Scottland for a day!

Old Jan 21st, 2015, 08:04 AM
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Scottland for a day!

I am taking a trip to Ireland in May and I am considering hopping a flight to Scottland for a day or two, Edinburgh to be precise. However other than the castle and use plain wandering around I have no idea what do to or can be done in a short amount of time. Any suggestions on things to do in the city? Any "don't miss this"? Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 08:37 AM
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Well, first start w/ the info here under "Destinations"

here is the direct link since the site is semi complicated http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/s...-the-lothians/

I would NOT do it as a day trip since you'd spend about 7 hours just in transit (including getting from your hotel to DUB, check in, getting in from/out to EDI, and the flights).

If you do an overnight - there are MANY things to see/do but it partly depends on what sorts of things interest you.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 09:23 AM
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http://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk/

Right neat the Castle is The Scotch Whisky Experience - one of a zillion themed 'experiences' in the U K and like many kind of tacky - BUT it's right by the castle and is fun if kind of kitschy and you will learn the ins and outs of whisky making traditions in Scotland.

You ride around in a whisky barrel!

I love their explanation about why after ageing for several years there is a wee bit of the eau de vie, as the French call, it missing - the guide saif "It's the angels portion."

And another kind of kitschy experience right there too is the famous Camera Obscura - well read the site and see if it's for you - but the Camera Obscura has been a hot attractionhere since the 1830s - you do get rave views of Edinburgh down below from the top of the thing (as you do from the north side of the castle too).

http://www.camera-obscura.co.uk/
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 09:33 AM
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Janisj thanks for the link, this site is new fore so I appreciate it. I figures I'd fly in early morning stay a night then do as much as I can the next day and catch a flight wither evening or possibly early next day. So I'll have a bit of time but not a ton, I'm pretty open to try just about anything its more ofnknowjng whats available to do.
PalenQ HAHA that whiskey experience sounds amazing it's going on my list for sure! I am a whiskey drinker so I'll enjoy that but riding th barrel sounds liklike too much fun to pass up! Thank you so much for the suggestions!
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 09:37 AM
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And you do or did at least get a wee nip of whisky at the tour's conclusion! Cheers!

There are also overnight trains called Caledonian Sleepers than run most nights between London-Euston and Edinburgh - http://www.scotrail.co.uk/sleeper - some really cheap fares if you book far enough in advance. Save on the cost of a night in a hotel.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 10:19 AM
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PalenQ, it's called 'the Angels Share', Perhaps you remembered incorrectly? Or your guide got it wrong.

There are excellent guided walking tours available in Edinburgh that you might enjoy. They leave from outside the Starbucks on The Royal Mile, no need to prebook, just turn up.

And..... Just so you know, the Scots spell whisky without the 'e'. The Irish spell it with the 'e'.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 11:35 AM
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You could spend a week in Edinburgh and never step foot in the Whisky Experience. PQ does recommend it when folks ask about Edinburgh, but w/ so little time it should probably be waaaaaaay down your list

Just the Old Town has more than enough to fill your 1.5 days. Castle, St Giles Cathedral, Holyrood Palace, Museum of Scotland, Gladstone's Land, the Authors museum, Grassmarket, and much more (see, no time left to ride in a whisky barrel )

But the New Town is also full of things. The "Old" is at the top of the ridge, and the "New" is down hill from there. They are both in the very center of Edinburgh.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Where is it this Scottland?

There is a Scotland north of England.

Scots (and Canadians) don't make whiskey. The Irish (and Americans and Japanese and Welsh and Aussies, etc.) don't make whisky.

There is a palace (Holyrood House) at the other end of the Royal Mile from the Castle, and the daft Scottish Parliament building too.

Don't listen to Janis, there is no downhill in Edinburgh.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:55 PM
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I visited all those things janis recommends and I still recommend going to those two places if you want to do something FUN, the word which to some means worthless from a high-brow cultural point of view. They don't take long, are right at the castle - have fun - enjoy and yes cathies I was paraphrasing and should have said about the 'angles share' - thanks for reminding me.

Fun and culture how about a wee bit of both - well a lot of culture I guess is what janis would only recommend. Lighten up janis dear!
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 01:15 PM
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The Camera Oscura is fascinating. I wouldn't call it kitschy. The actual camera oscura is on the top floor of a tall, narrow building; it projects a view of the city, using the camera oscura (or pinhole camera) technique, onto a white disk. The experience is enhanced by the clever patter of the guide. The other floors of the museum have other exhibits with an optical theme. It was actually quite fun, but some of the exhibits were bringing on a migraine, so I passed on many of them.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 01:23 PM
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Culture can't be fun? Boy am I missing out Really it's up to you, but I do like janisj's list. Done them all and some more than a few times. For both fun and culture have a look at the Scottish Parliament building which Russ mentioned.

Russ, of course there is a downhill in Edinburgh that's why you climb up to the castle so you can walk downhill to Holyrood Palace.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 04:05 PM
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Taking the city bus down to Leithside is nice - - the Leith area gets more breezy and open by the kilometer - - it has unvarnished character, which can not always be said about the tourist center.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 04:31 PM
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Really enjoyed touring the Britania. Had a good lunch onboard. We did it as part of a hop on hop of bus route.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 05:30 PM
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PQ: I have great fun in Edinburgh (it would be hard not to) and have likely been there 20 times more often than you. And yes, I've EVEN been to the whisky experience . . . More than once. But the OP has AT MOST 1.5 days so I stand by what I recommended. I don't think I need to lighten up.


And Big Russ is right, except for downhill on the Royal Mile, it DOES seem EVERYTHING is up hill . . .
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Old Jan 22nd, 2015, 07:05 AM
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It is up to us to mention as many possibilities to the OP so they can choose - not to have you or others tell them what to do and what not to do with their limited time.

You would never ever mention the Whisky Experience so folks would never know even if they wanted to see it. Be less prescription IMO and give as many possibilities - even ones that are anathema to you and let them chose.

Who knows perhaps seeing the Queen Mary 2 or whatever big ship is docked in the Leith area may be of major interest to them or may not.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2015, 08:52 AM
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>>not to have you or others tell them what to do
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Old Jan 22nd, 2015, 09:06 AM
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No I am just mentioning some things convenient to the castle - I wish to let the person decide what they want not tell them what to see.

By mentioning you think it is recommending - I see it as giving info others will not probably provide because of snobbish attitudes like yours.

Let the person decide - more ideas the better - even ones that some deem kitschy and thus worthless.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:53 AM
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And yes, I've EVEN been to the whisky experience . . . More than once.>

Question is why did you go back - given your approbation for the place? You said:

<You could spend a week in Edinburgh and never step foot in the Whisky Experience.>

With the hour or so it takes for the Whisky Experience what would you have to sacrifice in that week's time? One hour plus culturally whisky is at the heart of Scottish life - yes the eua de vie - water of life itself!

Cheers!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 05:09 AM
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Not "eau de vie" in Scotland, it's "uisge beatha" in the original Gaelic. The Angel's portion is used everywhere I've ever been that produces distilled spirits. Cognac certainly uses the phrase.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 07:02 AM
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>>Question is why did you go back - given your approbation for the place? >With the hour or so it takes for the Whisky Experience what would you have to sacrifice in that week's time?
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