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this has been awhile but it was good going. Hard to fine a seat coming back because of Prince Williams wedding and everyone celebrating. One person had beer spilled on her. Edinburgh castle was interesting. wish had more time. wish the trip was longer then three hours before got back on train.
Love Edinburgh! Great to be able to wander at own speed and return to London when ready rather than being rushed. Poured with rain on the day we went - advice: don't let a little rain spoil your chance to visit any fascinating site. I know some on the tour just turned around and went back to London - I was most disappointed for them -they missed a great city!
This was really good but unfortunately there was a 90 minute delay on the line that shortened the time we could spend in Edinburgh.Otherwise it was fantastic! First class trip is well worth the extra cost.
I loved Edinburgh however, I only gave this trip 3 stars because...
1. I wish there would have been an option to take a later train back into town it takes about 4 hours to get to Edinburgh from London but they book your return ticket for 5:30pm which, in my opinion doesn't give you a lot of time to really explore the city for the amount of money you are paying unless the only thing you really wanted to see was Edinburgh Castle. For some people this might be the perfect day trip for you if you don't want to get back to London too late!
2. Open top bus tour- runs every 20mins however, each bus only has so many seats so if they are full you have to wait for the next bus. My friend and I waited over 20mins for the bus to come and it was full when it came so we had to wait another 20 mins they wouldn't even let us stand on the lower floor. This was frustrating because we were on a tight schedule and you were wasting time waiting for the bus. Note we went in October... not sure if buses run more frequently during the summer.
The city itself is beautiful and I would highly recommend checking out Calton Hill if you have time!
Good way to see the country from London to Edinburgh. Easy on and off.
The Highlands tour was excellent. Out tour guide Rich was outstanding. He is a wealth of information about Scottish history and is a spell binding story teller! Loch Ness was beautiful and the crew on the boat ride were very informative. We opted for 1st class rail and it was worth it. Great service on the trip up to Edinburgh with no delays. A few delays on the return trip but we were fortunate to sit across from two Scottish lassies who were a wealth of information. The only negative were the hotel accommodations. It was a bare bones room with 2 twin size beds, no dressers or phone, one outlet and a wee TV. The beds, however, were comfortable and we didn't visit Edinburgh to watch TV. The staff at the hotel were very nice but we did have an issue after returning from the all day Highlands tour and finding that our bathroom was not cleaned and no fresh towels. Management quickly made sure we got our towels and offered complimentary drinks. This really is a great tour except for hotel and if you are fortunate enough to get Rich as your tour guide you will not be disappointed.
GUIDE MET US AT THE TRAIN STATION TO GIVE US VOUCHERS. ANSWERED ALL QUESTIONS AND WAS PROFESSIONAL. LONG TRAIN RIDE, BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT....AND WE DIDNT MIND... WE SLEPT AS WE WERE STILL JET LAGGING!
REALLY NEAT CITY. THE CASTLE WAS VERY COOL WITH GREAT LOOKOUTS OVER THE CITY AND THE OLD STREET DOWN FROM THE CASTLE WAS SOMETHING OUT OF A FAIRY TALE. LUNCH AND SHOPPING WAS PRIME AND THE DOUBLE DECKER BUS WAS RELAXING AND A GREAT WAY TO CHECK EVERYTHING OUT.
Good introduction to Edinburgh and Scottish Highlands.
This was a great tour mostly because we were left on our own. The tour rep met us at Kings Cross station, explained our tickets, gave us a map and a guide and told us which train to be in for the return trip and off we went. Edinburgh Was easy to navigate and there was plenty to see and do at our own pace. It was the perfect amount of time to spend there. I highly recommend this trip.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of England, Scotland and Wales. Our guide, Dave Neil was wonderful. He made history come alive and took the effort to make the trip a delight for everyone. He personalized the tour by playing music synched to the area Scottish music while in Scotland, Beetles when traveling to Liverpool, etc., and shared his favorite Deans shortbread cookies and specialty cheeses he picked up while in Chester. Our driver, Kevin was excellent and the rapport between them was fun. We were amazed at Kevins ability to maneuver the large bus through the narrow city streets. The bus was very clean, comfortable and roomy. Hotel accommodations were surprisingly high-end. Hilton, Radisson Blu, etc. and the breakfasts were fine. We had a great tour group of 35 from across the globe and wished we had more time to enjoy them.
Of the extra tours, we recommend the Liverpool tour and touring the castles. Most people think theyre all the same, but they are not. The tour of the Cardiff castle was a personal favorite. Without our tour guide, we would have missed the castles rich history and meaning of the decorative details of each room. The Edinburgh castle has a dramatic history and is in itself entirely different and distinct. We opted out of the Scottish dinner and decided to discover the city of Edinburgh. In short, our tour of the UK was simply excellent and were looking forward to exploring more of the world with Viator.
Scotland was wonderful! Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but the trip to the Highlands was definitely - and unexpectedly - the highpoint for me. I wish that the hotel had been closer to the center of town rather than a 20 walk to where things happened.
I would have given it 5 stars but the Waverly Hotel in Edinburgh only had one elevator which wasn't working and my wife and I who have bad knees had to walk up and down 5 flights of stairs to get tlo our room. The Highlands Tour guide who went by the name of Sandy was fantastic. sandy gave us a 5 star tour of the Scottish highlands and Loch Ness.
My only complaint is the return train ride stopping at every station possible along the way making the return trip 5.5 hours. Leaving at 530pm from Edinburgh could have been pushed to 730pm extending more time in Edinburgh which was needed and then probably a shorter trip back due to less trains stops at that time of day. Edinburgh is a beautiful city really requiring more time. The train trip up was fantastic and the English countryside is well worth the view. Beautiful other than the silly long trip back.
More info or a guided tour in Edinburgh would have been more enjoyable.
Overall it was a very good tour and experience. The train ride with Virgin was great too.
Edinburgh is great and well worth the visit, but this tour doesn't do it justice. First of all, it's not a tour per se. All you get is a rail ticket to Edinburgh, a voucher for a hop on, hop off bus, and priority entrance to Edinburg Castle. The Hop on Hop off bus is a complete waste or at least the one we used was as it only stops at select sites and sometimes it is a long like you might as well walk back to town it's so far walk between stops, which are not well marked on the map they give you. Perhaps other companies are better as there are several to choose from. Unfortunately, the guide who gave us our vouchers did not explain that the companies are different or provide any guidance on this point. Also, there is no live guide on the bus, so it's the typical audio recording stuff which is boring for kids and some adults.... Trains run to Edinburgh from Kings Cross fairly regularly throughout the day so in hindsight it makes much more sense to just book one yourself and then buy tickets for the Castle and bus if you choose to use it when you get there--you had to line up to hand in your vouchers anyway, so it wasn't clear that anything was saved by pre-booking here. Also, keep an eye on the calendar as Edinburgh is an entirely different city during the Fringe. Doing this one again I would definitely book a tour that has you staying overnight 1 day to allow more time to experience what is an amazing, ancient city without being exhausted and worrying about getting back on the train to London in time.
The tour was through Evan Evans. The contact person at the train station was very helpful, explaining in detail the itinerary and walking us to the train. Traveled coach with assigned seats so I don and #39;t think traveling first class is necessary. Used Hop on/Hop off to get to Edinburgh Castle.
We met the travel agent exactly on time and where we were told she would be. She was very helpful in telling us how and when to do things to optimize our time in Edinburgh as it was an unguided tour. The trip was awesome! Our family of 6 is Scottish so we thoroughly enjoyed the history of the city. Take a few minutes to go to the Edinburgh museum in the old city, its free and very informative. The inclusion of skip the line tickets was a lifesaver as the weather was very nice and the castle was very busy.
I would not recommend this trip to anyone. Almost 5 hours to Scotland and not much to see on the way up or back. Only 4 hours in Edinburgh, we saw the castle. Hop on/off again was useless die to congestion. The trip back was delayed more than a hour due signal problems in London. To us it was a waste of money and time. Better to stay in London and see more there.
While I have given this tour the 5 star highly-recommended rating, I would also point out that Viator doesn't get the credit, Insight Vacations the actual tour provider receives the accolades. Our booking confirmation from Viator stated a 7:15 am pickup in London on day one, with no mention of Insights involvement in the process. In fact Viator had stated if we had any issues we should contact their provider Evan Evans tours. No sign of a bus by 7:45...I call Evan Evans and they inform me they haven't worked with Viator in years. No contact info for Viator provided other than an email address.
Thinking at this point our tour is a bust, a bus pulls up just after 8:00 am from Insight and I'm relieved to find our names on their list. Poor and incorrect information from Viator will have me dealing directly with Insight in future. As for the tour, great work by our Insight director Brad Dick and driver Michael Elliot. Two top-notch professionals who kept us on track and made this quick tour one of the most interesting we've been on. A great sampler for those hoping to come back to Britain for a lengthier stay at one or more of these locations.
This tour was amazing!
We enjoyed the tour very much despite the long days on the bus. Cardiff was a waste as you arrive after the castle closes and there isn't much to do in the city. Our guide gave us 2 hours at Stonehenge which everyone agreed was too long while we could have used the time in Bath. Bus was comfortable and wifi worked for the most part. Our tour guide, Tom, was knowledgeable and accommodating..
Really enjoyed this trip. We went first class the the seating was great. The meal at the end of the day left much to be desired.
Good tour but you can probably arrange this one on your own. Train ride through the countryside is beautiful and Edinburgh Castle is beautiful and very historic. Since there is no tour guide, I would recommend staying overnight so that you have enough time to see more of the sights. The train trip takes 4 1/2 hrs each way so there isn't a great deal of time to see the sights if you're trying to do it in one day like we did.
This was an awesome day. Very long but well worth it. The train travel was long but being prepared with reading material made the time pass quickly.
I picked the first class option for the rail trip and quite enjoyed my ride. The included bus tour in Edinburgh is potentially quite useful if you've never been there or are unsure of what to see. Included entry to Edinburgh Castle is quite nice and allows you to skip a lot of lines. Time in Edinburgh is limited and the city has a lot to offer so I recommend prioritizing and eating on the train if possible. Overall a very good experience.
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