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Travel to England; Scotland

31 replies

JoAnne427 · 05/02/2002 19:41

Hello - we are discussing a possible trip in summer or fall to England and Scotland. Only about 8 days total, so may end up only going to England, not sure yet. Have never been, so really have no idea where to go.

Any advice on where to stay with an 18 mo. old? And places to visit - or even websites I can get info. from?


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Pupuce · 05/02/2002 21:48

In terms of places, this website has a travel review.... it might give you ideas of baby friendly hotels. It's definitely a good place to start. ALso look at the discussion threads on travel.

SueDonim · 05/02/2002 23:46

Visit Scotland is the website for holidays in Scotland. Lots useful info there. HTH.

Rosy · 12/02/2002 15:32

Hi JoAnne - sorry no one seems to have given you much help on this one. Maybe your request was just a bit too general! I've just applied to join the NCT House Swap register, which might interest you. You don't have to be a member of the NCT to join, just have children under 12. Mail [email protected], and they send you details of how the scheme works and an application form. We want to go and see all our friends in London, but can't just kip on people's floors like we used to now we have dd. I'll let you know how we get on.

Do you have any ideas of where exactly you'd like to go? Personally, I think visiting England & Scotland in a week is a bit ambitious, but then it depends what you're looking for in a holiday. The last two years we've been to Dorset & the Cotswolds for our holidays, both of which were great.

JoAnne427 · 12/02/2002 16:55

I am really doing this blind - it is very much in the intial phase. I did look up Dorset on the web yesterday. Seems nice - don't know how far that is from London, and definitely want to spend time there.

If Scotland - Edinburgh - great great grandfather was from there - and I hear it is beautiful - when is a good time of year to go? A friend told me if we do both, we should fly into Scotland and out of England rather than the other way - not sure why...

Sad to say - never been to Europe and need to change that...checked out Paris yesterday - some good deals to go there - but am unsure as to hotels - checked out the Normandy and a couple of others...fares are pretty low right now. DP thinks I am crazy, as I'm losing my job - but I'm tired of putting it off, and deserately need a change of scenery.

Maybe I should get more concrete ideas and put those out for opinions...

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Harrysmum · 12/02/2002 21:21

Hi JoAnne, Being Edinburgh born and bred does tend to colour my opinion somewhat but it is fabulous. The festival is on during August (international, fringe, book, jazz, film - take your pick, there should be something there for everyone). If you do come then, book accommodation now as it gets pretty manic. Maybe looking for a flat to rent (weekly leases are v common through the summer) could be cheaper and more flexible than a hotel with a baby. The great thing about Princes Street (the main shopping street in the centre) is that there is an enormous garden all along one side (with the castle rising above it) so it's very easy to take a child to play when everything else gets a bit much. It's a small city so everything is v accessible but I would recommend a carrier rather than a buggy (stroller) for some places. It's relaxed, it's fun, there is a lot to do. Maybe you could access "Edinburgh for the Under 5s" - it's a National Childbirth Trust book on how to stay and travel around Edinburhg, where to eat etc. Wherever you decide to go, don't try to fit too much in if you're just here for a short time. I hope you have fun!

JoAnne427 · 12/02/2002 21:27

Thank you - that sounds great! I had friends stop by on Sat. who have been there twice and insist we go. I will show this to dp tonight to coerce him to agree!

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robinw · 12/02/2002 22:29

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Ailsa · 12/02/2002 23:05

Worcester is good for history - English Civil War (The Commandery), Cathedral, Sir Edward Elgar, Royal Worcester Porcelain.

Northumberland is good if you like castles and good beaches, not too far from Edinburgh.

Ailsa · 12/02/2002 23:21

some web addresses that may or may not be of any use.

Rosy · 13/02/2002 14:51

Glad you're still there JoAnne. Do I remember correctly that you're in New Jersey? I think there are cheap flights between Newark & Glasgow (which is about 40 miles from Edinburgh). London's a great city, but huge. I say this as an exile from the SE of England now living in Edinburgh though, so maybe I'm biased. I echo everything Harrysmum says about how wonderful the city is. Everything's pretty much within walking distance of the centre, and for anything further afield, there are good bus services. The festival fringe this year runs from 5-25th August, when things get pretty booked up, but it's good fun to be in town at that time, and obviously there's lots to do, even free things. If you decide to come here, I'd be happy to give you loads more info.

Planning other people's holidays is almost as good as going on holiday yourself!

JoAnne427 · 13/02/2002 15:26

Rosy - I am in Connecticut - so will probably fly out of Newark or JFK - and I think I am going to pursue Edinburgh in August - it will depend on flights and what is the best deal.

RobinW and Ailsa - definitely interested in history - I am not so much looking for a bask in the sun with a margarita (sounds good though!) as I am adventures/day escapades, etc. Very interested in architecture - and New Haven (where I live now) is wonderful for that, but it only goes back so far!

And if Northumberland isn't too far - maybe we could do a beach trip while there.

I just got off the phone with DP - he is getting excited now that it means he can rationalize buying the kelty hiking backpack for dd...

Fingers crossed! going to check cost now and see if it is in the budget!

Thanks for all of your assistance...

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Rosy · 13/02/2002 15:44

Check out for some panoramas of Princes St, castle etc.

JoAnne427 · 13/02/2002 15:49

Me again.

SueDonim - was just on the website - thanks for the tip...

Can anyone offer info on the following:

Ocean Apartments
High Street (Royal Mile)
Royal Scot Mews

Or any others...aparments sound like a good idea...have never done that before...


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ChanelNo5 · 13/02/2002 17:32

Warwickshire's (Shakespeare county) great for history. Think men in doublet and hose (but that's enough of my dh's private life!) I'm feeling a bit of an old relic too at the moment!

ChanelNo5 · 13/02/2002 17:36

P.S Anyone else been put off the idea of doing a house swap after watching 'The Swap' on Sun/Mon night?

Marina · 13/02/2002 19:39

Yes, I must say the ad in my newly delivered copy of New Generation, inviting me to join the NCT House Swap register, did not seem very appealing. But, let's face it, how many NCT members look like Jonathan Cake?
Hope your cold is feeling better, ChanelNo5!

robinw · 13/02/2002 22:47

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SueDonim · 14/02/2002 00:57

The High St/Royal Mile is where its at, in Edinburgh! It's the oldest part, tall thin buildings, narrow cobbled streets, shops, restaurants, the castle. But nowhere else is very far away so it would be a good base.

Marina, we did an NCT houseswap a couple of years ago, to the Lake District. It was fine and we had no problems.

pamina · 14/02/2002 08:48

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sis · 14/02/2002 10:40

JoAnne427, hope you have a great trip - if you come in May instead of August, it would be great to meet you at the London meet-up. I think there was talk of a Scotland meet-up too so you may want to check out that thread to see if your dates coincide.

BTW, don't forget the waterproofs!

Marina · 14/02/2002 10:51

SueDonim, I was being a bit silly - I don't think the NCT house-swap register is really full of stereo-flogging, daughter-molesting maniacs, it was just the mag arrived the day after episode 2 of The Swap. I would be interested to hear more about your house-swap, though. Do you have to have a big, tidy house in an attractive part of the UK? We fail on all three counts...
JoAnne, sorry, we've hijacked your thread a bit but this could be relevant. I think the NCT welcomes overseas members and then maybe you could get a townhouse in Edinburgh in exchange for your place in New Haven? For NOTHING...
I am going to also plug the Lake District and the Borders. Both en route between south of England and Scotland, both very beautiful. JoAnne, you need to make your trip longer if you can...

SueDonim · 14/02/2002 13:09

I didn't see The Swap - but I understand your comment now, Marina, lol! We live in an ordinary modern house, although we are in an attractive area of Scotland. Tidiness isn't my forte but all we did was stick stuff into cupboards or stack it up carefully to give an impression of tidiness.

The house we went to was very ordinary, too, just a family home. Our DD liked having different toys to play with although after nearly 18mths she still hankers after a bright pink, plastic toy dressing-table, like the one in her bedroom there!

I don't think it's a disadvantage if you're not in a touristy area, either. Lots of people like to swap houses in order to visit relatives, as it keeps the cost down, so don't immediately think no one would want to come to where you live.

And it's a brilliant idea for Joanne to do a houseswap!


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Rosy · 14/02/2002 15:22

Hi JoAnne. Ocean Apartments seem to be in Leith, which is outside the very city centre - but then you probably view distances differently from us old worlders! As Sue says, the Royal Mile is the main thoroughfare of the Old Town, linking the castle and Holyrood Palace. And as for Royal Scot Mews, I can't find out anything about it. Is it some sort of accommodation? What kind of price do you envisage paying for your accomodation? All the apartments I saw in the Tourist Board website seemed really expensive to me. There are agencies through which people let their flats during the festival, but I've not been able to find out any numbers or websites as yet. I'll hopefully have some info for you after the weekend. Bye for now.

JoAnne427 · 14/02/2002 16:23

I am ALL for a house swap! New Haven is a great city (and coastal - beaches close by) right between NYC and Boston (a little closer to NYC) and only 1 hour from Newport, RI. Great restaurants, free concerts in the summer, etc. The house I just bought is in Hamden, just a few miles outside of New Haven - but walking distance to bike trail, golf course, etc.

It's small - but cute - only 2 bedrooms - big back yard - waiting 'til spring to see what is in the garden before I plan on digging up anything. Needs lots of aesthetic work to make it mine.

could be a good way to go...I am going to check out the register you all are referring to...and get the cost for the apartments in Edinburgh and see if you think they are high priced...

Happy valetine's day everyone!

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JoAnne427 · 14/02/2002 16:33

Hello - just did a search and came up with National Childbirth Trust - is that the NCT you refer to? Couldn't find anything about house swap, though. Anyone know of a website for that?


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