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Need help with itineraries-London/Edinburgh

Need help with itineraries-London/Edinburgh

Jul 26th, 2003, 08:45 AM
  #1  
JCV
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Need help with itineraries-London/Edinburgh

Will be in London and Edinburgh to celebrate our 10th anniversary! We will be staying at the Le Meridien in London (5 nights) and the Glasshouse in Edinburgh (4 nights). Can anyone provide feedback on this property? I was surprised to be able to get a room at such a late date when everything else was booked.

We'd like to see the main sites in London but also want to see Stonehenge, Coltswolds, castles. Six days - is that enough time? What are must sees? We will be taking the train to Edinburgh - what shouldn't we miss. Any day trips worth taking? I read that the Stirling castle would be worth the day trip. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Jul 26th, 2003, 05:06 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi JCV, Congratulations on the 10 years! I visited London in June and 3 of my favorite experiences were as follows: 1) Rriding a boat on the Thames to Greenwich and spending part of the day there, then riding the boat back to Westminster Pier. The river boat trip is delightful in nice weather (which we had), and you will see so many great sites along the way. Greenwich is truly charming. 2) Taking the train to Windsor and touring Windsor Castle. The castle and grounds are beautiful and very interesting, as is the city of Windsor itself. We also crossed the bridge and walked over into Eton for a little bit. 3) Taking the train out to Zone 6 to visit Hampton Court Palace. This is another beautiful place and the grounds are AMAZING! You can see so much of this palace since no one lives here, and it's all fasinating.

A few other things I loved doing/seeing in London included the National Gallery, Kensington Palace, St. Martin's-in-the-field, and going to see a theater production. I also LOVE just sitting in the front seat on a double decker bus and riding around the city. There is so much to do in London, and I hope you have a wonderful trip!
Lee4 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2003, 06:24 PM
  #3  
MHS
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We spent 4 days in Edinburgh in May. This is our itinerary, tailored to our interests. Arrived mid day by train from York. Purchased all tour tickets at the Visitors Center near train station, then taxi to hotel & checked in. Hotel was Apex International in Grassmarket. Had light lunch at one of the pubs opposite hotel, walked up to Royal Mile & walked it just to get our bearings, stopping at St. Giles, Deacon Brody's, the toy musuem, walked a few "closes", etc. as our fancy took us. Next morning boarded hop-on hop off bus near hotel (there's a 'by request' stop in Grassmarket), rode it to Waverly Station's main office (where we had to obtain our royal-combo tickets), then rode bus to Castle. Toured castle with free guide, saw jewels, etc., had lunch - great view of the city - back on bus to Holyrood Palace (my favorite of the two), audio tour, gardens & special exhibit, walked back up Royal Mile stopping as a shop window interested us. Following day took bus to Waverly Station then switched to the Royal Yacht Britannia bus. Spent @ hour in Botanic Garden, picked up bus again at opposite entrance, went to see Yacht. Had coffee & lunch in Leith Docks mall where the Britannia is located. Britannia is wonderfully kept as it was, great audio tour at your own pace. Returning to city, we got off at Waverly and visited Jenners, Prince Street, Rose Street. Also popped into National Gallery to see a few pre-selected pictures, but be forewarned, there's construction going on & entrance is at rear. Fri, took Robbie's tour to Stirling & Lock Loman (do search I spoke about that in another posting. 1 evening we did a ghost walk; another visited Sandy Bell's pub for folk music. Our last day we took the Mary Kings Close tour (at that time the web site info was wrong. It has "changed hands" & there are tours throughout the day @ every 20 min.) Then toured Gladstones Close. Doing them together in this order was a happy accident - one is un-restored; the other restored; nice contrast. We also enjoyed a wonderful warm sunny afternoon in the park near Waverly (don't recall its name) & actually walked the winding trail back up to the castle!

Enjoy Edinburgh - we think it's a great city. Only rather wish we had done the Literary Pub Tour instead of the ghost tour.

By the way - Nicolsons of Harry Potter fame is no longer there.
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Jul 26th, 2003, 08:16 PM
  #4  
JCV
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Thanks for the good suggustions Lee4 and MHS. Wll definitely include river boat trip and Windsor Castle in London. Do they have any night boat trips? website? Will include Holyrood Castle as well as Edinburgh.
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Jul 27th, 2003, 06:07 AM
  #5  
MHS
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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http://www.westminsterpier.co.uk/

This is one. Google search should bring up others. Think it is possible to take boat to or from Hampton Court also. & years ago we took canal ride back to center of London from Camden Market.
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Jul 27th, 2003, 08:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I did London/Edinburgh 2 years ago. Would highly recommend the Scotrail Caledonian Sleeper train from London to Edinburgh. Fun, about the cost of a hotel (85 pounds), included breakfast, and saved valuable time.
Stayed with a cousin who owned a flat on the Royal Mile, so I can't speak about any hotels. But we splurged on a 2 day pass for the sightseeing buses. We would hop on/hop off throughout the old town and new town. The guides can be very funny. I'd recommend the Palace at Holyroodhouse (at the bottom of the mile)for sure, and definitely take the ride up to the Britannia Yacht.
For something different in London, we attended The Ceremony of the Keys, held every evening at the Tower. It's free, but you need to request tickets in advance. Address is :
CEREMONY OF THE KEYS
TOWER OF LONDON
TOWER HILL
LONDON, UK
3C3N 4AB
Give them your name, date requested (plus an alternate date) # in your party and enclose a SASE.
Congrats on 10 years, and have a wonderful time!!


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Jul 27th, 2003, 08:58 AM
  #7  
 
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Hello again
Just wanted to add that the boat trip from Westminster Pier to Greenwich took about 1 1/2 hours, one way. Our boat was running a little late when we left and they made 2 stops (London Eye area and Tower of London) to pick up others. I'm not sure about night boat rides but I seem to remember seeing some adds about dinner cruises.

I read somewhere that the boat ride to Hampton Court can take 3 to 4 hours--one way--so we did not go that route. I don't know anything about rivers, boats, etc. but I believe the tide also effets the time the ride takes.
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Jul 27th, 2003, 03:04 PM
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While in London, do not miss Westminister Cathedral. You feel swallowed by history.
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Jul 27th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Ooops! I meant Westminster Abbey - though Westminster Cathedral is also lovely. Despite the many tourists at the Abbey, you cannot replicate the awe of being where Edward the Confessor, Queen Elizabeth and Isaac Newton (among many others) are entombed. Plus the coronation chair.
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Jul 27th, 2003, 10:26 PM
  #10  
 
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JCV. The Glasshouse is brand new- this month, I think- which might explain its availability. I must try it.
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Jul 28th, 2003, 07:18 PM
  #11  
JCV
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Thanks for the good ideas... If I can't fit them in this time - there always will be another.
Sheila - I am looking forward to the Glasshouse will let you know what I think upon my return.
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