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Day trips from London; Bus & Train travel in Scotland & Ireland

In May, my college-aged son will be spending 3 weeks in Spain and Portugal and fly from Barcelona to London, Glasgow, Dublin, or Belfast, and back home from one of those. He only plans to stay about 5 days, so he will only get a quick taste of wherever he goes. When he was 12, we did 5 days in London and toured England and then up to Glasgow and Edinburgh. so he has seen those places, though he would experience them differently now, of course. He is swamped with classes and teaching so I am helping with the planning and would appreciate suggestions as to a quick itinerary.

He will be traveling by train or bus, and I know that England has good connections but am not familiar with rail or coach travel in Scotland or Ireland. I love London and would be happy spending the days there but he wants to see a bit more or something different. Since he is in graduate school, I suggested he might want to visit Oxford or Cambridge.

This is a change to his original plans, so any suggestions/information will be greatly appreciated.

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