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Driving from Essex to Edinburgh

(15 Posts)
MrsDux Wed 09-Sep-09 17:25:11

We're going to a wedding in a village just outside Edinburgh in October with 2 little ones. We'd like to go Friday to Monday and are looking at our travel options. Ideally we'd fly or take the train but that leaves us stuck in the village for the whole time with no car. So part of me is thinking about going for slightly longer and driving up, stopping overnight somewhere on the way.

Has anyone done this and if so could you recommend somewhere?

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Wed 09-Sep-09 17:26:27

bit of a long haul, i think you would arrive exhausted and frazzled. there are buses in scotland so you wouldn't be too isolated. which village?

Fimbo Wed 09-Sep-09 17:28:43

I am Scottish and do this journey all the time from Norfolk (well slightly further away, but we go via the M6!)

We have stopped going via the East coast, as I can't bear the road from Newcastle to Edinburgh (lot of it single carriageway). But the last time we did it we stopped at Durham at the Travelodge there. Durham was nice for a wander round.

nevergoogledragonbutter Wed 09-Sep-09 17:29:02

It's not as far as you think, especially if you can share the driving.

Do it in one and give yourself a day to recover from each journey. Even better give yourself a day in the city to explore or soak up the atmosphere.

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Wed 09-Sep-09 17:30:14

newcastle to edinburgh has improved apparently but haven't been down in a while. m6 can be horrific too.

Fimbo Wed 09-Sep-09 17:37:54

Give me the M6 any day. Have been on the improved N to E road and its slightly better but not much.

MrsDux Wed 09-Sep-09 21:47:18

Sorry, had to do dinner and bedtime. Thanks for the replies.

We'll be in Freuchie in Fife (so not that close to Edinburgh really).

I really don't think we could do it in one day, DD will only be 3 months and doesn't travel too well in the car and I can't imagine DS (who's 3) being all that happy either.

We have driven before kids and went M6 so would probably do that again. I'll have a look at Durham, thanks

Ponders Wed 09-Sep-09 22:09:32

How about Virgin train up the super-fast west coast to Glasgow & hire a car there for the last bit? Or GNER from Kings X to Edinburgh, ditto? (Only 4½ hours!!!)

Expensive though. If your DS was 5 you could get a Family Railcard & the GNER route would be only £80 for the lot of you, but without one it would be £91 per adult shock (can you get a family railcard if your children are younger???)

Essex to E'Burgh is a horrendous car journey for 2 little ones. Worth paying any extra to train/fly & hire a car IMO smile

hocuspontas Wed 09-Sep-09 22:12:36

Fly Stansted to Edinburgh and hire a car the other end? You may be lucky and get some cheap flights!

gomez Wed 09-Sep-09 22:16:42

Ah Freuchie, I know it well but there is quite frankly f*ck all to do there. well drink but aside from that neither Glenrothes or Cupar are likely to fill you with joy either. Do the drive - leave 4am kids will go back to sleep, stop for breakfast around 10am (most of the journey under your belt by then), stop again after another couple and then 2 more and you will be nearly there.....

I would do East Coast route is not that bad and will be fine in October. Actually M6/M74 then Biggar might not be too bad. but doubt there is much in it to be honest.

squashedfrogs Wed 09-Sep-09 22:29:32

As a kind of comparison for you I usually drive (without children) to central Scotland from Essex and it takes 8-9 hours. Other members of my family have done the same journey but have flown from Stansted and got trains & buses from Glasgow onwards and it isn't really any shorter in terms of the time taken. There are pros and cons to both methods whether you are travelling with or without children but I'm happier to be able to stop when and wherever I feel like and to be able to take as much or as little luggage as I choose without having to pay for the pleasure and lug it round an airport/on and off buses etc.

Our family has also had various discussions about the 'best' route to take when driving and have come to the conclusion that using the M11, A1, A66, M6, M74 is the most pleasant and shortest route to take.

Ponders Wed 09-Sep-09 22:32:09

Or you could fly Stansted-E'burgh with easyjet for c £215 with cabin baggage only, plus £16 per hold bag round trip. (Was looking at a random mid-Oct weekend)

according to google driving from Stansted (is that anywhere near you?) is about 7 hrs, W coast or E coast, & that won't be allowing for hideous Friday night traffic. To Freuchie it's pushing 8. Way too long to be driving for just a weekend!

You could rent a Focus or Astra for c £75 for 4 days (from carhire3000.com who are fab IME & do an excess waiver for about £3 a day).

geordieminx Wed 09-Sep-09 22:34:39

You can get rail card even if kids are under 5, you just have to pay for 1 as a child but its often cheaper to do this, plus it means that the definately get a seat. I got rtn from glasgow to newcastle for ds and I for £13 last week grin

Train would definately be a better option then hire a car -

Durham is lovely, as are lots of places on the outskirts of the lakes.

I wouldnt drive with ds who is 2, infact I've stopped driving down to Newcastle from Glasgow with him because it was too much of a ball ache - train is cheaper and easier.

I wouldnt do A1 either - definately go for M6/M74 if you do decide to drive.

Fimbo Thu 10-Sep-09 10:05:54

Gosh - small world, my best friend lives in Freuchie. There really isn't much there at all as Gomez said. The bus does come through though. Plus coming up the A1 you are on the wrong side of Edinburgh to get to Freuchie, it will take about an hour just to get to the bridge and then at least another 1/2hr to Freuchie.

DadInsteadofMum Thu 10-Sep-09 17:41:53

I did a similar journey several times this summer. Drove to Stansted, Sleasyjet to Edinburgh, car hire with Thrifty at Edinburgh airport (found them to be consistantly cheapest and I prefer to book direct as I have had "lost" booking with booking agencies before). On a good trip could be on the Forth Bridge within 30 minutes of the plane touching down.

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