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Scotland and England?


Is it possible to visit Edinburgh and London over 8 days? I know both cities offer a lot - we just want to see as much as we can while in the region. We welcome other suggestions of possible ways to see a lot of the area in a week.

Thank you

Posted by
33305 posts

It is possible to visit Edinburgh and London over 8 days.

Posted by
11294 posts

You can see a good sample of both London and Edinburgh in 8 days. The train between them is less than 5 hours, so that's faster, door to door, than flying (not to mention less stressful, particularly on the London end).

Do fly into one and out of the other, rather than round trip. On a short visit like this, you can't waste time backtracking. To find these flights, use the "multi city" function of Kayak, Google Flights, airline websites, etc.

However, when you say "a lot of the area" in a week, I'm not sure what you mean. If you like short visits like Rick recommends, you can stop over in York for an overnight - it's in the middle of the other two, about 2 hours from each. Otherwise, between travel and sightseeing in London and Edinburgh, in 8 days you really don't have time for other places.

Posted by
3122 posts

Basically you'd have 4 days in London, one travel day, and 3 days in Edinburgh, then fly home out of Edinburgh. Or the other way around.

London is the bigger city with a greater range of things to see & do, so I would devote more days to it -- unless you are very keen on Scotland and not so much on England.

Posted by
15 posts

We did London and Edinburgh in 8 days this past April. It is a great trip. Both cities are fantastic to visit and completely different from one another. We found 8 days to be more than enough time to see just about everything on our list and visit at a pace that was fun. As others said take the train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley and enjoy the ride.

Posted by
220 posts

I'll be honest and say no....I was in London for 4 days and Edinburgh for 3, felt like I didn't see nearly enough. I'm making a second trip next year to see the rest of what I missed. I think honestly a plane is better than a train..the trains have issues (strikes and whatnot that happen at random) vs just taking a 1.5 hour flight. if you can get away with a carry on its more than feasible to easily get in and out of the airports.

Posted by
15670 posts

This is doable and this is how I would do it.

Make your days long. Start early and give yourself a full day. When you travel between the two cities, take an early morning train. This way, you'll have the afternoon for sightseeing.

Stay close to the central parts of town. This will save on commuting time to get to the main sites.

This next one will get some people's feathers all ruffled. In Edinburgh, consider getting a multi day Hop On Hop Off Bus Ticket. There are four lines that go to practically everything. It will save time trying to find public transit. You can stay on for one full loop for the guided commentary and then get off to see the sites. Some of the lines overlap so with good planning you can maximize your time.

I have never taken the Hop On Hop Off bus in London but it might be something to look into for the same reason. Although there, the tube makes life easy for the tourist as it can get you close to most sites.

Also try to sightsee in the same area. Don't go from one end of town and back numerous times. Use the Rick Steves Guidebooks for each city as he does give tips on how to save time on lines in both cities.

For an eight day trip, you can rest when you get home.

Posted by
47 posts

We just returned from an 11 day trip which took us from London to Edinburgh and had a great time. We had 4 nights in London, 2 nights in York and 3 in Edinburgh. Since we were traveling with our kids, we opted to stay in York to break up the journey. Its a long train ride to do in one day (close to 6hrs), but the scenery is really beautiful. If I had to do it again without kids, I would fly. Its very inexpensive and the Edinburgh airport is easy to navigate. Just be sure to do an "open jaws" flight, so you can return home from Edinburgh. Have a fun trip!

Posted by
6113 posts

If you do cover both, then please take the train, do not fly. You can turn up for your train 10 minutes before it is due out or less if you have seat reservations.

For a flight, it will take you an hour to get to the airport, you will have to be there at least an hour before your flight and I would suggest that you allow longer. The flight is 1.5 hours, then it's another half hour to get through the airport and another 45 minutes + to get into the city centre, so you only save an hour over using the train, you have the hassle of airport security and if you are travelling in the next couple of months, a risk of the flight being delayed by fog. The train is no hassle, more leg room and the scenery is good.

Posted by
9862 posts

By central part of town, FrankII means near the King's Cross station in London and not too far from Waverley in Edinburgh (which is easy to do on both ends and good parts of town).

I agree with others who have said the train is the way to go -- city center to city center without all that time going OUT to the airport, going through security, waiting around, coming back in from the next airport . . . the time is easily the same that's eaten up, but it's a lot more hassle (and expense with a city-airport transfer needed on each end). Plus the train is just fun, and it's fun to see how the landscape changes, and makes for a nice break from all the rushing around that you'll be doing in the two cities as you try to see as much as you can.

If you're not looking for anything fancy, but something reliable, new, and clean, I can recommend the Premier Inn City Center on East Market Street in Edinburgh -- a few blocks "behind" Waverley station and just downhill from the Royal Mile. I stayed there last month and was very pleased. No it's not a charming mom-and-pop operation, but it gets the job done!!