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Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

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Hamilton, New...
posts: 121
reviews: 26
Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

Day 1

Edinburgh Castle + War Museum

Camera Obscura

Scotch Whisky Experience

Tartan Mill (have heard mixed reviews)

and whatever of the Royal Mile we can manage.

Possibly Stand Comedy in the evening if there is something on

Day 2

Holyroodhouse Palace

Arthurs Seat climb

Surgeons Hall

The Potter Trail

Glimerton Cove (in evening) - I do realise this one is further away

Day 3

Hairy Coo Day Tour to Highlands

Any suggestions or problems that you can see?

Any other ideas for attractions? Would like to do more active things or cultural things rather than museums. Thanks! I can get defensive so please be gentle ;)

Edited: 4:58 am, March 03, 2013
Destination Expert
for Scotland
posts: 6,862
reviews: 18
1. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

"I can get defensive so please be gentle ;)"

that's a strange attitude to adopt when asking for advice

You haven't said what time of year this is.

Doable in spring/summer although I'd personally avoid an all day tour to the highlands in winter

I'd also skip Gilmerton Cove as it's a bit out of your way.

Have you considered one of the ghost walks in the old town?

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 5,013
reviews: 85
2. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

Active/cultural? Why don't you look out the many concerts and other music events which regularly happen in Edinburgh? You've already covered comedy via the stand (but not the only venue by any means)

While up at Surgeon's Hall, (in fact right opposite) is the Festival Theatre. And not far away is Queens Hall. Or the Usher Hall, the Lyceum Theatre, or . or, or ...


Edinburgh has a cultural life all year round, not just Festival time, so chances are there will be something on when you get here.

Do art galleries fall into the same passive mode as the museum? Lots of them too.

& why not look here and narrow it down by date? http://www.list.co.uk/events/what:edinburgh/

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 5,013
reviews: 85
3. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

Rabbies and Timberbush are alternatives to Hairy Coo; they might have something diffferent, though many of their offerings will visit the 'obvious' places.

Right now it's getting dark at 7 pm, in June that'll be about 11 pm, so that makes a big difference to they enjoyability of your plans. e.g. in June Arthur's seat could be an evening trip.

Gilmerton Cove is accessible by #3 #29 Lothian Buses. And their website says it closes 4 pm! www.gilmertoncove.org.uk/tour-information

Gilmerton itself has few attractions apart from the cove. An alternative might be Rosslyn Chapel accessible by #15 bus; it closes 5 pm. http://www.rosslynchapel.org.uk/

Not sure if summer timings will differ.

posts: 1,844
reviews: 3
4. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

While you are in the Castle please don't miss the Honours of Scotland,our crown jewels.

The entrance in Palace Square is easily missed.

posts: 195
5. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

"Hairy Coo Day Tour to Highlands"

This tour is misleadingly named as it does not go to the Highlands - it mostly visits the Lowlands (Falkirk Wheel, Stirling etc) and the edge of the Trossachs. It may be an excellent tour (never done it) but it's a bit misleading to call it a day tour of /to the Highlands. It does not even go to the Highlands: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/ms…

The should really call it a tour of the Central Belt with a brief visit to the Trossachs - but I guess that would not be as popular. :)

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 5,013
reviews: 85
6. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

Mark, I think maybe you're being a tad hard on them, given the Highland Boundary Fault passes somewhat North of Stirling, but both Callander and the Trossachs are defininitely *in* the Highlands not lowlands.

There is always going to be a balance here between 'spending all day in the highlands' and the total duration of a day trip tour. For example, I think a day trip to Loch Ness and Inverness would mean far too long travelling, and actually visiting some places that are scenically a lot less worthwhile than the Trossachs.

Round about Callander you have Ben Ledi, Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin, and those plus the Trossachs are authentic highlands and worth the visit.

At least you get a degree of choice between the three companies and their (slightly) different routes.

posts: 195
7. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

I agree with you about Loch Ness being too far for a day trip and a lot less scenic than the Trossachs, but my objection is not with where they go but with the description "tour of the Highlands".

As can be seen from their route map even if you include the Trossachs as part of the Highlands, they only just skirt the very edge of that area:


The official Scottish tourist board classifies the Highlands area as starting a great deal further north than that: visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/… although yes you are correct regarding where the faultline starts - but as I said they only really just make it over the faultline. To me a day tour of the Highlands would/ should spend most of the time in the Highlands - they could keep Falkirk, Wallace Monument/Stirling, Lake of Menteith, Doune etc for another tour and visit a bit more of the Highlands say, the road along the East shore of Loch Lomond or Balqhuidder or Killin/Loch Tay for example. I appreciate they want to minimise time between stops, but Callander is only an hour to an hour and a half from Edinburgh and the best scenery only really starts there.

Their tour is billed as "Our Famous FREE Highland Tour" and I think that is a little misleading (as incidentally is the FREE part as only a total scrooge with no shame would refuse to tip, meaning it's not really free either). :) But it's the "Highland Tour" part I have a problem with as I am sure most people realise how the "free" tours work.

Hamilton, New...
posts: 121
reviews: 26
8. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

Maybe defensive is the wrong word. it's more that some people on the forums get a bit exasperated with everyone posting itineraries all the time.

Thinking mid-May (2014)

Ghost walks - I'm a massive wuss. Though I would be with my partner. I will look into them thank you.

Events - The dates will be planned around the entire 3 month trip so not sure about the events - though if they are common like you say I will definitely keep an eye out. I will make a list of other comedy places - thank you.

Dark at 11pm? Wow. I suppose it is quite far north. Awesome that does give me more time to work with!

I will have to check glimerton cove- thought they did evening things. May have to swap the arthurs seat and that around.

I will take note of your crown jewels recommendation :)

I'm a bit tentative about the Hairy Coo tour (or similar ones) as it does take a whole day. Though with our short time frame and lack of car it would be an easier way to see some of the country side of Scotland. Not too worried about the technical highland stuff - more to get out of the city. Yeah I will be tipping. Though I probably will be a scrooge still :S

Thank you all VERY VERY much for your recommendations.:):):)

Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 5,013
reviews: 85
9. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

No, dark at 11 pm in *June*. End of March is equinox so dark 7 pm. In May? Maybe 10 pm

(for comparison Midsummer in Shetland. Doesn't really get properly dark. "The land o the Simmer dim" Not quite arctic circle but getting close at 60 degrees. The Scottish Dunedin is a lot further north than the New Zealand one is South )

Hamilton, New...
posts: 121
reviews: 26
10. Re: Edinburgh Itinerary Advice please

I studied in Dunedin - one of the main reasons I want to come to Scotland (all the street names are so similar - royal tce, heriot row, princes st, dundas st, cumberland. its awesome).

Yeah we sometimes got a long twilight in summer but nothing like arctic circle stuff. my cousin lives in sweden and it sounds a lot different!