Best sites of Edinburgh - Trip Report:

We did a short sightseeing trip of Edinburgh (07/2008) during our trip to England and used Ryan Air. Our flight was from London Stanstead to Glasgow Prestwick airport and relied on the rail to get to Edinburgh. The Prestwick airport houses the train station too. The rail route involved a changeover after alighting at Glasgow Central - Glasgow Queen Street station to Edinburgh. It is a 10-minute walk from Glasgow Central to the Queen Street Station. Free shuttle bus service is available for those so inclined. Edinburgh’s main railway station (Waverly) is in the city center. Allow about 2.5 hours for the whole journey. Tickets can be purchased aboard the train and a through ticket to Edinburgh is available. Passengers holding Prestwick airline tickets were eligible for a 50% discount on ScotRail and round-trip ticket prices for the two of us came to £22. Trains operate every 30 minutes (60 minutes on Sundays) to Glasgow Central Train Station between the hours of 06:00 - 23:08. Trains to Edinburgh from Glasgow Queen Street Station run regularly up to four times per hour.

Reserving accommodation in Edinburgh was a challenge in itself as most places available online (3 stars or above) were well above our price range. We lodged at the Holyrood Festival Studio Apartments at £67 per night. Booking.com had the best rate at the time of our reservation (early June for the end of July stay) – price comparison among sites provides returns as Hotels.com was seen to offer better pricing at times. The location is unbeatable, just off the Royal Mile in close proximity to Holyrood Palace. It is student accommodation and lacks hotel staff. The building is very new and the amenities are ample, complete with a small kitchen. The administrative services are provided at 6 Queen Street (a 15-minute walk from the Royal Mile - 3 PM check-in) and the hotel is located at 32 Calton Road. Given our penchant for walking, this arrangement worked well but for some it could be painful.

The major attractions in Edinburgh are the Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood palace, and the attractions dotted along the Royal Mile. Edinburgh Castle is iconic to the city and lives up to expectations gracefully– allow at least 3 hours – Admission was £12 for adults and £6 for children. The Scottish Crown, the palace of Mary, Queen of Scots, Batteries, the Great Hall (meeting place of Scottish parliament until 1639), and the St. Margaret’s Chapel are overwhelming. All - tourists and locals alike, appreciates the commanding history of the place. A hike through Holyrood Park and a stroll around the lochs and Arthur’s seat familiarizes one with the local flora. The humble thistle, the Scottish emblem, makes you smile. The lochs although small are representative of the unique Scottish landscape. Lochs come in various shapes, sizes, and elevation and are tranquil at best - their appeal leaves you yearning for more. Dedicated loch tours are available and advance booking is recommended. Scottish cuisine is best described through Haggis, made of sheep’s innards eaten with turnips (“neeps”) and potatoes. The Scots enthusiasm for golf is renowned and many hotels offer inclusive deals.

Related Posts:

1. European Vacation – Gotchas to avoid and frugal options for cost conscious American Visitors.
2. Best sites of London & Cambridge - Trip Report.
3. Best sites of Edinburgh - Trip Report.
4. Best sites of Ireland - Trip Report.

Last Updated: 02/2011.



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