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Flipping the script: LHR in, EDI out, or EDI in, LHR out

Our previous journeys have been to fly in to LHR, stay in Westminster for a few days, take the train to Edinburgh and fly out of EDI.

This year we want to visit Isle of Skye and maybe a whistlestop to York for a night.

Here are my questions / concerns:

Is it particularly challenging to navigate LHR flying out? (Flying in, we've always been picked up by a transfer service.)

Edinburgh to Skye. Still working this one out. My options here are:

  • Take the train to Inverness, and rent to drive to Skye.
  • Take the train to Glasgow and drive to Skye.
  • Just rent a car in Edinburgh and drive both ways.
  • Take train to Inverness, Train to Skye. Find a rental (car hire) in Skye. I'll have to say that I don't find a lot of info on rentals in Skye.
Posted by
14 posts

Rather than hire a transfer, we would take the tube in from Victoria or St. James's park. Flying out on Delta. We know what to expect leaving at EDI, but I was just curious about the experience of getting in to LHR and navigating through to a flight back to the US.

Posted by
5648 posts

Is it particularly challenging to navigate LHR flying out? (Flying in, we've always been picked up by a transfer service.)

No. It is simple and pretty much like any other airport. Know what terminal you are flying from and follow the signs. If you don’t want to use public transportation (I almost always take the tube), then you can book a car service from your hotel to the airport.

Posted by
14166 posts

To me the most challenging thing about flying out of Heathrow on Delta is that your gate is not announced until 15-20 minutes ahead. This makes me nervous for some reason because I've always had plenty of time to get there before boarding starts. There is a big waiting area surrounded by shops and food outlets so plenty to do until time.

Posted by
15571 posts

Heathrow is just like any other airport. As long as you know your terminal, everything else should look familiar.

Posted by
250 posts

We fly in and out of LHR on Delta last month. Flying in was a breeze. Flying out was a PITA. It took an hour just to check in with our bags. The line was ridiculously long and slow moving.

Posted by
9784 posts

I would just assume that Heathrow is way more of a pain getting to and flying out of than Edinburgh since it's so many times larger. But nothing that one couldn't handle -- thousands of people do it daily, after all.

Posted by
250 posts

Unless you intend to stay in London for part of your trip, you might consider flying out of Manchester.

Posted by
2 posts

Having been to Scotland numerous times I would definitely fly out of EDI as it’s much easier to fly out of than LHR…and I would rent a car to drive both ways from EDI. I love seeing the amazing countryside and stopping when I want to. Driving there is very easy and the roads are well marked. Using Google maps works great. Skye is gorgeous and the area on the way from Edinburgh is as well. Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to. Your option from Inverness to Skye is also a great idea if you have limited time—as you can easily go through Lochness and other beautiful areas on the way to Skye. To really see Skye you should stay one night. Also be sure to take bug spray the midges can be vicious in the spring/ summer months. I highly recommend an Applecross drive if you have time.

Posted by
1188 posts

I live in Skye. If you are spending a few days in Edinburgh before coming to Skye then I would get the tram back out to airport and rent a car there before driving to Skye. It will take you about 6 hours to drive without stopping, but it would make a very nice day trip with perhaps lunch in Pitlochry or Dunkeld on the way. You could drive to Skye via the A9, then A86, then A87. You could return via the ferry to Mallaig, then A82 to Fort William & Glencoe and turn east on to A85 at Crianlarich before reaching the M90 at Perth, which will take you back to Edinburgh airport to return your car.

If you take the train to Inverness and rent there you will probably have fewer rental options in the town centre than at the airport. The drive from Inverness to the Skye bridge without stopping is about 2.5 hours.

There is only one rental company on Skye - Morrison. They are basically a car repair garage who used to just rent cars to locals when their own cars were off the road. They have branched out a bit more recently, but probably wouldn't have an automatic shift car if that's important to you. They are based in Portree so you'd have to take get from Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree by bus. Although they are a great little company I wouldn't generally recommend them for tourists. There is also Morar Motors in Kyle of Lochalsh - another small company.

Whatever car you rent I would strongly advise you to avoid getting an electric car. Charging points are few and far between here and often out of service.

You say 'this year' which is ringing slight alarm bells in my head as depending when you plan to come you might find it hard to find good accommodation.

Skyegirl (Jacqui)

Posted by
216 posts

Changing planes in Heathrow is no big deal but I find it an extremely unpleasant place. You may need to go a ways if your flight to the US is not from T5. It isn't hard, just the crowds are annoying (to me).