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A weekend in Edinburgh made possible with a Rental Car

Renting a car to drive from London to Edinburgh with CarRentals.Co.Uk

August in Edinburgh means one thing – festivals! – and I wanted to see them all; but I didn’t see the point of flying between London and Edinburgh, and I certainly didn’t want to pay the extortionate amounts for a train ticket only to have to double the fee when I was coming back. That left me two choices – being cramped in a bus for eight-hours or renting a car. Car rental it was!

Sixt Car Rental at London, Heathrow

Picking up the car from London’s Heathrow airport I was secretly hoping that I’d get one of the European beauties. What are considered luxury cars in Australia are everywhere in Europe and I was itching to get inside one and hear the motor purr. But it seemed that being under-25 didn’t allow me a huge range of choices when it came to cars and the driving Gods had another car in mind for me…

Which luxury car will I choose to rent today at Sixt London Heathrow?

Renting a VW Golf from Sixt London Heathrow

I called her ‘Black Beauty’, much to my road trip buddys objections, and she was all mine even if just for one weekend.

Scottish country side from the car

Driving up to Edinburgh was a breeze. The motorways in the UK are simple to navigate and the road-users are, for the most part, polite – a refreshing change after road tripping in the US!

After passing the turn-off for Manchester things start the roadsides begin to flourish and the development drops away to showcase green pastures and hills. For me it was the perfect time to pull over and grab my camera to take a few snaps of the wild terrain.

The town of Lamington in Scotland - the Aussies would be disappointed!

Passing the Scottish border the greenery continues but little towns begin to crop up along the way. As an Aussie I was pretty excited to see the road-sign for the town of Lamington. Slowing down I was hoping for a cafe to stop at to grab one of the tasty chocolate, coconut and sponge-centered treats found at delis all over Australia; needless to say I was devastated to find a cluster of homes and no cafe selling one of my favourite Australian treats.

Main street in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is vibrant, fast, and unlike any city I have ever visited before. If you’ve visited the city you could understand how artists and authors – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K. Rowling, Kenneth Grahme – could draw inspiration from the city.

But I didn’t have time to sit in a cafe and ponder the wonders of the universe; it was festival time and the streets were buzzing with pop-up events, comedians to see, and art to watch come to life.

The Boy with Tape on his Face at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The first pitstop we made was to The Pleasance, a hub for the international Fringe Festival, and home to a diversity of acts ranging from moving theatre pieces, comic brilliance, and musicians.
We were attending a taster session with a smattering of performers across all the artistic fields performing inside The Pleasance, but the highlight for me was finally seeing The Boy with Tape on his Face perform a show which really makes you appreciate what everyday items can do if you use your imagination.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland

After a hectic day seeing the city, taking in the best of the Edinburgh Arts festival, getting lost driving around Edinburgh’s closed off streets, and seeing Australian comic, Jim Jefferies, we were meant to head to the famous Spiegeltent but having arrived in the city too late to collect our tickets to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the main reason I invited Dylan to head North with me.

Walking down the town centre, tiredness overcoming us and thinking a shot of whiskey before bed would be the best course, we heard a scalper selling last-minute tickets to that night’s performance. Though we’d missed 20 minutes of the performance we still arrived in time to see the best bits and we got tickets front and center for less than retail cost – bargain!

The Famous Spiegel Tent at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo was unbelievable and we were rejuvenated, even if just for a few hours, which meant that we had enough time to enjoy a drink at the Spiegeltent.
Spiegeltents are easily deconstructed wooden and canvas performance tents originally created in the late 19th century, lavishly decorated with mirrors and stained glass. In Edinburgh the tents are home to cabaret-style acts, circus acts and classical music for a small entrance fee. Inside are plenty of comfortable tables or booths and a bar – the perfect way to relax after a long day.

Hotel Indigo boutique hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland

Returning to the boutique Hotel Indigo I was happy for the comfortable bed they provided before another long day of festival events before driving back to London.

The Forum in Edinburgh Scotland with the Olympic Rings outside

Before we left Edinburgh I needed to do two things: buy a tartan hat for my Grandpa and take a photo of the Assembly with the Olympic rings outside. The perfect momento to finish an epic weekend in Edinburgh.

The little zippy VW 'beast' that CarRentals.co.uk provided me with to drive from London to Edinburgh with the Olympic rings in the background at the Forum

 

Where would you like to take your next road trip?

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9 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sammi
    September 15, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun, I live in the very south of England, and unfortunately don’t hold a driving license… Also, it must’ve cost you a small fortune in petrol?

    • Reply
      Nicole
      September 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      It was a great weekend Sammi! Hopefully you and some friends can do it sometime. 🙂

      The petrol wasn’t too bad over all. We used two tanks – one each way with enough spare to use around the city – and it cost us about 50quid per tank which was within the budget we’d planned.
      It was worth renting a car just to have the freedom to stop whenever we wanted, to side-track and see different places, and to drive around Edinburgh instead of having to work out the public transport system just for a weekend.

  • Reply
    Teresa G.
    September 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

    WOW Edinburgh is GORGEOUS. I had no idea. I love that you named your little car too!! And I am drooling at the uber uniqueness of your hotel. Sounds like a nice trip lovely 🙂

    • Reply
      Nicole
      September 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      It is a stunning place Teresa! Definitely recommend you put it on your ‘to visit’ list.

      I’m a bit of a sucker for naming rent-a-cars. The American car was ‘The Beast’ because it was a big wide Chevy.

      You should try and stay at Hotel Indigo when you go to Edinburgh – fantastically boutique. Will have a review up in a fortnight-or-so with more pics. 🙂

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