2 weeks; London, Edinburgh & Dublin?

Old Dec 4th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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2 weeks; London, Edinburgh & Dublin?

My wife and I are in the initial stages of planning a two week trip to the United Kingdom. On our wishlist is seeing London and some of the countryside and Scotland, (Edinburgh?) and also Ireland, maybe Dublin. We are planning on going the first two weeks of August 2012. We were thinking of maybe having two or three home bases and then taking day trips. Not sure about the flying agenda, maybe flying in and out of London to save money? Do you think we can cover this area in two weeks? Any ideas/thoughts?
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Old Dec 4th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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Bob2010, We did a very similar trip except that we only wanted 2 days in London since it was not our first time. The trip was London, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Stratford upon Avon, Cotswalds, York and Edinburgh. It sounds like a lot of driving and time traveling, but really it was not. If you care for more details click my name and scroll to the trip report entitled "The Volcano gods smiled...." There may be some ideas there that you could find of interest. There is also a separate TR reviewing B&Bs where we stayed along the way. This trip combined both train and driving and was one of the more successful of our trips in every respect.
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Old Dec 4th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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to add to the above - no Dublin that time though
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Old Dec 4th, 2012, 05:12 PM
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"<i>On our wishlist is seeing London and some of the countryside and Scotland, (Edinburgh?) . . . </i>"

Stop there. That is a pretty full 2 weeks already.

A week in London w/ maybe 1 day trip, maybe 2 days somewhere else (the Cotswolds, or York, or the Lake Dist, or anywhere) and 3 days in/around Edinburgh. That plus your travel time will equal 2 weeks. If you mean two weeks 'on the ground' then you are talking about 16 days total (I'd still stick to just the UK)
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Old Dec 4th, 2012, 10:24 PM
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I agree with all of the above. Save Ireland for another trip, and see more than Dublin
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Old Dec 4th, 2012, 11:00 PM
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I agree, if you're going to do Ireland, DON'T limit yourselves to Dublin. Dublin blows. Did a two-week trip to Ireland a couple years ago and roadtripped around the entire northern and western half of the country, then up into actual Northern Ireland. Spent three days in Belfast (decently fun) and two days in Dublin, which sucked. Dublin nowadays is tourist traps and Polish immigrants and that's about it. Rent a car, go to Connemara, most beautiful countryside I've ever seen. And do Ireland in a separate trip or extend your travel plans to three or four weeks.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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I've been to all places you want to go and I think it would be quite difficult to do it all... I recommend: London (my favourite city on Earth), from there you can do a 1-day tour Bath, Stonehedge and Windsor (I'm not a big fan of tours but if you don't have much time, that's the way to go, they leave from Victoria Station but you can get more info with your travel agent), then visit Oxford or Cambridge. If you are coming to Scotland you must visit Edinburgh, it's incredible. The only problem is that August is Festival season and accommodation is much more expensive than usual. I would suggest you have a look at self-catering apartments (www.edinburgh-flats.com), which are, in general, more affordable than hotels.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 12:06 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean get more information with your travel agent, I meant with the hotel receptionist.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 12:43 AM
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"Dublin nowadays is tourist traps and Polish immigrants and that's about it."

A narrow minded and thoroughly incorrect assessment of a wonderful city.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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""Dublin nowadays is tourist traps and Polish immigrants and that's about it.A narrow minded and thoroughly incorrect assessment of a wonderful city."

Rather: a mildly offensive and extreme way of stating a totally indisputable truth.

There are loads of terrific things about Ireland. If you're visiting London and Edinburgh, and have limited time, Dublin is very unlikely to be one of them.

If you've got real business in Dublin, fine: most genealogical visits to Ireland necessitate visiting Dublin, the only place a lot of local records can be accessed, the Chester Beattie Museum has just about Europe's finest manuscript display, and those interested in Ireland's war of independence will find a lot of key monuments.

But otherwise, just a second-rate version of what's in London, Edinburgh and Oxford or Cambridge (except the Guinness tat, which really IS a first-rate version of Guinness tat). Nothing remotely wrong with being a second rate London (there are very few places on earth that could even aspire that high): but you haven't got time to waste.

Ireland's marine coastline (especially in the North and the SW) and many of its gardens are world-beaters, and may not even require going through Dublin airport to get to from SE England or central Scotland.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Wow lannon how old are you, 13? Dublin "blows" and "sucks" ..??
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Iannon is a bit strong in his opinions, but Dublin is not simply not on the same level as Edinburgh.

London is sui generis.

If you're thinking of going to Edinburgh in August, MAKE YOUR ARRANGEMENTS ASAP. Edinburgh triples in size in August because it basically hosts one festival per 10 residents (or so it seems). See here: http://www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk/

Would consider London for 5-6 nights and Scotland for 8-9 with about 1/2 in Edinburgh and 1/2 with a car. If you're flying on United or from the east coast, there are direct flights from Newark to Edinburgh (and Glasgow, I think) so you don't have to go back to London or transfer either Heathrow (flippin' nightmare) or Gatwick on your way out of Albion.

Ireland should be a separate trip because it's more of an itinerant itinerary - the star attraction is the countryside and Ring of Kerry, not its capital.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Well I happen to find Dublin charming - but in the time you have you just really don't have time to see so many different places.

London, countryside and Edinburgh is already jam packed for two weeks.

I think you either need to leave Ireland for another trip - or choose between Ireland and Scotland,
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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<i>If you're thinking of going to Edinburgh in August, MAKE YOUR ARRANGEMENTS ASAP. Edinburgh triples in size in August because it basically hosts one festival per 10 residents (or so it seems). </i>

With accommodation prices to match - B&B owner friends of mine are considering renting the whole of their place to one of the larger acts and disappearing for the whole month. The profit they'll make is the same as their profit for the other 11 months.

The Festival Fringe (just one of the festivals) is the world's largest Arts festival by far and it's an astounding experience.

But if you aren't interested in seeing several shows a day Edinburgh is best avoided in August
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 05:46 AM
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A couple of days in Dublin is an exercise used by some some to get bragging rites and an Irish stamp in their Passport. There is Dublin and then there is Ireland (for now at least) and if you want to experience rather than see Ireland you need a couple of weeks and to stay well clear of the tourist traps.
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for all the replies! Sounds like we might have to rethink Dublin/Ireland, but right now we need to figure out what to do about Edinburgh. We do have to stick with August, but we could rearrange things if there are any less busy windows to visit. One question, is it feasible to stay outside the city if we have to, and drive and/or take public transportation into the city?
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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Last time we were out by Edinburgh we stayed at the Premier Inn Musselburgh (got a deal for the weekend). very handy for getting into the city. We have also used the Premier Inn in Falkirk which might be a good option if you plan on exploring around the north side. Stirling is possibly our favourite castle and also take a look at the Wallace Monument. Rabbies do some decent small tours if you fancy letting someone else do the driving,
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 06:55 AM
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Another thought is to stay in Glasgow and daytrip to Edinburgh. It's only an hour by train, and there's lots to see in/from Glasgow also. In either case, I'd book your hotel ASAP. We're going to Edinburgh in September and hotels were filling up then also.

Having pruned Dublin from your trip, you could fly an open jaws into London out of Glasgow -- or into Glasgow out of London. (This is called multi-city on airline websites and should cost about the same as round-trip -- especially as you save the time and expense of backtracking.)

Or you could decide to skip Scotland this time and go to Ireland instead.
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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Bob, I think being in Edinburgh in the thick of festival season is an incredible opportunity - not an annoyance.

Go and experience it. You'll be so glad you did. You don't have to decide on shows/tattoos/concerts/etc. until Spring when all the schedules come out and the various tickets go on sale.

Yes, room prices in town will be inflated in August but it is money very well spent for a once in a lifetime opportunity. That said, booking a room for Edinburgh right now is not too soon. By January, it may be too late...

Also - FWIW - I think three countries is way to much for 2 weeks. England and Scotland is WAY more than enough for that time frame even if you left out London and Edinburgh altogether (which at a minimum require 8 and 3 days each respectively, IMHO).
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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"<i>We do have to stick with August, but we could rearrange things if there are any less busy windows to visit.</i>"

No - all of August will be busy-

"<i>One question, is it feasible to stay outside the city if we have to, and drive and/or take public transportation into the city?</i>"

That is a possibility - but don't drive into the city. Take the train.Parking and driving in Edinburgh is pretty bad (horrible actually) but the train station is in the very center of the city. I'd first try to find a place IN the city. If you can't find anything (or anything in your budget) then you can look at places near train lines - Linlithgow, Stirling, Perth, Falkirk, Dunblane, etc.

"<i>You don't have to decide on shows/tattoos/concerts/etc. until Spring when all the schedules come out and the various tickets go on sale.</i>"

True re the Festival/Fringe but NOT the Tattoo. It is already on sale and many of the best seats are gone.
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