Thanks to all who have responded to a number of posts as I have been working on planning a 12 day car tour in the UK this September for my wife and me. I believe my final questions concern the full 3 days we will have in Edinburgh.
On day is dedicated to a Highland and Loch Lomond 9 hour excursion using Viator. We have taken a number of Viator tours over the years and they have always been wonderful. Concerning the weather -- I guess it's a crap shoot whether it's raining, foggy, partly sunny, etc. But as it needs to be booked in advance (more than the "5 day forecast!"), we'll just roll with what happens.
However, for the remaining two day - that is my question. We always enjoy the HOHO bus loops to get a good overview and interesting commentary. So, that's a possibility.
Except, I see online that different carriers have different bus loops, with one even having five loops over 2 days. Prices are anywhere from $22 for the one day simple loop tour to $75 for the 2 day/5 loop which include entrance to Holyrood, Britannia Ship, and the Edinburgh Castle. Perhaps the best value, but we really don't need Holyrood, and the Ship.
Then, there are several "guided" Castle tours that cost upwards of $40, but I see online that the Castle has costumed guide strategically placed throughout the castle, and even audio guide that can be purchased for a fraction of a live guide.
Finally, for $25 there is a very highly rated 3 hour tour throughout many of the important but less visited areas, led by historian and local, Stuart Usher, whose family Scottish roots go back for centuries.
As this is the last couple days on our trip we don't want to "rush, rush, rush" from one HOHO bus stop, up and down the Royal Mile, off to the Queen's Ship, into the Highland with Viator, etc. Plus, I'd rather spend $100-150 than $300 and save a little for a nice meal or two.
So...... any thoughts or advice on the Edinburgh city strategy. Do this; don't miss that; forget it - a waste of time; or any other
HOHO bus, guided tour, audio tour, just walk around advice would be appreciated. Thank you. Ted