Avis locations in Edinburgh

Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 12:08 AM
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We're not trying to get at you, nh09504, just trying to help. OK, so you've travelled in the UK before. Have you driven in rural Scotland ? Getting anywhere really does take a long time. Alan says your proposed route is nearly 500 miles. To drive *anywhere* in the UK, even on motorway all the time, you can't average more than 50 mph; so that would be 10 hours evden if you were on motorways - and you're not, you're mostly on narrow, winding roads. Please reconsider !
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 12:09 AM
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P.S. Have you looks at bmi for flights from LHR to EDI ? Usually cheaper than BA.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:22 AM
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I'll give it one more stab - as Caroline says you could average maybe 50-55 mph on the motorways. But there are no motorways where you are going. On those roads you will be lucky to average 35 or at tops 40 mph. And if you get stuck behind farm machinery, or caravans or tour buses (which will happen) you will be tooling along at 20-25 mph.

That 500 miles is the most direct route and is not up the east coast. Just about he only coastal bit you would see is between Dornoch and Latherton on the way to Thurso. Coastal for sure, but far from the most scenic area. And even not stopping at any castles or "history sites" you would need to stop or take detours to to see any coastal scenery, plus for meals.

So unless you just want to sit in the car and not see any of Scotland - that drive will take 18 to 20 hours. or even more.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:41 AM
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We really want to take the train, not just the cost, but the train would give us a chance to enjoy the senery north of Newcastle at a leisurely pace.

Thanks guys for the concern about the slow driving. Yes, we know that. We also take into consideration of daylight hours at such northern altitude. Please note the route I posted is NOT a definite final plan - it is a tentative thought, based on how we like the coastal senery from Newcastle up. Thurso was not even in the plan originally, but someone suggested this in the numerous posts about Scotland and mentioned about that is being worth a visit, hence we threw it in there for a possibility.

We knew about the narrow country roads in UK and we got stuck behind farm machines, sheeps, moo moo, you name it.

As for our driving experiences and whatnot - let me say the FIRST month long camping trip done was when the Eastern Block was not liberated and Berlin Wall still existed - that is how ancient it is. PC was not even invented - the tools we relied upon were the good old printed maps and camping guides from RAC. And we were from Asia at the time, not even drove a single mile in N.America. We did it just fine, covered the whole Europe from Sweden to Spain.

I have not done much research on the locals in Scotland - need to see some pix on web then to decide which parts we would like to spend more time and which parts we can just skip. We just returned from Hawaii and would go to Pacific NW for 14days 3K miles trip in August, the UK/Paris trip is 10 days after our return from Portland. Currently we are finalizing the Pacific NW trip and then work on this Scotland stuff, because we need to book either train or air when the advance purchases are still available.

Again, thanks a lot for your valuable inputs. FWIW, I posted similar timeframe on FT BMI board and folks overthere all agreed the schedule is tight, but can be done. The one-way drop off of our car was suggestion from them - as our original idea was to return the car at EDI then fly to CDG from EDI - it turns out all flights from EDI to CDG would be via LHR or Gatwick ... not a good solution.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Just exactly the MOST SCENIC AREAS are?

So far all I can deduce is the loop between Dingwall and Fort William, and then Stirling.

Experts comments most welcome.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:02 AM
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"Experts comments most welcome."

You seem to be the only "expert" on this thread. Best just keep your own counsel since nothing we say seems to make an impression.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:13 AM
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We're only the locals, how the hell would we know anything
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:51 AM
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Some thoughts:

As far as daylight is concerned, September is not June. You've pretty much lost the northern daylight advantage by that time of year. Sunrise on Sept. 11 in Edinburgh is 6:36. Sunset is 7:42, 13 hours later.

An example of driving time: On afternoon last summer, we drove from Inverness to Glasgow. Took us 4 1/2 hours, by the fastest route possible, with no stops for scenery (but one stop for a truck that fell off the side of the road and traffic was blocked both ways).

If your focus is the Highlands, I'd say to skip the east coastline. Go from Edinburgh to Stirling then up the middle. If you took the A9 the scenery would not be as beautiful as smaller roads, but you'd get north a whole lot faster. Then you might have some time to explore above Inverness. Inverness is not much recommended as a destination of itself.

FWIW, the most beatiful routes that I've seen:
1. the A82 through Glen Coe rates at the top.
2. the Road to the Isles (Glenfinnan-Mallaig)
3. the A87 along the Five Sisters.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Thanks a lot, Noe847 - your reply is very constructive, as you kindly provided the answer to the question asked, the scenic routes and areas, instead of going way off to the tangent ...

Your specific information is very helpful for me to pinpoint the locations on the map and refine the plan. Unlike other detailed plans I saw posted here, ours is a very basic, very fluid sketch, subj to lots of refinement.

1) I dont have a detailed map now, plan to get one when we are in London - since RAC should provide reciprocal services to AAA members, I figure that is where we go for detailed driving maps. Looking at my basic map now, how about A93 and A939/A938 then back to A9? for the Highlands?

2) The road to the Isles - you mean A830 from Ft.William, correct?

3) I am trying to pinpoint the section of A82 over Glen Coe, can't tell. Could you give me more info?

4) A87 along Five Sisters - that is the road to Isle of Skye - but on which section is the Five Sisters located?

13 hours daylight is good enough, as long as we dont have to try to find a B&B in a small town on B road, it does not matter to arrive our lodging after dark. Part of the reasons all our lodgings are booked in "boring" towns with chain hotels - that way we can arrive as late as 9pm and would not have much of an issue. Invernese is just for overnight.

Also thanks to some posters suggested Hertz. I did not know Hertz have a town location. After searching an hour on FT, I found a discount code that cuts the rate by 20% and makes Hertz competitive with Avis. I also like Hertz gives me a quote in UKL instead of Avis in USD. So now I also make a reservation with Hertz. 4 days rental for a manual Ford Fusion 2 (2 litre?) pick up at Edinburgh and drop off at Liverpool, estimated total 94BP, not bad.

If anyone wants to know about the discount codes for Hertz or Avis, just ask.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 03:49 AM
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Your car hire with Hertz should be advantageous as they are immediately next door to the HI.

As it is so close make sure that you go in to see them the day before you are due to get the hired car, just to ensure that they have your car when you want it. Being in the city centre they can be busy and I am sure that they have previously hired out all the cars on their premises and then had to scramble round the next day to try to get replacements. It can be a long wait if your car is not on the premises.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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Since you appear to not be listening to anyone but noe - I'll leave it to her to help you out. Hoewever you do need to know that the A939 over Tomintoul is a gorgeous/slow road. (one of those 30-35 mph sort of routes we tried to tell you about . . . . .)

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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Well, if nho9504 is listening only to me, we all know that he'll be in BIG trouble

My knowledge of Scotland is patchy, and I view my advice as supplementary. I totally defer to those on this board who have far superior knowledge (and you have had the heavyweights - in the metaphorical not the literal sense - contribute to this thread.) I happen to agree with the replies above from all of the Scotland experts.

I think you could do the three bits of road that I mentioned on your Inverness to Glasgow day - You would drive south from Inverness to the A87 (the Five Sisters are mountains located north of A87 about halfway to Skye - your map should have them labelled) and take the bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh to Skye. You wouldn't have very much time to drive on Skye itself, although there is some stunning scenery there also. You'd take the ferry from Skye to Mallaig, and follow the Road to the Isles (A830) to Fort William. You'd then pick up the A82 which will bring you through Glen Coe - which will be marked on your map - as part of your drive to Glasgow. If you are only going to LOOK at the scenery I think this is do-able. If photography is going to happen, it will add considerably to your day.

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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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noe847: I meant that in the nicest possible way You seem to have the patience of Job.

Since nho is relying on you to help sort out his itinerary, you have a heavy burden indeed . . . . . .
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Thanks for the reminder for dropping by Hertz the day before taking the car out. Will sure do that.

Noe, I would look at your routing more carefully - I did find the Glen Coe but not spotting the Five Sisters. Granted, it was like 3:30am our time and I was looking at an Interactive Map online.

Jan, not to worry - we are far more flexible than you think - we will do slow drive, fast drive, any kind of drive, is not an issue. One thing we wouldn't do is "to wing it" - we normally have a pretty good idea of how much time it would take, including consideration of pit stops, meals, photographing time, etc.

About photographing though, we do not take hundreds and hundreds of pix - could not understand why people have the need to do so, with their digital cameras. We do take lots of videos, and most of the time, I would say 90% of the time, we ourselves are not in the video, only sceneries. After we go home, we edit the video on a DVD recorder which has a hard drive built in. About 20% of the "footage" would be left on the floor, so to speak. Then we print DVDs from that. We prefer that, it has both sound and motion.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Noe,

What you describe was what I had in mind last night after I notice there is a Ferry Service at Mallaig.

I would check out the ferry schedule to know our options.

The next things I need to do are to find maps for the Stirling and Perth areas. I actually found Stirling government's official site but there is no link or email service that I can send a request for brochures etc. What a bummer.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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nho9504, you will need more than just maps from the internet. Buy or order a big fold out map for your overview - something like the Michelin 501 Regional Scotland map. It will help so much with laying it all out. Then you will NEED a book atlas map for the actual fine tuning and the driving. Here is a current thread about maps in Scotland for you to check out:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34820830

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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for the link. I actually went to theaa.com site to see whether I can order maps from them (I guess these days there is no more reciprocal services - those good old days are forever gone). The link on their site led me to Amazon's UK site! After browsing 3 pages long of offering, there is only 1 Scotland map, truly amazing.

I do have a full map of GB, just not the detailed driving map that we would need. I then found another Scotland map on Amazon's US site and that is the only offering.

After spend sometime on VisitScotland.com site (the official guide from Scotland Tourism Board, I suppose), I realize the most scenic parts are all concentrate on the west side of the land. East coastal area really is not very interesting. Even the North part, the Maritimes part is not too interesting either, especially when compare it to Canadian Maritimes. I almost thought I was looking at New England towns and villages when I click open picture after picture. LOL.

Again, thanks for the above link, will check it out.
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Old Jun 24th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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P.S.

I just went to the Fodors forum you refer me to - good luck for finding stuff on Amazon UK. It is pretty much useless from what I searched last night.

A UK based flyer on FT site advised me to get the maps when we are in London, either from gas stations or from discount bookstores. Think that is what we will do, especially now we basically know where we would go and chop off lots of areas that we now see a waste of time.
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Old Jun 25th, 2006, 11:38 PM
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Both BA & Air France fly direct between Edinburgh & Paris.

"After browsing 3 pages long of offering, there is only 1 Scotland map, truly amazing." We would normally buy a road atlas for the whole of Britain - I don't think I've ever seen one for just Scotland.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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Good grief, nho.

Several points in response:

1. Where are you living now? If you are near any decent sized bookstore you should be able to find a map of Scotland - either Michelin or the Ordinance Survey - and take it home with you right away.

2. If you live within an area that amazon.com will ship to, there are tons of maps there - I have no idea how you are searching. Go to amazon.com and type "map Scotland" in the search box. Voila, lots of "driving" maps and "touring" maps listed. Then type in "atlas Great Britain" and you will get 3 pages worth. You could order the atlas and have it as you plan your trip, or you could wait and buy the atlas just about anywhere when you get to the UK.

3. Most people would do a bit of investigation about whether someplace is actually what they WANT before posting detailed questions/itinerary. The scenery of Scotland is one of subtle almost aching beauty. Scotland is not Canada. The Highlands are not the Rockies. Nor the Alps. My advice is to look at LOTS of pictures before you go. Would be a pity for you to knock yourself out driving all over the country to end up declaring that it was all a "waste of time".

4. Stick a fork in me. I'm done. No, janisj, the patience of Job I do not have.
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