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Edinburgh

We have been to the UK many times. Had planned to go this year if it hadn't been for the Coronavirus. Not sure when we will be able to go - when there will be a vaccine that has been tested. We have an age thing going to so not sure how much longer we can travel. We have always driven but last year took only trains. Took too much luggage but have learned. Our son has never been and wants to go with us so we're thinking of structuring our trip a little differenly. Many years ago, we went to Edinburgh and would like to go back. My thinking is that we would fly into London and spend a few days there (I know, not enough) to give our son a feel for it. Then we will train to Edinburgh and spend about 5 days there. From there take the train to Berwick on Tweed which I thought might be a bit smaller for our son to see, then to Bamburgh castle, then train back to London and fly home. Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Thanks.

Posted by
2772 posts

Wouldn't it be easier to fly on a multicity ticket into London and out of Edinburgh?

Posted by
11232 posts

I agree with CJean. Look to fly "open jaw" into London and out of Edinburgh. Also look at Glasgow airport, as it's only an hour from Edinburgh.

These flights may or may not be more expensive than a round trip to London. But even if they are, you save time and money by not backtracking.

To find these flights, don't look at two one-way tickets. Instead, look at "multi city" or "multiple destinations" on Kayak, Google Flights, airline websites, etc. Sometimes it's hidden; for instance, on United's website, you have to look under "advanced search."

Posted by
1390 posts

Flight-wise, it does make sense, but since I wanted to see Berwick on Tweed and Bamburgh, not sure how I would do that because I would have luggage. Don't know if there's another small village and castle we could train to from Edinburgh?

Posted by
2988 posts

Just outside of Edinburgh is Craigmiller castle. A bus from downtown will get you close to it, then you’ll need to walk about a quarter mile to get to it. It isn’t Bamburgh castle or Alnwick castle (a few miles from Bamburgh and used in a couple Harry Potter movies), but it is worth visiting. Unless you’re driving, I’m not certain how you’d be able to do Bamburgh with luggage.

Posted by
2490 posts

you could do Berwick on tweed as a day trip by train from Edinburgh quite easily

Posted by
18138 posts

If you fly into one city and out of the other, you still need to travel between them one time. I'd do that by train, though Berwick-upon-Tweed might require a bus leg (I haven't checked). What we're suggesting you do is avoid making a round-trip London-Scotland-London.

Take a look at the airfares to see what the difference is. And check doing it both ways: into London/out of Scotland and into Scotland/out of London.

Posted by
2166 posts

Stirling Castle is about a 45 minute train ride from Edinburgh.

Posted by
626 posts

Curious about your desire to see Bamburgh Castle. I've seen it in the TV series The Last Kingdom as the home of the hero Uhtred - Babbenburg Castle.

Agree with the non backtracking advice though its not always easy to get the connections. Last I looked I didn't like any of the options to get to Scotland from the US. Have taken the train from London to Edinburgh and it was a pleasant trip. So much less hassle than flying.

Posted by
1266 posts

Edinburgh airport is horrendous and totally disorganized; so even though you would back track, it might make sense to go back to London to fly home.

To be fair, it was more disorganized as an international arrivee, then when I left for home.
they left us all waiting on outside on the tarmac at 6 in the morning in late September, for over an hour.
Then they let us into the customs TENT.
Took two and a half hours to get from the actual plane to outside the airport.

The train journey from London to Edinburgh is great, book in advance for cheaper fares.
There is a train from Edinburgh to Berwick on Tweed, as it's on the line from London to Edinburgh.
You could stay one night in Berwick, and get back to London by train from there.

Posted by
24867 posts

I didn't see which month is the likely one - but if August beware the massive crowds (crowds, post covid - dunno...) generated by the Edinburgh Fringe (no not the one in your hair) and the Tattoo (no, not the one on your skin).

Posted by
2988 posts

I didn’t find Edinburgh airport disorganized at all. Opposite of SJ’s experience, I once sat on the tarmac in London for 45 minutes after landing waiting to get off the plane. Last December was only slightly better. In both cases, there were few busses to take passengers from the plane to the terminal.

Posted by
1029 posts

If you decide to go by train between London and Edinburgh, I suggest you look at The Caledonian Sleeper. I haven't tried it myself, but am planning to do it next year (COVID-19 permitting). It is expensive, but saves you a hotel night.

Posted by
2166 posts

Not sure how this saves a hotel night when it is at its cheapest over more than 100£ higher than a regular fare per ticket (200£ for something resembling a real bed) and also costs you most of a night's sleep tossing on a train for 9 hours. Direct London-Edinburgh train is 4 1/2 hours, and a substantial part scenic.

Posted by
24867 posts

It isn't too expensive when you can expect to pay well over £100 a hotel night in Edinburgh and much higher in London.

For a random date - 17 February 2021 for 2 adults, no raicards - I see Fixed Classic Twin Room at £175. That is not far off a hotel in either Edinburgh or London. £250 for a Fixed Club Twin Room wich includes breakfast and en-suite facilities. Many a time I spent £250 for a hotel room in London.

You leave Edinburgh just before midnight - you can check in early and move in from 11pm (10:30 on Sunday) - and arrive in London Euston just after 7.

The new equipment is state of the art with lots of features like dimming lights and USB ports. And a bit of scenery.

It is just over 7 hours end to end, not 9.

Posted by
2529 posts

The addition of the information about The Caledonian Sleeper is brilliant.

Consider taking the train from London to York, where you will rent a car and continue northward, stopping where you want along the way; Bamburgh Castle and other interesting sights.
(Your luggage will be in the trunk of the car while you are touring Bamburgh Castle. No worries about lugging it around with you.)
Turn in the car upon arrival in Edinburgh, enjoy several days there, head back on The Caledonian Sleeper to London.

If Bamburgh Castle is on your personal must-see list for next time (as it is for me), this is one way to include it.