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Sample Trip Agenda - Edinburgh

Hi folks,

Posting first part of our recent Scotland agenda not because I think it is perfect, but as fodder for others planning a Scotland/Edinburgh trip. Focus was on not falling asleep on Day 1 (by walking), relaxing more vs trying to see everything, inserting downtime, indulging our passion for hiking (Arthurs Seat and Ben Nevis), seeing a Proclaimers concert with Scots, and in the end getting that Scottish highland experience. We stayed in 3 bases for our 11 day trip (EDI, Inverness, Fort William) and rented a car for 6 days. Group of 4 consisted of 2 adults (mid 50’s) and two young adults (18,20). Here was our Edinburgh itinerary:

Day 1: (Edinburgh) - Sunny weather
• Cab from Edinburgh Airport to The Glass House (Marriot) Edinburgh arrive at 10AM and leave bigger bags at front desk. Gasp - A chain hotel yes - but unbelievably quiet location (right at base of back side of Calton Hill) and I got two rooms for three nights for free with points. I’ll happily give up charm for freeness.
• Catch hop-on/hop-off "Blue Route" Edinburgh Bus Tours (1 block from
Hotel) to circle city and exit at Botanical Gardens
• Tour Botanical Gardens and have lunch
• Walk 3 Blocks from Gardens to entrance for Water of Leith footpath
• Walk along the river walk to StockBridge
• Poked around Charity Shops in Stockbridge Continued walk to Deans Village.

• After Deans Village walk back the hotel stopping on Queen Street to eat, shop, etc
• Bed around 8pmish.

Day 2: (Edinburgh) - Sunny weather
• 9am-5pm Hired Blue Badge guide for 8 hour walking tour (with awesome context) of the city. A+ Castle Tour, Royal Mile Tour, Lunch, Highlights of Museums, Calton Hill. Holyrood closed because Queen was using it. Spending money on the guide was totally worth it. For details, see my recent post.

Day 3: (Edinburgh) - Sunny weather
• Some slept late. Some of us went to the gym. Some of us left hotel at 8am to Hike Arthur's Seat - take non-tourist route down & eventually past St. Anthony Chapel ruins. All met at 10:30AM for breakfast. Everyone was happy.
• Based on things noticed guided tour from previous day, group of us splits up, hit sights of interest like Georgian House (this was A+), Scott Monument, Portrait Gallery, Princess Street Gardens

Day 4: DAY OFF/TRAVEL (Edinburgh/Inverness) - Sunnyish weather
• Sleep until 9am. Visit the gym for a little exercise. Leisurely breakfast. Walk 3 blocks to train station with backpacks catch 1:30 train to Inverness.
• Arrive Inverness 5:30 and Hertz picks us up and drives us to pickup car. Stop for dinner at just outside battlefield.
• Arrive Best Western Plus Inverness Lochardil House Hotel - Inverness

Posted by
2516 posts

Glasshouse a quiet location, afraid not. it is on one of the busiest streets in the city centre and just yards from a busy roundabout and where major rebuilding of the St James Centre is ongoing. numerous buses up and down that street and the busy Omni centre with its cinema ,bars and restaurants just attached to the hotel., right next door to the major theatre in the city (Playhouse) .certainly not what I would call a quiet location.

Posted by
38 posts

Sorry, I should have said our Glasshouse "rooms" were unbelievably quiet. You are 100% correct. The facade is on a busy street that currently looks out on a busy route (and construction), but is actually easy walking distance from the train station and many sites. But from what we discovered, a large portion of the hotel is off street (some subterranean) and our rooms where in the rear near the hill and dead quiet. We loved the location for it's quiet rooms and quick access to the train station, bus stops, and some sights (and Starbucks for my daughter).

Posted by
35 posts

Thank you for this report! We will be traveling with two young adults in August, and will keep these great ideas in mind. We're staying at another Marriott property nearby.

Posted by
38 posts

You're welcome. We found Edinburgh to be a very safe and easy to navigate city. We were comfortable letting the younger people wander on their own. However, without cell network access (my phone had the only international plan) here is one helpful tip: Before the trip everyone should consider acquiring the knowledge to go "old school" to read a paper map and figure out how to orient it. Might keep someone from walking blocks in the wrong direction.

Posted by
65 posts

Great tips (and thanks for posting a bit about the group's make up/interests/travel style and each day's weather for context). I'm in the very early stages of planning a trip and found this helpful. --Looking forward to further updates.