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Edinburgh or Glasgow (with a car)? (also posted to Glasgow...

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Edinburgh or Glasgow (with a car)? (also posted to Glasgow...

We are adding ~4-5 days at the end of our trip to stop in Scotland (first part is in Ireland). The plan is to fly from Dublin.

My questions are:

Should we set up "base camp" in Glasgow or in Edinburgh? or some place in between? We can fly home from either (slightly cheaper from Glasgow).

We would like to visit some countryside sites, so a car will be worthwhile -- however, I understand that having a car in either Glasgow or in Edinburgh is "challenging". Any advice?

We are outdoor, castle-curious, not-too-big-on-museums types (and based on having double posted my message on the Glasgow forum, not too computer talented!).

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1. Re: Edinburgh or Glasgow (with a car)? (also posted to Glasgow...


I have lived in Edinburgh & Glasgow & Edinburgh is without a doubt the nicer of the two - (most people will agree unless they are from Glasgow themselves!) They are only 1 hour drive/train journey apart, so you can visit both easily.

Edinburgh has of course the castle, beautiful scenery/countryside & LOADS of things to do - Glasgow on the otherhand is not as nice, is quite a bit rougher & not as half a beautiful city as Edinburgh is.

Also, I would say that driving in Scotland in general is not bad - I live in London now which is manic in comparision! However, driving/drivers in Edinburgh is less "challenging" than in Glasgow. - Glasgow is FILLED with one way streets, so if you don't know your exact route, it's easy to get lost. As for the drivers, I had a friend once who commented on how he could always tell when he had nearly arrived in Glasgow because of the more aggressive drivers on the road.

The cities are very close, but there are alot of noticeable differences & Edinburgh definately the better option.

Anyway, hope you have a nice trip! :)


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2. Re: Edinburgh or Glasgow (with a car)? (also posted to Glasgow...

I love both cities and I hope I can do them justice here. There's quite a bit of rivalry between the cities so I'll probably offend someone but here goes...

Edinburgh's reputation is for art, culture, etc - I live here and it is a very beautiful city. Its well geared for tourists - there's lots and lots to do. Quite a bit of tartan and bagpipes too...

Glasgow is meant to be more friendly (although I don't really agree, both are friendly), is bigger/more 'urban' in many ways. (I've also lived there). You might say that it is more ordinary - but that's a really good thing if you want a sense of the real Scotland.

(By the way, I'm really simplifying here - just trying to give an impression).

Both cities have excellent public transport for many areas. If you are staying further out from the centre you shouldn't have too much of a problem but rush hour(s) in either city is awful. Be VERY careful where you park a car in Edinburgh or you'll have a parking ticket. ASK in a shop etc even if the signs seem clear.

With a car, if you are driving away to see countryside Glasgow has the advantage of being nearer places like Loch Lomond and the west coast (beautiful islands). But there again, Edinburgh is a bit nearer the route up towards the Highlands.

Hope you enjoy your trip.

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3. Re: Edinburgh or Glasgow (with a car)? (also posted to Glasgow...

I would not take the car to Edinburgh its a nightmare, it IS easier in the car in Glasgow, although neither place are really car friendly. Your best bet would be to hire a car and stay in a country location just outside either of these locations.

You could stay in the Stirling area its not bad for traffic not too far for your return airport journey, theres a castle and plenty of other interesting things in the area (Bannockburn etc) you could also travel into either Glasgow or Edinburgh by train from there. If you are into castles you need to see Edinburgh castle of course and this may influence your choice of location.

Of course if you have the budget you could stay in a castle! there are some made into hotels in the area :)

Let me know if you need more info :)