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4 days/nights to Edinburgh from London - possible?

I will be traveling as a solo adult with my two kids, ages 9 and 12 from California to London. We have 9 days (excluding travel), and since my kids have never been across the Atlantic (though they have traveled internationally), they are really interested to see more than one country. We tend to be quite active, hitting many sites in a day, and reasonably adventurous - they tend to get a bit bored with museums and parks day after day. I figure we will hit some highlights in London (Harry Potter studio, British Museum, etc), then it would be great to try to get up to Scotland for a bit. There's a possibility I could change our return trip to leave from Edinburgh to save some travel time.

If we went, we would need to decide by plan or train. I think we cannot do a sleeper, as with 3 people, I don't see how we can fit. And I'm sure my kids wouldn't sleep a wink, anyway. I know we could spend weeks in Scotland, but hopefully if they like it, we could come back before too long. I would appreciate any recommendations for itinerary for such a brief visit. The Jacobite train seems really exciting to them, especially if we could do the 1-hour wildness cruise during. But please also let me know if I'm just setting us up for failure - I want them to have a great experience, be exposed to some good culture, and for me to stay sane.

Posted by
6722 posts

Currently the Jacobite train may not be running this year.

There is a legal prohibition on it operating, due to safety issues with the train doors.

I know they are selling tickets, but the company currently has no suitable trains. The issue should become clearer in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

However the normal diesel service train runs over the same tracks and the wildlife cruise at Mallaig also connects out of that train. Now of course whether it will be deemed economical to run the cruise without the Jacobite is a different and imponderable question.

Posted by
33335 posts

the Jacobite train is still hung up because they are not allowed to operate - time will tell if they return.

Despite losing the court case to allow them to return they claim they will start running next month regardless.

This article from yesterday's Scotsman newspaper outlines the current state of play.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/threat-to-harry-potter-hogwarts-express-jacobite-steam-train-what-was-all-that-about-4517263

I hope you are successful - don't let the kids near the door handles or windows - but be prepared for fireworks in the meantime.

London to Edinburgh on the LNER or Glasgow on Avanti trains doesn't take very long and is scenic and allows you time for what you are looking for. Discounts are available so once you decide let us know so you can be helped to keep some of that money in your wallet.

Posted by
9 posts

OK, thanks, noted on the Jacobite. Any thoughts about a 4-day itinerary in Scotland? Is it worth it, and if so, any recommended things to do for this age group, given the above?