Dublin, Ireland back to London

Old Mar 31st, 2024, 06:53 PM
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Dublin, Ireland back to London

I am a solo traveller and thinking about taking this CIE tour.
Taste of Britain and Ireland.
I am not allowed to post the link.

It seems semi- fast-paced but not too bad?
Thoughts?

I would prefer to fly in and out of London which would mean somehow getting back to London from Dublin.
Perhaps doing some a bit more sightseeing in Wales.
What are my options?
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Old Mar 31st, 2024, 07:04 PM
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Welcome to Fodors. Honestly the best way to get back to London would be to fly and not try to fit in Wales

If you went to Wales by ferry you'd be on the far north western bit on Angelsey at Holyhead or in Pembroke. Then you'd be stuck pretty much limited to trains/buses to explore Wales which isn't easy. Or you could fly Dublin to Cardiff and rent a car there.

I'm busy just now but will try to find your tour and look it over later tonight
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Old Mar 31st, 2024, 07:07 PM
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Actually I don't mind trains and buses to explore Wales. Maybe a day or two to be honest.

I appreciate any insight you have.

I mainly did escorted tours Trafalgar, Globus, Cosmos about 30 years ago.

Haven't left the USA since 2000, so a lot has changed since I was last in the UK.
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Old Mar 31st, 2024, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by atexit8
Actually I don't mind trains and buses to explore Wales. Maybe a day or two to be honest. . . . .
I meant that touring Wales by public transport isn't easy. It is a very rural country with a lot of mountains and small towns / villages with no rail service. But one area it would work is North Wales along the coast from Angelsey through Conwy, Colwyn Bay then to Chester and finish up in Manchester and take a train down to London.

But now the bad news Actually good news since it appears you haven't yet booked the tour. But if it was me I'd run as far and as fast as I could away from that itinerary. Assuming it is this tour https://www.cietours.com/tours/irela...ritain-ireland

• 2 nights London so one full day while jet lagged,
• 1 night Bath (equals half a day),
• ONE day for the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Liverpool,
• half a day for the Lake District before driving to Edinburgh,
• one full day in Edinburgh,
• One day to travel from Edinburgh to Glasgow, a city tour, then a ferry to Belfast from Cairnryon
• Half a day in Belfast
• 3 nights / 2 days dashing around southwest Ireland.

Two-night stays in London/Edinburgh/Killarney/Dublin - but five one night stays and HOURS on buses in between. Mostly nice to very nice hotels but several are in quite inconvenient locations. The Edinburgh hotel is all the way out in the outskirts of Livingston. The Bath hotel is 3 miles out of the city centre almost to Batheaston. The Dublin hotel is in Croke Park. The Killarney hotel is south of the river so quite a walk to anywhere. . . . Basically you won't be in the center of things except in London, Liverpool and Belfast.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 02:14 AM
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That tour looks truly awful. Only take it if you have a particular interest in coach travel and the UK motorway network, because that's all you will see.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 08:46 AM
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When I read the itinerary, I had the same "What? Cotswalds, Stratford-on-Avon, Liverpool in one day?" reaction that janisj did.

And like her, I checked out the location for the hotels. You are rarely staying near anything of interest, or even then, you will be too wiped out with hours of travel under your belt to enjoy anything near you. Some of those hotels are GREAT hotels, but when a hotel isolates you from experiencing the very place you came to visit, those star-ratings become so worthless.

On the positive side, someday I'd like to do the ferry from Glasgow to Belfast.

But that's about it.

I understand you want to travel on a tour. There are far less grueling ones that draw the travel circle a tad tighter and give you room to breathe (and allow your legs to stretch).
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe
. . .

On the positive side, someday I'd like to do the ferry from Glasgow to Belfast.

Just to clarify - there is no ferry from Glasgow to Belfast. The ferry runs from Cairnyan which is 80 miles down the coast from central Glasgow.

For the OP that means the day would involve a 40-60 minute drive from the 'Edinburgh' hotel to central Glasgow, a driving tour around the city, then a two hour drive down to Cairnyan, then a 2.5 hour ferry to Larne, and then a 30 minute drive to the Belfast hotel.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 09:39 AM
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Oh janisj. Laughing here. The CIE trip itinerary just gets worse, doesn't it?

Scratch that plan for me, too.
Explanation: Belfast docks just looked so romantic at sunset. And I'm not being facetious--our rental overlooked the Belfast Titanic all lit up in purple and gold, and one could see the lights of various ships in the distance. I wanted to get on one of them.
Just don't tell my tour bus/ferry allergic husband that I even thought that connection was possible.


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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AlessandraZoe
I understand you want to travel on a tour. There are far less grueling ones that draw the travel circle a tad tighter and give you room to breathe (and allow your legs to stretch).
Which ones should I consider?
It is hard to find reputable tours which are more leisurely in pace.

I do plan on arriving a few days earlier than when the tour starts.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 01:52 PM
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Mass market tours are generally similar to this one (believe it or not some are even worse! ) There are some notable exceptions but mostly much higher end and smaller groups.

Instead of a 'If this is Tuesday it must be Belgium' tour why not travel independently and take a few local day trips, walking tours, and / or something like the 2 to 5-ish day trips offered by Rabbies. They are a local Scottish company that also offers some itineraries in England and Ireland. Some of their itineraries are as long as 10+ days but I'd prefer to stick to the shorter options so I could explore say London or Edinburgh or York on my own

https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-...RoCE6MQAvD_BwE

Last edited by janisj; Apr 1st, 2024 at 01:54 PM.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 02:07 PM
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Traveling independently is not for me when traveling solo.
I have done week long vacations in London in 2000 and 2002 but it isn't much fun.
I will take a look at Rabbies.
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 02:18 PM
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To do a non-tour tour independently, choose a city hotel and then use day tours from that city. There are a zillion of them. The only solo-ing you will do is intercity travel which is easy. Some tour companies have city packages of both hotel and touring, where all you do is pick your cities and travel from one to the next after each city package is over. No crazy bus treks!
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 02:20 PM
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Rabbies would be great -- you could piece together 2 or 3 of their tours in different regions. They are small groups - never more than 16 people but often fewer. An you can tailor the cost because they give you a selection of accommodations in each.

Even IF you don't enjoy solo travel - I'd still do London on my own. You could do various walking tours most days/evenings and day trips to places like Oxford or Cambridge. https://www.walks.com
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 03:40 PM
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Any other companies like Rabbies?
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Old Apr 1st, 2024, 07:07 PM
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Sure but they are the gold standard for small groups w/o spending an arm and a leg. For another similar quality but often in larger coaches so can't always go to some of the more 'off the beaten path places, check out Timberbush https://www.timberbush-tours.co.uk Though AFAIK they only cover Scotland.

The London Walks site I mentioned also does some fun pub crawls, and out of town day trips. Also just about every city . . . Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, York, Edinburgh etc etc has either cheap or free walking tours. There is no reason to be 'alone' on a solo trip.

Re my post #13 - I hadn't seen AJPeabody's post (we were posting at the same rime) We are sort of on the same wave length . . .
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Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 02:21 AM
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In addition to Rabbies have a look at Mountain Goat. They started out in the Lake District but now offer tours for North Wales and Yorkshire as well - a good range of full and half day small bus tours.
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