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Borders, Fife, Edinburgh

Old Jul 27th, 2006, 12:08 AM
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Borders, Fife, Edinburgh

Well I'm not one to ignore good advice so my previous plan of Oban, Ballater, and Edinburgh is out the window. Áll those hours of research for sites and hotels can be shelved. We will now travel from the ferry at Newcastle and spend 2 nights Borders, 2 nights Fife and 2 nights Edinburgh.

I am now reading as many posts about these areas as I can. Any outstanding places to stay? We would like to spend no more than about 110 GBP per night per room for B&B.

From just the beginning of my research it looks like there is plenty to do in these areas, your input is valuable.

Thank you janisi, historytraveler, and fellow fodorites for the advice and tips.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 12:39 AM
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The areas you are choosing, Borders and Fife, are just gorgeous. There is a little village called Culross (just across the water north of Edinburgh) - very historic and pretty, well worth a visit.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 02:12 AM
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Be sure not to miss the Fife coast it's georgeous.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 03:35 AM
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When are you coming ? Would you prefer lower-priced hotel or top end B&B in Edinburgh ?
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 03:52 AM
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Missing out the western highlands (eg Oban)is hardly good advice.Its usually a must-see.The scenery elsewhere isn't comparable.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 04:37 AM
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But Oban itself is a bit of a dive. And with only 6 days the OP can't cover the whole of Scotland - I think just covering 3 areas which aren't too far apart is an excellent plan. And s/he is only coming from Holland, so can come back soon to see the west coast.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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I've obviously missed the background to this, but it's a fair plan.

Fife? try the Ship Inn in Elie. they've only got 2 rooms, but...

I'll think about the Borders.

Edinburgh- if it were me, I'd got for the Apex, but it's a bit "chain", so you may prefer something with more soul.

I'll post some suggestions on things to do and palces to see, tonight

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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Hi Sheila - I don't think you can get the Apex for £110 can you ? I checked the other day & the 2 nice ones had a deal on at £135 for September.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for the input so far. We'll be arriving the first week of October. The Apex in Edinburgh sounds like a possibility. We don't need a lot of soul, will bring our own! LOL. Yes, Oban is on the back burner for a future visit. I'm getting excited about this trip.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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BJin Holland,

Here are a few that made my shor list for upcoming trip. Check tripadvisor.com also.

The Borders
Cadden View B&B, Peebles
Eildon House, Melrose
The Cross Keyes (Hotel), Kelso

Fife
Balrymonth B&B, St. Andrew
Astar Guesthouse, St. Andrews
The Spindrift, Anstruther
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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I can highly recommend Ellistrin House in Hawick for the Borders area. The website is www.Ellistrin.com. The rooms were really as lovely as the website shows, the breakfasts were quite nice and the price (we paid 22.50 GBP per person per night) is certainly within your price range. We actually stayed in the room that is featured in the bigger photo on the 'Explore the Rooms' page. The view out the window is over the town to the fields beyond, and it was absolutely gorgeous in the Spring. My parents stayed in another room on the back side of the house - overlooking their beautiful garden - and was a little smaller but still very comfortable (we had the larger room but a smaller bathroom).
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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zippo: "Missing out the western highlands (eg Oban) is hardly good advice"

Normally you are right - but one needs the whole picture. If you had read the OP's first thread you would see they were wanting to drive from the ferry in Newcastle to Oban and onwards to Ballater. It was just a REALLY difficult plan. Sure, visiting the highlands is terrifific. But not w/ 750 milesjust in transit (Newcastle/Oban/Ballater/Edinburgh/Newcastle) w/o even including any local touring around.

BJinHolland: You will have a wonderful time on the east coast. Ther Borders and Fife are lovely. You have received some good suggestions so far. Here is a B&B you might want to check out inn the fishing village of Crail.

Terrific food. It isn't on the water but is a short walk down to the lovely harbor. www.caipliehouse.com/
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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You are about an hour's drive from the Borders; lovely rolling hills and some lovely stately mansions including Abbotsford which was owned by Sir Walter Scott- whose memorial is inthe centre of Edinburgh.

Drive east from Edinburgh and follow the coast road past North Berwick to Tantallon; stay on the coast past Dunbar and when you get to Reston take a left and go down to St Abb’s, then follow the little road round to Eyemouth. From Eyemouth go inland to Manderston just outside Duns, then stay west to Mellerstain, then south to Floors at Kelso, come west again to Dryburgh Abbey, past Melrose Abbey, where Robert the Bruce's heart is buried, to Abbotsford and then Traquhair, then come north past Peebles and Neidpath Castle, and through Penicuik and back to Edinburgh for the night. That’s about 150 miles, so, given the roads and stuff about 4 hours of the day will be spent in driving. You might want to do it in reverse order, since Traquhair (the last one on that route with a formal opening time) closes at 5.30pm. Whereas you are only looking at things after Manderston (which also closes at 5.30pm).

Traquhair Castle, has its own brewery and some excellent history. Melrose Abbey is where Robert the Bruce's heart is buried.

The Borders are where our traditional mills are- companies like Pringle - and every town has a bunch of mill shops. Some of them may even be selling local produce. Certainly if you are going to buy wool buy it here.

Burts in Melrose to stay in?

From Edinburgh, cross over the Forth Road Bridge to Fife. On the other side of the river, Dunfermilne is on your left. Robert the Bruce, the hero king who won Bannockburn is buried here in Dunfermilne Abbey (although his heart is buried at Melrose in the borders- did I mention that?); go back onto the main road and you will shortly come to Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was locked up in the castle on the island (v. romantic..the story of the escape- she then fled to her cousin in England for succour. She locked her up for 20 years then beheaded her.) You can take boat trips from Kinross.
Vane Farm Bird Reserve is on the other side of the Loch.
Then go due east to the coast. There are lots of other nice places, like Ceres, Falkland Palace, the East Neuk villages, Pittenweem, St Monans and Leven - a stretch of picture-postcard little fishing villages, with Anstruther, Crail, etc, leading toward St Andrews. For hiking, there's the Fife Coastal path that runs along the entire coast.
In Anstruther visit the fishing museum, then have the best fish in the world for your lunch. After that drive along the coast to Largo, home of the 'original' Robinson Crusoe. When Daniel Defoe wrote about Robinson Crusoe, he was writing about a real person. His name was Alexander Selkirk and he came from Largo in Fife. Defoe was an English spy up in Scotland in the 1700's and nicked the story. That area of Fife is well worth a visit

In St Andrews, take a trip underneath the castle in St. Andrews, Fife. It can be a bit of a squeeze so if you are claustrophobic then probably best to pass on this one. John Knox used to live in this castle - also get chance to see the bottle dungeon. St. Andrews with its ancient university, its cathedral (we do have a lot of them, don't we?) and the home of golf, the Royal and Ancient is seriously worth a visit. It has one of the best beaches in the world- the West Sands, which is where they filmed the opening sequence of Chariots of Fire- shame about the weather- and one of the best ice cream shops in the world (Jannetta's) apart from being a lovely little town.


Restaurants in the area which are very good would include the Ostler's Close in Cupar, the Cellar in Anstruther, the Cellar in St Monan's and the Peat Inn at Peat Inn.

I've certainly stayed with my other half in the Apex for less than £100 per room per night


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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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and don't worry about missing the dramatic scenery of the west coast. St Abbs Head is mind-blowing glorious.

And on your route along the coast stop at Holy Island (lindesfarne). It is still in England but don't let that prejudice you You can drive to/from the island when the tide is out. There are signs telling you the timings for the road being open. A castle, ruined priory, small village, crafts shops, cafes, artists, etc. A really lovely place.
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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And as I said in the other version of this, there's an awful lots of very interesting stuff in Northumberland between the ferry port & the borders
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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If you can afford a stay at Traquair House (Borders), you might want to consider it. It's more than your stated price, but if you can shave a little off other nights, you might be able to do it.

Traquair is "the oldest continually inhabited home in Scotland" and is still the family home for the Maxwell-Stuarts (or is it vice-versa??). From what I understand, you dine with Lady Maxwell-Stuart and sometimes with other visiting guests of the family.

We didn't stay there, but it's very high on my list. Our visit to the house was wonderful...loved every detail!

I haven't read the rest of the replies yet, but will do that and add comments if the experts haven't already said everything that I would!

Gayle
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Old Jul 27th, 2006, 11:46 PM
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We stayed at Burt's in Melrose a few months ago : the food was nice but the room was pretty average.
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Old Jul 28th, 2006, 03:44 AM
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Thank you for all the input, this is great. I will bury myself this weekend with a map and internet and probably come up with a couple of questions. All of your suggestions are much appreciated. By the way, Burt's is already full the days we want.
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