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Dollars, Euros, Visa, Mastercard, Debit card?????

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Just a few more questions...tying up loose ends before we leave this is regarding money. I am concerned about exchanging dollars to euros then exchanging euros to pounds. We are taking a 3 week trip to Ireland and Scotland should I take money..or charge what I can to two credit cards Visa and Mastercard ( which one is more widely accepted?) then pay the bill when we return or should I take our local bank debit card that is tied to our checking account here in the states and use the ATM as needed. And finally, what amount of "pocket cash" is recommended in liu of large amounts of cash.

Thanks for the help
chb

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