A Week in Edinburgh

Dec 20th, 2012, 06:18 AM
  #1  
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A Week in Edinburgh

Good morning,

I have a week available based in Ediburgh and I was wondering about worthwhile day trips from the city based on your experience with public transportation.

Thank you and regards,

Daniel
Castellanese is offline  
Dec 20th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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2 that I have taken and really like and which most folks will like at to St. Andrews (of golf and university fame but also a neat old seaside town in a lovely setting) and Stirling for Stirling Castle with its Braveheart-like connections to being a bastion from which the Scots often repulsed the hated English. A sweet regional town as well - be sure to also tour the old gaol or jail there.

Both are easily accessible in an hour or so by bus and or train - well for St Andrews train to Leuchars and then bus from station five miles or so to the town center.

To St Andrews you go over the very famous cantileverd Firth of Forth rail bridge if going by train with sweeping views from this famous Victoria-era strcutre.

You can also do mini-bus tours from Edinburg to the nearby Scottish Highlands and places like Lac Loman - check the Edinburgh Tourist Information Centre, a top Waverly train station, for info on several companies offering these day trous - would be hard to replicate I think by public transit.

And Glasgow also has some imposing old Victorian architecture and nice parks and a vibrant city center - nice for a day out to.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 20th, 2012, 06:31 AM
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http://www.standrews.co.uk/

http://www.visitstirling.org/Standar...av1=5&nav2=187

Official Tourist Information Centre sites for both towns - I always pop into these offices first thing to get a town map, often with a walking tour - many also offer real walking tours with Blue Badge guides (certified so as to know what they are talking about I guess) - anyway a wealth of info to pick up - check the Edinburgh Tourist Information - I think there is a Scotland Tourist Info inside - anyway pick up Stirling and St Andrews brochures there before going perhaps.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 20th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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good suggestions by PQ you could also consider North Berwick, which is right on the coast, nice seabird center as well as a lovely park with lots to do there , trips to the bass rock or a climb up Berwick law.
http://www.north-berwick.co.uk/home.asp
about an hour by train from Edinburgh
my favourite would be St Andrews as PQ suggests ,I spent a lot of holidays there as a youngster and in the 80's I used to live a few miles away and it still has a very soft spot in my heart, just a lovely little town
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Dec 20th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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If you had to choose between St. Andrews and Stirling Castle, which would you pick??
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Dec 20th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I'd chose St Andrews because of its smashing seaside location and IMO a nicer looking town but lacking any blockbuster sight like the very historic Stirling Castle.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 20th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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We loved our day trip to the Falkirk Wheel, it was the most useless fantastic thing we have seen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 04:50 AM
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Thank you very much PalenQ, Unclegus, Snowflake25 and Golemtoo.

Sterling and St. Andrews look very interesting. I'd also been reading about North Berwick. I like having options when I base in a city for a week.

Do you think I am "overstaying" in Edinburgh? I mean, are 6 nights (my flight arrives at 6PM on a Monday and leaves at 3PM on a Sunday as well) too long?

I am traveling with a friend and she asked me about a day trip to Loch Ness. However, this does not seem possible independently, right? Do you have any advice on tour operators for this? I once visited London for a week and enjoyed a day tour of the Cotswolds, so, even though I am not a fan of this kind of tours, this was one I liked.

Thanks again for your advice,

Daniel
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Loch Ness seems increadibly important for many tourists but I personally have never see the attraction, there are many more picturesque areas of Scotland. It is aroun a 200mile round trip most of which is spent sitting in the bus, if you are visiting in the wintertime you won't even see any scenery on the wau out or back as it will be dark. There really is so much in Edinburgh to keep you busy.
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Have a look at Rabbies and Timberbush Tours for day trips from Edinburgh.Like unclegus, I'd skip Loch Ness. Most people suggest Loch Ness because it's the most familar place not because it's the best option.

www.rabbies.com

www.timberbush-tours.co.uk
historytraveler is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 07:00 AM
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Edinburgh doen't have as many sights as London, so the city itself won't take as much time. Another daytrip option is Glasgow; it's only an hour by train and has a couple days' worth of sights at the least. Especially if you're interested as I am in the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Or in shopping.

I'm also researching excursions from Edinburgh and I've found daytrip bus trips south to the borders area. Here's a link to one such tour: http://www.scotlinetours.co.uk/tours...borders-abbeys. What do Fodorites think of this itinerary?

Other such tours go to Rosslyn Chapel, of Da Vinci Code fame.

I'm also looking at organized bus trip to St. Andrews (as opposed to just taking the train and bus ourselves). Because such tours make at stop in one of the picturesque East Neuk villages, on the east coast north of Edinburgh south of St. Andrews.
Mimar is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 08:41 AM
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You don't need 6 days IN Edinburgh - but 2or 3 full days for the city and a couple of day trips make sense.

St Andrews, Stirling, Linlithgow, Glasgow, North Berwick (especially if you include Tantallon and Dirleton castles), Falkirk, Loch Lomond, and many others are good day trips. As you can see - more options than you have days for.

Or another option - on the Rabbies and Timberbush web sites take a look at their 2 and 3 days tours. They are small groups (minibuses really) that would let you get to other scenic parts of the country.
janisj is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2012, 10:51 AM
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A Week in Edinburgh
Posted by: Castellanese on Dec 20, 12 at 10:18am Posted in:
I have a week available based in Ediburgh and I was wondering about worthwhile day trips from the city based on your experience with public transportation.


I went to Rosslyn Castle by public bus #15 from George Street, senior rate £6.00 in 2009. The book is fiction but this place is real, and interesting.

Locals told me that Stirling is a nice visit but I didn't make it. Skip Glasgow. If you can wedge it in on a return rail trip to London stop in York for a couple of nights.

In Edinburgh have a pint at the Deacon Brodie pub and read the history of this scoundrel on the wall painting. Also try lunch at Maison Blue; the venison medallions were perfect. A restaurant called the Witchery, I believe, is unique and expensive. I ate there many years ago.
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Thank you again for your input.

I've been using Frommer's (both guidebook and forum), Eyewitness and Rough Guide to sort of plan my time in Edinburgh.

From my impression, it does seem that I could spend three days sightseeing Edinburgh, plus a couple of day trips would make five full days, which is what I have. My first day will have jetlag and a long three plane travel day on my system, so, knowing myself, I must take it easy that very first day.

I was thinking:

Day 01: Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Park
Day 02: Old Town
Day 03: New Town
Day 04: Loch Ness
Day 05: St. Andrews
Day 06: morning for last minute anything or last walk around the city before my 3pm afternoon Edinburgh-London-Madrid Iberia flight (I'm spending a few days in Madrid before going home).

I don't want to split my time between Edinburgh and another place, that's why I'd rather base there. Hopefully, this will not be my only trip to Scotland.

Whether it is worth it or not, I know Loch Ness will be one of my day trips and we will do it using one of the two tour operators suggested (thanks for the links!). The other option I am considering is going to St. Andrews, as also suggested. The Fife towns seem interesting as well, but unless I take a tour, or visit just one town, I don't see it feasible by public transportation. There's also a tour including St. Andrews and a couple of Fife towns, but I like being as independent as I can. Glasgow, for some reason, does not seem that appealing to me considering I am already visiting a city.

I like easy walks, so I was checking the North Berwick Law walk, suggested in the Rough Guide and Eyewitness guide, and it also seems interesting. However, this will be an easy plan B.

Thanks again for the time you've taken to give me your valuable advice,

Daniel
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 04:52 PM
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... by the way, what do you think of Leith and Portobello? My guidebooks mention them, along with a Water of Leith walk, although they also mention that they are a bit decadent. I'm not at all interested in the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Thanks again and sorry for my continuous asking .

Daniel
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Dec 22nd, 2012, 05:38 PM
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"but unless I take a tour, or visit just one town, I don't see it feasible by public transportation."

Sure it is. Train to Leuchars, bus or taxi to St Andrews, local buses to Crail and Anstruther, bus back to Leuchars, train to Edinburgh. A long day but very doable.

Leith and Portobello are nice - But you probably don't have the time to do that much exploring.

Your days 1and 2 are pretty much the same thing - you will walk through most of Old town between the castle and Holyrood. I personally think your day one is too much for your jet lagged first day. Maybe take a bus to Holyrood, visit the Palace and Abbey and walk through the grounds and call it most of a day.

Then on day 2 after a good night's sleep, you can tackle the castle and the old town and all the walking/climbing that entails.
janisj is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 02:34 AM
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it was the most useless fantastic thing we have seen.

It's an elegant engineering solution to a real problem - how to get boats between two canals that are 79ft different in height.

The previous solution was a series of 11 locks which would take several hours to traverse, the Wheel does it in minutes. It doesn't use much energy doing it either as it's mainly driven by gravity.

Have a look at how the Victorians dealt with a similar problem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anderton_boat_lift

Or for that matter the Georgians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bingley_Five_Rise_Locks
alanRow is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2012, 04:00 AM
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AlanRow

The fact that it basically cannot be used for commerical purposes except for tourism and has limited recreational use makes it useless fantastic.

As you indirectly noted it is 20th/21st century solution to a 19th century problem.

It thought it was a wonderful waste of money that was well-spent.
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