Hello. We (a family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers, age 13 and 16) are arriving in London Heathrow at 10:50 am (direct from US) and we are planning to head to Scotland (Edinburgh) by train on the same day. We will have 5-6 days before returning to London for a week stay.
1) I think our arrival day plan should be feasible based on this travel forum posts, but I wonder if anyone has tips or advice on the best way to get to London's King's Cross Station (Heathway express to Paddington or Tube to Piccadilly?) and the amount of time I should allow.
2) URGENT QUESTION!!!! I am trying to buy advance tickets to Edinburgh with Family & Friends Railcard on National Rail website. It says I can buy F&F Railcard over the counter at any staffed National Rail Station. I read someone mentioning we need passport photos for the card. My question is can I get the card at the spot on SUNDAY (our arrival day) right before getting on the train and use it right away? If I can't get it in station, I don't want to buy advance tickets with F&F Railcard. I am also wondering if there will be any other issues I should worry about buying rail tickets on National Rail website vs Rail Europe.
3) We will be in Edinburgh in mid July and don't have lodging yet. We will be checking booking.com/vrbo.com/airbnb.com. Does anyone know of other good websites to check for Edinburgh lodging (preferably quad room or apts)?
4) We are first time in Scotland and I don't want to drive while in Edinburgh. Any suggestions how we can see "country side" of Scotland by public transportation and/or tour company while in Edinburgh. We are NOT golfers but I heard St Andrews is lovely.
5) We would be traveling to see Alnwick Castle on the way back to London (Harry Potter fans). Any suggestions on where to stay one night between Alnwick and London. We are debating whether to stay near Alnwick Castle and head to London the next day or take a train to York for a night stay.
Thanks for replies in advance.