England, Scotland and Ireland

Old Mar 9th, 2023, 02:00 PM
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England, Scotland and Ireland

Hi
We are 4 seniors looking to travel to England,Scotland and Ireland. We will be leaving from Charleston SC. We are planning about 16 days. Looking for advice on everything. Iíve read that renting a car is a good idea for Scotland and Ireland but not necessarily die England. Do we plan to fly into one destination and out of another? Hotels or B&Bs? Any information greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Donna
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 02:16 PM
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16 days choose either Scotland and England or Eire.
You have to get over jet lag.
Read up on websites tourist guides and come back with a plan. We need a much better idea of time of year. your interests etc. Accommodation, with reviews, can be found on Booking.com.
Do you need to rent a auto or can you drive shift?
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 02:38 PM
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First of all you are asking about three countries and give us absolutely nothing to work with yet you want suggestions for 'everything'. That is like posting "We are going to the United states for 2 weeks - please tell us everything we need to know". You can see our problem here. Do you want to see Edinburgh?? London?? Dublin?? Or no cities at all and just rural areas?? The Cotswolds?? The Highlands?? Islands?? Castles?? Cliffs of Moher?? St Andrews?? The Lake District?? Yorkshire?? Giants Causeway?? or ?? Whether a car is necessary entirely depends on specifically where you end up visiting.

And. . . . When is the trip??

You picked the three countries for some reason so what places have you already decided to visit? If you don't have any ideas - then pick up a couple of guidebooks and start getting some ideas. THEN we can help you refine your ideas into a doable itinerary.

But in any case 16 days is not enough time to explore three exceptional countries. Is that 16 days home to home?? If so you will have a total of 13.5 days free on the ground -- minus the travel time between destinations. You really do need to pick ONE country. Or your could do something like 4 or 5 days in London and a week somewhere in Scotland or Ireland. Something like that.
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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 02:58 PM
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As janisj suggests, I would pick just one country. We will be going to Scotland at the end of May for the first time. Our trip is 16 nights on the ground. And that is still not enough time to see every place that interests us. Or pick two countries at the most. You will have a much more enjoyable trip.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 11:46 AM
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Age makes a difference

Having traveled extensively in Europe, I'll also encourgae you not to plan too much in shuch a short time. We usually spend about 3 weeks exploring a single country and there is stil a lot we miss. We are currently planning 18 days in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Be aware that it is difficult to rent a car in Ireland if you are over 75, although you can rent in England and Northern Ireland (since it is part of the UK). Driving is challenging and the driver misses out on watching the scenery for having to pay close attention on narrow roads.
We are using buses and trains to get from one base to another (Belfast, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Dublin) and have booked day trips out of these base cities. I usually start planning by checking out guidebooks from my public library and then buy the one I like best.
Use Rome2rio and Googlemaps to plan how to get from one place to another. Booking.com and Tripadvisor are good places to look for accomodations but try to book with the hotel or B&B directly when you can. Tripadvisor, Viator, and Getyourguide are good places to look for city tours and day trips, or just Google "day trips from ____." When you book, compare prices using a laptop vs a mobile phone - I saved 10% yesterday by booking a room using my mobile phone.
If planning a trip yourself seems overwhelming, there are group trips galore, and some will take you through all three countries but you will see little of each one as you'll spend so much time traveling from place to place. Fodors, Gate1, Smartours, Rick Steves, Trafalgar, Globus, and others offer group tours.
Read as much as you can about the places you want to travel to become familair with each place and what it has to offer. If you use Facebook, sign up for Facebook groups for the countries you're interested in seeing. The people in those groups offer a wealth of information.
Try to travel in the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) if you can as crowds are fewer and prices a bit lower.
Make sure you have at least 6 months from your date of return left on your passport. If you need a new one, allow several months to get one.
Buy travel insurance! If you travel often, you can buy annual plicies from companies such as Allianz.
Please ignore snarky comments by some respondents and enjoy your travels.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 11:49 AM
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I forgot to add this - use Google flight alerts to learn when the best time is to purchase tickets. Prices fluctuate day to day. Consider driving to a more distant airport from which you can take a nonstop flight.
Read up on how to use your phones while in Europe. And make sure you have tap enabled credit and debit cards as fewer and fewer places accept cash.
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 01:01 PM
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We spent 2 weeks in Scotland alone and didn't see everything we wanted to see. I would definitely take at least one of those countries off your list. Driving in Scotland was very easy. We flew into Inverness and rented the car. We drove all around northern Scotland then drove to Edinburgh and dropped off the rental car. We then spent 3 days there prior to flying out of EDI. It was an amazing trip. So much to see!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 07:39 PM
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Hi, just wondering who you hired your vehicle through? We had intended doing the Scottish leg of our UK trip by train but the prices of train tickets are frankly ridiculous. We can hire a car cheaper than purchasing train tickets and we get the flexibility that comes with it. But the hire car companies Ive looked at are still pretty expensive so Im interested in which companies others have recently chosen.

Cheers
Michael
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Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 09:09 PM
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michaelkrypto: Many people at least start their car search on AutoEurope - it is a long standing broker that offers bookings through most if not all the major agencies.

Just an FYI -- whether a train focused trip is even practical depends entirely on where you are going. Trains don't serve a lot of the main scenic/rural areas (which covers vast areas of Scotland)
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Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 11:01 PM
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When is very important
Eg Edinburgh becomes a nightmare in August.
Festivals are everywhere and are timed.
Three countries in 16 days is a waste of time, you could be driving for five of them all day for all we know, generally using public transport in England, especially the south east is best
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Old Apr 4th, 2023, 06:24 AM
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bilboburgler: Not sure if you are relplying to the OP or not -- but she posted nearly a month ago and hasn't returned. michaelkrypto topped the thread with a car hire question (probably should have been a new thread)
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Old Apr 5th, 2023, 04:36 AM
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Thanks

Thank you for all the info. We are putting this trip on hold for now but will keep all the advice for the future.

Donna
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Old Apr 5th, 2023, 04:43 AM
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Hope I didn't shame you in to responding

When the UK and/or Ireland is back on your radar we can definitely help.
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