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Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

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Bathurst
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Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

My husband (who is 6 foot 6, which rules out bus travel!), two daughters (aged 9 and 11) and myself are considering visiting family in Edinburgh.

One option under consideration is flying into Hethrow and travelling up to visit them.

After good experiences in the US and in NZ, my husband would like to go via motor home. I am concerned that England is not set up for motorhomes, and wonder if hiring a car and staying at B&Bs would be better.

Budget is yet to be defined, but it is safe to say, we're not five star travellers, and prefer to experience the "real England" (another reason in my mind to not be confined to a motor home, but don't let my prejudices influence your reply please!!)

So to the questions:

1 - if the motor home is the way to go, which motorhome friendly route is the most scenic (we'd like to see "Doc Martin" type scenery)?

2 - Would we see more/get more value for money taking the car/B&B option?

3 - Is there another option (besides buses) we should consider (eg: train from X to Y, stay a day or two, then train from Y to Z).

england
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1. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

what time of year and how long do you have? I think you would find car hire and B and Bs a lot easier than a motorhome in England. B and Bs give you a chance to meet and stay with local people who will give you lots of hints and tips on the way, motorhome parking is not easy in town or country.

Tonbridge, United...
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2. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

I know where you are coming from on height. My son, only 17, is already 6'5".

My view personally would be to hire a car as it gives you more freedom to explore and parking is easier. You are not worrying about low bridges, barriers preventing high vehicles going into car parks and winding lanes. And you can choose to stopover wherever you want.

However, most British hire cars are manual stick shifts and, of course, right hand drive. If you and/or your husband or not happy with stick shift make sure that you request an automatic when booking your hire car.

If you wanted to consider travelling by train, you spend a couple of days in London and then travel up to York for a couple of days before going on to Edinburgh. there's more than enough in both London and York alone to keep you going!

Bathurst
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3. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

Thanks for the quick reply. Score is now Car 1: Motor Home: 0, and the train is now officially on the option list. Thanks for the York suggestion.

.......and you must feed you son well!

Bathurst
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4. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

Sorry - didn't think to post travel time - the last two weeks in March.

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

Cornwall is in the opposite direction from Edinburgh - it's a non-stop 10 hour drive between the two which will seem like 20 hours to people not accustomed to British roads.

My suggestion would be that you hire a car (but have a night's sleep first ) from one of the major hirers, drive around Cornwall then return it - perhaps to Bristol - and fly to Edinburgh.

Better still reverse it and arrange your flights so you go straight to Edinburgh or Glasgow, preferably avoiding the need to pass through Heathrow, visit family then head down to the South West. This will save you most of a day in travel and means you aren't jetlagged and driving

London, England
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6. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

One idea would be to take the train to either York, Durham or Newcastle and then hire a car for a few days and drive up the beautiful Northumberland coast to Edinburgh.

http://www.visitnortheastengland.com/

Plenty to see and often overlooked by many visitors - plus your Edinburgh hosts could easily meet you in somewhere like Lindisfarne for a day out.

The UK isn't particularly geared up for motorhomes compared to other countries and indeed in March you may find campsites not open for the season.

London
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7. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

I would skip the boring slog through (mostly dull) countryside and get to York - 2 hours from London by frequent train service - or slightly further then get a car. ( I assume you mean countryside generally rather than specifically Cornwall where Doc Martin is set). If you can overnight and spend some time getting to Scotland, the North Pennines/Cheviots/Dales/Borders should not disappoint. Do try and see a bit of Hardian's Wall, and of course there's great scenery in Scotland as well....

London
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8. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

Another reason against the motorhome. There are very few companies that offer this in the UK, and finding someone who would offer "one-way" hire on a motorhome will be an interesting struggle.

When you say "Doc Martin" type scenery did you specifically mean Cornwall, or just anywhere with interesting coastline and hills?

There is an excellent train service between London and Edinburgh, but if you want to explore coast and hills then car hire and overnight stops along the way sounds like a sensible option. I think you need to look at "intermediate" car size or larger - just to get the legroom that hubby will need. I am 6'2, and if I hire the "compact" car size then I need to have the drivers seat so far back then no-one can get into the seat behind me.

Finally - if you did decide to fly - don't assume Heathrow is the only option. There are flights to Edinburgh from LondonCity, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Carriers are BA, AirFrance (Cityjet) and easyjet.

Mysuru (Mysore...
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9. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

You could consider an overnight train and book this in advance to get an apex fare. There are family discounts as well. You could also add a journey from Edinburgh to Inverness and on to Kyle of Lockalsh, considered one fo the most scenic routes.

Bathurst
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10. Re: Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

I have shown my ignorance of regions (all the more reason to visit, to sort me out).......in mentioning Doc Martin, I wasn't wanting to see Cornwall specifically, just wanting to get off the beaten track and see a bit of the manicured green country side and hills I picture when thinking of the UK.