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Is this enough time?

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Chicago, Illinois
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Is this enough time?

So after talking about it for nearly a year I have FINALLY booked the plane tickets for my husband and I to visit the UK. We will be arriving in London on Wednesday, May 20th and departing from Edinburgh on Sunday, May 31st. This is all that I've booked for the moment, and while I have a pretty solid itinerary planned there is just one detail I want to hash out before I finalize the rest.

Right now I am planning to arrive in London on Wednesday morning (May 20th), daytrip to Cardiff that Saturday (May 23rd), and depart London for Edinburgh on Tuesday (May 26th). Then one full day in Edinburgh, followed by a 3-day Isle of Skye tour departing on Thursday, May 28th and returning to Edinburgh the evening of Saturday, May 30th. Then we will leave Edinburgh for home on Sunday, May 31st. Here's the current plan laid out more plainly:

*Wednesday (May 20, 2015): Arrive at 8:30am in London.

*Thursday: London

*Friday: London

*Saturday (May 23): Daytrip to Cardiff

*Sunday: London

*Monday: London

*Tuesday (May 26): Leave London for Edinburgh. Should allow for about half a day in Edinburgh.

*Wednesday: Edinburgh

*Thursday: Isle of Skye tour

*Friday: Isle of Skye tour

*Saturday: Isle of Skye tour; return to Edinburgh at about 7:30pm that evening.

*Sunday (May 31): Depart for home in the morning.

Overall I feel pretty good about this itinerary. The only concern I have is that this plan only allows one full day in Edinburgh. To be honest, though, I feel like that may be enough given my relatively short "must-see" list. The only things I really want to do is walk around Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat, and Holyrood Park/Abbey. Anything else would just be a bonus. Is a day and a half plenty of time for this? I *could* add more time in Edinburgh by leaving London on Monday instead of Tuesday, but I am more concerned about shortchanging London... I realize I am on the Edinburgh forum, so may get some biased answers, but what do you all think?

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Is this enough time?

I'm more intrigued by the day trip to Cardiff- assume you have good reason for this??

If you get an early train from London it's about 4.5-5hrs so to allow time to drop bags at hotel you could be at Edinburgh castle for maybe 2pm until closing time. Then walk around the old town in the evening. Holyrood and Arthur's seat and anywhere else is then doable in the full day.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Is this enough time?

Cardiff = Doctor Who Experience (proud nerds here) and perhaps Cardiff Castle as a bonus.

We would likely depart from London at about 9am, so hopefully that is early enough to make our arrival day in Edinburgh worthwhile.

Edited: 24 August 2014, 21:48
Cardiff, United...
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3. Re: Is this enough time?

The other option for getting to Edinburgh would be to take the overnight sleeper train on the Monday night. That would mean you arrive early morning in Edinburgh rather than early-mid afternoon and the cost of the ticket would offset against a nights accommodation that you don't have to pay for.

Haddington, United...
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4. Re: Is this enough time?

The overnight sleeper would be a good option as Edinburgh has so much to see and offer. Even after living here for 60+ years I still find new things to interest me. The great thing about the time of your visit is 1st this is generally the best weather and 2nd the hours of day light for exploring with dawn about 4 am and dust 10pm. Given half a chance , give me your interests and I could keep you amused for a few years never mind 1 1/2 days. But come and enjoy anyway and hopefully it will be the beginning of many return visits

Scotland, United...
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5. Re: Is this enough time?

Personally, I would not want to spend 4 days on Skye, if it rains or is misty you will see nothing. Skye has nice views and is good for fishing, walking climbing. It is the one place in Scotland I have never liked and think it overrated.

I would easily spend a week in Edinburgh and still not have enough time. Loads to see and do a great City you can also have day trips out. It's such a shame you do not want to give it more time.

glasgow scotland
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6. Re: Is this enough time?

They are not spending 4 days on Skye?

It's 2 nights and 3 days and even then Skye is the destination, so the outward and return journey to Edinburgh will take up 6 hours each way.

It could be they want to see some fantastic Scottish Highland scenery on the way while here.

Personally apart from tweaking a few points as suggested (the Sleeper) I think the balance of their visit is perfect and the time spent at each location befits the importance each deserve.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Is this enough time?

Thanks for the replies all. The sleeper train is something we might consider.

And that is right, we are not spending 4 days on Skye. It is a part of a tour consisting of sites in the Highlands and some other spots with only one full day spent on Skye.

New Delhi, India
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8. Re: Is this enough time?

You can also take early morning train...it takes only 4.5 hrs. Then you can see castle and arthur seat 8n ome day and holyrood house the next.

Edinburgh, United...
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9. Re: Is this enough time?

Another thought would be to do London then Cardiff then fly from Cardiff to Edinburgh in the evening (flight times permitting). That would also cut out a return train trip. FlyBe I think fly Cardiff Edinburgh.

Cardiff, United...
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10. Re: Is this enough time?

"FlyBe I think fly Cardiff Edinburgh."

They used to, but the route (and the Glasgow one) is now operated by CityJet.

The problem with the suggestion of going London to Cardiff in the morning, then Cardiff - Edinburgh in the late afternoon is what to do with the luggage in the meantime (and whether the luggage is within the limits of a budget airline's allowance).

Edited: 25 August 2014, 12:48