What’s the best way for a traveling nomad like myself to be welcomed to the new city she will call “Home” you ask? Immediately going on holiday of course!
I couldn’t resist partaking in my first bank holiday (AKA what people in the UK call a public holiday) in England by doing what the locals do and leaving for the long weekend even if this meant arriving in Manchester to quickly be whisked away to spend my Easter weekend visiting Scotland.
Car – A road trip in Scotland is personally what I would recommend if you have access to a vehicle. The drive from Manchester to either Edinburgh or Glasgow is only a short 4-hour drive and has you pass some lush green areas, farms, small towns and winding roads that will make the drive worth it. Additionally, a car will help you maximize your long weekend by allowing you to visit more than one place in Scotland.
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Train – Trains to and from Scotland leave daily from main train stations and take anywhere from 3-4 hours to destinations such as Edinburgh or Glasgow from Manchester. Tickets start from $29 USD (23 Pounds) for a one way depending on how advance you book. Click here to find time tables and to book online.
Bus – Bus’ to Scotland’s main cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow will take about a 5 hour journey from Manchester and can be as cheap as $18.35 USD (14.50 Pounds) round trip. Click here to find time tables and to book.
English is spoken in Scotland so it’s fairly easy to manage getting around. Just keep in mind that they do have a strong English accent so initially you may think they are speaking a different language. Just kindly ask that they slow down if you aren’t understanding them and accept that they may also begin to speak louder because this clearly helps you better understand what people are saying. 😉
Where I Went
Melrose – Used this town as a home base during my bank holiday in Scotland. This location was perfect for easy day trips since it’s conveniently located only an hour from many of the places I visited and has Airbnb options.
Resources: While I used Melrose as a base there are a bit of sightseeing you could do here. Click here to see what.
New Lanark – This small village is only an hour and half drive from Melrose (AKA where my Airbnb was). This former cotton mill is now an Unesco heritage site.
- Falls of Clyde and Wildlife Reserve
- Lanark Loch
- New Lanark Village
Tip: If driving, make a stop in the royal borough of Pebbles post your visit to New Lanark and enjoy a meal in this quaint Scottish country town for a feel of how locals live outside of the big cities.
Edinburgh – This compact and hilly city is the capital of Scotland and certainly a must on your list when visiting Scotland. There is quite a bit to do but if smart this can easily be accomplished in a day since everything is close and walk-able.
- Arthur’s Seat
- Calton Hill
- Forth Bridge
- Royale Mile
- Edinburgh Castle
- The Old Town
Where To Eat: While I didn’t have a chance to eat at these places due to the Easter Holiday causing many to be closed or have reduced hours when I went, I heard from trusted sources these are places to eat at so I figured they were worth sharing.
- Henderson’s – Perfect for lunch as its not fancy but healthy and wholesome.
- Six by Nico – Meant to be an amazing fine dining experience.
- Harajuku Kitchen – Delicious Japanese cuisine that isn’t fancy.
- Bread Meats Bread – Yummy burger chain with a location in Edinburgh.
Jedburgh – This little boarder town between England and Scotland is a great stop to cut your journey back to England and get another taste of a traditional Scottish town.
- Jedburgh Abbey
- Jedburgh Castle and Jail
Obviously, I have quite a bit I still want to see in Scotland such as Glasgow, Isle of Arran and Loch Ness but I have tons of bank holidays in my new home country that I will make sure to visit and add these cities to this post. (Keep your eyes peeled for more additions here.)