Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Scotland/London in 8.5 days-skip Glasgow?

Scotland/London in 8.5 days-skip Glasgow?

Old Jul 19th, 2015, 04:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scotland/London in 8.5 days-skip Glasgow?

Hi folks!

Special (but very last minute) trip for my daughter and me. College graduation and a big birthday celebration for me. Life is in the way and only allows this much time (crazy, I know!)

Goal - fun!
Not overly concerned with museums, churches.
We love shopping, eating/drinking, men in kilts!
Would love to see some gorgeous scenery/castles but easily bored, need action!

We did not know this when booking flights, but there are major festivals in the time we are there in Edinburgh - Military Tattoo and Fringe Arts.

Tickets purchased with airline points just this week, so last minute, so lucky to get direct flights!
Arrive Glasgow: 8 am Saturday 8/16/15
Depart London Sunday, 8/23. Need to be at airport 3 pm

My thoughts in scoping the framework (this is where I need your help!):
Arrival day: Glasgow. Jet lag - do as much as possible
Day 2: Day trip to Highlands/Oban via tour company (please tell me who you love for this? Confusing!)
Day 3: Glasgow to Edinburgh
Day 4: Edinburgh
Day 5: Edinburgh -direct train to London in evening
Day 6 : London
Day 7:: London
Day 8: London
Day 9 (partial) London depart

Is a one day trip to Highlands too short, given my overall timeframe? Also, not sure if best to see via train tour or company that drives in shuttles.

Is the Military Tattoo a touristy thing or a must do?

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated including favorites places stay. Not afraid to splurge.

THANKS ALL in advance, Cheers!

Amy
Amyfredjo is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 09:01 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before you do anything else, try to find accommodation in Edinburgh. Hotels are crowded and expensive during the Festival. Based on what you find in Edinburgh, you may have to adjust your itinerary.

The Tattoo should be full of men in kilts

Both Rabbie's and Timberbush run recommended small group tours from Glasgow. Take a look at their offerings.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 09:11 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree to start with hotels in (not likely) or not too far from Edinburgh. This will dictate when you can be there and what days you have for other things.

And yes, you should try to see at least some of the Tattoo IF you can find any tickets.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 09:30 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,159
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am almost inclined to suggest you skip Edinburgh. Take a trip to the Tatto from Glasgow (if you can get tickets). Glasgow is probably more hip than Edinburgh, and then, yes, add a day in the country-2 day trip instead of one.
sheila is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 11:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>We did not know this when booking flights, but there are major festivals in the time we are there in Edinburgh - Military Tattoo and Fringe Arts.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 12:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
oops - not 'rickets' >>Tattoo Tickets
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 01:01 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Amy - you have gotten great advice above - from some experts - about trains - there is an overnight Caledonian Sleeper train rnning nightly ex Sat I believe though going in the day lets you see the wonderful scenery between Edinburgh and Newcastle - including some smashing seaside views around Berwick-on-Tweed.

and book your tickets ASAP - deep discounted tickets exist in limitd numbers - easy to book yourself on www.nationalrail.co.uk or on the West Coast line's own website. Can save a ton over just walk up fares. For lots on British trains check www.seat61.com - Britain's rail guru - especially on discounted tickets and for general info www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

I've ridden British trains for decades and first class IME is VASTLY superior to a 2nd class to me oft resembling a crowded Greyhound Bus - discounted tickets exist in first class to so if not much more go in style on the trip of a lifetime.

Glasgow to me is a fascinating city often overlooked because the 800-pound gorilla next door, Edinburgh - city center has a lot of neat old architecture and parks and museums and neat ethnic areas to boot.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 01:09 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>

No it is not.
sofarsogood is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 01:28 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>discounted tickets exist in first class to so if not much more go in style on the trip of a lifetime.
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 01:59 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well yes good point - I failed to see that - janis recently took a discounted first class train to Edinburgh and then chortled about how much comp Champagne they served en route - plus free food the whole way IME - janis got too tipsy even to have her usual Scotch welcome! (Just jokingm I think!). Only first class gets comp food and drinks - 2nd class you have to pay for overpriced junk snacks from the buffet car ('small change always appreciated') but you can bring what you want on, even booze but first-class on that line means some really nicer comp food - not a reason to go first class but a perk that is enjoyable on a longish train trip.

Cheers!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 03:26 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your...donian-sleeper

Here's all the dope about the Caledonia Sleeper trains - some nifty discounts may be available (or not at this time) but again you save daytime travel time and the cost of a hotel and regular train fare which should at this time be rather pricey maybe as well (check and book ASAP if any discounts remain!).
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 04:36 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>anis recently took a discounted first class train to Edinburgh
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 04:46 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>I've booked First on a couple of trips because . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2015, 04:53 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've done First Class on discounted tickets a number of times. Please remember that food/drink is still included in the inflated price that you'll pay. There's no free lunch or breakfast. Second class is fine unless you feel it special to eat train food and drink mediocre wine without shelling out the cash. The only reason I opt for First Class is that it's often quieter and there's a bit more room. My advice is that if you can easily afford to pay a bit more and feel comfortable (financially) doing so then go for it, if not, second class is perfectly fine.

BTW, on morning trains to Edinburgh, I always get a chocolate croissant from Pret before getting on the train.
historytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 03:54 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,144
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do end up being based in, or visiting Glasgow this might helpbr />
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-and-kilts.cfm

I thought opportunities for shopping, eating and drinking were all excellent btw.
RM67 is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 10:14 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PalQ and trains again.

No need for a sleeper to turn a 4.5 hour trip into an 8-hour trip (with poor sleep to boot). Why do that? Take an afternoon train to London. Add a day there - G-d knows there's enough shopping.

And yeah, you need to determine if you're going to be able to stay in Edinburgh. In August, it basically triples in size with all the festivals, attendees, etc.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 11:56 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's BigRuss dissing night trains again - 'poor sleep to boot' is not nearly the case with all - never had been with me - that Russ is a light sleeper should not be applied in general to all - enough said - doubt BigRuss has ever taken a night train. Light sleepers may have problems for sure but don't paint everyone with the same brush that you paint yourself with.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 12:07 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,448
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>never had been with me>but don't paint everyone with the same brush that you paint yourself with.)
janisj is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 01:47 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
good one janis - good one - cheers! Have you ever taken the Caledonian sleepless Trains? Or any night train if so did you sleep - like you almost did on the day train to Edinburgh I surmise!

Cheers!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2015, 02:00 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Not sleeping well is only one problem with night trains. The one from Euston doesn't leave until almost midnight. What in world do you do until then? Even a late dinner and a drink at a pub leaves one with a lot of extra time. You'll also have to check out of your hotel by noon at the latest and, while they may possibly hold your luggage, you'll have to return for it prior to going to train station. The other alternative is to store luggage at the train station, but this can be expensive and still means an extra trip to station. A real hassle IMO. Like BigRuss said, a 4 hour 20 minute train ride seems much preferable.
historytraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -