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marcan Jun 28th, 2006 12:18 PM

Edinburgh in August
I know Edinburgh is all booked up for August, and, being a history lover, I think I'd rather see Scotland another time if we can't shoehorn ourselves into Edinburgh this time around. But the rest of my family really wants to go to Scotland, and August is the only time we have available. My question is: is it all possible to stay somewhere outside Edinburgh and take a train into the city for day trips? (And yes, we haven't made the first plan so far.) Thanks.

bardo1 Jun 28th, 2006 12:40 PM

<<I know Edinburgh is all booked up for August>>

It depends on what you mean by "all".

How many places did you call?

Look also at B&B's and apartment rentals within a short (less than 15 minute) taxi ride into the center. You may be pleasantly surprised.

meks Jun 28th, 2006 12:43 PM

Have a look at the Murrayfield Apartment website
I was speaking with the owner of that apartment the other day and she has availability for a number of dates in August. They are located about 1 mile from Princes Street and there is free on street parking outside that apartment. Contact her regarding the dates she have available and you may find that it fits into your schedule. Incidentally she has four tickets for the Final performance of the Tattoo 26th August - the one with the fireworks and will be making these available for the guests who book that date. This performance of the Tattoo was sold out some time ago.

PalQ Jun 28th, 2006 12:43 PM

One August i stayed in Berwick-upon-Tweed ("tweet") and hopped the train for the about hour's ride to Edinburgh - i had no problem finding hotels in Berwick - indeed staying in the Castle Hotel right opposite the train station, with at least hourly trains to Edinburgh. You probably can find someplace nice a bit closer but i also found Berwick to be very interesting - a fortress town with massive bulwarks along the sea - buses to the Scottish Borders abbeys (Melrose, Jedburgh, Dryburgh - i also did on day trips) and Holy Island nearby - a very famous place in England.)
Berwick is on the main train line London-York-Edinburgh. And the train line is very scenic, going along the rugged coast much of the way to Edinburgh.
Keep topping your Q and hopefully Caroline from Edinburgh will answer your question - she's very helpful but being in UK is perhaps off line at this time so top tomorrow in hopes she'll give you her sage advice!

sheila Jun 28th, 2006 12:49 PM

The answer to your question is "yes", you can do that. Perth, Stirling, Glasgow, would all be good bases.

janisj Jun 28th, 2006 01:22 PM

easy train connections into Edinburgh from all the places Sheila mentions and more. (Sheila - aren't you supposed to be gone on Holiday??)

While you <i>might</i> find a room in Edinburgh, it won't be easy and you won't have any sort of choice re prices, bed configurations, number of nights, location etc

Perth or Stirling - or a village near either one like Dunkeld, Crieff, Callander, Aberfoyle or others all have lots of B&amp;Bs/hotels and you can be into central Edinburgh very quickly by train.

janisj Jun 28th, 2006 01:42 PM

Oh, sheila - I see from the other thread you aren't leaving for a couple of days. Have a great trip . . .

FauxSteMarie Jun 28th, 2006 03:27 PM

I home exchanged once in South Queensferry. It is just West of Edinburgh virtually under the Firth of Forth bridges. There is a convenient bus which I used when I did not want to hassle parking. There are some small hotels and B&amp;B's in South Queensferry. It is very convenient for day trips just over the Firth of Forth Bridge (Perth, Scone, etc.) as well as some places just West of town (Linlithgow, etc.).

Having said that, I would not go to Edinburgh in August if I was not interested in all the festivals. That is why I have been there in August. It is very crowded. If you are not a culture vulture, you might just want to go elsewhere and not have the hassle.

Up to you!

PalQ Jun 29th, 2006 09:29 AM


almcd Jun 29th, 2006 12:15 PM

If I were you, I would stay at the Woodside Hotel in Musselburgh. It is about 7 miles from Edinburgh city centre and buses to Edinburgh stop right outside the door. I tried the hotel on Google and they have vacancies for all of August. It is an ideal place for your purposes, so go for it.

janisj Jun 29th, 2006 01:33 PM

Musselburgh is a fine base for Edinburgh, East Lothian (Dirlton, Tantallon, N. Berwick) and the Borders. But to get anywhere else you'd have to go around or through Edinburgh.

So 2-4 days in Musselburgh and then heading N or NW for the rest of the trip makes sense . . . . .

caroline_edinburgh Jun 30th, 2006 01:39 AM

Please give us a bit more info - what do you really want to get out of your holiday ? Do you mainly want to see Edinburgh, or as much as possible of Scotland ? Do you want to stay in a city or in the countryside ? How many are you, what sort of ages and what are your main interests ?

If you are really mainly interested in Edinburgh, although you have left it very late you should be able to find *some* accommodation. I'd suggest ringing the tourist board, giving them a budget and seeing what they've got.

If you are mainly interested in Edinburgh and really can't find anything at all in Edinburgh, and if you want to stay in a city &amp; not have a car, stay in Glasgow. The trains from Queen Street station take 50 minutes and run every 15 minutes during the daytime &amp; every half an hour during the evening. If you travel after (I think) 9.30am &amp; not between 4.30 &amp; 6.30pm, you can get a cheap day return at &pound;8 for an adult. The last train is usually at 11.30 but there is talk of running later ones during the festivals this year. It's very easy we frequently go to Glasgow for the theatre or art exhibitions and of course Glasgow also has a lot going for it in its own right !

I won't recommend trying for any specific accommodation just now as you haven't given any indication as to budget but if you tell us the price per room per night you were thinking of, and style of accommodation (posh hotel ? budget hotel ? B&amp;B ? self-catering apartment ?), we can all make specific recommendations ahead of you resorting to the tourist board.

If you want to see other parts of Scotland and/or stay in the countryside, others can advise better than I can.

ben_haines_london Jun 30th, 2006 02:45 AM

There are still rooms free for most dates in August in the Edinburgh University halls of residence, Pollock hall, two mikles south of the Royal Mile. Their web site is, then accommodation, and you can book with a credit card on-line or on 00 44 (0) 131 651 2007. But you should hurry, as these rooms are going fast, by the day. The rooms are well kept, sunny and attractive and the breakfast is good. There are busses to and from town, though what I do is hire a bicycle, as one can reach most places with few or no hills. I use and like Edinburgh Cycle Hire 29 Blackfriars Street Edinburgh Tel: 00 44 (0) 131 556 5560 and [email protected], but Ii you enter Edinburgh Cycle Hire in Google you can find others.

Ben Haines, London
[email protected]

dbaker Jul 1st, 2006 04:26 PM

We are also going to Scotland in August and we were able to get a room at the B &amp; B of Jill Knox at 4 Morningside Place. While we have not been there yet, I can tell you that her place is right on a busline going into the castle area (about a 10 minute ride) and I was surprised to see the number of buslines all over the place when I looked on the busline website. Jill has been extremely helpful in assisting me via email in planning how to get around Edinburgh while we are there and I would recommend here B &amp; B just because she seems so nice and has been so helpful. When you go, be sure to check the historic scotland website for &quot;events&quot;. We are going to specifically plan to see two castles on days when they have demonstrations of archery and knights and the like - interesting to my son. I'm sure that some of the regular posters would also have some recommendations on specific hotels or B &amp; Bs where you could stay. I have received so much valuable info from them!

caroline_edinburgh Jul 3rd, 2006 03:07 AM

dbaker, Morningside Place is a really nice street ! I just moved out of the next street up 9 days ago :-) It's very leafy with nice houses but close to interesting little shops on Morningside Road. A house on that street sold for &pound;1.2 million last year !!

And number 4 will be right at the Morningside Road end so yes, very close to a bus stop on a good route.

dbaker Jul 3rd, 2006 09:38 AM

Sounds good Caroline, thanks for the info about the area.

marcan Jul 5th, 2006 01:59 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your responses.

The stage I'm in in this trip research right now is Total Confusion, as a result of looking at guidebooks as to what we'd like to see and do. The most urgent thing I have to do is decide what to do when we land at Heathrow at about 9:30 pm. I'm thinking we'll just get an airport hotel. Then either fly from LHR to Edingburgh or Glasgow the next day, or take the GNER toward Edinburgh (some posters here say the GNER is scenic, others say not so much). I know I've got to hurry up with this decision and get some accommodations booked. The one on Morningside sounds really good.

We are a family of four--our kids are 17 and 20--and we all are interested in history. Have thought we'd like to see York (a reason to take the GNER), the Viking museum, and try to get to Hadrian's wall, esp. the Housesteads area. I'm interested in Holyrood, Edinburgh Castle, and Stirling. Was reading about a &quot;folk&quot; museum that sounded interesting (in York? have to go back and look that up). Our son would like to see the Wallace monument. I love any place that gives you an idea of how people have lived. I'm less interested in wilderness and am afraid of mountain roads.
I think we'll be trying to do public transportation--driving in unfamiliar country on unfamiliar side of the road doesn't sound good, especially if we run into weather.
I'd appreciate any other suggestions.

noe847 Jul 5th, 2006 02:54 PM

marcan, I just did a quick scan of the thread, and didn't see how long your tip is going to be. So, how many days do you have, aside from your travel days?

We are taking the train from Glasgow to London in August, and are stopping in York just to see some of the history sites. Do any of you have any interest in WWII, or mostly the OLD stuff?

noe847 Jul 5th, 2006 02:55 PM

Sorry, should be &quot;how long your trip is going to be&quot;...

marcan Jul 5th, 2006 04:14 PM

We just have from 8/15 to 8/23. Not long. (Actually think I could spend it in England, especially if weather in Scotland is as rainy as in theaterlover's trip report, which i just read. We toured London a few years ago--there's so much else of England I'd like to see.)

We like all kinds of history. Son likes Roman, would be interested in Viking (altho I just read that Jarvik Viking Center in York isn't too good), likes Medieval history. Daughter wants to see castles. Husband and I like pretty much any era, but I have just several years of reading WWII and may be a little saturated with it.

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