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Edinburgh first time

I will be visiting Edinburgh for the first time in early October. I will arriving by train just at dusk and am looking for a convenient place to stay for three nights. I am traveling by myself, newly retired, so I prefer someone safe...doesn't everyone? Price range as close to $100/night as possible. Any suggestions?
I will be using the Hop Off/Hop On for some day tours, and will go on the "underground" tour to the vaults. Other interests are the Botanical Garden. Not much time...sort of scouting for a future trip for my husband and myself.

I will be leaving by train at the end of my stay.

Posted by
3486 posts

Here are three good choices : walk out of Waverly up the ramp to Waverly Bridge and turn left headed toward the Royal Mile . A half block from the station at the intersection , there is a new Motel One dead ahead on your right . . or turn left at that point and walk along Market Street , keep to the right onto Jeffery Street , a Jury's Inn on your right . . Finally . go past the Jury's Inn ,cross the Royal Mile ( Canongate ) .it then becomes St Mary's Street . walk one block past the Mile and turn right onto Cowgate . Holiday Inn Express at 300 Cowgate . This is a bit further walk , so you might want a cab for a quick ride with your bags from Waverly . I liked the Holiday Inn , and am returning there this fall

Posted by
5669 posts

Ann, I have always enjoyed the Inverlieth. It's right near The Royal Botanic Gardens. You can catch a public bus up the hill in the AM and walk down in the afternoon. It's a family hotel and has wee bar for residence. I liked that as I was able to have whisky when I was traveling on my own and not up to the pub. The price depends on when you're going. Take a look at your specific dates.


Posted by
109 posts

Thanks to you both.
I have booked with Travelodge which seems to meet my monetary constraints and doesn't get totally bad reviews....will let everyone know how that turns out!

Posted by
5789 posts

Its been a few years but we were happy with a New Town B&B: Ardenlee Guesthouse at 9 Eyre Place. It's a short walk downhill towards the botanical garden from the train station.

I should add that with s fully cooked breakfast that is included, I could almost go most of the day beyond a snack. Hope you're not a vegan.

Posted by
117 posts

We stayed at the Travelodge by Waverly. It was a very short walk from the train station. We dropped off our rental at the train station, mid-day, and walked to the hotel easily with our rolling carry-ons, very well-lit streets and doormen at a number of other hotels on the station-hotel route. "We" were my husband, our 15 year old son and me. I would have felt perfectly safe had I had to walk to the hotel, by myself, at midnight.

The train station is very well signed, it is easy to find your train.

The Travelodge was perfect. Clean, comfortable beds, quiet and a great location. No restaurant, but that is not a problem (see below). The staff were very helpful.

There's easy access to the Botanic Garden bus (down the road, by the Scott monument, a walk of about 10 minutes max). The hotel will tell you which bus (and, the bus drivers will, as well). You'll need exact change for the bus. The gardens are lovely!

Lots of restaurants nearby (recommend the "Slug & Lettuce" in the OMNI Centre, a sort-of restaurant mall and cinema, down Leith Street Good food and not expensive! And, right across from S&L is a nice little place that is open for breakfast, inexpensive, not crowded, fast and tasty). Make sure to get a photo under the giraffe outside! We ate a great little Italian restaurant (Bella Italia, located on 55 North Bridge) and had heavenly pastries from Patisserie Valerie, also located on North Bridge.

From the hotel, it is easy walking to all the museums (National Museum of Scotland, Scottish National Gallery, Holyrood House), Edinburgh Castle and all other sights (we only used the bus to go to the zoo and the gardens). If you like chocolate, go down corner of Leith & Waterloo Place, across the street to the St. James Mall and visit the Thorntons store. Yummy chocolates!!!

Make sure, if you get a chance, to come out of the hotel, turn immediately left on Waterloo Place, walk a distance of about 2-3 blocks and there will be an entrance, on the left side, to the park (Calton Hill, Nelson Monument, National Monument) located above the hotel The 360 views are spectacular of the entire area. I wouldn't go up there at night, alone, but would feel perfectly safe during the day (there were a lot of people there when we visited as the weather was incredibly perfect!).

We went on "The City Of the Dead" tour. Lots of fun and very interesting. If you are at all claustrophobic or get disoriented in total darkness, make sure you bring a flashlight (bring one anyway, you WILL want to have it!!!). I was nervous about this aspect of the tour and kept a steady eye on someone's Iphone light whenever our tour guide brought us into areas totally devoid of light (I did it, but was glad to get back outside). Also, DO wear a hat and a light jacket that you won't mind getting a more than a bit of dirty water drippings. It is a damp, drippy tour, and I wished I'd brought a hat for sure (the vault drippings were not what anyone would want in their hair...)! Sturdy shoes are a must for this. The whole tour takes a quite a bit of walking (steep streets) and the floors in the actual vaults are uneven, slippery and wet (stay close to another woman and offer a steadying arm to each other!). Our tour ended at Greyfriars Kirk. But, the kirk yard was closing after our tour, so we didn't get a chance to look around the entire cemetery, as I'd hoped.

If we go back to Edinburgh, we would certainly stay at the Travelodge Waverly again!

Have fun!!!

Posted by
1345 posts

Travelodge are usually very good value for money, a comfortable bed, clean bathroom and tea and coffee facilities. They are the one I tend to use moving around the UK for that reason.

For breakfast, I'd usually skip paying for their offering and go into the town. Dare I recommend McDonald's breakfasts for your Edinburgh trip? Often two McDonald's breakfasts are the same price as one at the hotel..

Posted by
109 posts

Leslie and Mc Thank you so much. Leslie, love the detail, have written it down. Very much looking forward to the trip.....

Posted by
5648 posts

Leslie's suggestion of Patisserie Valerie is spot-on. We stopped there after the Military Tattoo 2 weeks ago (their ice cream is also outstanding) and picked up pastries for breakfast. Over the next few days, several people in Edinburgh and elsewhere around Scotland sung their praises. Patisserie Valerie appears to be legendary in Scotland.

There's also a Travelodge at the corner of St. Mary's St and Cowgate, and it's a very short walk to the Royal Oak, a music pub described in Rick Steves' guidebook. We heard outstanding music there, both upstairs and downstairs, if that interests you. There's a fabulous, nicely priced Indian Restaurant next door to the Royal Oak, too. Does the Travelodge operate any shuttle between the 2 locations?

Thornton's Toffee has become a staple of our trips to and thru the U.K. . . . we couldn't find it at the Edinburgh Airport when returning home yesterday, but picked up 3 big boxes at the Chocolate Box in Heathrow Terminal 5 on our last leg of the return flight.