Paris, Venice, and Bruges are generally the first cities that come to mind when considering the most romantic cities in the world. However, if you’re planning on travelling to the UK this summer, there are many romantic cities which ooze culture, history and old fashioned British charm. UK history offers some of the most important architectural structures, cobblestone alleys, windswept beaches and recognisable infamous backdrops (think “Wuthering heights” and rom coms such as “Notting hill”) of any other island in the world.
Two of the most romantic cities in the UK for a weekend break or in fact just a day trip are London & Edinburgh. You can easily cover both cities in one trip by just catching a flight or train from London to Edinburgh. Whether you reside in the UK and are seeking a weekend getaway or you’re travelling from overseas and are planning your itinerary, the details below should help you on your way.
London is the largest metropolis in the UK with a total area of 1,572 km2 and a population of 9.78 million. In contrast, Edinburgh has a far smaller land area (264 km2) and only 500,000 people. Due to Edinburgh’s compact size, travelers can easily explore the city’s main attractions on foot. A very short hop by taxi or bus takes you to the harbour area of the city known as “Leith” (which is definitely worth a visit) or the outlying windswept beaches which lie to the east of the city such as Portabello, Gullan or North Berwick.
Traversing the vast area of London is simple with the use of the extensive tube and bus network but, due to its size, needs a little more planning in terms of order of sight-seeing and timing to get there. Although many attractions are centrally based and can be done on foot, It can take over an hour and half to get from one end of London to the other on the tube system so plan your journeys to avoid exhausting yourself on day one!
London and Edinburgh are contrasting cities and spending a few days in Each, if you are visiting from abroad, gives a real flavour of the different sides of the UK. In terms of history, culture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, neither of them lacks anything and you’ll probably wish you just stayed that extra few days.
Contrasting Sides of the Two Cities
Once you’ve been to Edinburgh, you’ll want to keep going back because it’s such a friendly city. Edinburgh has a lot to offer. It has a really romantic vibe, with it’s a cosy cobblestone streets and majestic structures giving an ambience of serenity and peace regardless of the season or time of day. In addition to the charming Old Town, you may also enjoy the Georgian New Town’s more cosmopolitan vibe. For those who love culture, there are free museums and artistic events available almost daily so do your research on “What’s on Edinburgh” and drop in on a ghost tour of the city, or the latest event at the Playhouse. For culinary enthusiasts, there are Michelin-starred restaurants, and for partygoers, there is a vibrant nightlife.
London, the vibrant and international capital of the UK, is the ideal location for a romantic city holiday. Every couple will not be short of something to do – whether you prefer the rom-com-inspired neighborhoods of Notting Hill or the supreme grandeur of Knightsbridge. For lovers, London is an incredibly tempting city. Visit one of the several museums or art galleries, take in a West End performance, or have cocktails with a view from The Shard. Walk leisurely through London’s oldest streets, or along the Thames at the Southbank (which offers pretty waterside coffee shops and close up views of some of the greatest buildings in the world) without spending a penny.
These cities have a unique personality of their own. They provide two distinct perspectives of the UK and are completely different vacation experiences. They’re not just around the corner from each other, but If you do have time to visit both, you won’t regret the effort taken to travel between the two.
How to reach Edinburgh from London
On average, it will take 5 hours and 29 minutes to go by train from London to Edinburgh. Look for the quickest services which can bring you to Edinburgh in as short a time as 4 hours and 10 minutes. Trains from London to Scotland are usually quiet, cool and spacious as this isn’t the usual Monday to Friday commuter route so you can open a book and relax. An alternative option is to stop over halfway. Manchester, or York are great cities which are on route to Edinburgh and if 4-5 hours seems a long trip it’s simple to stop off on your way for an overnight breather and experience another great British city.
Once in Scotland, Edinburgh’s main and most important station is Waverley. The castle is easily seen from the station exits and is breath taking. Jump off the train and you are in the centre of the city which is the main plus point of arriving via this method. You don’t really need a car in
Edinburgh so drop your bags at your desired hotel and you’ll be sightseeing or relaxing within 20 minutes of arriving.
Given that both cities are 332 miles apart, flights from London to Edinburgh is typically the quickest option. Edinburgh only has one major airport, which is conveniently situated around 8 miles from the city center and has good public transport connections. You can travel to the city center from the airport by taxi, Uber, tram, scheduled private transfer, or city bus. The tram and bus are the most affordable options at approximately £20 from the airport to the city centre. And will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes door to door. The typical direct flight duration from London to Edinburgh is 60 to 90 minutes and flights from London Gatwick and London Heathrow have regular daily schedules. Skyscanners is a good way to search for the cheapest flights between the cities. Remember to account for the time it takes to get to the London airport of your choice as well as the necessity to check in at least one hour prior to takeoff.
By Car hire
Car hire sometimes can be expensive in the UK but shop around and you can get some great deals and of course you have the luxury of stopping off and stretching your legs at will. Journey time (depending on where you start from in London) will be around 6.5 hours on a non-stop trip but places such as the Manchester, the peak district, the lake district and the Yorkshire dales are all directly on your journey so it’s a great way to see some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer if your schedule allows. The direct route is largely motorway so driving is simple and, unlike many places in Europe, British drivers are conservative and drive on the left-hand side so you won’t feel like this option is taking your life in your own hands. Booking.com offers the ability to book a one-way car hire service with the biggest hire car companies so you can pick your car up in London and drop it off in Edinburgh city centre giving you the freedom to take a quicker flight or train journey home