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Tour guides in Edinburgh area

I have read about the guides that Rick recommends for half day and day trips out of Edinburgh. Does anyone have experience recently with one that they could personally recommend? I have never gone wrong with following his advice but just looking for some current personal insights. Our group of four are interested in half day tours to St. Andrews and/or Rosslyn Chapel. We plan to travel this month, September, a bit last minute, obviously.

Posted by
2540 posts

Rosslyn Chapel is easy to get to on your own, no 37 bus from the city centre takes you to within a 200 yard walk of the place ,cost is £1.60 each way or you can buy a day ticket for £4.Takes about 40 minutes and buses run around every 15 minutes or so.
https://lothianbuses.co.uk/timetables-and-maps/timetables/37
there are folk in the Chapel that are happy to explain things and I think you can get a guided tour at the site.There is a café within the visitor centre and an excellent shop.There are 2 hotels beside the bus stops if you wish to have a more substantial meal.I was last there in March with some friends from Kansas, you even get a discount if you are 60 or over,it was my 60th birthday the day before we visited so I got my first ever seniors discount at Rosslyn.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you Unclegus, for the great info. For a variety of reasons we would like to go by private car, instead of the bus. So I should have mentioned that in my request!

Posted by
2949 posts

Driving to St. Andrews should make a doable day trip (not half day). What you spend your time doing will depend whether you're interested in golf or other types of sights.

There's a walking tour of the Old Course (book ahead) which I think starts at 11 AM and lasts about 1 1/2 hours. Be aware that it's mostly standing around on the 17th & 18th holes and listening to golf jargon and names of famous golfers -- absolute heaven for those who love the game, and extremely boring for others. You can play the Ladies Putting Green (aka Himalayas) provided you're not wearing high heels. Note they don't have a locker room or any facilities for storing your belongings while you play. The British Golf Museum has exhibits that I think would interest anyone, not just golf enthusiasts, and its lovely restaurant is upstairs overlooking the Old Course. Otherwise you could take a walking tour of the town or, on your own, see the castle, cathedral (both in ruins), botanic garden, and university-related sights.

Driving to Rosslyn Chapel would be a nice half day if you get an early start. As "unclegus" commented, there are people on duty who will answer your questions and give informal tours. The visitor centre is also very good, complete with a nice café and gift shop.

Posted by
180 posts

We spent two days with Helen Fraser traveling out of Edinburgh. http://www.afternoonteatours.co.uk/. You can see reviews here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g186525-d1575422-Reviews-Afternoon_Tea_Tours-Edinburgh_Scotland.html.

She is a lovely woman, passionate and well informed about Scotland. We spent about 3 hours as part of our travels with her in St. Andrews and it was terrific. She does do part and full day tours or even several days of touring should you want to go to Skye or someplace further afield.. She has great advice, great suggestions and works with you, offering advice, so you get exactly what you want. She picked us up at our hotel and dropped us back there a couple of days later. We really enjoyed her. I would encourage you to contact here ASAP through her website because very good and booked often go hand in hand.

I hope you enjoy Scotland as much as we did.

Kathy

Posted by
2540 posts

Bill Hill is a bit of an Edinburgh legend, he was a very will known folk singer and comedian in his younger days and i did have a signed album of his from about 40 years ago.
but to give you an idea of him now have a look at this and enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o6_p52gGmU

Posted by
38 posts

Yesterday we took the 12.5 hour Timberbush Tour (listed in RS's book) from Edinburgh to Loch Ness & The Highlands & loved it! Jamie was our excellent guide--very knowledgeable & entertaining. As part of the trip, we went on the optional cruise on Loch Ness, but unfortunately Nessie wasn't receiving visitors...--Debbie

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all for the great tips! Trip update: we arrived in Edinburgh and the next day looked sunny and warm so we decided on St.Andrews for a day trip. The train was easy and convenient from downtown and the scenery enroute was stunning. We went to The Old Course first stop and were able to sign up for a tour for the same day at 2pm. We spent the rest of the morning walking the town and eating a great breakfast at Mitchell's. Our guide Jimmy was experienced and full of fascinating information about golfing the Old Course. We were back to our hotel in time for a delicious meal at a restaurant close to our hotel. A quick but wonderful day.

P.S. The suggested tour guides were booked for our dates, but we knew we were taking a chance by traveling last minute. We will certainly try them in the future when we are lucky enough to return to Scotland.

Posted by
697 posts

Tagging along on this one too. We will be in Edinburgh next year and are interested in Rosslyn Chapel or other tours, including walking tours. Thanks.

Posted by
2540 posts

Diana , last time I was at the chapel was with a friend called Diana.