St Andrews or Edinburgh

Old Jun 18th, 2016, 01:07 PM
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St Andrews or Edinburgh

We are going to be visiting Scotland in early July and after leaving Stirling we have half a day before we need to head south. My family and I are trying to decide whether to:

A. Visit St Andrews for a few hours, drive along the coast through Crail and Anstruther, and skirting around Edinburgh;

B. Head directly to Edinburgh and spend the morning exploring.

My husband and sons are strongly inclined to St Andrews, being golfers; but I have heard that Edinburgh is well worth visiting. We are not as a rule city people, and I was not sure if such a brief visit would be worthwhile, so I was looking for advice.
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Old Jun 18th, 2016, 01:12 PM
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For a half day I may go for St Andrews, a place small enough to see something - a few hours in Edinburgh you will see little except the glorious looking city itself - in your Scottish sojourn you can't find more than a few hours for one of Europe's neatest most unique cities?
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Old Jun 18th, 2016, 01:35 PM
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You only have half a day between leaving Stirling and heading south needs a bit of clarification. What time do you need to be where?

Because if literally you only have 'half a day' you don't have time to drive to St Andrews, see anything of the Old Course, the cathedral and castle and then drive the coast road through the fishing villages.

And driving into central Edinburgh and back out -- half a day may not be enough either.

So tell us more . .
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Old Jun 18th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Meant to add -- for example . . . Stirling > St Andrews > Crail > Anstruther > the M8 outside of Edinburgh is a close to 4 hour drive without a single stop. So in real life it would take at about 9 hours.

And driving from Stirling into central Edinburgh and back out to the M8 would take about 2 hours plus finding parking, sightseeing, etc. So pretty hectic in just half a day.
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Old Jun 18th, 2016, 03:00 PM
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Not sure I understand the timing but ... if it is a Sunday I would go to St. Andrews. You can walk the Old Course on Sundays which is a great experience for golfers. Skip holes 8-10 to save time. On the road to Crail I would stop at Kingsbarns Golf Club. Incredible scenery, even from the clubhouse and parking lot.

The other days of the week I'd probably choose Edinburgh. Have fun.
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Old Jun 20th, 2016, 04:22 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

janisj: We are spending our last night in Scotland (a Friday night) in Kelso,so we want to have the Friday afternoon to explore Floors Castle and Gardens. We have to drive all day Saturday to get back to London for a family event.

We are spending the previous day in Stirling, so I am thinking we might need to rearrange the order of our itinerary. If we did St. Andrews or Edinburgh on Thursday, do you think we would have time to enjoy Stirling Castle on Friday morning, then drive to Kelso for Floors? My only reservation about this plan is whether my boys can cope with two castle tours in one day ;-)

PalenQ: I totally wish we had another day (or two or ten) in Scotland, so we to spend a day at least in Edinburgh, but we have to get back to see family we haven't seen in three years.

colduphere: I wish it was a Sunday, so we could walk the Old Course. My sons saw a website about playing mini-golf on the Himalayas and are keen to try it. They are 12 and 14, and messing around with a putter is almost as much (or maybe more) fun as 18 holes of real golf for them.
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Old Jun 20th, 2016, 05:35 AM
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Pretty hectic but doable -- afraid you are trying to fit 10 lbs into a 5 lb bag

Stirling to Kelso is a 2 hour drive. The castle opens at 9:30 and it takes a minimum of 2 hours -- but that is rushed. So say you eat lunch in Stirling -- you could get to Floors by around 3PM. So yes, you could visit the castle but will be on the move all day -- and the next day have HOURS in the car to London.

Where are you staying before Stirling. I personally wouldn't do a day trip to St Andrews and the fishing villages from Stirling. As I said -- it is 4 hours 'butts in seats' plus all the stops. But again doable.

What ever you decide you will have three very long days one after the other.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 07:16 AM
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A colleague of my husband who studied in Edinburgh has swayed him in that direction. She recommended we drive to Gyle Centre, park and ride the tram into the city, and walk the Royal Mile from the Esplanade to Holyroodhouse, have lunch in her favourite pub, The World's End, before catching the tram back. I realize that we will just be scratching the surface, but at least we will get to see a little of the city that my Fodors Scotland quotes from Bronte as being poetry compared to the prose of London.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 09:44 AM
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That will be a hectic day -- the tram will take about 30 mins each way. The walk up to the Castle and down the Royal Mile plus lunch and back to the tram will easily take 4 hours unless you simply walk and don't stop anywhere.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 11:57 AM
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She recommended we drive to Gyle Centre

I would be very careful at parking at shopping centres when you aren't intending to shop there. Many have a restriction for how long you can use them

Why not park at the Ingleston Park & Ride instead which is also a tram stop

https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/ingliston
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the information, dotheboyshall, I think she said that there was a Park and Ride at Gyle Centre with a tram stop, too. On the map it looks like it is very close to Ingleston.

janisj, we might have to jog ;-) but I hate to drive past Edinburgh without seeing the city, when we don't know how many years it will be before we get back.
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 02:14 PM
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You know what I'd maybe do -- it will be more expensive but might make a better use of your limited time. If budget is an issue that parking at Ingliston and taking the tram

Park at EDI and catch a cab from the airport to the Castle -- a cab will take about the same time into the city center but it would take about 20 minutes to walk from the tram line to Edinburgh castle . . . and it is ALL up hill.

A cab would drop you right at the the Castle Esplanade so save maybe 20- 30 mins total. Then you can meander down the Royal Mile to the World's End (about half way down) on to Holyrood and then catch a cab back to either Princes Street to catch the tram to EDI or all the way back to the airport.

(Your friend may have meant Ingliston since it is next door to Gyle)
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Old Jun 25th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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I think she said that there was a Park and Ride at Gyle Centre

She's wrong.
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Old Jun 26th, 2016, 12:39 PM
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Thanks, dotheboyshall, we will use Ingliston.
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Old Jun 26th, 2016, 12:40 PM
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janisj, a cab sounds perfect��
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