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Getting to Edinburgh by coach

Coach travel is time-consuming - the journey from London, for example, takes nine to ten hours (compared to four or five on the train) - and you don't get much choice about when and how you travel. On the other hand, it's cheap, flexible, very easy to arrange and it's a low-hassle form of transport, all of which make it particularly popular at both the backpacker and senior-citizen ends of the travelling spectrum.

Britain's best known coach operator is National Express, though within Scotland its former subsidiary Scottish Citylink largely holds sway. Generally, if your journey starts south of the Border, you'll need to use National Express; if you're traveling from within Scotland, you'll need Citylink.  Both of the operators’ websites have good online planning tools, which can work out the best route even if it involves multiple changes.

Taking their cue from the airline industry, coach operators these days offer a limited number of tickets at very good prices.  National Express offers a fare from London at a barain £15, though to get that kind of fare you’ll need to book well in advance.  But even a flexible ticket from London weighs in at around £50, and senior citizens get a very generous 33% discount.

If the person booking doesn’t have web access, or if you simply prefer the personal touch, you can also buy coach tickets through many travel agents.

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