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pa.
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drive or fly

We are driving up from York to Edinburgh on May 22nd. We were going to drive back to Heathrow on the 25th and stay overnight to catch our plane back at 3:30p.m. but thought it might be a better idea to catch a plane from Edinburgh to Heathrow. If we catch the 9:00 plance we schould land around 10:30, Do you think this gives us enough time to check in since we will be flying to the states. How long does it take to drop off the car? What time should we be at the airport in Edinburgh? Thanks a million

Edinburgh
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1. Re: drive or fly

It is much more convenient to fly from Edinburgh to Heathrow and make your connection. It is a very long drive.

There are planes running at least every hour between the two cities www.edinburghairport.co.uk and look at timetables for the various airlines which operate on this route.

I would also check with the airline with whom you are travelling back to the US, they usually have a "partner" airline in the UK under a scheme such as Star Alliance or equivalent, this may mean you could check in your luggage all the way through from Edinburgh and save yourself a deal of hassle at Heathrow collecting your luggage and rechecking in again. This also might save you having to change Terminal at Heathrow as all Star Alliance airlines fly in and out of the same terminal.

Stirling, United...
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2. Re: drive or fly

Why not get the sleeper train from Edinburgh - you will save a night's hotel bill and have an extra morning in central London before going to Heathrow.

Scotland
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3. Re: drive or fly

Is there a particular reason you need a car while in Edinburgh? Planning on day trips to specific locations that can't be done by public transport?

Driving (and parking) in Edinburgh is a nightmare, and it is a compact city with a good bus service. York is on a direct, high-speed, scenic rail route to Edinburgh. So, it looks like you could save yourself some money and hassle and get the train from York to Edinburgh, give yourself an extra day in Edinburgh, and fly to Heathrow.

For a 3.30pm flight to the States, a 9am flight will give you plenty of time. Which airline is your onward flight, and which terminal does it leave from? This will be an important factor in choosing between bmi and BA for the domestic hop.

Edited: 11 January 2010, 16:10
Airdrie, United...
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4. Re: drive or fly

Hi,

Unless you need the car for personal mobility difficulties, you will probably find it pointless (and expensive) to have if you intend to stay within the local area.

I think the train would be a better option.

Vince.

Edited: 11 January 2010, 19:25
pa.
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5. Re: drive or fly

We are flying home on Air Canada which I think is terminal 1. We want to dry outside of Edinburgh on several days. I have been to England before and the driving isn't a problem for me, I just like being able to do what I want and when I want. The one and only time I took a bus tour I vowed I would never do it again. We were going to leave on Tuesday and just drive down to Heathrow and visit some sites on the way, or stay till Wednesday and see more of Scotland. I hate decisions.

Scotland
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6. Re: drive or fly

OK - let's just double check a couple of things so we can give you the best advice. You are arriving in Edinburgh on May 22nd, and either leaving on 25th or 26th, depending on your mode of transport to return to Heathrow. So you have either two or three full days in Edinburgh? What are your plans that you are planning on driving outside of Edinburgh on "several days"? And where are you staying in Edinburgh - does it have parking?

I totally understand that you are confident driving in the UK and want to do your own thing (I'm exactly the same when I travel) - but unless you have very specific places to visit that can't be reached by public transport, you really, really do not want the burden of a car in Edinburgh. It's a compact city, best explored on foot, and with an excellent bus service for getting around. Parking in the centre is a nightmare, and there are extensive travel restrictions (bus lanes, one way streets etc) all of which favour public transport over the private car. I never take my car into the centre of town, and frequently question whether I can even justify owning one for all the use I get out of it.

Whether you end up with a car in Edinburgh or not, I would still recommend flying to Heathrow. It looks like Air Canada will fly from Terminal 3. Air Canada are part of Star Alliance, so you will want to fly bmi from Edinburgh and you can probably get your luggage checked straight through. Probably worth checking if you can get the flight added to your existing ticket.

Bingley, United...
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7. Re: drive or fly

If your flight is 3:30pm then the latest you could leave Edinburgh if driving is 6:00am as it's a 7 hour plus drive non-stop and that doesn't leave any contingency. Realistically you'd be leaving at 5:00am or even earlier

So car is definitely out. And I'd be concerned about flying on the day on a separate ticket as if you miss your homeward flight YOU'LL be paying for a full cost one way ticket each

High Spen, UK
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8. Re: drive or fly

3.30 flight from T3, fine to get 9am flight from Edinburgh (assume land at T5).

If you check in online you could get to Edinburgh airport at about 8am. It never takes long to get through security and drop off bags. (although I always get to any airport far earlier than I have to, it drives my boyfriend mad! I would get there at 7.30 to be on the safest side possible, you don't want to miss your connections.)

Don't know about dropping off car, are you dropping off at the airport?

I agree with having a car, its great to be able to get out of the city. Some of the roads near Abbeyhill are easy to find a space on and only about 20 mins walk to Princes Street or 10 mins to Hollyrood.

Edited: 12 January 2010, 17:12
pa.
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9. Re: drive or fly

We are staying about a mile outside of Edinburgh. We plan on driving outside of the city for a day and maybe a tour up towards Loch Ness one day. The rest will be spent in Edinburgh. I want to drop off the car the night before we fly back. Thought I would get the 10 AM flight and land at Heathrow at 12:15. This should be enough time to get to our flight home. What do you think?

Thanks a million. Wish I could stay longer.

Edinburgh, United...
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10. Re: drive or fly

Don't even think about driving from Edinburgh to London unless you really need to. If you do decide to drive, the quickest way is the A702 to Abington where you join the M74 motorway south to Carlisle. After you cross from Scotland into England the M74/A74(M) becomes the M6. It's best to take the M6 Toll to avoid the traffic congestion around Birmingham (a toll is charged for this section). The M6 eventually joins the M1 towards London. Then follow the M25 (London Orbital motorway) to Heathrow. The very minimum driving time is 7 hours, but 9 hours is more realistic.

Given that you are flying on Air Canada, it would be sensible to fly on BMI from Edinburgh to London Heathrow. Both are members of Star Alliance. You will, however, have to change terminals at Heathrow. Note that Heathrow can be subject to delays - last time I flew from Edinburgh to Heathrow the BA flight was 75 minutes late. Edinburgh Airport has a new and efficient car hire drop-off area close to the Terminal building.

Personally, I would take the train from York to Edinburgh and then use public transport within Edinburgh. You can book train tickets online at www.eastcoast.co.uk - if you book in advance you'll get some good bargains.