Re: visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow in Jan 2010 for the first time - anyonce care to h
I studied abroad in Scotland at the University of Glasgow for my junior year abroad and absolutely loved it -- you'll have a great time!
To answer your questions:
1. Re: weather, the eastern side of Scotland (where Edinburgh is) is much windier and colder than the western side (where Glasgow is) -- blame the Gulf Stream. It never really got much below freezing in Glasgow when I was there, but when I went to places like Edinburgh and St. Andrews I was shocked by the icy wind. Bring a heavy coat and water-resistant boots (it rains a ton, as I'm sure you've heard).
2. Winter definitely is the low tourist season, so some castles, historic homes etc. may be closed for the season (not so much in Edinburgh perhaps, but in the smaller towns around the country if you're considering day trips). If there's something you really want to see, check ahead of time to make sure it will be open to avoid disappointment. Most shops in Edinburgh should be open, I'd imagine.
3. As Host Bonjour said, the Royal Mile will definitely keep you busy for a couple of days, and there are a few good museums in town as well. Stirling is an easy day trip from Edinburgh (I believe you can either take a bus or train), as is Glasgow.
I wrote a trip report about my time in Scotland that you might find useful in deciding what to do... http://www.independenttraveler.com/t...rts.cfm?ID=122
4. I don't think I ever spent the night in Edinburgh because Glasgow was so close by, but there are definitely a ton of hostels there -- check hostels.com or hostelworld.com. If you can find one that has five-bed rooms, you could definitely get one to yourself.
5. Haha, sorry, I don't know about the kilts!
Hope that helps a bit. Let us know if you have other questions!
"I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag