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31

Flying is the fastest option (1h10), but you'll have to take into account: traveling times to the airports: London City Airport is close to the city center (22 min to Bank Station), but Edinburgh Airport is not (35 min by the tram or 30 min by the slightly faster Airport 100 bus, or 25 min in light traffic if you're driving or taking a cab outside peak ...


15

As someone who does this route maybe twice a month my preferred options are as follows: Fly. If I am in a rush and require to be in Edinburgh early or in a short amount of time then I fly from London City Airport to Edinburgh with British Airways. The flight time is roughly an hour and I can be at the City Airport 20 minutes before take off with no ...


14

When paying for a purchase, be sure to make the cashier aware that you are using a U.S. style credit card which requires them to swipe the card and for you to sign for the purchase. Although U.S. style credit cards are no longer issued in the United Kingdom and Ireland, most cash registers are still equipped to process transactions this way. You may, ...


12

Scotland is a big place and there is allot to see in every location. Additionally, the roads on the west coast, such as in Skye, are not fast roads. They twist and turn around mountains and lochs. 20 miles as the crow flies could work out as 100 miles of actual driving. To cover all those locations you'd spend about 4 days constantly driving and you'd really ...


12

Right, despite missing out on the first day of my tour there while my train broke down, the rest of the gang went and unfortunately for me, I missed out on an opportunity to see Nessie. One day though, one day... Firstly, you need to be aware of the geography. Loch Ness is in a natural cleft between Fort William and Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, ...


11

The most obvious is the oldest long distance walk in Scotland: The West Highland Way. It starts in the north of Glasgow City and walks cross country, mostly off road but on good paths, north to Fort William. It is about 96 miles long and can be completed in 4-8 days depending on your level of fitness, determination and of course weather. This route takes you ...


10

I wore my kilt (heavyweight one) round Germany and I can heartily recommend it - I made many friends, had lots of drinks bought for me and got invited to a lot of events and parties as people could spot the Scotsman a mile off. I'm assuming you are Scottish - if not, you may get some hassle, potentially, for pretending to be one :-) In the summer it can be ...


10

Coaches The Visit Scotland webpage on coaches carries plenty of information on the topic, including: Coach operators Most of the inter-city and longer-distance coach services around Scotland are provided by Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach, Megabus and National Express offering most of the inter-city and longer-distance coach services around Scotland, ...


9

There is plently walking to be found within easy reach of Edinburgh. Just south are the hills of the borders. To the north is Fife. A little further north and west and you get into the Highlands area where the country side becomes significantly more mountainous but still has something for every level from walker to climber. Midlothian Council publish a ...


9

If you're into your hiking into a big way, then Crianlarich is a good base for a few days. It's in the Highlands about 2 hours by train from Glasgow, so just shy of 3 from Edinburgh (so only slightly out of your ideal range...) There's a Youth Hostel (SYHA) there, which provides a great and cheap base for exploring the area. It's round the corner from the ...


9

There is a lively LARP community in Edinburgh, and while some of the activities are more high fantasy LARPing, the city parks (Bruntsfield Links, Leith Links and the Meadows) tend to see battles ranging from 1-on-1 sword fights up to small armies. LARPEvents tends to list a lot of these as you get into Summer. While many events will have spare kit, I would ...


8

There probably will be a one-way rental fee between Ireland and the UK. For example, Hertz describe theirs in general terms here (update: it looks to be around ~1000 EUR+ for Ireland to the UK). I know from past experience that Hertz, for example, will show you the applicable one-way rental fee as part of the costing if you plan a reservation on their ...


8

I used to work in a souvenir shop in Edinburgh. Virtually every day we would have customers asking to receive change in either Scottish (collectibles) or English notes (they continued their travel to England). In both cases we would do our best to help them. I would risk to say that locals are used to such requests so obtaining Scottish notes from retailers ...


8

"Festival time" in Edinburgh comprises most of the month of August. There are actually festivals in Edinburgh throughout the year, but in August several festivals overlap - the biggest of which is of course the Edinburgh Fringe. You don't buy tickets for the festival itself, as it's really just a collection of events held at different fringe venues around ...


8

The fastest option is by air. There are frequent services from all of London's airports, including the centrally located London City airport. The flying time is about 1 hour. If you are only visiting Edinburgh for a day or less, this is the sensible way to go. However, Edinburgh airport is not centrally located (there is a tram, but actually it is faster to ...


7

I did a 5 day tour back in 2008 that may give you some hint - the itinerary is on their website. (well the route and highlights at least). Driving distance-wise, yes I'd say it's doable. What you'll want to consider is time at the places like Isle of Skye (one of my favourite places in the UK), and Glen Coe - whether you want to do some hikes or ...


7

I would suggest Dufftown, Aberlour or Rothes for your stay. You can start your tour from the north - Glen Moray in Elgin or Strathisla in Keith and follow the river south. Most of the distilleries are around these three towns. In case if you are planning your tour in May - keep an eye on the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 3rd to 7th May 2012


7

I frequently go to Edinburgh for a few weeks till the end of July because I take groups of students there for language courses. What I have learnt from these stays is that no summer is exactly the same as the previous one. Last year we had good weather, with few rainy spells (we even went to sunbathe at Portobello Beach, where I got sunburnt!). This year is ...


7

There are three banks in Scotland which issue banknotes - Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank. Each has their own designs. They represent the same currency as English notes (pounds sterling), so there's no exchange rate or fluctuation to worry about. In Scotland, there is technically (and strangely) no legal tender. In ...


7

The Balmoral Estate is vast. On this map of Scottish estates it's the area in the centre of the image bounded by purple lines, extended south from Easter Balmoral and Braemar, over Lochnagar and Loch Muick, almost to Glen Clova. For most this area, the usual right to roam laws apply, even when the Royal Family are in residence; only the area north of ...


6

The definitive, free site for flatsharing in London, at least, is Gumtree. It also covers the rest of the UK, including Scotland.


6

Rail wins out for ease-of-use, comfort, and scenery. Every city you mention is accessible by rail. You would have to transfer to bus only to get over the bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh to Skye. Rail is generally faster and more comfortable than bus - much faster and more comfortable on main lines, slightly more on secondary lines; and the scenery is usually ...


6

Judging from this list of sightings, your best bet is in the month of August, but no later than October. May also seems pretty common as well. Most of the time the sun was not out when the reports were filed (a fairly easy thing to imagine, honestly).


6

For another option, I'd suggest you first nip into the nearest library, and borrow their copy of the Lonely Planet "Walking In Scotland", which is an excellent source of inspiration and basic information. Armed with that, if you want hills rather than mountains, then the Scottish Borders are your best bet. Walking In Scotland has a whole chapter on this ...


6

As you asked for a "a human description" I have kept my answer anecdotal without reference to stats that you probably have already read anyway. I lived in Glasgow for 28 years so know the weather personally. Though bear in mind that the west coast gets significantly wetter weather than the east. The West Highlands get significantly more rain than the West ...


6

1) The hire car. On the car rental side, you probably want to book ahead online by a couple of days as you usually save about £50 with a company like Hertz (who happen to have an office attached to the ferry terminal where you land) and you can avoid missing out. With hire cars in small towns make sure you are picking up Monday to Friday in business hours ...


6

I've not stopped much on the west, although can recommend Cumbria - or anywhere in the Lake District really. So Carlisle - very nice town. Part of the start of Hadrian's Wall, which is pretty great to see and walk a segment of. Up the East Coast is another option - you could stop in York, and Edinburgh, before crossing over to Glasgow. Edinburgh speaks ...


6

I have always been recommended to look for a repellent that contains Deet as this is the most effective agent in repelling midges. However, in practice I find these repellents only work for a short time and you are back to getting eaten again quite quickly. Some old wives' tales claim that bog myrtle leaves, crushed and rubbed on the skin to give off their ...


6

We have this question over on the Outdoors Stack Exchange: http://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/132/what-can-i-do-about-those-obnoxious-biting-flies/143 Avon Skin So Soft is still the product I take with me any time I am up the west coast. I also tend to wear a midge net on my hat. Better more prevention than less:)


6

The excessive cost from Hertz is to pay for somebody to bring back an Irish registered car to Ireland and then fly back to London. Two days work probably, plus ferry and flight. Only multinationals like Hertz and Avis will accept your card insurance, so be careful to check with whomever you rent, that you are fully covered! I reckon the Dublin to Dublin ...



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