Driving between Edinburgh and York

Apr 29th, 2002, 06:10 AM
  #1  
Deborah
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Driving between Edinburgh and York

Michelin.com states the drive between Edinburgh and York as taking 3h40min, is this an accurate estimation? We'd like to visit castles and villages along the way, not just drive directly, would appreciate suggestions. Bowhill, Floors Castle, Mellerstain, Traquair have been mentioned in travel books. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Deborah
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 06:32 AM
  #2  
Dominic
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Probably is a pretty accurate figure if you just drive it and don't stop off any where. You haven't said how long you'd lioke to take over the journey (1 day 2 days?) etc but there is soooo much to see en route that you could fill a weeks itinery pretty well: Durham Cathedral & Castle, Jedburgh Priory, Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle, Castle Howard (where Brideshead Revisited was filmed)Alnwick Castle (where parts of Harry potter was filmed),Hadrians Wall, Whitby and Whitby Abbey (where Dracula landed) and I've no doubt left out many that would be other's favourites.
But if I were doing the journey in one go and wanted to stop for lunch and a castle then I would have to direct you to my all time favourite English Castle: Warkworth. Take the A1 south from Edinburgh past Berwick-on-Tweed. At Alnwick take the A1068 towards Amble and the little village of Warkworth is just before Amble after about 6 miles from the A1. You should get there just about in time for lunch. There is a great little restaurant/cafe there... very relaxed with all the morning papers to sit and read and a very good and reasonably priced menu. The village itself is very pretty and not full of tourist coaches etc like the City of Durham and Holy Island and Bamburgh. The Castle is at the far end of the village and costs about £5 to get in. The ruins are extant enough to do some serious exploring and clambering around and are very atmospheric. All in all a little gem which is completely unknown to most travellers.
Then back to the car... back to the A1 and continue on to York for tea time, late afternoon.
That's my ideal version of this trip! Of course other roads maybe more scenic but would take longer. It all depends on what you're looking for really.
Either ways have a great trip!
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 08:02 AM
  #3  
Deborah
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Thanks for the reply, we have reservations that night in York so it is to be a staight through drive. I know there is so much to see and that is the problem, I may never "pass this way again" so I want to make the most of the drive. Dominic you are suggesting an area I had not considered which is sending me back to the "drawing board". Deborah
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 08:13 AM
  #4  
janis
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Deborah: Each of the places you mention and most of the ones Dominic lists take at least an hour to see. So just pick 2 on the direct route to squeeze in.

Not Castle Howard because it is near York and it is a better use of your time to go there from York instead of stopping on the way. And unfortunately not Holy Island/Lindesfarne because you need to hit low tide to drive onto and off the island.

If It were me I would choose either Melrose or Jedburgh Abbey and one of the forts along Hadrians Wall. But Durham Cathedral is also magnificent.
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #5  
Deborah
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thanks, Janis, I had made a list previously of your recommendations of what to see in Edinburgh, unfortunately for us May must be a great time to be in Edinburgh as Holyrood Palace is closed from May 18-31 for a State Visit, my husband loves castles so I was trying to select ones to see on the drive to York, I knew I had to pick just one or two, right now I have us driving in circles between Jedburgh Traquair House and Mellerstain trying to work around the hours open because we are driving on a Sunday
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #6  
janis
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Deborah: Mellerstain may be the most difficult since their hours are more limited.

If you budgeted your time VERY well here is a doable itinerary:

Edinburgh to Traquair (they open at 10:30 most days), to Melrose Abbey, to Dryburgh Abbey (the loveliest of all the border abbeys but doesn't take too long), to Jedburgh Abbey. With a short stop for lunch (or better yet pick up picnic food before you leave Edinburgh and eat at one of the Abbeys) you would have enough time to see all 4 and then have about a 3 hour drive to York.

All 4 of these are very close to each other and then you'd be on the A68 which connects with the M1 near Newcastle.
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 08:58 AM
  #7  
Deborah
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Janis, thanks for the help, the information I am using states that in May Traquair doesn't open until 12:30, it's in June that the hours change to 10:30. I certainly would prefer an early opening but am working with the later time. That is why I am bouncing from south to northwest to east to south again with my drive pattern in order to see as much as I can. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Deborah
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 09:42 AM
  #8  
John
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The Holy Isle and Bamburgh may be touristy (but not especially so in May) but IMO are really "musts" for first-timers in Northumberland. The good thing about them is that they're comparatively quick visits if you're in a hurry (or, if the tide's not cooperating, Lindisfarne is an exceptionally quick visit.

However, Durham Cathedral is in another league of "musts," especially if you're interested in the history of this part of England and if you've been to the Holy Isle earlier. I think the word "breathtaking" usually only applies to natural scenery - Grand Canyon, etc., but this is an exception to that rule. Don't miss it.
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 10:23 AM
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Ron
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Deborah, My wife and I stayed at a monor house near Humbie, sw of Edinburgh last year and we took one day to head east toward Dunbar and found some castles to explore. They were all ruins but they were fascinating to wander through. Hailes castle, Dirleton castle and Tantallon castle. I have some pics of them one my website http://www.iconnect.net/home/rsumners
We also made the trip to York in one day but I think it took more than 5 hours. We weren't in any particular hurry, though, and made some stops along the way. One thing to be careful of is getting around in York. It's really small and hard to find your way around. We stayed at the Hilton, right next to Clifford's Tower. We drove right by Cliffords's Tower at least four times and still couldn't find the Hilton!
Have a great trip! You'll love Scotland!
Ron
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 11:16 AM
  #10  
Deborah
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thanks, Ron, I went to your web site to view your photos, what a great vacation you must have had, I hope we are blessed with the nice weather you had. Deborah
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 01:04 PM
  #11  
janis
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Deborah: I guess I just assumed you were going in the summer. My bad. You will probably have to give up Traquair and Mellerstain.

Dirleton and Tantallon are magnificent - the setting at Tantallon and the gardens at Dirleton are especilly fine. If you decided to skip the border Abbeys you could go east from Edinburgh to Dirleton then on to Tantallon - both open in the mornings. Then a drive down the coast to St Abbs Head (scenery as good as Big Sur) and on down the coast into England. If you happen to hit the tides just right you could do a quick side trip on to Lindesfarne, otherwise drive past Bamburgh and/or Alnwick and stop if you are still makimg good time. This will get you into York in the early evening.

OR, do the Border Abbeys as I recommended before but just skip Traquair House. (Traquair is very interesting but not a "deal breaker" type of place.)
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 01:48 PM
  #12  
kk
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Side comment....
anyone who is about to give up on fodors.com because of viciousness should read a thread like this one, helpful and civilized and kind. It positively warms one's heart.
I looked at this thread because I dream of going to York some day and also seeing Castle Howard. Thank you all for the wonderful travel advice and courtesy. kk
 
Apr 29th, 2002, 04:16 PM
  #13  
carolyn
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Deborah, we made a tea stop at a very small place called Heddon-on-the-Wall at a charming pub. Part of it was originally an old blacksmith shop. Across the road is a church c. 600 built using some of the stone from Hadrain's Wall. Some of the Wall is visible, too.
 

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