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Time Split between Edinburgh, Glasgow and maybe Stirling?

We have approx. 4 ½ days to split between Edinburgh & Glasgow. We would love to see Stirling, primarily for its history, but time would need to come from our 4.5 total. Many posters seem to prefer Sterling to Edinburgh. RS guide states Stirling is less crowded but also “a far less characteristic version of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile” and the castle interiors “ pretty empty and new feeling”. Your thoughts?

Possibilities: Instead of taking the short train direct from Edinburgh to Glasgow, take 2 trains and see Stirling between.

More specific: Our current plan is to arrive in Edinburgh approx. 14:00 on a Sunday (via train or bus). Remaining of Sunday and all of Monday would be in Edinburgh. On Tuesday, take late morning train to Stirling , and either stay overnight in Stirling, or move on to Glasgow early evening. We then have 2 days left for Glasgow.

OR. We arrive Edinburgh Sunday afternoon. All of Monday and all of Tues. in Edinburgh. Early train to Stirling on Wed. Leave Stirling late afternoon to Glasgow. Then we have only one full day (and 2 nights) in Glasgow. We actually have another night in Glasgow, but the day will be spent on a full-day Rabbies tour of the Highlands.

OR Skip Sterling and have a more relaxed time in E & G.

Yes I know you can spend much more time in all of Scotland’s wonderful cities, but that’s all we have, so I’m trying to divide the time well.

Posted by
5512 posts

I really enjoyed Stirling castle far more than Edinburgh Castle. I don't know if it was because I saw it first, or just because I went on a free guided tour at Stirling and then explored Edinburgh Castle by myself. Stirling is much less crowded but easily as full of history. I don't think you can make a "wrong" decision here.

Posted by
2949 posts

Personally I'd take the option that includes Stirling with more time in Edinburgh and less time in Glasgow, but it really depends on your interests.

Posted by
5669 posts

Look at what you want to see in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I would be inclined to spend more time in Edinburgh, but that is me and not you. :) I too love Stirling Castle. (It's always with an "i". That darn spell check can mess you up!) The castle's location at Stirling is magnificent. They have done a wonderful job of restoring it. I would try to go if you possibly can fit it in. A half day is enough time to see the castle, but probably not much else, which in fine my view.