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Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

Hampton, New...
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Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

A female friend & I plan to take a Haggis Adventure tour for 10 days to the highlands & islands, visiting many prehistoric sites. My friend lands in Glasgow & I will land in London & get to Scotland via train, approx 6 days before the tour starts in Edinburgh. We do not plan to rent a car. We want to spend several days in Edinburgh immediately before the tour starts. Any ideas for a town available by public transportation to spend several days prior to our stay in Edinburgh? We like sightseeing, nice scenery, history & archaeology, pubs, live traditional or other music, the outdoors, & walks. Also any recommendations re hostels in Edinburgh or nice hotels in the same price category? Besides the two new hostels (Edin. Central Youth Hostel & Smart City), we came across Edin. Backpackers Hostel, but it wasn't included in the tour guidebooks I looked at... Any reviews? Thank you very much!

Elie, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

Not sure if you are asking for a town anywhere or a town away from the Hghlands and Islands?

If its a town anywhere I would suggest Inverness which is a very scenic 3.5 hour journey by train from Edinburgh with lots of things to see and do from your base - and a very good Tourist Information office to help you decide what you want.

If its a town away from the Highlands I would suggest somewhere like St. Andrews - it has everything you need plus good public transport links to Dundee (City of Discovery) and The East Neuk Fishing Villages for example by bus

www.rrsdiscovery.com

www.eastneukwide.co.uk/tourist/to-see.html

Woody x

Edited: 03 March 2011, 20:58
Hampton, New...
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2. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

Our first night on the Haggis Tour is at Inverness, but I would not rule it out for our time prior to Edinburgh, if it would suit our purposes! We had also been considering the St. Andrews area, as we had a lead on an accommodation in Dundee.

One of the nice things about a forum like this is that persons with experience, like you, can give us ideas! Thank you!

Edinburgh
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3. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

I'd forget about Dundee if I were you. St Andrews is much nicer, or even Perth.

Elie, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

In that case I would choose either Inverness or St.Andrews as your base. St.Andrews is a beautiful place and 2 or 3 days exploring the town and its surrounds is well worth it. Check out The Botanical Gardens and the Lade Braes, lovely places for a wander. You can get to Dundee easily by bus , the bus station is right in the centre of St.A or you could get a train from Leuchars (bus first from St.A to Leuchars) then on to Dundee. From Dundee you could easily explore Perth or Aberdeen on a day trip or even Stirling via Perth - all of this by train.

From St.Andrews a trip down to Anstruther, Crail, Pittenweem or St.Monans takes you through lovely countryside before reaching the coast. Crail and Anstruther are quaint fishing villages - you could even break up your stay in St.Andrews with a couple of nights in one of them just to give you a different perspective.

I would not choose to stay in Dundee - I agree with Gordon on that one. What time of year are you visiting? - that may give rise to different suggestions of things you can see and do

Woody x

Edited: 04 March 2011, 10:04
alyth, scotland
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5. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

If you can stay in Dundee for little money - go there.

It's a 'mixed' city - great bits & not so great bits, but as a base away from Edinburgh it is good. Being a university town there are plenty of bars, pubs & eateries that are affordable.

You have public transport to Fife - bus to St. Andrews etc.

just across the bridge is a rather unknown nature reserve with huge beaches & plenty of wildlife to watch -Tentsmuir sands.

but also easy public transport into Perthshire - Bus #57 takes you right to our town (Alyth) where you can walk part of the Cateran trail to Blairgowrie & catch the bus back to Dundee from there- or to the city of Perth with walks right on the doorstep as well as good museums/concert hall etc.

Scotland
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6. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

You might want to look at Stirling.

Hampton, New...
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7. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

Thank you all for your suggestions!

However, my traveling companion decided that she would like to spend 3 days in Glasgow, so we will split our 6 days between Glasgow & Edinburgh, prior to our 10-day tour, which will take us to all the prehistoric archaeological sites on my list to see in the islands & highlands! I'll have more time after the tour with a different friend with a car! My first traveling companion must fly home to go back to work.

I am going to read the threads about train travel between London & Glasgow & start a new thread if necessary. I would like to take the most scenic, "fairly" direct route in the morning after landing at Heathrow Airport. I'd appreciate suggestions!

Thank you all again!

Ottawa, ON
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8. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

Your friend made a good decision for you.

The fast trains to Glasgow are the Virgin trains leaving from London Euston. If you want something more scenic, you could take the East Coast train to Leeds, then the Northern Rail train along the scenic Settle-Carlisle line to Carlisle and then Virgin to Glasgow. This latter route would probably take 3 hours longer than the direct route on Virgin. If you are buying advance, restricted tickets, the direct route would likely be a lot cheaper too.

glasgow scotland
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9. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

You answered my suggestion prior to me posting and going by your original post then it makes sense to stay in Glasgow for the first few days, we have just been named the Cultural Capital of Scotland and we have everything you asked for, well maybe not the Archaeology apart from Fossil Grove in Victoria Park.

We also have the largest Suburban rail network outwith London so day trips to Loch Lomond or the Ayrshire Coast (Burns Country) are all possible within 1 hour.

See www.scotrail.co.uk for details

10. Re: Town to spend 3-4 days prior to Edinburgh tour via public tr

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