Edinburgh Day Trips by Train: Ideas Needed

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Ryan

Court Jester
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,567
Location
Off looking for his sense of humor
I mentioned a while back that I was heading to Edinburgh for a family vacation - the trip is now upon us (we leave in a week), and am trying to nail down our itinerary for while we're there. Right now, lots of ideas, but none of them have been fitted into a coherent schedule yet.

We're staying in Edinburgh every night, so I'm looking for a day trip from there. Glasgow and back seems to be the obvious choice, but are there other places where one can head out in the morning, get a decently long train ride in, see something interesting, then get back to Edinburgh in time for dinner(ish)?

Also, we're going to be car-enabled (Budget had some dirt cheap rentals, and the currency exchange is very favorable at this point) for the entire week, are there any must-do things (rail-related or not) that should be on my list?
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
23,658
Location
Austin Texas
Can't help with the trains and sights Ryan since I've never been to Scotland, but getting used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road is a major thing if you've never done it!

Look forward to your pics and trip reports, y'all have a ball!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,624
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
I have done day trips from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Inverness, Berwick upon Tweed, Newcastle, Fort William, Mallaig. And even Kyle of Lochalsh ( very long day :) ). Drop me a line if you want details.
 

tp49

Engineer
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
2,747
Not train related but if you like beer I'd recommend hitting up The Beer Kitchen in Edinburgh which is the bar/restaurant owned by craft brewer Innis and Gunn. If you like ales and like whiskey (since they barrel age their product) it might be up your alley and Innis and Gunn is very difficult to find here in the US.
 

CraigDK

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
169
Location
Maryland & Delaware
Last time I was there I did Edinburgh to Dundee (although you could continue to Aberdeen), decent trip length, nice scenery. There are a few different routes to Glasgow if you plan on a couple of trips.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,624
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Last time I was there I did Edinburgh to Dundee (although you could continue to Aberdeen), decent trip length, nice scenery. There are a few different routes to Glasgow if you plan on a couple of trips.
Yup. These days at least four and a half. :D . But one could be a bit more adventurous and take the longer route involving a change of trains at Stirling, enjoy the semaphore signals at Stirling and while at it visit the Stirling Castle.

And of course one must cross the historic and iconic Forth Bridge. A trip to Dundee or Aberdeen will automatically take care of that. But if you just want to visit the Forth Bridge take a ScotRail local that stops at Dalmeny and get off at Dalmeny, which is on the north bank of the Firth of Forth adjacent to the bridge. Since you have car if you just want to see the bridge go to Queensferry on the south bank.

If time permits I would highly recommend a trip to Inverness on the Highland Line, or a trip to Fort William on the West Highland Line. If only one had to be chosen, my choice would be Fort William, with possibly an extension to Mallaig. That will automatically involve a trip to Glasgow.

Another railfan attraction is to take the newly restored Borders Line to Tweedsbank. Actually the Borders Line service runs mostly between Tweedbank and Glasgow Queen Street, and some go all the way to Helensborough AFAIR. Just riding such end to end could cover many bases.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Maglev

Conductor
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
1,160
Location
Orcas Island, Washington
With higher-speed trains and frequent departures, it is possible to zip down to York and visit the National Railway Museum, which is near the station. I also think the Firth of Forth bridge is a must-see,
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cirdan

Engineer
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
2,717
Agree with all of the above.

To best see the Forth Bridge I recommend catching the train to South Queensferry and walking along the river bank there from where you get to see more of the bridge than when you're actually crossing it.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,624
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Agree with all of the above.

To best see the Forth Bridge I recommend catching the train to South Queensferry and walking along the river bank there from where you get to see more of the bridge than when you're actually crossing it.
Yup, a long walk down from the station to the river front, and seemingly an even longer walk back up though. :) That is why, if you have a car I would recommend driving there instead. It will save you a lot of time. I have always been there by train myself.

With higher-speed trains and frequent departures, it is possible to zip down to York and visit the National Railway Museum, which is near the station. I also think the Firth of Forth bridge is a must-see,
While that6 is certainly doable, I would not recommend doing so while visiting Scotland. There is just way too much to do in Scotland, to abandon it and run down to York. Just IMHO of course. York is done much better when visiting London or the Midlands.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ScouseAndy

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
346
Location
Liverpool- UK
It would be a long day but Id recommend running up to Fort William on the train via Glasgow over Rannoch Moor. You can do it in one day leaving Edinburgh at about 7am and get back at 10pm with about 5 hours in Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis

The line to Rannoch Moor is possibly the most scenic lines in the UK although as it runs over a bog will make Amtrak look high speed.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
29,624
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
It would be a long day but Id recommend running up to Fort William on the train via Glasgow over Rannoch Moor. You can do it in one day leaving Edinburgh at about 7am and get back at 10pm with about 5 hours in Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis

The line to Rannoch Moor is possibly the most scenic lines in the UK although as it runs over a bog will make Amtrak look high speed.
I wholeheartedly agree. On some days, as I recall, it is even possible to do Mallaig, but my preference would be Fort William.
 

ScouseAndy

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
346
Location
Liverpool- UK
It would be a long day but Id recommend running up to Fort William on the train via Glasgow over Rannoch Moor. You can do it in one day leaving Edinburgh at about 7am and get back at 10pm with about 5 hours in Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis

The line to Rannoch Moor is possibly the most scenic lines in the UK although as it runs over a bog will make Amtrak look high speed.
I wholeheartedly agree. On some days, as I recall, it is even possible to do Mallaig, but my preference would be Fort William.
Mallaig is certainly possible and would include a return trip over the Glenfinnan Viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. Indeed you could actually just take the train to Glenfinnan station and walk back up the glen for about 1 mile to view the viaduct in all its glory, although other than a monument to the Jacobites and walking in the amazing scenery there is very little else to do the area in the 4 hours you would have to spend there . However saying all that I am now getting itchy feet so my next free weekend I may make a run up to do that myself!!
 

Ryan

Court Jester
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,567
Location
Off looking for his sense of humor
Thanks for all of the suggestions!

Aberdeen looks reasonably priced and has a nice looking maritime museum for the layover.

Need to look into Fort William and Inverness options for things to do...

I also like the idea of Glasgow via different routes. Stirling Castle looks nice as well.
 
Top