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  • FIRST POST
    VixxAnn
    Edinburgh attractions and things to do (merged)
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 05, 1:59 PM
    Edinburgh attractions and things to do (merged) 7th Mar 05 at 1:59 PM
    We are off to Edinburgh for a week at Easter - self catering apartment in the city centre (old town)
    Have three kids (11, 9 & 3)
    Its about 8 yrs since we last went but we did the castle and a natural history museum.

    Would like to take them to lots of interesting places but don't want to get ripped off on lots of entry fees etc. Any ideas?

    My hubbies birthday is while we are away so I'm going to send the older ones off with him one night on a ghost walk as he's always wanted to do one - any suggestions as to best?

    Also any family friendly fun eating places to recommend to me?

    thanks


    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 01-08-2006 at 3:39 PM.
Page 3
    • toozie
    • By toozie 19th Jun 05, 2:32 PM
    • 3,249 Posts
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    toozie
    Thanks
    Well, what can I say, loads and loads of info. Feel like I already know the place! We've never even been to Scotland, so I'm looking forward to the trip now.

    I think I'll get the girls together, look at the "free with E Pass" places", and try and cost out what we definately would like to see, plus bus fares including travel to and from airport parking, to see if its going to be cost effective. As you say we don't want to have to dash like mad from A to B just because we've bought the EP and feel we have to get our money's worth!

    Like the sound of the Fudge Shop, as the hotel has a good breakfast we'll make do with a Boots sandwich or something like for lunch, and eat out in different places at night, then definately go on a ghost walk or 2.

    One daughter loves old book shops, would I find them near the Bricabrac/charity shops?

    As we live in North Wales, we're going to stay with relatives at the top of Cumbria for a couple of days before our first night in Edinburgh. So we can leave Cumbria very early in the morning and still have plenty of time on our first day, as I know it will all go too quickly. I'm going to look into airport parking later, and price up some places.

    You lot are all great, thanks for all the info.

    Speak soon

    toozie
  • Edinburghlass
    If you reckon you will arrive in Edinburgh say mid-day, the Bus tours leave from just across the road from your Hotel. So I would go and get a ticket for that which will last for 24 hours so you can use it again later and the next morning.

    This will take you on a circular tour along Princes Street, up by the Castle and down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament then back up again. You can get off and on again wherever you like.

    Your hotel is on Princes Street and on the opposite side of the road are Princes Street Gardens and towering above them is Edinburgh Castle. The Royal Mile is the mile between the Castle and Holyrood Palace and this is where you will find all the Festival and Fringe performers strutting their stuff. You can quite happily spend ages just watching this. The tour guide on the bus will point out all the historic building on the Royal Mile as you pass them and you can then make up your mind which you might like to pop off and see. Camera Obscura is up by the Castle btw. Not far down from the Castle to Holyrood is George 1V Bridge down which you will find Grey Friar's Bobby about which Ann Marie has told you about, the Museum and the funky shops, lol.

    As I suggested do the witchy type tours in the evenings but also remember there will be hundreds, literally hundreds of shows on for the Fringe in all sorts of venues, from small to large. I have no doubt there is a website you could send for a brochure from. Many comedians started their careers at the Edinburgh Fringe and loads of them still come back just for the atmosphere.
  • noramc
    Just a few more tips for your Edinburgh visit (I have loads of friends and family that visit all the time, so I'm practically a tour guide!) - If you're going to the Castle (which I really recommend, although it is pricey at 9.80 for adults/students), make sure you use your 10% discount that you get with the (24hr) tour bus ticket. (Doesn't have to be used the same day as you use the bus)

    I was interested to read about the Edinburgh Pass when they launched it recently, as have been wondering why they don't have something like that already (there is a Scotland pass type thing, but I thought an Edinburgh specific thing may be more useful for visitors), but agree with my fellow Edinburgh posters above that, during the time of year that you're coming, there will be so many free and interesting events, you may feel pressured to get "full value" from the pass.

    Bearing this in mind, though...

    The castle will cost you about a tenner each (EDIT - NOT INCLUDED IN EP)
    Camera obscura (again, recommended!) another £6ish
    A ghost walk about £7ish
    Return Airport bus tickets £5
    plus £2 off your bus tour tickets
    So, it doesn't seem like your too far off getting good value for money! I think that's a good idea you have about getting you all together for a quick chat about the trip and what you'd like to get up to.

    I really hope you enjoy your trip to Edinburgh, it's such a wonderful place and you're visiting at a great time of year.
    Last edited by noramc; 24-06-2005 at 1:03 PM. Reason: Correction
    noramc
    • Twopints
    • By Twopints 22nd Jun 05, 1:59 PM
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    Twopints
    The Edinburgh Pass sounds very similar to the London Pass, but seems to be unrelated. I used London Passes last year and definitely got good value from it.

    The added benefits (of the London Pass) were:

    1. that you can jump the queue because you have already paid; most attractions have a "fast track" queue for those who already have tickets.

    2. If somewhere is no good you don't have to stay for hours just because you've paid £50 to get in. Go somewhere else, use the pass again!

    3. The flipside is that if somewhere is really good you know you can go back again and not have to pay again e.g. if you really like the Castle but can't do it justice in the time you "allowed", you can go back another time, so it gives you some flexibility.

    We made sure we planned out what to do each day so that we didn't waste too much time travelling BUT we were also flexible and changed plans if we felt like it i.e. we were going to Kew Gardens (after Hampton Court) but ended up doing a tour of Wimbledon. This turned out to be my son's favourite attraction of the 3 days. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by Twopints; 22-06-2005 at 2:06 PM.
  • Edinburghlass
    I have just looked to see what attractions are available free on the Edinburghpass and apart from the Witchery Tours/Mercat Tours and the Camera Obscura one it appears though that Toozie may just be picking things to do from the list because they would then be "free" rather than other attractions that will be available to them at the time.

    The Castle and Holyrood Palace are not included in the "free" attractions!

    All in all, I think due to the time of year that Toozie is visiting there will be plenty of things for them to see and do that will actually be free and as we have privately sorted out the parking aspect I would say forget it!

    I do agree with the fact though that if its "free" you don't need to spend all day but pop in and out of an attraction. In the past we have been members of Edinburgh Zoo and used to just go for an hour or so to see new borns or have lunch and the same with Dynamic Earth.

    I once visited Wimbledon many years ago and found it fascinating, well worth doing
    • toozie
    • By toozie 22nd Jun 05, 2:19 PM
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    toozie
    Just a few more tips for your Edinburgh visit (I have loads of friends and family that visit all the time, so I'm practically a tour guide!) - If you're going to the Castle (which I really recommend, although it is pricey at 9.80 for adults/students), make sure you use your 10% discount that you get with the (24hr) tour bus ticket. (Doesn't have to be used the same day as you use the bus)

    I was interested to read about the Edinburgh Pass when they launched it recently, as have been wondering why they don't have something like that already (there is a Scotland pass type thing, but I thought an Edinburgh specific thing may be more useful for visitors), but agree with my fellow Edinburgh posters above that, during the time of year that you're coming, there will be so many free and interesting events, you may feel pressured to get "full value" from the pass.

    Bearing this in mind, though...

    The castle will cost you about a tenner each
    Camera obscura (again, recommended!) another £6ish
    A ghost walk about £7ish
    Return Airport bus tickets £5
    plus £2 off your bus tour tickets
    So, it doesn't seem like your too far off getting good value for money! I think that's a good idea you have about getting you all together for a quick chat about the trip and what you'd like to get up to.

    I really hope you enjoy your trip to Edinburgh, it's such a wonderful place and you're visiting at a great time of year.
    by noramc

    I think we've now worked out that it'll save money to buy the EP, and will be easier, i.e no cash/credit cards etc involved in paying. The only thing that puts me off is the fact that we might be distracted by the "free" entertainment of The Festival.

    I've book-marked some cheap eating places from the top sticky, and we may go to the cinema one night (this is just a holiday tradition!) which one do you recomend? We're staying on Princes Street, if I buy the EP, we'll have sort of free bus passes, or we could walk.

    I was thinking about a good chinese/cantonese resteraunt that does a cheap set meal??

    Would the Royal Yacht be very boring for teenage girls, and is it worth the enterence fee? Don't think this comes under the EP. What's the zoo like, I do prefer to see animals in their own type of habitat? Hubbys not keen on the zoo anyway, he thinks we can go to one anywhere, and shouldn't waste time if there's better Edinburghish things to do!!

    Thanks Twopints and normac for your pointers.

    toozie
  • Edinburghlass
    oops, cross posting there, go for it if you think its worth it
  • Edinburghlass
    Just off Princes Street, down towards Leith Walk, is a new cinema complex.
    Greenside I think its called and is beside the Playhouse Theatre. Underneath this is a restaurant food court and there is a chinese buffet style and I think its about £11 after 5.00.

    One I can recommend is Jimmy Chung, website here, and its less than a fiver for lunch.

    The Zoo is good, provided you take the trailer to the top and walk down, very steep hills but also very busy and smelly if its warm!
    • toozie
    • By toozie 22nd Jun 05, 3:00 PM
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    toozie
    oops, cross posting there, go for it if you think its worth it
    by Edinburghlass

    You've got me thinking again Lass!!

    I'll take a good look tonight, and search for any 1/2 price vouchers on here.

    Once we've got to the hotel, can we buy a 3 day local bus pass from somewhere? Obviously this would be cheaper than paying each time we jump on and off one1
  • Oscar
    I agree with your hubby...you can go to a zoo anywhere! Sorry!
    • Twopints
    • By Twopints 22nd Jun 05, 3:13 PM
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    Twopints
    Just to clarify, I did not mean to imply that Edinburgh Castle is included in the Pass, just used it as an example of an attraction in Edinburgh that I could name! I agree that there are many free attractions that could fill days if not weeks. BUT if the attractions you want to visit are covered by the pass, then the added flexibilty it can give is a good bonus and you may save some money too.
  • Edinburghlass
    Sorry Twopints, neither did I mean to imply that you implied that it was...

    Just really wanted to point out that perhaps the Edinburghpass includes the less popular attractions and also ones that are further out of the centre of Edinburgh where Toozie is staying.

    The advice I might add is coming from someone who is off to Florida and who has bought 14 day pass for the Disney parks at a cost of £150 each and I went for the 14 day pass for the very reasons that you stated in that we can go to a park in the morning then return in the evening when, hopefully, it will be cooler

    Toozie, there is a Tourist/Accommodation office just opposite the hotel where I think someone said you can find leaflets with vouchers for money off. Plus, don't quote me on this as I never go into town and am seldom on a bus but you can buy a daily ticket for about £2 which lets you on and off buses outwith peak times.

    Hey, by the time the end of August comes, we will have filled in your entire days and nights! Anyone up for an Edinburgh meet while Toozie is here??

    • toozie
    • By toozie 22nd Jun 05, 7:13 PM
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    toozie
    That'd be great, but when will I fit it in??

    Maybe we could meet in the hotel bar at midnight!!

    On the other hand, drinks will probably be too expensive!

    Right, final decision, no Edinburgh Pass, and I'll try and get 2 for 1 tickets, or money off, for the actual places we want to see and do, won't change my mind now!!

    We'll buy a daily bus ticket, the actual parking is sorted, thanks to Edinburghlass.

    Ghostly inspired number 1 daughter wants to go to dungeon (I think I might get a discount with my union card there), eat at Franc.... something, and go on a ghost walk, and possibly the Greyfriers (?) churchyard thingy, and we all want to go to the Camera Obscura.

    We'll do the open top bus tour on the first day, after dumping the bags, hubby likes to get his bearings in new city-this will help, and we can use the ticket again next morning.

    Anyway ta for eveything, will be back when I can think of something else to pick your brains with.

    By the way, does everyone talk fast in Scotland????
  • Edinburghlass
    Speak fast, the Scots? naw...

    Just tried to re-read your first post and forgot to mention that the food court under the cinema complex includes a very nice Pizza Hut, we ate there recently after seeing Starlight Express at the Playhouse.

    I'm sure in the past we have had tickets from Tesco for the dungeon and I know all locals will pick up anything they find for you, won't you all?

    Just discovered the Book Festival finishes the day before you arrive which is a bit of a shame after I read the list of authors appearing that my boss was getting tickets for but then they may not have suited you Plus they cost money and you can find plenty of entertainment for free!

    Watch out for a new thread in the Scotland board
    • maggiesoup
    • By maggiesoup 23rd Jun 05, 9:48 AM
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    • 121 Thanks
    maggiesoup
    Re-your potential parking problems .... miles too much hassle and bussing it from the airport! You can park at a residential area called Murrayfield (very posh, very big wide roads) and can leave car there free and just walk into town from there. I do it every day, takes about 20 mins. Hope this helps.
  • noramc
    I have just looked to see what attractions are available free on the Edinburghpass and apart from the Witchery Tours/Mercat Tours and the Camera Obscura one it appears though that Toozie may just be picking things to do from the list because they would then be "free" rather than other attractions that will be available to them at the time.

    The Castle and Holyrood Palace are not included in the "free" attractions!
    by Edinburghlass
    Oops!
    I rushed through reading the EP site and assumed the castle was on it!
    Thanks for the heads up Edinburghlass, will stop rushing in future, esp when trying to give people advice!

    Also - to confirm, get a "daysaver" bus ticket, costs £2.30 (maybe £2 at weekends) each, lasts the whole day. Bus journeys cost 80p (£1 if long, but as you're staying in the city centre, prob won't be too many long journeys!) so if you'll get the bus 3 times, it works out cheaper. You buy the ticket on the bus, and the buses here take exact change (and prefer notes over coins!) The buses in Edinburgh are really good (in my opinion!) frequent and plentiful with clearly described routes on the bus stops.

    Enjoy your trip!
    Last edited by noramc; 24-06-2005 at 1:10 PM. Reason: Additional info
    noramc
  • surfbabe
    Edinburgh Dungeons Very Good. Not To Scary Lots To Learn
  • Edinburghlass
    I mentioned previously in this thread about the chinese restaurant chain Jimmy Chungs, website here. Planned on going there for lunch tomorrow and discovered that there is now one on Waverley Bridge which is just across the road from your hotel Toozie

    Its £1 dearer for the lunch at £5.99 but as their lunchtime lasts until 5.00 instead of 3.00, I reckon it will be worth the extra £1 for an all you can eat buffet

    Edited to add that everyone is welcome to join the Unofficial MSE Meet in Edinburgh on 1 September, please see my signature for the thread
    • toozie
    • By toozie 10th Aug 05, 4:58 AM
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    toozie
    Thanks Edinburghlass, its 06.56am and I feel the need to go there NOW!
    No, honestly, think that'll be evening meal sorted (early) on first night-and even hopefully, the fussy DD1 will find something to take her fancy on the buffet.
    • toozie
    • By toozie 19th Aug 05, 7:04 AM
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    toozie
    http://www.edinburgh-midlothian.co....attractions.htm

    The above was posted on the Travel Board by MINMOUSE. I just sent an e-mail with my address details, and 24 hours later, I've got the discount card, with loads of offers available:

    THANK YOU MINMOUSE



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