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Please critique my itinerary!

Hello! We are a family of four traveling from Orlando. Two children 5 & 7 yo. We are planning a trip to London/ Scotland next summer. Please help me in critiquing my itinerary. We want to do historical sites but also lots of fun for the kids.
Days 1-2
London
Day 3-8
Train London to Edinburgh
Pick up a car on day 5 and do day trips
Is it feasible to do a day trip to St. Andrews for my husband to golf? Maybe the kids and I do afternoon tea? The aquarium then we all drive back to Edinburgh.
Day 9-10
Oban
Wake up early and drive from Edinburgh to Stirling. Then maybe Glen Coe before heading to Oban.
The second day at Oban we would take our car on the ferry to Mull. Maybe a tour to Staffa. Enjoy an hour or so at Calgary beach before heading back to Oban via the ferry.
Day 11
Drive to Glasgow
Stop and see Loch Lomond along the way (Loch Lomond Fairey trail)
Day 12
Fly home from Glasgow
Would it be crazy to schedule my own flight to London Gatwick (6am flight) Then book my flight from Gatwick to Orlando (departing at 2:00pm) ?
Thanks for your help.

Posted by
3965 posts

When next summer? Are you going for the Fringe in Edinburg? Lots of fun for the kids during this festival. Have a great trip!

Posted by
5 posts

We were planning for the last week of May. I actually assumed Fringe was aimed towards young adults. I haven’t looked into it. I did see a children’s festival for this time next year in Edinburgh. I am hoping to catch it next year

Posted by
2679 posts

Is it feasible to do a day trip to St. Andrews for my husband to golf?

Yes, St Andrews is a 1h 30m drive from Edinburgh.

Fly home from Glasgow. Would it be crazy to schedule my own flight to London Gatwick (6am flight) Then book my flight from Gatwick to Orlando (departing at 2:00pm)?

I wouldn't! It's too soon to book flights so give it another month or two before you begin looking. Try looking at multi-city first and then one-way fares second: https://www.google.com/travel/flights.

Posted by
2253 posts

I think.the first two.days are surely not enough to do.anything much in London especially with the kids. Are you considering day one your arrival day?? All of you might be very jet lagged.and wanting to get to bed early if so. As to the airline tickets look into multi city tickets instead of two one way which is .usually more.expensive. In Edinburgh the kids might enjoy the story of Grey Friars Bobby and seeing his grave. They also might like seeing or at least hearing the cannon from the castle which j think is set off at one o'clock. What did you have in mind for London?

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the help. I was considering Day one in London the arrival day winch we would land at 10am. We have never taken a red eye. Maybe I need to rethink and do three days in London. I was thinking maybe The Museum of Natural History. Kensington Palace/ Gardens (Diana playground). Then seeing Tower of London and Hamleys toy store. My husband wanted to do Harry Potter Studio but that sounds ambitious for even three days.
I appreciate the suggestions for Edinburgh! Grey Friars Bobby tour sounds fun for the girls!
Also, thanks for confirming St. Andrews is doable as a day trip.
I apologize if my reply is not in the correct context. I am new to the boards.

Posted by
2253 posts

Welcome.to.the forum.amd.please.don't stress.if.you don't have the right posting . on here i.don't think there is a correct.way to.post. overall.I think this is the best forum as posters are full.of information and willing to help.. I don't think there is a Grey Friars bobby tour. Look him up on the internet and you can find his grave in the churchyard., called a Kirk I think..I seem.to remember it is right by the Scottish Museum. Have a great memorable.trip.

Posted by
3965 posts

The kids might like the Scottish Museum. I assume the guillotine is still there? And the Castle has the cemetery for the soldiers' dogs.
May be fun for the kids to learn some Scottish lore. See if your oldest can find out why the canon goes off at 1:00pm instead of noon? Actually, I think that's a true story.
And what does a Scotsman having deep pockets and short arms mean?😉
Have a great trip!

Posted by
358 posts

I would increase London and reduce your day trips

St Andrews is very doable as is Stirling, East Lothian castles, Roslin Chapel, Melrose Abbey

If you fly via Gatwick by one ticket so that it's the airline's responsibility to get you on the second one.

Posted by
1594 posts

The itinerary works well and I wouldn't change it.

A day trip to St Andrews from Edinburgh is perfectly feasible - train to Leuchars and then bus to St Andrews (or bus from Edinburgh which takes a bit longer).

However the problem may be actually playing golf ... There are seven different golf courses at St Andrews. Have a look at their website.

The most famous is the Old Course, but you can’t just turn up and play. It is very difficult to book as you need to make a booking with 2 or 3 other players to make up a round (or whatever they call it... I’m not a golf player). There is a ballot you can enter 48hours ahead which gives golfers in the area a chance to play BUT there need to be at least two players... The other courses also need prebooking and there need to be at least two players.

Only the Balgove Course doesn’t need advance booking (but I’m not sure if the minimum of two applies here). .

You can hire clubs . They recommend booking in advance as stocks may be limited for on the day requests.

If he doesn’t actually play, he could book to go on a guided walk of the Old Course which takes you round the 1st, 17th and 18th holes. Again you would need to book this in advance and the tour lasts about 75 minutes.

St Andrews makes a lovely day out even without the golf. It is a pleasant town to walk round with a lovely sandy beach. There is also the ruined castle (the children can find the dungeon and explore the mine and counter mine!) and also the ruined Cathedral. They both have a kid’s quiz sheet...

If you want an afternoon tea experience, then the Old Corse Hotel does offer one.

If you book a through ticket from Glasgow to Orland via Gatwick, therre sohouldn't be a problem. You luggage will be checked through and Gatwick isn't as bigm, busy or frightening as Heathrow. Also on a through Ticket if teh Glasgow plane is badly delayed it is their responsibility to get you on the next available flight. If you have separate tickets you will need to collect luggage and check it again. If things go pear shape, then it is your responsibility...

Posted by
4082 posts

I agree with jdgh. There are so many things your children would enjoy in London. If you take an early train to Edinburgh on Day 5, you would have that afternoon and the next two days in Edinburgh, then pick up rental car, drive to St. Andrews on day 8 and spend the night there. That way you don't have to park a car in Edinburgh. I do think the children would enjoy the National Museum of Scotland, but I think the mummies in the British Museum would be more interesting to them. If you have time in London, I would recommend taking a boat from Westminster Pier to Kew Gardens. The boat ride is lovely and your kids can run around at Kew and it has a family-friendly restaurant. We took our daughter to London when she was 4 and I would say her top sights were Tower of London, British Museum, EDITED Natural History Museum, and the grocery store next to our Tube Station that sold Skittles(used to bribe her for the long walk). London also has a great zoo.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all for the incredibly helpful information!
I didn’t think to reserve my husbands club rental ahead. I also didn’t consider the castle ruins in St. Andrews for the kids but it sounds fun. I was reluctant to take them to the aquarium there as we live in driving distance of multiple incredible aquariums. This gives me more options with the kids.
I am also rethinking adding more time in London. Kew Gardens look lovely! We have accommodations booked near Gloucester station in Kensington. Do you all think this is a decent location for families and getting to attractions?
I am also adding The National Museum of Scotland to our list and possibly the British Museum. Definitely going to book one ticket home instead of two. You are all correct about the flight home. I am now going to only book one flight so if delays occur I’m not totally responsible.

Posted by
1594 posts

If you want to spend an extra day in London, have you thought about taking the Caledonian sleeper train from Euston to Edinburgh? The kids might enjoy that as something very different, although it would mean a late night foir them as you can't board before 22.30.

Posted by
4082 posts

My husband and daughter played the Balgove Course and it was only 9 holes. At the time, the Old Course required a certain handicap.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Jessie!
I saw you responded to my trip report yesterday with a question about the Oban Bay Apartments. I can't find my trip report now? It has seemingly disappeared and I don't understand why. At any rate, I wanted to respond to your question. When I booked it, I did it through booking.com. I like looking on their site because with three kids, it is easier for me to figure out which accommodations will fit us. Well I just went along and booked Oban Bay (we had two apartments right next door to each other in this case) and didn't even know they said no kids? I had even emailed with the owners to sort out ages and beds so I am not sure why it says that? It is a lovely place and they provide a bag of chips, sodas and even a some whisky from the Oban Distillery in each room! Good luck!

Dabney