Scotland-5/6 days-Family (2 Adults+2kids

Mar 8th, 2015, 11:22 PM
  #1  
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Scotland-5/6 days-Family (2 Adults+2kids

Hello Friends,

We are planning a trip to Scotland in first week of June for 5/6 days depending on suggestions. I will be in Leeds for work and then travel to Scotland and suggestions are invited from fellow travelers for following:
1. What should be our base - Glasgow / Edinburgh/ Loch ness or some other place?
2. Shall we rent a car to move around or use public transportation?
3. How many days we should consider covering major places not necessarily all as we have 2 kids (3.5 and 1.5 years).
4. Shall we take train from Glasgow/ Edinburgh to London?
5. Any other relevant information.

Cheers
Abhi
caabhi is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 03:27 AM
  #2  
 
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What are your interests?
bvlenci is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 04:51 AM
  #3  
 
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Leeds to Edinburgh is certainly the way I'd start. I like Glasgow but find the weird grid pattern of the city very confusing while the medievel street pattern of Edinburgh makes more sense. Book you ticket early and use seat61.com to understand the trains, but since you have got to Leeds you probably know your way around.

I live in Leeds if you want advice on what to do with spare time.
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 05:53 AM
  #4  
ESW
 
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If you intend to spend all our time in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, you wont need a car and in fact with traffic and parking, a car is a nuisance. If you are intending to base yourself outside of these town, then a car makes sense, especially with two small kids.

At the end of the trip it makes sense to drop off the car and then take the train to London.

What are your expectations for this trip? What sort of things do you want to do and see? What are the kids likely to want to do? Are you intending to have just one base or move around - if so how many stops are you planning?

We need a bit more of a steer from you before being able to give detailed advice for the 5/6 days.
ESW is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 07:49 AM
  #5  
 
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>>3. How many days we should consider covering major places not necessarily all as we have 2 kids (3.5 and 1.5 years).<<

You only have 5 or 6 days so you can't see even a small % of the 'major places', let alone all. So you need to have some sort of criteria.

Many will recommend Edinburgh for a couple of days and then 3 days touring by car to one or two areas. I love LOVE Edinburgh but is not an easy place to tour w/ toddlers. Steep hills, cobblestone, etc. Difficult w/ a stroller so you would end up carrying one or both of the kids a LOT. (now folks will say families live in Edinburgh and seem to survive . . . absolutely, but they aren't sightseeing every day and trying to explore Old Town, the Castle and Holyrood)

I'd maybe consider renting a cottage somewhere for 4 or 5 nights and use it as a base to explore things as day trips. That makes traveling w/ small children a lot easier - having a kitchen doesn't mean you have to cook necessarily, but having snacks and easy foods/milk/cereals at hand is a big help.

WHERE this cottage should be could be anywhere depending on what you want to see/do. A seaside village in Fife, a village house in the Trossachs area, a farm cottage in the Borders or near Inverness. - just anywhere

I'd maybe get a couple of guide books and see what 'speaks to you'.
janisj is online now  
Mar 9th, 2015, 08:06 AM
  #6  
 
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<<1. What should be our base - Glasgow / Edinburgh/ Loch ness or some other place?>>

Depends upon your interests. I wouldn't want to be based in a lake because I lack gills. Edinburgh is the capital and most historic; Glasgow is a bigger and more modern city.

<<2. Shall we rent a car to move around or use public transportation?>>

Who knows what you shall do. Your use of "shall" is essentially incorrect (and it's a horrendous word to use in general because it is almost inherently ambiguous, Americans have largely dumped it; the Brits still use it because British law gives it a specific legal meaning). You mean "should we" and the answer to that is it depends upon where you want to go. Train coverage in Scotland is far poorer than in England so if you want to get out into the countryside, rent a car. But if you're staying in cities, use the local transport (Edinburgh is fairly compact, but every hill goes up).

<<3. How many days we should consider covering major places not necessarily all as we have 2 kids (3.5 and 1.5 years).>>

Oh good gosh, what means "major places" to you and where are they located? Your travel pace will slow by 1/3 with a toddler.

<<4. Shall we take train from Glasgow/ Edinburgh to London?>>

Should you? If you need to get to London, sure. If you need to get to Heathrow or Gatwick, probably not.

<<5. Any other relevant information.>>

This is impossible - you need to define your intents and expectations better.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 9th, 2015, 09:23 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for responses and posing so many questions that makes me brainstorm a bit.

1. @bvlenci -We don't want to do hiking and with the kids, we are interested in play areas, zoo, parks (where kids can play and we can enjoy nature) and definitely shopping. We don't want to change hotels frequently as we realized from past experience that it is difficult with kids. We also like to see open spaces, castles and may be Distillery to see the process but definitely not tasting tour.

2. @bilboburgler - I would like your advice on hotel recommendation at Leeds that offers family room. Most of the hotels offer 2 separate rooms which is difficult for us. Also, what my wife and kids can do during day when I will be away at workplace.

3. @ESW - Our expectation from trip is to relax and unwind and more important be easy on everything. No rushing from one place to another. I have mentioned the TO Do things in 1 above. I understand that it is better to be stationed at Edinburgh and take train to Glasgow and St. Andrews. We also like to visit Inverness and Loch Ness - could be a day visit and then return to base. Alternatively, we can hire a car from Edinburgh and take road trip to Loch ness covering small places/ villages enroute. I can have a maximum of one more stop than Edinburgh and then return to city to catch train to London.

4. @janisj - I was initially planning to rent a cottage at Loch Ness or Inverness but realized that it will involve lot of driving from Leeds. But I am still open to anything more near to cities. Kitchen is definitely an advantage with kids and we would prefer to have one. Again we don't want to see all and purpose is more of relax in beauty of Scotland. I know travelers spend anything from 10 days to month to cover everything. But we would consider ourselves as short term tourists. Hope, it can help you in recommending a good place to have base.

5. @BigRuss - I guess Glasgow is definitely out as base city now. An open space with park to play is preferable. You are correct that no point renting car within city but for country side, I am open to rent a car. So, I correct myself now to cover few places and go easy. The purpose is to relax and not to cover everything. We will take our flight back from Heathrow but is there a direct train from Edinburgh to Heathrow? If not, then reach London and then change train to airport.right? My any other relevant information means weather in June first week, hotel/ cottage recommendations (budget is around 100 pounds per day or preferably less), places of interests where kids can do some activities, any particular day of the week on which the famous castle, etc is closed. We will reach Edinburgh on Saturday, so what is the best to cover on Sunday. I read on one of the forum to visit St. Andrews on Sunday.

Thanks again for making us re-visit our plans.
caabhi is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 12:31 AM
  #8  
 
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Well UK hotels don't tend towards 4 people rooms, but you might try
Marriot in the city centre and Bewleys just to the south (though this hotel is in a office block area and a bit of a walk back to town. We also have the usual chains of Malmaision, Radisson Blu which probably have them. Start with booking.com

What to do; we have the Armories http://www.royalarmouries.org/home which most kids will love but the age may just be a bit young, plus some great art galleries (see also kids too small), shopping (oops)

You need to play with this http://www.visitleeds.co.uk/# have a look at the diary and see what is on when you are here. http://www.buildabear.co.uk/aboutus/...orkShopID=2045 probably is also too old.

There is a butterfly house to the north of leeds, they would need a bus. http://www.roundhaypark.org.uk/index.html you need http://www.traveline.info/ which tells you how to get everywhere by public transport.

Then she could tap into local mumsnet (this is a fantastic resource) http://www.netmums.com/leeds join up for free and chat away.
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 12:34 AM
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Sorry this is the fantastic site http://www.mumsnet.com/info/search?query=leeds but you might get good advice from either
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 12:55 AM
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Just a thought, Leeds has a very small interesting centre and then spreads out into burbs and industrial estates. I'm not sure where you need to be for your work, but in general I'd avoid staying in a hotel near to any industrial units, stay in the city centre. Come back when you know and I'll happily give a view on your choice.
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Mar 10th, 2015, 01:06 AM
  #11  
ESW
 
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For play centres in Edinburgh, look here:
http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/t...oor-play-areas

Do take them to find Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh and tell them the story.
http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK...yfriars-Bobby/

There is Edinburgh Zoo. As well as Edinburgh Castle and easily reachable by bus is the ruined Craigmillar Castle which they may enjoy running off excess energy.
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...gmillarcastle/

Arthur's seat and Salisbury Crags dominate the view of Edinburgh. There is a series of footpaths to explore, assuming you have a buggy for the kids when their legs get tired.
http://www.visitscotland.com/info/se...s-seat-p914341

There is also Carlton Hill. Take a taxi if you don't want to walk up.
http://www.edinburghguide.com/parks/caltonhill

St Andrews would be a good place to visit as it has a lovely clean sandy beach, ruined castkle (great to explore wth lots of small walls to scramble over) and also the ruins of the cathedral.
http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.u...ews/index.html
ESW is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 01:13 AM
  #12  
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Thanks for the links bilboburgler and ESW. I will visit them to get better idea.

@bilboburgler - My office is in Bradford and I looked at map for a nearby bigger city. But if you know Leeds is more of industrial town, I can go for Bradford itself or any other nearby city. Also, I will opt for city centre so that family can go out for lunch easily during day time while I am away.
caabhi is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 02:08 AM
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It depends.

Bradford is a little bit of a disaster (for disaster look at nearby Keighley). The very centre of Bradford (about a 1 square km) is very attractive Victorian city with a building site dumped to one side of it and some pretty squalid housing on two sides. I would no more leave my wife in a hotel for a week there than I would take her to stay by an open sewer. So it has a little charm but not much.

Leeds centre, on the other hand, is a power house of commercial and retail heaven with a bustling small centre (about 10 times bigger than the pleasant part of Bradford) with the beginnings of the industrial/burbs quarter (slowly being improved) well marker by the ring road. I would happily ask my maiden aunt and all her family to stay here for a month.

Leeds is the place to be. You will find that getting from one to the other by car is a nightmare but there are very reliable trains for a quick commute on a half hourly basis.

You want the Airedale line timetable http://www.wymetro.com/TrainTravel/t...AndTimetables/

Other cities to exist but many make Bradford look quiet nice!
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 03:01 AM
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"marked", "too" I just wish there was an edit function
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 10th, 2015, 07:21 AM
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OK -- I'd look for a cottage somewhere in/near the Trossachs to use as a base. Sort of in the triangle of Stirling / Loch Lomond / Killin. Anywhere in this area will put you within easy day trips from Oban to Stirling to Glencoe to Loch Lomond.

And in the immediate area you could take a picnic out to the Island at Inchmahome Priory, a boat ride on Loch Katrine, shop in Callander, explore Doune Castle, see the Falls of Dochart. I'd maybe try in/near Callander and Aberfoyle first because both are decent sized villages w/ places to eat/shop/parks etc.

Here are some lists you can check out:

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lochl...rossachs.shtml

http://www.lomondandtrossachs.com

http://www.welcomecottages.com/scotl...&clickcd=29200

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/a...-forth-valley/
janisj is online now  
Mar 10th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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<>

Calton Hill. And it's interesting for the adults too.

There's no direct train to Heathrow from Edinburgh. You need to get to Paddington Station in London to get to Heathrow. Trains from Edinburgh go to Kings Cross (or Euston, although that route takes an extra hour) and then you'd have to get across London to Paddington. Going Edinburgh to Birmingham and then into Paddington would take more than six hours and a change before boarding the express to Heathrow.

Take a flight.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 10:09 AM
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@bilboburgler - It looks like Bradford is disaster but I am able to find Holiday Inn Express in Bradford that offers family room. Not sure but may be an okay option rather than looking for York or Sheffield and then travel to Bradford.

@BigRuss - a bit confusion about trains. Need to look more into website to get clarity. I can take Uber from London station to Heathrow.

Thanks janisj - I am looking into cottages now.

Does anyone know is a separate Visa required for Scotland or a UK visa will work?
caabhi is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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Scotland is part of the UK . . . If you are from a visa-required country - then just one is needed
janisj is online now  
Mar 11th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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York and Sheffield are not the answer (Sheffield very like Bradford).

Either the Leeds or the Bradford City Centre are perfectly clean enough. The Leeds on is just outside the ring road and in an area of hotels, student appartment blocks, casino etc. Both safe areas.

Bradford has the National Media Museum, itself is free but the big cinema in it charges. http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/

The town has loads of Curry houses, offering buffet and ordered meals. Along with a lot of Kashmiri culture shops there are great clothes shops.

http://www.visitbradford.com/ is the core tourist guide and just two stops up the train line is Saltaire http://www.visitbradford.com/discover/Saltaire.aspx with some lovely parks and coffee shops.

Best I can do if it has to be Bradford At least June will be warm and the gardens, nearly all of which have play areas will be lovely June has the curry festival and the city festival http://www.visitbradford.com/thedms....2&feature=1083.

What you will find is drop by the Physical tourist info and see what is going on.
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 11th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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<< I can take Uber from London station to Heathrow.>>

Or for half the price or less you can get a car service. If Uber costs less than 70 quid from Kings X, I'd be shocked.
BigRuss is offline  

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