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Scotland/England February - Glasgow/Edinburgh accommodation & using Blackberry phone

My trip is getting closer and our itinerary is now set. We are doing some typical 'touristy' things, along with some family-history stuff. I arrive in Glasgow Jan 31st and meet my daughter. 4 nights in Glasgow, then south to Kirkcudbright for some relative-hunting. Then north to Inverness and lastly Edinburgh. Next is Darlington for 3 nights with a 2nd cousin, then down to the Gloucester area where we stay 5 nights and will have a car. Last stop for me is London where we stay at Pax Lodge - the hostel part of the World Centre for Girl Guides/Girl Scouts.

I'm still searching for our accommodation for both Glasgow and Edinburgh. I've not seen any hostels that really appeal, so I'm looking at inexpensive B&B's, guesthouses, and homestay. We are a Homestay Family ourselves, so that appeals. Though I'm open to suggestions on hostels. We are staying in a hostel in Inverness.

  • List item I've found a couple of very reasonably priced guesthouses in Glasgow - one is the Alison Guesthouse. Has anyone experience with that one? We want something very reasonably priced, breakfast included, with some history/character. We would be ok with something a bit 'country' as long as a bus was close by.

  • List item For Edinburgh I'm still looking - suggestions?

Phones:

  • List item I have a Blackberry Q10 - I've asked my provider (Telus) and was given info on a 'plan' I could have from them. I think that might work for a couple of days but for a month I do think getting something 'UK' would make more sense. Especially having a smart phone! Suggestions?

  • List item My daughter has an iPhone - would she do the same thing? Also - she has a longer, slightly more complicated trip: about 4 days across the northern US by train, then flying to ICELAND for 2 1/2 weeks before joining me. She then is in IRELAND for almost 3 weeks after I return home. Would phone suggestions be the same for her as for me?

THANKS - using internet/email is making planning this trip so easy and 'real'!

Posted by
31303 posts

Christine,

For accommodation, you might check your local Library to see if they have a copy of the RS Great Britain Guidebook, which has information on Scotland. If you have a Netbook or iPad, you could also download the Kindle copy of the Snapshot Scotland Guidebook (currently $6.94 to download from Amazon). The Kindle Reader for iPhone, iPod Touch, Netbooks, PC's etc. is FREE. It may also be available on iBooks, but I didn't check. The books have good listings for reliable accommodations in various price ranges, so you should be able to find something that fits your criteria.

For your stay in Edinburgh, you might have a look at Ceilidh Donia, which is a short distance outside the city centre (and therefore a bit cheaper). The rooms were very comfortable, they provided a nice breakfast and the staff were great.

A few thoughts on your cell phone questions....

  • If you obtained your BlackBerry from Telus, it's probably "locked" to their network. You WON'T be able to use "something UK" unless the phone is unlocked. Contact Telus for details on that. If you're only planning on occasional use, using a Telus roaming plan is probably the easiest option, but BE CAREFUL with data roaming.
  • Is your daughter's iPhone also with Telus? It's likely also "locked" to her home network, so once again that will prevent using a local solution.
  • Since your daughter will be accessing cell networks in the U.S., Iceland and Ireland, using a "travel SIM" is one option, although getting one that includes data tends to be a bit expensive. Have a look at the websites for Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Telestial, Mobal, EuroBuzz or others. If using a travel SIM, I'd suggest getting a roaming pack from her home network for the U.S. portion of the trip, and then switch to the other SIM upon arrival in Iceland.

Whichever method you decide to use, text messages are the cheapest way to keep in touch. Use voice calls sparingly to keep the cost down, and monitor data usage carefully!

It's very likely that the Chargers for both of your phones are designed for multi-voltage operation, but it would still be a good idea to check. DON'T forget Plug Adaptors for charging. Your daughter will need two different types, since she's visiting Iceland. I believe they use the standard Euro configuration with two round pins. Ireland) use the standard U.K. style with three large rectangular pins.

Happy travels!

Posted by
67 posts

Hi, Christine,
My suggestions for B&Bs are: in Glasgow, Adelaide's http://www.adelaides.co.uk/ It has an interesting history and I have never been so well treated as there. Comfortable and very reasonable, too. In Edinburgh, Kirklea Guest House http://www.kirklea-guest-house.co.uk/edinburgh.html Not any history that I know of but close enough to city center to walk (I did, everyday, but in summer) but excellent bus connection too. Nice clean place, god people, reasonable rates.

Posted by
484 posts

We stayed at a very clean, basic décor B&B called Kenvie Guest House in Edinburgh. It is right down the street from Ceilidh Donia. I found it to be a good value for comfort, price, and location. Very good "full Scottish" breakfast in a lovely breakfast room. The Vidlers make good hosts. There are quite a few steps though. If you need an elevator - this is not the place for you. It's in an old Victorian building. My family and I spent one week at Kenvie. I would stay here again. Easy and cheap bus connection to Royal Mile. Short bus trip. It leaves you at Bridge street area of Royal Mile - about the halfway point. Closer to the "old" part of Royal Mile (Castle side).