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London to Macduff and back again!

(26 Posts)
LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:20:55

hello, I'm hoping someone on here will come up with a cunning plan for us!

We're travelling from London to Macduff for a wedding. We have two children, (3yrs and 1yr), can drive and need the best route! I've mentioned that we can drive purely so you know its an option but plane/train etc all possibilities.

Time it takes (quick as possible) and children being happy is more important to us than doing it cheaply

thanks in advance to anyone who takes on this challenge!

ps I've namechanged purely because i don't think there will be many people with the same problem and didn't want my usual name to be connected to this iyswim smile

mustdash Wed 31-Aug-11 14:28:45

We've done a similar run many many times - not quite as far as Macduff, but Fraserburgh.

We were going from SW London. We did
M74 then
Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Forfar, Aberdeen and on from there.

When the DCs were tiny, we'd leave at their bedtime in PJs stop overnight at this lovely place which does great breakfasts and is usually quite reasonable We'd then arrive up north at a reasonable time of day.

We always drive, mainly because of all the stuff you inevitably need when DCs are in tow.

Enjoy the wedding. smile

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 14:34:35

It's a long car journey, approx 10 hours,and that's with all going to plan - you'd need at least one overnight stop with such little children, I'd think.

I'd recommend flying to either Aberdeen or Inverness, then hiring a car. Macduff is roughly halfway between the two airports, so do look at both their websites to see which airlines have routes to your nearest airport.

Flight from London will take just over an hour, driving to Macduff from either airport will take approx 90 minutes.

Have a good trip!

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:35:54

hmm, that's a good idea to stop halfway! hadn't thought of that blush

thank you!

actually, I may have dreamt it but is it possible to put our car on a train for some of the journey?

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:41:32

sorry x post with you fancy, do you know if we would need to take car seats or can we hire those too?

member Wed 31-Aug-11 14:42:36

We generally fly to Aberdeen & hire a car to go to in-laws in Gardenstown.

We have driven in the past when my parents lived in the Borders so we could stop off there so did M6 then A68 to Edinburgh then A90. If I were doing it now, I'd do what Mustdash said & look for a £19 Travelodge round about Gretna.

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 14:43:56

Not sure about car on train - haven't heard of that for a long time.

What I would say is that any travelling past Edinburgh, really, needs to be calculated at probably 40 miles an hour, as you run out of motorway!

Beware Google Map - just had a look at their estimate for journey time from Aberdeen Airport to Macduff, and I reckon they're underestimating by some way.

The good news is that the Moray coast and the countyside up here is just lovely (but wrap up warm!).

member Wed 31-Aug-11 14:46:46

The last time we investigated car on the sleeper, you couldn't do it any more(I think that was the only train you could take a car on) & the sleeper was just as expensive as flights!

member Wed 31-Aug-11 14:48:56

Just checked, motor rail ceased in 1995!

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 14:49:52

Sorry Clara - on phone and very s-l-o-w to reply!

Re car seats, I think you can either bring your own or hire with your car (DD a teenager, so no recent personal experience). Just bear in mind, as you may well be flying with a budget airline, that I imagine they will not lose an opportunity to charge you handsomely to take your own. May be worth checking that out and weighing that against flying eg BA?

member Wed 31-Aug-11 14:51:46

You can hire car seats with the car ; there's usually a thing for "extras" online when booking car.

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:52:38

1995? well at least it did exist, albeit a little while ago!

Stansted is our closest airport but they don't seem to fly to either Inverness or Aberdeen, or is it my rubbish searching skills?!

lots of really useful tips already, thank you! I really appreciate all your help

mustdash Wed 31-Aug-11 14:53:42

Fancy, it's bad but not that bad! The motorway runs to Perth, then decent dual (with lots of speed cameras) carriageway to Aberdeen. Rubbish after that mind you....... grin

member Wed 31-Aug-11 14:53:52

We generally go from Heathrow or Luton

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 14:55:12

Just to add - agree with Member that stopping around Carlisle/Gretna is a really good way to split the journey into two halves if you decide to drive. I guess flying is only the better option if you don't need to take every last bit of kit for the wee ones!

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:55:50

speed cameras you say? looks like I'll be doing that bit of the drive instead of my dh then smile That'll save us some money!

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:57:43

We have flown with them both (a couple of months ago) and discovered that they both love planes and are fairly portable. But, we didn't need to hire a car so didn't need the seats

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 14:58:12

decisions decisions! off to investigate car hire now!

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 15:00:05

Mustdash - it was the Aberdeen onwards bit I meant really - longest mile is last mile home and all that!

Clara - there have been no Stansted-Aberdeen flights for years, unfortunately. However, always seem to be routes opening and closing, so worth keeping an eye out if you're planning way ahead.

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 15:00:54

member thank you! Luton goes to both Aberdeen and Inverness so that solves that bit of the problem!

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 15:02:34

planning about 6 weeks ahead but thanks for the tip!

so what do you girls reckon is an easier journey.. Aberdeen to Macduff or Inverness to Macduff

I think i'm veering towards flying there, assuming we'll be able to sort the car hire bit out

member Wed 31-Aug-11 15:08:50

I've never done Inverness to Gardenstown, don't know why, just never really entertained it as an option, possibly because I've assumed there'd be less flights & therefore more expensive but that could be a completely wrong assumption!

GlaikitFizzog Wed 31-Aug-11 15:16:52

Have you considered the sleeper train into Aberdeen, then car hire from Aberdeen train station? Might be slightly easier to take all your things on the train (might not be, I have just found out how much stuff kids need to travel with).

FancyForgetting Wed 31-Aug-11 15:24:50

Aberdeen is nearer,a bigger (but still quite small) airport, with more facilities and next to the biggest heliport in Europe, which is often a fascination for wee ones!

Inverness airport is v small with basic facilities, but IMO worth considering if you can get better flight times/prices, as the drive isn't much longer.

We often drive past Aberdeen Airport to take flights from Inverness Airport because we can get budget flights to our regular destination from there, but not from Aberdeen!

Regarding the driving - not much in it as neither the A90 nor A96 is that wonderful, but ok if you allow yourself enough time.

LongDistanceCIara Wed 31-Aug-11 15:40:33

not just the wee ones fancy, I reckon my dh would enjoy that too! grin

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