Travel Europe: United Kingdom Planning Part Two

airplane flying into sunrise above clouds

Travel Europe Planning: 

  1. “Is two days in London going to be enough time?”
  2. Where are we going?
  3. Where will we stay?
  4. What Will we do?

“Is two days in London going to be enough time?”

Long Kensington GardenWith the decision of which countries to visit behind us, we could move forward with the details.  We knew we needed to make a plan because we only had 10 days and two of those days were travel days.  (As in long plane rides across the Atlantic.)

Already our trip wasn’t seeming long enough. And we hadn’t even started planning yet.

When we all sat down for a logistics meeting, I asked the most important question.

“Is two days in London going to be enough time?”

According to Becky (who at this point I didn’t know from Adam), two days would be plenty of time in London.

Little did we know that London did not interest her at all.  And little did she know that London was very high on Dacia’s bucket list.  But at this point in the planning, Dacia was having a minor crisis and was not mentally present for our discussion.  No one knew this, however, so we all took Becky at her word and made plans for 2 days in London.  

Though no one was counting. (insert sarcastic chuckle)

Where Were We Going?

We made the decision to fly into London, take a train to Edinburgh (because we thought that would be fun–and it was), and stay there for three nights.  

York Train StationHowever, we were only going to visit Edinburgh for 1 day.  Then, we planned on visiting the East Coast of Scotland one day, and checking out of the Bed & Breakfast to travel to the West Coast.

Then, we would take our rental car back to London, stopping in Oxford to spend the night and eat a meal at the Eagle and Child (where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met with their group of Inklings).  

That left us — on paper — with two full days in London; which actually was more like 1 ½ days.

So we set to work reserving accommodations on the Isle of Great Britain.

Where Would We Stay?

Becky made reservations for three nights at the Inveresk House Bed and Breakfast  in Musselburgh just outside Edinburgh. The house is a semi-detached dwelling that was built in the 1500’s and updated in 1643.  Oliver Cromwell used the house as his headquarters for two months during the civil war in England.

Edinburgh ScotlandWe knew that we were going to be spoiled at the Inveresk House, but we were so excited to stay there even though none of us could exactly remember who Oliver Cromwell was.

Dacia booked the next two nights in Oban, a port town on the west coast, at the Corran Guest House. And finally, I booked the youth hostel in Oxford for a night and the Elysee Hotel in London for two.

Once those reservations were made and the train tickets purchased, we only needed to rent the car from Edinburgh to return at Heathrow. Renting the car fell to Andrea and me.  When we couldn’t figure it out, we told Becky she needed to do it. When the puzzle pieces didn’t fall in the right places for her, we dropped it on Dacia’s plate. And with some help from a good friend who has traveled Scotland and England multiple times, she was able to make it happen.

What Would We Do?

Firth of ForthWe’d spend a day in Edinburgh and walk the Royal Mile. Andrea wanted to see castles, so we had like 53 castles on our wishlist.

We decided that we needed to see St. Andrews since it was a 45 minute drive away.  Its a small university town and has the historic golf course.  By the historic golf course I mean, the world’s first golf course.  We made a lot of our golfer-friends jealous, which is too bad since NONE of us golf (and honestly didn’t really care about the course except for the fact that it was historic).

We knew we would see the Firth of Forth.  Edinburgh is situated on the Firth and we were going to cross it on our way to St. Andrews.

Kings Cross

When we flew into London (from Chicago because we each saved $300 by flying from Chicago instead of the Twin Cities), we took the Piccadilly Line to King’s Cross Station.  THE King’s Cross Station.

As in Harry Potter and Platform 9 3/4.  We added that to the list.

And we took the train to Edinburgh.  My first real train ride ever, not including a ride at the Jackson Street Roundhouse.  But like I brought my luggage with me and traveled that way.

inveresk house signWhen we arrived in Edinburgh, all we had to do was get off the train and get on the bus to Inveresk House.  And that was an experience all in itself.

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