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Good central base to explore from with free parking options

Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
95 posts
18 reviews
Good central base to explore from with free parking options

I'll be visiting the last 2 weeks in September. This will be my 5th trip, so I have seen bits of quite a lot. Most trips I have spent 2-3 days max in a particular place and have done a couple of circles up north in and around the highlands.

This trip has a purpose not limited to just travel/exploring, I am considering an application to study abroad in Edinburgh starting next year. So I would like to base myself somewhere central to explore more of the areas surrounding Edinburgh and Glasgow and get a good feel for what it would be like to live in some nice places within commuting distance while also doing some leisurely exploring. I say the surrounds as I don't know that I am keen to live city central nor pay the associated prices, I would like to live in/near a village, have a garden, room for my pets, etc. Considering buying a property if it all goes forward and my price range would definitely have me out of the city in that case.

I will have a car throughout my stay and prefer stay in any particular spot 5-7 days and explore from there to places like Oban, Wigtown, Pitlochry, etc. Staying central Edinburgh or Glasgow seems less ideal also due to finding parking, cost to park, have spent plenty of time in both. Would Stirling be a good base with more free parking accessible or is it similar to the bigger cities in that respect?

9 replies to this topic
Shetland Islands...
Level Contributor
340 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

There is a guide to parking in Stirling here

https:/…9824-final-new-car-park-guide.pdf

Scotland
Level Contributor
1,050 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

Stirling is a very agreeable place, however; and you may think this a daft question, wherever you are, you will be staying somewhere. Is the question not then, is there parking where you are staying, rather than, is there a lot of free parking in Stirling generally? (To which the answer is: yes, quite a lot, but like most places, onstreet parking in the extended central area is generally chargeable daytime.)

Scotland
Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
8,514 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

Rather than the centre of Stirling why not look at nearby towns/villages like Bridge of Allan or Dunblane. These might be more likely to have free parking and are possibly more pleasant places to base yourself. Nothing wrong with Stirling but it's bigger and busier..

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
15,422 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

If you're going to be a student in Edinburgh you need to consider transport costs and times as well as housing costs.

I'd suggest the Falkirk area as there are frequent trains (more frequent from Falkirk High than from Grahamston) and a local bus service around Falkirk (better from Grahamston) and housing on the outskirts is reasonable to buy or rent. However, rail season tickets are not cheap, and for cheap travel you want to be in Edinburgh within the Lothian Bus network.

Transport also depends a bit on where in Edinburgh you will be studying.

Scotland
Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
8,514 posts
29 reviews
5. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

I'm a bit confused. Is the OP looking for a central place for a 2 week stay to explore the Glasgow /Edinburgh area, or somewhere to stay where she hopes to eventually buy property?

Haddington, United...
Destination Expert
for Haddington, East Lothian
Level Contributor
5,910 posts
238 reviews
6. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

I would look around Bo'Ness/ Linlithgow area as you have good transport links into either Edinburgh, Glasgow or Stirling and the accommodation prices's are about half of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
95 posts
18 reviews
7. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

@thegoodwitch The latter and so exploring those general areas with that in mind vs just a vacation.

Edited: 18 June 2018, 11:32
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
95 posts
18 reviews
8. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

Thank you for the suggestions, they were very helpful!

Edited: 18 June 2018, 11:33
Scotland
Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
8,514 posts
29 reviews
9. Re: Good central base to explore from with free parking options

In that case I’d be looking nearer Edinburgh than Stirling, Falkirk etc. the cost of commuting will add up if you stay that far out. Linlithgow is handier for Edinburgh but housing costs there are high. Look at Broxburn, South Queensferry, Winchburgh, East Calder, Kirknewton etc. these are all commuter towns / villages where you should be able to find property with a garden within a short commute to Edinburgh. They’re all on the west side of town so good for striking out to the places you mention that you want to explore.

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