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5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

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Daytona Beach...
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5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

Hello, I am traveling to London in early May, arriving early on a Friday morning. I am meeting a friend, who will be arriving the night before and I will meet her at our hotel on Friday. She has been to London before, but I haven't. Because she's been there before, we were thinking of just spending a couple of days in London and then renting a car and driving up into Scotland, or possibly taking the train. So, I have a few questions (I know this is the London forum, but I hope you'll permit me to ask some quasi-London questions):

1. Is this even a realistic idea, or will we regret leaving London to go north for such a short time?

2. Assuming that this were feasible, would we be better off renting a car, or taking the train to Scotland?

3. Where would be the best place to spend a couple of nights in Scotland to be able to see a few castles and interesting sites?

4. Should we just stay in London and take day-trips out to see castles? Which castles would be easily accessible?

U.S. expats
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1. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

1. Is this even a realistic idea, or will we regret leaving London to go north for such a short time?

Not really, especially if your 5 days includes arrival departure. London is a city--Scotland is a whole country.

2. Assuming that this were feasible, would we be better off renting a car, or taking the train to Scotland?

Definitely the train. But why not fly directly there?

3. Where would be the best place to spend a couple of nights in Scotland to be able to see a few castles and interesting sites?

Ask this in the Scotland forum.

4. Should we just stay in London and take day-trips out to see castles? Which castles would be easily accessible?

You could do that, although with five days, I would only advise one day trip--there is just so much to see and do in London. Even if your friend has been before, they cannot possibly have seen everything. Even people who live here haven't.

The Tower of London, despite the name, is a Castle, and is right in London. Windsor Castle is 30 minutes from Paddington Station. Hampton Court Palace, though not a Castle in the traditional medieval/moat sense, is a great visit--40 minutes by train from London.

Daytona Beach...
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2. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

Thank you. Your comments sort of echo my thinking. It sounded very romantic at first to travel out to the countryside and up into Scotland, but I just think we don't have time. The five days does not include travel. I arrive at 7:30am on a Friday, and we don't fly out until Wednesday, so we'll have a full 5 days to explore, but I don't want to feel like we spent so much time traveling around that we missed a lot in the city that was worth seeing.

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

Driving is going to take about 8 hours and you will be driving on the left hand side not the right so you will need lots of concentration. The train is about 4 hr 30 from Kings Cross Stn or take the overnight sleeper, leaves Euston Stn about mid night, arriving in Edinburgh around 7.30am. Edinburgh Castle is in the middle of town close to the rail stn. Doesn't leave you much time to see London though.

U.S. expats
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4. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

I arrive at 7:30am on a Friday, and we don't fly out until Wednesday, so we'll have a full 5 days to explore,

================================

You can't count either Friday or Wednesday as a true day, so in fact you have four full days. (Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) Friday you do arrive early, but it does take some time to deplane, go through immigration and travel into London. You'll also be fighting jet-lag that day, so I wouldn't plan much.

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

are your flights in and out of London? If so, that makes things less convenient. If you had booked open jaw flights, things would be a little easier to manage.

In any case, is it possible? Sure. It's possible. Is it good idea? Harder to day. Me? I would stay in London. But then again, I'm a guy that took a day trip to London during a seven night stay. A lot of people think that is foolish, so I won't call you too foolish if you want to go to Scotland.

Edited: 25 March 2014, 04:12
Dingle, Ireland
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6. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

No,. London and Scotland is not possible in 5 days. London and Edinburgh might just be but it would be a rush, the best way betweem central London and central Edinburgh is the train.

Loughton, United...
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7. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

Possible - yes, just

Sensible - definitely not

Plenty of castles within an hour or two of London

Rochester, Bodiam, Colchester, Framlingham, Castle Hedingham........

Somerset
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8. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

"It sounded very romantic at first to travel out to the countryside and up into Scotland"

Tful, not romantic in any sense. You would be on motorways with the countryside largely blocked by banks of trees and in a long queue of traffic watching the lorries and other cars.

The train marginally better because the rail does go through more countryside but not the iconic stuff.

Enjoy the 5/4 days and visit somewhere like Windsor Castle which has a lot of river walks in the countryside. Maybe a day out into some countryside if you really think you would like a chage from the city.

Wales, United...
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9. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

You could visit Scotland and London in four full days, but I don't think it would be enjoyable or sensible.

East Midlands
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10. Re: 5 days in the UK - London AND Scotland possible?

No-one has asked "why Scotland?"

So, why Scotland? Just for castles or is there another pressing reason that you haven't shared with us? If it's just castles drop the idea. If there's something else that you have to see (but your first post suggests not) then it is achieveable.