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Itinerary feedback please!

Hi all,

Less than two weeks away until we depart for London, Oxford, Edinburgh and St. Andrew's. I would love feedback on my couple of days in Edinburgh. Is Edinburg small enough to go back and forth between Old Town and New Town like I've laid out below?

Wednesday, July 3
12:30 Check into flat in Canongate area
Walk down the Royal Mile, see St. Gile's Cathedral
Lunch at The Beehive Inn (opinions?)
3-6pm Edinburgh Castle
Greyfriars Kirkyard
Dinner at Greyfriars Bobby's Bar
Mary's Milk Bar
Mercat Haunted Tour or Mary Kings Close Tour?

Thursday, July 4
Going to St. Andrew's 9-6pm (ish)
Back in Edinburgh:
Climb Carlton Hill at sunset
Queen's Arms in New Town for dinner
Whisky bar?

Friday, July 5
Coffee somewhere
Head to Dean's Village for Water of Leith Walk
Royal Botanic Gardens, cake at Gateway Restaurant, Terrace Cafe, or East Gate Coffee Bar
Continue Water of Leith Walk - how far should we go? Can we walk to the North Sea? Can we spy the Royal Britannia?
Lunch on the water?
Bus back to Old Town
Cadenheads for informal whisky tasting
Scott Monument and Princes Street Gardens
Dinner at Dishoom
Back to Grass Market and Royal Mile

Thanks all!

Posted by
975 posts

Hi, CaliMom,

That's an ambitious itinerary, but it's doable.

On day one, if you're staying near the Canongate, you'll probably be walking up the Royal Mile, as opposed to down, if you're going to see St. Giles. If you've booked a specific time to see the castle (3:00 p.m.), you may not have time to get down to the Grassmarket for the Beehive, then back up again. It's a steep climb back up to the Royal Mile, then uphill to the castle. But if you're not pressed for time, it shouldn't be a problem.

On day two, how are you getting to St. Andrews? Will it be train, then bus or taxi, or will it be bus all the way. Make sure that you leave yourselves enough time to walk on East Beach in St. A's. Sunset isn't 'til about 10:00 p.m. on July 4th., so you may want to eat first before walking up Calton Hill. If it's absolutely pissing down with rain, best to avoid getting soaked.

If you're starting the Water of Leith walk at Dean Village, it's about a two hour walk out to Leith, not including your time at the Botanic Gardens. (Be sure to give yourselves enough time to do justice to the gardens.) It's much much farther to the North Sea. The walk ends at the Port of Leith, which is on the Firth of Forth. You could terminate your walk at the Royal Yacht Britannia, and maybe have a late lunch on board. I hear the Cullen Skink is excellent. Bus back to town is a very good idea, The Scott Monument closes at 7:00 p.m., so you should give yourselves enough time to get all the way to the top and back down. Best to arrive no later than 6:30. Be sure to bring a camera.

Hope that helps! Perhaps Unclegus can supply you with more accurate information.


Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
665 posts

Thanks Mike! I haven’t booked our tickets to Edinburgh Castle yet but was thinking we would have lunch upon arrival then walk “up” the Royal Mile taking in St Giles along the way. We can just find a place along the way.

I was tying to spend Wednesday in Old Town and Friday on the Leith Walk and New Town so we’re not zig zagging all over town. Does that make sense?

Posted by
2949 posts

On July 3 you've given yourself just 2.5 hours to walk the Royal Mile in between checking into your lodging and arriving at the castle. If there are any particular sights along the Royal Mile that are must-see for you, mark them out ahead of time, otherwise you will run out of time. It is easy to spend an entire day exploring the Royal Mile, not counting time at either end (Edi Castle and Palace of HR) because there are dozens of points of interest along the way.

Posted by
665 posts

Thank you! Perhaps we won’t walk so far on the Water of Leith Walk then can have a couple more hours in Old Town on our third afternoon.