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2 Week Itinerary for Great Britain and Ireland

2 Week Itinerary for Great Britain and Ireland

Old Jun 27th, 2001, 07:04 AM
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2 Week Itinerary for Great Britain and Ireland

My father and I will be spending 2 weeks in Great Britain and Ireland from Sept 9th to Sept 22nd as a last father/daughter trip before I get married in October. He used to work in London when I was very young and would like to take me to the Tower of London, Stonehenge, Blarney Castle, and Bunratty Castle (he said years ago they used to throw a big medieval banquet at Bunratty -- and if they still do this he wants to go). Other than these places, I get to plan the whole trip and have no idea where to start.

We would like to see England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I am particularly interested in the Isle of Man (but don't know how to get there or what is there to see) and I would like to find my fiance's clan castle in Scotland (clan Forrester, but I am still trying to find out more about where their castle are/were) and see Loch Ness.

We will be flying into London and out of Shannon. So can someone come up with a 2 week intinerary for us? What is the best way to travel -- rental car, train? How do we get from one island to the next? My father and I enjoy history very much -- in fact we both do a little Medieval re-enacting, and I am very interested in historical romance, ghost stories, and faerie traditions. He has a bad knee and so cannot do very long or rigourous walks. He can do sightseeing, but it would be nice if we could plan half the day for sightseeing and standing on his knee, the other half for something more relaxing and less physically stressing.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 07:17 AM
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First you really need to pare down your itinerary - you won't see much if you try to squeeze in London, Scotland, Wales, The Isle of Man and Ireland into 2 short weeks.

As for Clan Forrester - they were mostly in the central and southern parts of Scotland. There may be a Scottish castle associated w/ them but the only one I have heard of is Bamburgh in Northumberland which is in northeast England. (Bamburgh is a fantastic place right on the north sea and not far from Lindisfarne - but a journey there will make your itinerary even harder.

Here is what I suggest: Arrive London. Spend five days (4 nights), then take the fast train to Edinburgh (2 nights), Pick up rental car and tour (3 nights) through the borders and along the coast to Bamburgh and back to Edinburgh, Turn in car and fly to either Dublin or Cork and you will have five days to barely scratch the surface of Ireland before driving to Shannon and flying home.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 07:27 AM
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Look at the drive/rail package for the England/Scotland portion of your trip. When we went, we had some sort of deal where we could take the train through the boring part (take the overnight train from London to Edinburgh) and pick up a car at the train station to drive through the beautiful parts.

As for Ireland, I would fly into Cork. The trip between Dublin and Shannon isn't that interesting but the southern and western coast are really nice.

Have a great trip.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 09:26 AM
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Wow, I thought I had a fast paced trip but not nearly as agressive as yours. Not sure what you should drop but you may want to consider cutting back a bit. If it were me I would drop Ireland and concentrate on Great Britain, ie, England, Wales and Scotland. In any event, have a great trip!
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 10:22 AM
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to the top..

Can any of you England/Scotland residents help this poster out?
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 11:39 AM
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I think I would try and cut some of this schedule out, it's just too much for so short a time. Spend a few days in London and then take the train to Edinburgh. Either tour from there or rent a car. If you must go to Ireland, fly to Shannon, but with all you need/want to to in England and Scotland going to Ireland too is going to be pushing it. If you drive remember many of the roads are not highways, they are country roads, quite narrow and very time consuming. it can take a long time to go a short distance, I've driven country roads in the UK, I know. Basically I think your plans are a little over ambitious, if you cut down some and concentrate on a couple of places it will be easier to manage. Trains in the UK and Scotland are good, you can use them to go from one city to another, it's quicker then driving. I know this advise sounds discouraging, but your trip has worn me out just reading about it. You also do not have a lot of time to plan if you mean 9/9 2001 departure.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 01:59 PM
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Bunratty has now become not just the castle, but also a folk park. Very interesting. They do still offer the medieval dinners. There's a new hotel also at Bunratty called the Bunratty Castle Hotel (though it's not a castle, just near one) They offer musical evenings in their dining room as well. Bunratty is great fun and I would suggest you try to fly into Shannon and see it.I do agree with the others that you've got at least 2 and possibly 3 separate trips here. I think you need to choose London and the west of Ireland or London and Edinburgh and the Borders plus Durham and York or London and possibly North Wales for castles with some visits to Chester/Shrewsbury etc. Your poor dad will be exhausted if you try to fit this all in. At any rate, I agree to skipping Dublin and the eastern part of Ireland. And I don't think much of Blarney Castle--it's been taken over by tour buses, even in the early morning. For help with Ireland go to www.ireland-withpatpreston.com Good luck.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 02:08 PM
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Too much! If you're interested in ghosts, take an evening ghost walk in York or Edinburgh. What would you think about flying into Ireland at Shannon or Dublin (Aer Lingus takes the same plane to both on all days but Saturday) and then a short flight via Ryan Air to London. Spend your time in London and then train to York and then train to Edinburgh. Then to Glasgow and flight back to Shannon, spending time exploring the west of Ireland. You would only need to rent a car for the days in Ireland. Ryan Air's flights are very reasonable and I would guess you would actually break even in the end.
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 03:42 PM
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Fly from London to Shannon and see Bunratty and the Cliffs of Moher and tour the South West and South or South West and West regions only in Ireland. Check out www.ryanair.ie for very cheap flights between Ireland and the UK and also get free brochures from the the Irish Tourist Board at www.ireland.travel.ie, for interesting places to stay ie old manor houses etc see www.hidden-ireland.com

Have fun and hope this helps,


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