Hi all, I'm planning a weekend trip to Scotland during my UK holiday in early June. Given the limited time, I shall welcome your views on which place (Glasgow or Edinburgh) I could proritize based on :
- areas of interest
- accessibility to these areas of interest
- better representation of Scotland for a first time traveller
Edinburgh, every time. Glasgow is OK, but is much bigger and more industrialised - There is no much touristy type things to see or do there, but Edinburgh is wonderful.
Glasgow isn't really that Scottish, so you won't get a feel for that, and they are equally well connected to the Central andEastern areas. Admittedly (especially if you don't have your own transport), Glasgow is better for access to Oban/Fort William/The isles. Having said that, trains & coaches between Glasgow and Edinboro' are frequent and quick, so it's not a huge issue.
I spent 2 weeks in Edinburgh and the surrounding area (2 days in Inverness, 1.5 days in Fort William) in January 2002. On my way back from Ft. William I had to pass through Glasgow. I got the impression that Glasgow was more modern and industrialized, whereas Edinburgh had more of the classic charm (this is just my opinion, tho!). Since you will only be there for a weekend I would recommend Edinburgh--you can do both the castle and Holyrood in one day (a bit of a walk, since both are on separate ends of the Royal Mile, but a nice walk), there is the Scottish Whiskey Heritage Centre near the castle, places to learn about tartan weaving (also near the castle), and also an awesome viewing tower nearby--plus some neat pubs (the one on the first corner down from the castle was owned by the father of a famous murderer--his son would kill prostitues and then sell the bodies to doctors so they could perform autopsies to learn). The museum is about 5-10 minutes away from this pub, across a bridge--it is free and has wonderful exhibits, both of Scottish history and a natural museum. Plus Greyfriar Bobby's grave is near the museum, if I remember correctly. It is a bit of a stroke from the airport to Edinburgh centre--about 20 or so minutes--but buses run continually through the day, there are hostels and hotels all over the place (I stayed with a friend so cannot recommend any), and the main centre of Edinburgh is completely accessible by foot (there are tons of cab around if you need a lift anywhere). Definitely Edinburgh, if you ask me!
Many thanks, Rich and Christina for sharing your views! It seems clear that Edinburgh is the better option given the time constraint.