plan to take the express to Heathrow to Paddington station. What is the best way to get to the Green Park stop on the Underground? I read on the Underground site that there is going to be work on the Piccadilly line and that it may be closed when we are there. It doesn't look too far to walk, but we will have luggage. Is it best to take a cab or is there a route to follow on the Underground?
danandlara is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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The first sentence should read, " We plan to take the express FROM Heathrow to Paddington station.
danandlara is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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The tour we took of Edinburgh was the Guide Friday tour and it was excellent - it's a hop on/hop off tour, which is nice. We also toured the castle the same day. Great views of the city as already mentioned. As for London, the Big Bus tour will take you all over the city and you can hop on/hop off at all the major stops.
luv2travel06 is offline  

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