I'll be in Edinburgh next month and am hoping to travel to the ruins of Fast Castle, which is an isolated location southeast of Edinburgh (and just northwest of St. Abbs Head National Nature Reserve). I'd rather not drive in the UK at all, but there is no public transportation to (or near enough to) this site for that to be an option. I've never used Uber or the like - but I just now went to their site, and it looks like I could get a ride out for about $100 US, but when I look for a ride back it says they can't estimate it (which I assume means there aren't any Uber drivers in the area - and I wouldn't want a driver to wait for me, as I plan to be there for a few hours). I fear my best option may be driving and am considering taking public transportation as far east out of Edinburgh as possible (North Berwick?), then renting a car, so as to at least avoid big city traffic. (I have driving in the UK once before and found it profoundly stressful.) Ideas? Suggestions?
Another option would be to ask your hotel to recommend a local cab firm and enquire about a price with them.
You have several options. The first would be to rent your car, if you decide to do so, from Edinburgh Airport. That way, you can avoid all city driving. You can get on the A720 (the Edinburgh Bypass) as soon as you leave the airport. That will take you south of Edinburgh, and around to the A1 near Musselburgh. After you get on the A1, it's clear sailing all the way to Cockburnspath, where you can get on the A1107 for Fast Castle. The only really bad part of that drive is the Old Craighall roundabout on the A720. You have to make sure to get in the correct lane to stay on the A720 E/A1 S. The roundabout is well signposted, and there are road markings right on the highway.
Your second option would be to take a train from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed. You can rent a car from East Coast rental for about 45 pounds per day, with 100 free miles (12p per mile after that). However, they don't have any cars with automatic transmission. Their telephone number from the U.S. is 011 44 1289 307611.
The third option would be to take the number 253 bus to either Cockburnspath or Eyemouth, and take a taxi from there. Taxi service is available from both towns. The 253 bus does not run frequently, so once you've made arrangements with the taxi company to pick you up at the end of the road leading to the castle, you'd need to take the taxi to Dunbar, where you can catch the train back to Edinburgh.
Unfortunately, there are no train stops that I can find between Dunbar and Berwick-upon-Tweed. There also don't seem to be any car rental companies on the North Sea coast between Edinburgh and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
I hope this information helps. Are you searching for the hidden treasure that Logan and Napier couldn't find, or are your ancestors from there?
Best wishes for your journey, whichever way you get there!
Thank you SO MUCH Mike (Auchterless)!
I have been searching every town near there for car rentals, have been looking at every train and bus option, and had just been at a loss on my own!
I am a professor of mathematics who is studying the life and work of John Napier. I'll be visiting due to the story of the treasure hunt involving him and Robert Logan. I hope to write a novel with Napier as one of the protagonists (eventually), and I REALLY need to visit that site.
I wouldn't mind finding treasure, but I think I've already struck gold with your response! ;-)
You're very welcome, but I have to apologize. I was looking at the Sunday schedule for the 253 bus, and there are only two services on that day. Assuming you're going to Fast Castle on a weekday, there are five buses scheduled, so if you time it right, you could spend several hours at the castle, and have the taxi take you back to the bus stop in either Cockburnspath or Eyemouth.
The route is served by Borders Buses, and #253 leaves from gate E at the Edinburgh bus station. The last bus back to Edinburgh leaves Eyemouth at 4:46 p.m., and Cockburnspath at 5:16 p.m. You can check out the bus schedule online.
Good luck with your research!
Hello again Mike,
It is FANTASTIC news to know that there is more bus service available on weekdays and that I could use just bus and taxi - rather than bus, taxi, taxi, train (which sounds like it could be the name of a movie or something!). Thankfully, my schedule is quite flexible, so I will be able to take advantage of this.
This has been such a help; many thanks!