Day Trips & overnights from Edinbrugh

Aug 25th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Day Trips & overnights from Edinbrugh

My daughter and I will be in Edinburgh very soon for her to attend the University of Edinburgh. We've been to Scotland two years ago and had a wonderful time traveling...

Because we'll be in Edinburgh 4 days before she is moving into her flat, we were thinking of either doing a couple of day trips out of Edinburgh or going for an overnight.

We were thinking of Sterling - where we have not been. Would that be a nice day trip from Edinburgh and? I know that there is a castle that I've read about. Is it doable to get there and get around without a car? Would you recommend a day trip or an overnight visit?

Also thinking of going north into some of the lower highlands. My daughter saw a post card of a mountainside covered in heather and she is determined to find it? Is this the season for it? Where do we need to go to see it?

Someone mentioned to me that a day trip to the royal yacht is something we may consider.

Any thoughts on this or other ideas?

Many thanks....
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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You don't need to do a day trip to the royal yacht Britannia, half-day (or less) is enough. I was there in May, it's not so far from the center of Edinburgh..about 20 minutes by bus. It is at Ocean terminal which is a BIG shopping mall, so maybe you want to stay there for the day, yes...
kenderina is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Thank you for your reply. If it is mostly shopping then I don't think I want to go at all! Is the yacht interesting to see?
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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I didn't get to the Britannia yacht while I was in Edinburgh for the week last year but some friends toured it as part of a shore excursion on a British Isles cruise. They said they enjoyed seeing the ship.

I did a day bus tour out to Stirling Castle, Dumbarton Castle (mostly a few ruins but lovely views and a nice climb), and Linlithgow Palace when I to a trip and was based in Glasgow some years ago. The castle is wonderful. I would think that since Edinburgh and Glasgow are only about an hour apart that you could certainly do a day trip out to Stirling.

And...if you haven't been to Glasgow you might want to hop a train from Waverly Station and spend the day there. When I was based in Glasgow I took the train to Edinburgh twice. While in Edinburgh we went to Glasgow once. The trains are quite frequent back and forth.

LeeParis is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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If you want to visit Stirling (not Sterling, that's the money) and don't want to either take an organized tour or drive yourself, it's easily reachable by train from Edinburgh Waverly, about an hour ride through pretty scenery. Once you get there you can explore on your own & walk up to the castle but it's up a real steep hill. There's one of those hop on hop off tour buses (City Sightseeing) that stops at the castle & other sites in the area such as the Wallace memorial, you can buy tickets and board it right across the street from the train station.

As for heater covered mountainsdes, I bleive the heathr blooms int he spring and yuo may not find mch right now but someone who lives in Scotland can address that more accuatley. At least since your daughter is going to Universiy there she will be there for a while to be able to explore more.
Daisy54 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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St Andrews, the old university town and golf mecca is just over an hour by rail or bus from Edinburgh. Very nice seaside town apart from the Old Course and other famous golf courses.

If you want to do something very different go to Glasgow and hop the extremely scenic rail line to Fort William, one of Europe's most scenic rail lines. Stay in Ft William, a nice town on a fjord and return next day or later. This line goes thru the desolate but romantic Rannoch (sp?) moor - unbelievable beauty in its starkness.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:45 AM
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We were in Edinburgh in June and visited the Brittania and found it very interesting. The shopping mall is OK and we had drinks at a bar overlooking the harbour - well worth a visit in my view. Stirling castle is wonderful as is Linlithgow, although very different.
eliza3 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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My wife and I visited Britannia Royal Yacht when we were in Edinburgh, and we liked it.

You might want to read my trip report in which I gave details about the visit. Maybe you'll get ideas for other things to do as well.

It is here (Kilts, Haggis and Bagpipes)

Have a nice trip!
gabrieltraian is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Thank you all!

I think the trip to Stirling (thank you for spelling corrections) sounds like a very doable and nice day trip. We usually don't do organized bus trips, but I'll keep that in mind. Thank you for the info on the hop on and off bus - that might suit us better.

Glad for your feed back on the yaht. I think that sounds like a good idea for us along with some errands we'll have to do. It may be a nice break for an afternoon.

I think I'l keep St Andrews as a possible idea as well. I think that my daughter will be taking a trip there and so was thinking about not doing it, but still may be nice and I haven't been there.

We've been to Glasgow and so we'll skip it this time.

Any other ideas? My daughter was hoping we'd do an overnight trip.
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Bob-pal, there isn't a trainline to St Andrews. It stops at Leuchars (don't ask me why, probably a military reason from days gone by) but the last leg of the journey has to be done by bus.
Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Does that make the trip to St Andrews much more difficult? I guess it adds transfer time. Do you get the bus where you get off the train or is there another connection?
How long is the trip?
Do you have links to train and bus lines?
Many thanks!
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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don't need schedules and makes the trip only a few minutes longer. The bus stop is in front of the Leuchars train station, five miles out of St Andrews and the bus was waiting for the train the two times i went to St Andres to whisk you into town.
Service on train and bus are very frequent - don't need schedules. Train schedules are at
PalQ is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Great! Thank you very much!
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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I have the perfect trip for you. Catch an early morning train from Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street station , walk to Central station (5 minutes), catch a train to Ardrossan (a 50 minute trip), catch the waiting steamer to the Isle of Arran (a 55 minute trip) and spend a day and a half on the island. The heather will be brilliant, and there are buses that meet the boat that will take you round the island. There are scores of bed and breakfast establishments there so accomodation is easy. You can even book one at Ardrossan pier before you board the ferry. Assuming the weather is good, this will be a memorable experience. I am going there from Canada in ten days for an overnight to visit my parent's grave, among other things.Train times can be found on the web and ferry times can be found by going to Caledonian McBrayne on Google.(I am not sure of my spelling of C.McB.)I might add that I thought the Royal Yacht was boring. To each his own.
almcd is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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This sounds like a wonderful few days. I'm not sure about all the connections. I will take this information with me and if the weather is really nice we may go for it!

Someone suggested a trip up to Fort William. We did do that trip last visit to Scotland. It was absolutely beautiful. I strongly suggest it to anyone who has not been.
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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As PalQ has said the train bus link to St Andrews is no problem. I spent the day there on Sunday for the first time in ages. I had forgotten how pretty the town itself is.

Heather is an autumn flowering plant so now is very good. I suggest you make your overnight trip to somewhere like Dunkeld or Pitlochry- Pitlochry is probably better than Dunkeld for heather views. That's assuming you want to do it by train.

I hope you and your daughter enjoy yoursleves. I wish I were that age again.
sheila is offline  
Aug 26th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Travel fun- my daughter also goes to Edinburgh in two weeks. We go up on the 8th.I'm really excited about the thought of 4 years visiting Edinburgh but I can't share it with her because she is still on her Gap-Year! (currently in Japan)She's due home on the 5th.
Frances is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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I think you put too much faith in Fife Scottish (or whoever owns them now). That liquid on the floor of the top deck wasn't water.
Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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We had been planning on two day trips. One to Stirling and one to St. Andrews. Now, we're rethinking our trip to Stirling. From my reading it seems similar to Edinburgh and rather than visit someplace similar we thought we'd like to see sometime a bit different. Is it true that Stirling is similar? What do people think of a day in Stirling?

We are planning on the day trip to St. Andrews. It looks like a really nice day trip with some variety in the visit.

Sheila, is Pitlochry doable by train for the day? Or would we want that to be an overnight? We didn't get there on our last visit and I do remember reading about it and thinking about going.

We actaully may decide that one long day trip is all we want to do and spend the rest of the time in Edinburgh. We won't really have that much time. We arrive on Tuesday and she moves into her apt. on Saturday. Because my daughter will be there in school, she was hoping for a couple of day trips out.

Is renting a car for a day or two crazy???? I think parking in Edinbugh ovenight will be very difficult.

Any other thoughts for us for a day trip out of Edinburgh?

Frances, my daughter is going for her junior year. My trip was a very last minute add on when I realized that I could get away and get frequent flyer miles. I loved Scotland when we went two years ago and so I'm really looking foward to being back. Hope your daughter enjoys U. of Edinbugh. And, that you gets lots of visits during her four years there!

Looking forward to your replies.
travel_fun is offline  
Aug 29th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Stirling is not exactly similar to Edinburgh, and I'd get bored after the castle

Pitlochry isdoable by train for the day but you might want that to be an overnight any way

"Is renting a car for a day or two crazy????" No, IMHO

Parking in CENTRAL Edinbugh ovenight WILL be very difficult.
sheila is offline  

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