Visiting the land of lochs and legends has always been a dream ever since I first read about them on storybooks. When I got the chance to study in London, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. With London being the most expensive city in the world, it wasn’t easy to manage my expenses and still have the luxury to travel around the UK. I wanted to travel so badly that I spent countless hours on the internet, reading and researching about Scotland. Eventually, I managed to design an itinerary that would fit a student’s budget because just like me, I was pretty sure there were more who also wanted to see the world and money isn’t going to hinder us from doing just that.
I planned months in advance and I learnt that in the UK, the earlier you book, the better it is for you. With £400, me and friend didn’t starve, didn’t sleep in run down places nor did we live like a pauper. In fact, we ate lavishly, slept well and most importantly, we had a pretty amazing time.
I booked my coach ticket from London to Edinburgh 2 weeks in advance. I’m not sure if the time of the year mattered but I travelled around June and the ticket was only for £30 per person. Note that the £61 below was booked for two.
I also booked the activities in advance like the tickets for sightseeing and the infamous ghost tour which I shall share with you shortly. I would also be posting about my detailed itinerary soon.
We stayed in a hostel in Edinburgh called Budget Backpackers (a post will be dedicated for it as well, please stay tuned) for £49 per person for 3 nights. The bookings were made for 2 people so I will be making the calculations for you at the end of the post.
The rooms were great with a soft bed, reading lamp, locker, and your own charging station. The bathroom had 24/7 hot water and vanity mirrors + hair dryer. There was also the laundry room, the lounge where you could play pool, use the free wifi, order snacks and so on. They had a kitchen, another tree house lounge to chill with your friends, a friendly staff who gave away free guides and discount vouchers at local pubs. More details on my post.
At the hostel, we made friends with 3 more girls from London who were also our roommates although we didn’t really get the time to hang out because we were all very busy with our schedules.
So on the first day we saw the Edinburgh Castle which I had booked in advance with a ticket for the Royal Yacht Britannia for only £29.19 for both the tickets per person. (I bought a package)
There was also a £2 fee for the audio guide which is totally optional, you can just read about the castle on the description provided on every display.We then walked around the Royal Mile to St. Giles Cathedral which costs nothing unless you want to take pictures. I bought a wooden cross and post cards for £25 at the souvenir shop.
I had a quick lunch at the Oink Hog Roast and ate the biggest roll called ‘The Grunter’ for only £4.95. The freshly carved hog roast was really delicious and I probably would come back for it again if I ever get another chance to. Remember they are highly demanded so they tend to run out of stock for soups and extras real quick.
The City of the Dead Ghost Tour costed us £11 per person since we were students. We ate dinner at one of the few restaurants that were open after the late tour, Blue Maison, which was for £20 for the Cod Fish that I ate.
Read about my Day 1 in Scotland here.
We ate breakfast at a nearby restaurant called Scooby Doo which was hardly £15 for both so I would make an estimate of a £80 for food for the 3 days in Edinburgh including the lavish 7 course dinner at the Gardener’s Cottage which costed us £99 for two people. There I had the best Asparagus Soup I’ve ever had in my entire life. Read about my Day 2 in EDN here.
The third day in Edinburgh was spent hiking at Arthur’s Seat which honestly costed only a bottle of water and an ice cream. I would also be giving an estimate for transport such as the bus ride to Royal Yacht Britannia and Royal Botanic Garden (The garden is free unless you go to the glasshouse which is only for £5).
*Tip: Book Royal Yacht and Royal Garden on the same day so you only have to spend on the bus once from the hostel since both the destinations are located in a walking distance from each other.
The Scottish whiskey tour cost only £12 per person which includes tasting as well. The Camera Obscura costed £12.50 for students and since there are a lot to see, you could use the same ticket to see the rest of their illusions the next day.
The ticket to Fort William was only for £17.60 per person. We initially booked the famous Jacobite train for around £60 but then after doing the research, I found out that you get to see the same view for much less than the price only without the steam. And we decided to spend that on staying in Fort William instead.
We rented a bike for £25 per day for one day and cycled to wherever we wanted to go. We also cycled up and down the hills of Fort William and got to witness such a breathtaking view. The rest of the days we walked from the site to the town which was tiring but very fulfilling.
We spent one night at Chase The Wild Goose Hostel for £15 per person before we decided to go camping.
We carried our own tent so we only paid £9 per night at the Glen Navis Camp Site to pitch our tent and we got to wake up to the sight of the magnificent Ben Navis mountain every morning. The camp site had a laundry room where we charged our phones and a fully functional bathroom with hairdryer and vending machines. A total of £27 for 3 nights.
We ate lunch and sometimes even dinner at the local burger joint (It was heaven) for £5 for a set of cheese burger and chips with hot chocolate. We also ate at the Glen Navis Restaurant, had the £12 steak at J.D Witherspoon, splurged at Crannog Seafood Restaurant and of course, ate at McDonald’s just for their wifi. We also went fishing and bought fishing equipments for £20, shopped at Morrison’s and barbecued at the camp. The food could be estimated to £60 per person.
Buying souvenirs depends on how much extra cash you have. I bought man made watches, lockets and a bag for around £50.
We went back to London via Edinburgh and paid just about the same amount.
Here’s a summary of the total cost for one person:
Hope you enjoyed the post! Stay tuned for more budget travels! 😀
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