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First time in Scotland.

Hi, my son and I will be visiting next June 2015. I have been planning and researching. We have 6 days there. We will be taking the 3 day isle of Skye tour. We r flying into Edinburgh and we only have one day there. Could you recommend the got to see places? My son is an engineer so he likes architecture.

Also would love to see the Kelpies! Could someone tell me how to get there from Edinburgh. Has anyone ever stayed at the Victorian townhouse? They had good reviews


Posted by
5625 posts

We were in Scotland for 2 weeks earlier this month and loved it. We were in Edinburgh for a week, so had an apartment at the southern end of the Royal Mile (the street that goes by different names as it goes along) that runs between the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, where the queen stays when she's in town (but am not familiar with the Victorian townhouse). Both of those places are among the top sights. Walking in Edinburgh (plan on some uphills and downhills) affords lots of intriguing architecture. The 12-year old Scottish Parliament building, just across the street from Holyrood, is modern and might be of great interest to your son. We also enjoyed our visit to the former royal yacht Britannia, which is moored in the harbor outside of a big shopping mall in Leith, a town to the north, accessible by a short bus ride (we took Bus #35, but others go there, too). If you have really limited time, the trip out to Leith and back might not work for you, but otherwise you can see a grand, floating palace. The city's full of museumes, too, mostly free. Rick Steves' Great Britain (and also the separate Scotland-only) guidebooks list top sights, in order of significance (although you may have different priorities) to help make the most of your time.

We drove on Skye (challenging driving on the left, on narrow roads), so if someone else is driving on your tour, you can enjoy the sights and not have to watch the oncoming traffic! Coming back to Edinburgh, we passed the Kelpies on the highway, but didn't have time to stop. They're much nicer than the sinister blue horse sculpture outside of Denver International Airport! Here's a link for info:

Near the Kelpies is the Falkirk Wheel, an engineering marvel. We didn't get time to see it, but again, it might be worth investigating, if you can fit it in and can find a way to get there -- a little ways west of Edinburgh.

Posted by
13106 posts

The parliament building is really interesting. We took lots of photos of it for our engineering/architect daughter.

We wanted to get to see the Kelpies but ran out of time. Information on getting there by public train is on the Helix website. Basically you go to Falkirk ( which station I do not recall) and bus, taxi, or bike it from there.

We had a week in Scotland and barely scratched the surface.

Posted by
5669 posts

With only one day in Edinburgh, you need to start with the Castle. It's the history, the views, it's the old city.

You can even see the honor's of Scotland. If it is raining, then my next place would the Museum of Scotland. It's a wonderful museum that has a contemporary building and an older Victorian building.

If it isn't raining, walk down The Royal Mile a bit and then down to Princes Street Gardens. There are lots of things to see on the Royal Mile, and you may have time to see one or two of them and explore the wynds and closes. My own favorite stop is Gladstone's Land. It let's you see what those very old "skyscrapers" were like.

I would encourage you to keep going from the Princes Street Gardens over to New Town. I love the Georgian House. It's not a long tour, but it's a really interesting contrast to Gladstone's Land.


Posted by
86 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Can't wait till June!