Best use of a short stay in the UK

Mar 16th, 1999, 07:45 AM
Posts: n/a
Best use of a short stay in the UK

I will be traveling to London on business mid-April; I've been there several times and would like to go somewhere else. I'm particularly interested in rugged scenery, espcially coastline, but also like unique cities,and I'm a B&B fan. I enjoy walking but can't do really strenuous hiking. I don't mind traveling alone, but I'm nervous about driving on the "other" side of the road, so prefer trains (or buses if more appropriate).

I'll only have about 4 or 5 days, and am looking for an itinerary. I had thought of taking the train from London to Edinburgh, possibly stopping in York along the way, but I wonder if I can see anything of the actual countryside without a car?

With so little time, should I concentrate on Scotland only, e.g. opt for going on to Inverness instead of stopping in York? Ot go somewhere else entirely? Other ideas were a trip to North Wales or to Cornwall.

I'd appreciate any advice about an itinerary. and/or thoughts about trains. Is the rail trip from London to Edinburgh scenic? Can I get to see any part of the UK that's wild and scenic by train (or bus) in a relatively short time frame? Or should I just opt for cities on such a quick trip and do scenery another time?

Also, am I better off getting a BritRail pass or a SuperApex-type ticket? Will I also need whatever the BritRail equivalent is for buses?

Thanks for any help!!!
Mar 16th, 1999, 03:13 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi, Janna,
I think your instincts are good - Edinburgh is a fine destination for the time you have available, even if you can't go farther afield. In fact, there are some fine walks in hilly country (the Pentland Hills) very close by to Edinburgh (get there by bus if you like), and the coastal areas east from Edinburgh (both on the south and north shores of the Firth of Forth) are beautiful and rugged, with a number of beautiful fishing villages. A foray (by rail - it's easy) into the West Highlands is doable but probably a little more time-consuming than you'd like, but plenty of wild and scenic things there. Decide when you arrive, you shouldn't have any booking troubles this time of year.
York is fine for a stop en route (take the train from London to Edinburgh - a nice ride) but I'd also suggest a few hours in Durham, where the train also stops. Durham Cathederal is awe-inspiring (in my mind more dramatic than York Minster) and the city offers very attractive walking. Both York and Durham are easily explored on foot - take an early northbound train in the morning and carry on to Edinburgh later in the day (leave bags at the station).
As far as unique cities are concerned, you'll be spoilt by Edinburgh. Have fun!
Mar 16th, 1999, 07:05 PM
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Janna, the right thing for me to do would be to support this York/Edinburgh idea (and Durham, too), since they are all great places to visit and that seems to be what you want to do. What bothers me about it is flying across the ocean, I assume, and then heading nearly 400 miles north to a city that is on the same latitude as Moscow. In April. OK for visiting the cities, but I am not sure about walking the highlands, etc.

What I would do, if I had this wonderful opportunity, would be the Isle of Wight. In the south, at least 5 to 10 degrees F warmer than Edinburgh, relatively close to London, good local bus service that does a complete circuit of the island, walking paths along most of the 65 mile scenic coast line, bicycle rentals, enough sights to comfortably see in the time you have.

Something to think about, anyway. (Has anyone named Walsh ever led you astray?)
Mar 17th, 1999, 11:32 AM
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I would suggest an alternative to Edinburgh. Take the sleeper, from London to Fort William. You wake up in the middle of rugged Rannoch Moor, and come down to the west coast through Glen Coe where the Macdonalds were slaughtered by the Campbells after the 'forty five.

Then take the train to Mallaig right out on the far west of Scotland's mainland. Then take the ferry to Skye, and using public transport, which is OK but not great (or hitching which is not a problem) stay on Skye as long as the following makes possible. You should have time to climb at least one of the island's staggeringly beautiful mountains.

Then get back to Kyleakin and cross the bridge (boo!) to Kyle of Lochalsh, and get the train to Inverness. Another stunning piece of scenery crossing from the west to the east coast. then get the sleeper back to London. Voila!
Mar 17th, 1999, 11:51 AM
Tony Hughes
Posts: n/a
Janna !
You must come up here (edinburgh). It's such a nice place, so many things to see and do....oh and the people, well the people are great too ...

If you need any help Edinburgh specific or not, email me

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