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Edinburgh and London in February & March

Well, I've never thought of my travels being interesting enough to write and post a trip report but, a few folks on another forum asked for one about my most recent trip. And so it's all their fault that I'm writing this about my February/March trip to Edinburgh and London.

I live equal distance between ORF and RIC and just a block from the Williamsburg Amtrak Station. And rather than connecting flights through those two airport, I rather enjoy the short walk to the train station and taking Amtrak to DC to fly direct from Dulles to LHR.

So, on the 25th of February I took the early morning Northeast Regional to DC Union Station, checked into Phoenix Park Hotel and then spent the day at the Natural History Museum. Saturday 26th of February I checked out and took the DC Metro and Silver Line Express bus to Dulles, for an evening United flight – UA918. Will the Silver Line to Dulles ever open?

It was nice to be on a plane again, though otherwise uneventful. Landed at Heathrow on the 27th a few minutes early and walked off the plane around 6:30am; it took longer to walk from the arrival gate to immigration, than it did to actually get through the immigration e-gates – it all was a breeze. Then onto the Piccadilly line to Kings Cross.

I had a night's reservation for The Megaro and headed there to drop off my luggage. It was barely 8am and the clerk put my bags away and told me to come on back at 10am and they would be able to check me in then… sweet! Walked to the nearby McDonald's for a coffee and surfed the web, then headed over to check out the Coal Drops Yard area by Kings Cross, before returning to check into the hotel. Many of my travel plans were made while COVID testing requirements were in place, and I figured that it would be easiest to simply do my tests in London and spend the first night there; rather than trying to test, train travel to and arrive in Edinburgh all on the same day. Needless to say testing requirements were no longer required by the time I arrived in the UK.

Late morning the 28th boarded the 11:00am LNER to Edinburgh. Nice relaxed ride and beautiful country. Arrived in Edinburgh and headed to Eden Locke Hotel, where I would stay the next 5 days and got checked in. Had one of the Locke Studios and spent a couple hours learning to use modern UK kitchen appliances before heading out and wandering the city and getting an understanding of where things were.

March 1st I spent nearly the entire day at Edinburgh Castle. The National War Memorial is rather moving. My own museum where I work is preparing an upcoming special exhibit on the Stuart Monarchy, so it was pretty cool to also check out the Royal apartments and the room in which King James was born. Loved checking out Mons Meg and taking pictures of construction details – forged wrought iron guns are just too damn cool. Late in the day I walked across town to check out the Be Inspired Fibers yarn shop.

March 2nd I took the Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Britain and Scottish Borders tour with Rabbie’s. Absolutely enjoyable tour of the border and catching the 16th century Border Reivers history along with the Roman Britain history. Hiked along Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rig and then visited Vindolanda. It was a nice very long day seeing the sites and the beautiful countryside of England and Scotland...

Posted by
233 posts

And part two --

March 3rd I spent the day at the National Museum of Scotland. While the 4th was just a chill day until later that night when I would take the Caledonian Sleeper back to London.

Saturday morning March 5th, I'm back in London for 9 nights. From Euston I headed to the St Paul's area and Paul's Walk near Millennium Bridge to check into Locke at Broken Wharf. Amazingly, I checked into my room at 9am.

Now for London I honestly made no real trip plans prior to leaving for the UK, I just wanted to be within London and just hang out in the city. I'd missed Borough Market, Neal's Yard Dairy and made sure I made plenty of visits as well as hanging out in Covent Gardens. Also it was time for the end of the season sales at various outdoor/hiking outfitters so that's about the only shopping that interests me. And while I ate out in a few restaurants and pubs, I found grocery shopping and cooking back at my hotel room most enjoyable.

Made a return visit to the museum of London. I wanted to see it in its current location before their closure and move to the new location. Also finally visited Tate Modern… yeah I'm not a fan of modern art, I'm more of a fan of the Dutch Masters. Also finally visited the Golden Hinde – I'd skipped by it for years, but in many ways it's the grandfather (or is it grandmother?) of the many historic replica museum sailing ships that exist today.

Took a side trip out to Gravesend to shoot some video footage for a video I was going to make. As a result of the pandemic a big change for myself at work was becoming heavily involved in revamping my museum's YouTube channel and creating a lot of its content.

And finally I went kart racing at the Teamsport Docklands kart track. GOD! That was a lot of fun, driving as fast I could around an indoor two story track. And I never thought those karts could be so physically demanding. Way too much fun!
And so after nine nights I headed home on the 14th of March. UA919 to IAD and then UA4177 to RIC and a car service home to Williamsburg where I crawled into my own bed at 12:45am Tuesday March 15th.

Im now a fan of the Locke Hotel brand and I found February and March a great time to travel the UK. Trees and flowers were just starting to bloom – it all was beautiful.

And so this was my “boring” little trip back to the UK and only 120 more days till I return in August for a visit to Great Malvern, Ironbridge and finish up back in London.

Posted by
690 posts

Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad you enjoyed your trip. Your report brings back so many good memories of my last visit.

Posted by
916 posts

This doesn't sound boring at all. Thanks for sharing! I just love reading trip reports.

Posted by
20 posts

We're staying for five nights at the Eden Locke in June in a one-bedroom. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Were you able to cook and do laundry pretty easily?

Posted by
233 posts

Yes. Cooking and laundry were very easy and if there are any questions about the appliances and how they work, their manuals/instructions can be downloaded through a QR code that can be brought up through the room's smart TV on the section about the room's amenities.

You'll also find all the pans and utensil necessary for cooking. There will also be some laundry soap tablets to wash clothing.

The only thing I picked up for my use was some cling film and a couple Glad type plastic boxes for left overs at the nearby Poundland.

Posted by
36 posts

Having gone to Edinburgh, which is great, why not go to the West Coast of Scotland, which may be the best scenery in the world?

Posted by
108 posts

Maybe because I don't have an interest?

Ouch. And I thought we Brits were the Gods of passive aggression.

Fair play though.

Posted by
1816 posts

Not boring at all!
Sounds like loads of fun!

Posted by
233 posts

Again, thank you. And just down to 90 more days till I head back the England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Posted by
14891 posts

Scotland has recently reappeared on my list, so I am very grateful that you've shared your experiences.