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About this journey to Edinburgh?

95 replies

Sweetpea302 · 01/08/2017 11:55

More of an "Am I being ridiculous" rather than AIBU...

We have been invited to a wedding in Edinburgh over the winter and need to start booking travel for it from the West Country (near Bristol). I have a grand romantic idea that this would be a really lovely journey to make on the train - kick back, eat lots of snacks and watch beautiful countryside and interesting cities as we swoosh past.

I've just looked into travel costs though and its considerably cheaper to fly rather than travel by train, and also takes a fraction of the time. I'm now wondering whether I'm just being a bit ridiculous to even think about spending MORE money for a longer journey? I'm also starting to have visions of endless journeys, train delays and uncomfortable seats... Confused

It would just be me and my fiancé; no children.

Has anyone else done this (or a similar) journey? What would you guys do?

Oh, and if you've made it this far then tips on what to see when we're in Edinburgh would be great!

OP posts:

ScouseQueen · 01/08/2017 11:58

I'd fly. It's a 4 hour journey for me to Edinburgh and that's more than enough train time. The East coast route is lovely but you won't get to go that way. So fly and spend more time in Edinburgh which is amazing. You'll find tons of recommendations on here but I love it all.


QuinnsNo1Lady · 01/08/2017 11:59

Depends where the wedding is and how you plan to get around. Edinburgh airport is a bit out from the city centre.
Train ticket prices usually come right down if you can book exactly 12 weeks before your date too - basically as soon as they are released.
I'd hang on a bit. Train would be lovely.


BertrandRussell · 01/08/2017 12:00

It is a lovely journey. But it will take a very long time from Bristol!

You should be able to get a good deal on the train this far in advance, surely?


FlouryBap · 01/08/2017 12:01

I do this journey. I would fly. There are too many changes and it is a crap line to make it enjoyable.


Mulledwine1 · 01/08/2017 12:02

I'd fly from Bristol to Edinburgh - much easier though a lot less eco-friendly. It's dead easy to get into the city from the airport - either tram or airport bus (bus takes about 30 mins, haven't been on the tram).

I did go to Glasgow once on my own and I got the train from Kings Cross because I got a cheap first class ticket. Train ended up being cancelled so I was late arriving, but it was a nice journey, you see a lot and if you're going up the West coast you see lovely scenery that side too. I flew back to Heathrow on the Sunday as trains are rubbish on a Sunday. It might be worth looking into single tickets and combining. I'm doing something similar in the autumn when I am flying to Germany and getting the train back.

Hotel suggestions: the Rutland at the castle end of Princes Street is very nice. Last Christmas we visited the Christmas markets and stayed at the Radisson on the Royal Mile which was a really nice hotel too.

Things to do - walk along the Royal Mile, go to the castle for the views alone but there's plenty to to see there too. Tea room was a bit disappointing though. Maybe climb up Arthur's Seat. Go to Leith. Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia.


Cambergirl · 01/08/2017 12:03

I do Glasgow to Exeter and no way would I train it!
Plus flying is dead easy and quick, last time I arrived in Devon before DP had driven home .


chemenger · 01/08/2017 12:04

We took the train from Edinburgh to Exeter one summer, it was a comfortable and relaxed journey. We went 1st class which was nice. We flew back and it was quick and convenient, and cheaper.
On the train you could be stuck for 7 hours beside people who annoy you for some reason, you could be in a carriage where the heating isn't working, the toilets will, in my experience, be unpleasant by the end of the journey and food is unreliable and expensive.
Bristol airport seems to be a very long way from the city and hard to get to, Edinburgh airport is easy to negotiate and you can get the tram of bus to the city centre. Both train stations are convenient for the city centres. Remember to add in the travel times and check in time to your calculation of flight times.


onalongsabbatical · 01/08/2017 12:05

Yes, I've been to Edinburgh by train, it was lovely. Also live near Bristol, it was Bristol Temple Meads I traveled from. Once you factor in airport waiting times and hassles it's not hugely different. I'd do it again.
Where to go - depends what you like but the botanic gardens and the National Galleries of Scotland would be my first choices.


chemenger · 01/08/2017 12:05

Bus vs tram to Edinburgh city centre? Unless it is rush hour the bus is cheaper and quicker. The tram seems to move very slowly!


BarbaraofSeville · 01/08/2017 12:07

I'd had the 'the OP would be much better flying' thought halfway through the first paragraph Grin

Honestly, its quicker, it's cheaper, just fly. Yes, you would miss out on the views of whichever parts of northern England and southern Scotland you would pass on the train, but you can still see things from the air, if it's not cloudy. The lake district or Yorkshire Dales would be amazing to fly over.


chemenger · 01/08/2017 12:08

There is (was?) a direct train between Edinburgh and Exeter which I think stopped in Bristol, so no hassle with changing.


Cambergirl · 01/08/2017 12:09

I like The Cafe Royal. They do some wonderful seafood there.
If you get time, try and get to The Kelpies in Falkirk, they are amazing at dusk.


BarbaraofSeville · 01/08/2017 12:11

Still think flying would be best, but I always find a plane journey exciting even if it's just a short one (I fly Liverpool to Isle of Man quite a lot - you're in the air about 20 minutes).

But is there a direct train from Bristol to Edinburgh, that would make it easier? I sometimes travel from Leeds to Birmingham, but the train I use goes some ridiculous length like Aberdeen to Plymouth, so might call at Edinburgh on the way past? I still wouldn't do it though if flying was cheaper and/or quicker.


PiratePanda · 01/08/2017 12:11

Trains in this country are the exact opposite of romantic these days. Unless you're going to get the sleeper from Euston to Glasgow, which really is a nice trip, I'd definitely fly.


BarbaraofSeville · 01/08/2017 12:11

That might be the train I'm thinking of chemenger


Teamkhaleesi · 01/08/2017 12:15

Fly from Bristol to Glasgow/Edinburgh regularly - rarely take the train because of the cost! I do enjoy the train journey for the very reasons you have mentioned but if there are delays it can be frustrating because it's already a long journey. Plus if you fly you can always go to the airport early and have some pre flight drinks/lunch?


Sweetpea302 · 01/08/2017 12:16

Thanks for your thoughts everyone! Even if you're not all in agreement... Grin

I'm making a list of your suggestions of places to visit too. I've never been to Edinburgh, so I'm very excited to explore! We think we'll manage two days after the wedding for exploring (and eating!).

OP posts:

maggiecate · 01/08/2017 12:17

I'd fly - I live in Edinburgh and have done both. Back in the day when it was 'proper' trains with tables at every seat and proper buffet cars and whatnot I'd say train, but they are a bit rubbish now and not that comfortable for a long journey unless you're in first. They stop at every major station and aren't all that great for luggage, it's mostly airline seats - not romantic at all.


Dinosauratemydaffodils · 01/08/2017 12:17

I've taken the train from Dundee to London more than once. There has been nothing romantic about it whatsoever, fights, waiting for the transport Police to remove a non paying person, screaming babies and if you get very unlucky and end up with a train with me and ds on it, a toddler singing the "wheels on the bus" for hours at a time.

I would either fly or drive stopping off somewhere romantic half way to break the journey for a night. That said, the scenery coming up the East coast is lovely when seen from the train.

Second the National Museum and the Botanical Gardens. Depending when the wedding is, I love wandering around the Christmas markets too. It looks like the dates this year are 17 November 2017 to 7 January 2018.


aurorie11 · 01/08/2017 12:19

Longest train journey I've done is from midlands to Penzance. You need to book advance tickets when they go on sale. Looking at 19th October Bristol to Edinburgh (about 11 weeks + away). Single fare standard just under £70 and 1st just over £116, you have to fix which train you will be on


Sweetpea302 · 01/08/2017 12:19

Sorry - I didn't answer questions.

Bertrand - You'd think, wouldn't you?! Even looking five months in advance the cost is still eye watering!

Team - That's a nice idea and might make the journey feel a bit more special.

OP posts:

morningtoncrescent62 · 01/08/2017 12:23

I've done both. On balance I prefer the train, because I get fed up with all the queueing you have to do when you fly anywhere. At least on the train you can get settled and enjoy the journey. But I only do it these days if I can get knock-down first class tickets. They usually go on sale four months in advance, and you usually have to go on the website pretty soon after that to get them. I wouldn't go standard class for the reasons some pp have said, but first class is a really lovely way to travel - comfy seats, and complimentary food and drink brought to you at regular intervals while you watch the scenery go by/chat on Mumsnet. Grin

As for what to see in Edinburgh, can you give us some idea of what sorts of things you like? Edinburgh has loads and loads to do!


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 01/08/2017 12:25

Fly. I regularly do London--Edinburgh, which I love, but I once did Bristol Temple Meads- Edinburgh and it's just too long. I was wriggling with boredom by the end of it, and I love to read and look out of the window and generally just be on a train. 5 hours is the max for me to be on my bum.

It will overall be much quicker to fly, even given travel time to the airport, it's a well short flight. And I've always been able to get it cheaply on Easyjet.


BarbaraofSeville · 01/08/2017 12:25

With trains, it's possible they don't release the deals until 3 months before the journey, so you could be looking too early and you might be able to find cheaper train prices closer to the journey. I'd still fly though.


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 01/08/2017 12:26

Oh and first class at the weekend isn't worth the extra. There's a greatly reduced menu and no free wine.

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