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Two and a half days in Edniburgh

My 19 year old son and I will be in Edinburgh for a weekend next June. We will be without female supervision, so we will need guidance. This just came up and I have not researched Scotland at all.

Where to stay? What to see? How to get from/to the airport???

Lots of questions and open for the great suggestions that ALWAYS come on this forum.

Thanks in advance!!

Posted by
4061 posts

There is a tram that runs from the airport to town. Google "Edinburgh Tram System" and you can see the route it follows. There are many hotels within walking distance of the tram line. On is named B + B Edinburgh. It is a hotel despite the name. If you should stay there ask for a room overlooking Dean Village. The huge castle is the main tourist sight as well as the Royal Mile (aka as High Street). There is also Holyrood Abby. Princess Street Gardens are great for people watching and strolling. Many places to eat along Princess Street and George Street which is one block over and parallel to Princes St. Also in the Grass Market area very close to the big castle. Let us know if you need details.

Posted by
3981 posts

I'm glad you were able to get a flight home from Edinburgh. There is a lot to see there. If you like churches, be sure to see St. Giles. We found the hop-on hop-off bus useful for getting around.

Posted by
610 posts

I really loved Edinburgh Caslte, St. Giles and Holyrood house. Also, if you have time to take a bus ride about 20 minutes outside of the city, Craigmillar castle was one of our favorite sights. If you look it up on TripAdvisor you can see how to find it, but when we went we had it almost to ourselves. It is a ruined castle, but still well formed, and we really enjoyed climbing all over it. Also, the graveyard by Greyfriar's Kirk is really neat, and has a lot of gravestones with names that inspired names in the Harry Potter series. Have an awesome trip! Such a great city!

Posted by
7563 posts

Premeir Inn at York Place is the last stop on the tram from the airport. Couldn't be more convenient. Lovely view out over the harbor from some rooms.

Does you or your son like golf? A day trip to St. Andrews can be fun. Just take the public bus. It is fun to walk around and explore. The Himalyas putting course is open to all and is directly next to the old course. You can have a blast and feel like you are golfing St Andrews! The beach there is the same one from "the chariots of Fire movie."

Posted by
5604 posts

St Andrews in about 52 miles from Edinburgh. If you had more time, Roslyn Chapel is nice to visit. It was in the Da Vinci Code movie and has ties to the Knights Templars. I also vote for Craigmiller castle. You can take a bus, then there’s a short walk to reach it, but it was worth it.

Posted by
360 posts

For not having female supervision, I give you props for planning this far ahead :) We took a cab to the airport and it was pretty easy and not too expensive. The palaces/Royal Mile are a must. We did the Mary Close tour and that was kind of interesting to see how they lived in the old closes (this one is now covered by the bank), so you're also underground -- though it is pretty touristy. Get tickets to Edinburgh Castle in advance or get a pass, so you don't have to stand in the ticket purchasing line. We were there on a Tuesday in Sept. and it was a madhouse, and we walked right up and inside with our passes. Holyroodhouse was fairly deserted when we were there. If you're into scotch tasting, you might like the Scotch Malt Whisky Society where they make their own blends from single barrel casks, so they're pretty unique (my husband went back a second day). One of the best steak pies I had on our entire three-week trip in the UK was at the Scran & Scallie -- it had a bone sticking out of it and you pull it out and the marrow oozed everywhere (recommended by a friend now living there).

Posted by
767 posts

You've already received good information on the Forum; i'll offer a few comments based on our visit to Edinburgh last April 28-May2 at the start of a 2 week visit to Scotland.

In Edinburgh we stayed at The Inn Place on Cockburn St. It is a short walk from Princes St (if you take the tram from the airport into the city, disembark just before Waverly Station and walk south. The hotel was super convenient and offered breakfast which we had each morning. We used only public transportation (buses) or walked everywhere we visited. We arrived on a Saturday and after dropping off our luggage, headed for the Grassmarket. We enjoyed a late lunch of "street food" followed by ice cream at a small shop at the southwest corner of the market. Nearby are The Kirk of the Greyfriars and the famous Bobby statue. The adjacent cemetery is interesting to walk through and read the many plaques. The descriptions of the Mortsafes were most interesting. We then went to the national Museum of Scotland, and had dinner there at the Tower Restaurant. This wall all a short walk from the hotel (we're in our 60s and 70s).

The next few days we were there we visited the Castle, St. Giles, had high tea at the Signet Library (this was a fantastic experience--it does require a reservation), visited New Town (had a couple meals there including lunch at the Auld Hundred--great place), visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the "new" Parliament, Calton Hill (great views of the City), Princes St. Gardens, and had several leisurely walks up and down the Royal Mile.

You mentioned "in Edinburgh for a weekend", is this literally Saturday and Sunday, or was this a figure of speech? If you're there for more than two days, consider this: You could do a day trip to Stirling/Falkirk from Edinburgh on the train. You'd have an option of either spending the day in Stirling (Castle, Bannockburn venue, Wallace Monument, etc.) or, do as we did, after Bannockburn head for Falkirk (also on the train) and visit the Falkirk Wheel (this was a marvelous visit) and then on to the Kelpies before heading back to Edinburgh). You'll need a taxi to get from the train station in Stirling to the venues noted and also from the train station in Falkirk to the venues, but each taxi trip was brief an inexpensive (less then GBP10.).
Lots to see and do, have fun.

PS While you're in Edinbdurgh, after dinner one evening when it is totally dark, walk up to the Castle, then down the Royal Mile, the night time experience is quite different than that during the day when the Royal Mile is packed with people.

Posted by
5677 posts

There are lots of things to do and see in Edinburgh. I agree about getting to the Castle. It is a great starting point. My next favorite place is Gladstone's Land. It gives you an idea of what it was like to live there in the Middle Ages. New Town is on the other side of the Princes Street Gardens. You should try to get over to that part of town. If you are interested in history, then check out the Georgian House. It's an interesting contrast to what's happening on the Royal Mile. Staying in the New Town area is one option. There are lots of great restaurants and pubs.

Another option for traveling from the airport is the bus. It's a pretty convenient way to travel from the airport to downtown. I also agree, though that the taxi ride is not that pricey. I've stayed at The Walton and the Inverleith Hotel. The latter is a bit further down the hill toward Leith, but has the added advantage of being a bit out of the tourist crush, while still accessible to all you want to see.

If either of you happens to be geology buffs then see if you can find time for Dynamic Earth. I know, it's a bit geared to school kids, but it is so cool to see the Scottish perspective on the geologic events we know from the American view.