Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What's the best for a London-Edinburgh return trip?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Tuesday 20 August 2013
Q Best and cheapest London-Edinburgh-London route in your honest opinion? Hoping to travel to zoo in teachers' holiday before term starts.
A Edinburgh's zoo is certainly one of the UK's finest, and of course the city has much more to offer - see our most recent 48 Hours in the Scottish capital, available at bit.ly/Edinburgh48. The problem with a short-notice trip in the next couple of weeks is two-fold. First, the largest arts festival in the world - the Edinburgh Fringe - is on until 26 August, meaning demand for travel to and from the city is stronger than usual and fares are higher. For example, flying out on the morning of Saturday 24 August, back the following evening, the lowest fare is around £200 (on easyJet, out from Luton and back to Stansted).
In addition, if you were hoping to stay overnight, expect high rates. But during the following week, prices fall dramatically - fly from Southend on easyJet and you can find fares as low as £72 return. That's probably the cheapest deal, but as for the best: undoubtedly the train. Either the scenic day service, with East Coast Trains departures every half-hour, or ScotRail's sleeper - which of course removes the need for accommodation. Leaving on the first fast service (at 7am) on Wednesday 28 August, spending 12 hours in the city
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