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Sleeping in Edinburgh or Glasgow next summer

I am planning a trip for next summer with my family, my daughters will be 10 and 7. We plan on visiting both Edinburgh and Glasgow with a visit to Stirling Castle. We plan on staying 3-4 days before traveling to London. Which city would be best stay in for our family.
Thanks everyone.

Posted by
6254 posts

Honestly, depends on your family’s interests.

Edinburgh is hillier if that is something that would affect your decision.

Posted by
20842 posts

I believe you'll find hotels in Glasgow substantially cheaper. If your trip is in August, there will likely be a huge difference, because the Edinburgh Festival really drives up lodging rates in that city.

I liked the cities equally well, but they are very different.

At least on the surface, Edinburgh has the older historical sites and tons-tons-tons more tourists to go along with them. The castle would probably be a big hit with the kids, and the National Museum of Scotland is excellent, appealing to all ages. I think you'll find that most guidebooks focus more on Edinburgh.

Glasgow has really handsome late-19th century/early-20th century architecture and museums of its own, but I suspect Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture is not going to fascinate your young daughters. I much prefer being in a city where most of the people on the sidewalk are locals rather than fellow tourists. But there's nearly always a reason why a city attracts tons of tourists.

I don't have kids and am struggling to come up with other family-relevant comments to help you.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you. I also much prefer to visit and sleep in less touristy towns as well. I am sure to find things in both places but one of the main reasons we want to travel is to interact with locals. Less expensive hotel rooms is an added bonus.

Posted by
1922 posts

But the street theater of The Fringe [August] is an unending delight for all ages- not to mention the wide range of performing arts shows!
Safe travels!

Posted by
3594 posts

We've stayed at a hotel named B + B Edinburgh several times and have always been well pleased. It is within walking distance of the tram line (let me know if you need details) and we did not find the location to have any drawbacks at all. We were able to use tram and feet to get just about everywhere we wanted to go. Be aware that August is the month of the festivile (which is super great) so accomodations may be slim.

Posted by
5483 posts

If you are going during August, I would head to Glasgow as Edinburgh (not Edinburg) will be too busy with Festival goers. Accommodation prices double in Edinburgh during the Festival and many places are booked up months in advance. Both cities have plenty to offer and as they are only an hour apart by train, you could have a day trip to whichever you aren’t staying in.

Stirling (Sterling is our currency, not a place) is a slightly shorter train ride from Glasgow, but there are regular services from both cities. Both cities have regular train services to London.

Posted by
5668 posts

I get it. Edinburgh is more crowded. It's more expensive, but I love Edinburgh. You don't need to stay on the Royal Mile where you bump into tourists every two feet. Nobody has mentioned Dynamic Earth which is great for kids. As an adult I found it very interesting as the examples were UK and Europe based as opposed to North America. It's very interactive and your kids might actually speak with some Scottish kids. Another idea is the Edinburgh Zoo. I pretty sure I saw a viral video of their penguins this past year! Either one of these would be a good change of pace from historical museums and castles. Here's an article on things for kids in Edinburgh. They recommend Mary King's Close as way to learn about medieval life. I haven't done that tour, but I did enjoy Gladstone's Land. From the description I may have to try Mary King's Close next time! There is a Harry Potter tour if your kids are fans. And if you need to burn off some energy you can always climb Arthur's Seat! I do think that you will love the castles--Stirling and Edinburgh. Lots to see at both of them.

In terms of lodging, if you are traveling in August book way, way ahead. You could consider family rooms. I have stayed several times at The Inverleith. They are very close to the Royal Botanic Gardens and there is a bus that takes you.up the hill to the Royal Mile. I usually walked back down in the evening.


Posted by
15 posts

Thanks everyone for your input, sounds like we can’t go wrong in either place. I will check out some of the recommended activities and hotels. Unfortunately I don’t think we are going in August, most likely in June or July.
Oh, and apologies for misspelling the city names, apparently auto-fill (and I) are not as correct as we should be.

Posted by
438 posts

Have you thought about Stirling instead - it is within easy reach of both Edinburgh and Glasgow and smaller/quieter.