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Edinburgh to Dublin - How would you get there by train?

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Spring 2015 I will be traveling with some friends in Europe and what has come up in my planning is a challenge of getting from Edinburgh to Dublin.

Originally I was thinking of just flying but my one companion is very nervous of planes and also has trouble packing light. I basically ruled it out when I read the under 22# limits for carry-ons and checked bag fees. This combination means trains.

I've done my research and know that the best routes are either through Holyhead or Belfast. I'm leaning towards Holyhead just because I think I'll have a fight on my hands over the bus connection between Glasgow and the Belfast ferry. Plus I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of Wales.

However, I think that makes for a really long day and would like to propose a 1 day stop over in England or Belfast (if I can get past the bus issue). What town would you suggest on the train route between Edinburgh and Holyhead as a good place to spend an afternoon and morning overnight?

Thanks.

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