Scotland and/or London

My husband and I are planning our first trip out of the country this summer. He is going over for a week long golf trip in St. Andrews and then I am meeting him in Edinburgh for a week. We are trying to decide if we want to stay in Scotland and travel around different cities in Scotland or if we should spend a few days in Edinburgh and hop a train to London for the rest of the time. We will probably not be back over seas for quite a while so I really want to use my time wisely! Hope you can help!

Posted by Kevin
near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK
521 posts

Do you have a particular interest in Scotland, or any ancestors who came from there? It's a fine country and it's an interesting time (given the current debate and forthcoming referendum on independence from the UK), but if the answer is no, and as you won't be passing this way again for some time, then I would say you should split your time between Edinburgh and London. Many people will say that a few days in London is not enough to do it justice, which is true. However, if it's a choice between a few days now and a week in several years time (5 years? 10 years?), then take the few days now.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4214 posts

Do tell us more about your interests. Scotland is a beautiful place. If your husband is just going to be in St. Andrew's then his view of Scotland is a wee bit narrow. LOL. At a minimum I would spend a couple of days in Edinburgh, but there is a lot more. Are either of you malt whisky buffs? Are you interested in history? Photography? The landscapes are beautiful. Sweaters? I just posted a long list of great places to shop for sweaters. LOL. Do you like the outdoors? Do you hike? There are some beautiful walks that don't require climbing Munroes or bringing along pitons. Do you like gardens? There are some wonderful gardens some of which are associated with castles, but others such as the Explorer's Garden in Pitlochry are not. Pam

Posted by Julie
Dyersburg, TN, USA
2 posts

He is going for the golf, which he will be doing before I get there. I am interested in it all. The history, castles,scenery and so on of Scotland really does interest me. But, London is a dream come true too. I feel like if we are that close I just have to see it all!! If only I had more vacation days! Lol!

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4214 posts

Julie, I bet that you will get back. Either your husband will have to try to other great golf courses in Scotland or you will be determined to explore London! :) So, maybe you do need a taste of both. Can you rent a car and pick your husband up in St. Andrews? Then, the two of you should head north to Aberdeenshire. Spend a couple of nights in Ballater or elsewhere Deeside and see the mountains and the castles and the gardens. Then head back to Edinburgh. I would stay two nights, but head out early the second day with a train to London for the balance of your trip. If you don't want to drive, then here's another suggestion. Meet in Edinburgh, but take the train north to Pitlochry for two nights. See if anything is playing at the Festival Theatre and book tickets. Visit the distillery. Check out the Explorers' Garden. The next day, take the train to Athol and visit Blair Castle. Take the train back to Edinburgh. These two trips get you up to the highlands. If you decide to stay in Edinburgh and have time, I highly recommend Stirling Castle. Pam

Posted by Kathy
136 posts

For museums and cultural events, go to London. For sheer natural beauty, archeaological remains and picturesque ruins, Scotland is terrific! If you love history as much as I do, consider spending your week by yourself (while your husband is golfing) in the Highlands and Orkney--Glen Coe took my breath away, but as an archaeology fanatic, Orkney was my nirvana, not just for the Neolithic sites, but also the Viking, Renaissance, and even WWII buildings or ruins.

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
4214 posts

Kathy is right about the history....Orkney is wonderful.

Posted by david
837 posts

Edinburgh is a nice city and Scotland has much to offer. However, with limited time, first trip to the UK, and an expected long horizon before a return visit, it is not contest: spend every possible second in London.