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rodarte Feb 8th, 2014 07:37 PM

Few Days in England
Hi everyone,

I'm planning to head out to Dublin for 3 days and from there travel around the UK.

From there, I plan to fly to Edinburgh and then take a tour to the Scottish Highlands (really hoping for good weather on this day primarily).

All in all, I have 8 days and right off the bat 5 are taken up. Now I have 3 days left, which I intended to spend in London, but I was wondering if I should cut my time in London to 2 days, where else can I go? I like everything - nature, museums, landmarks, etc but I want to get a true feel of England, which I know is impossible in 3 days.

The options I'm left with are
1) 3 days in London
2) 1 day elsewhere and 2 in London
3) removing Scotland entirely from the trip for 5 days in England

Places people have recommended are York, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Cornwall and admittedly, I've looked around and while I would love to visit them all, I simply don't have the time. But I also don't want to miss something that may be extremely important and I'll regret in the future (as I probably would not be back to the UK for quite a few years or so). So please provide me with some suggestions! If these are too good then I will remove Scotland from the trip and instead head directly to England.

Just to add to the situation - I will be spending time in Dublin with others, however from my flight to Edinburgh and travels through the UK, I will be alone. This is my first time traveling solo, and I am worried it might get a bit lonely if I am constantly moving from place to place? So it makes me wonder if it might be a good idea to spend those 3 days in London, enjoy it fully and meet people and take it at a slower pace (compared to 2 days) rather than spend a day in another city.

janisj Feb 8th, 2014 07:56 PM

>>But I also don't want to miss something that may be extremely important <<

I'll be blunt - You only have <u>three</u> days so OF COURSE you'll miss some extremely important things. Like just about everything. Are you American - if so, think of it this way "<i>I have three days I want to spend in New York, but I've heard Chicago and San Francisco and Yosemite and the Grand Canyon are super. I don't want to miss anything important</i>"

You can't 'do' Scotland in 5 days, nor can you 'do' England in 3 days . . . and you can't 'do' London in 3 days. You can get a tiny taste of whichever places you do choose. One thing you could do is 4 days in Scotland and 4 days in London - understanding you will miss 90% of both places.

Mimar Feb 8th, 2014 08:38 PM

How many nights do you have? So you have 3 days in Dublin, is that three nights? Then you get up the next morning and fly to Edinburgh, checking in your hotel noonish if you're lucky and get a really early start. You spend that afternoon seeing Edinburgh. The next day you take your day-tour of the highlands. Another night and you head to London, arriving early afternoon. That's three nights in Edinburgh. Not much left I expect. You could take the night train fron Edinburgh to London, saving some time. Still only two days in London.

All of which is to say you have less time than you think. You need to lay out the nights you have and account for (research) the travel time between stops.

What time of year are you making this trip? Are you flying home from London? Or Dublin?

rodarte Feb 8th, 2014 08:38 PM

Fair enough, it's just that I didn't say anything about "doing" Scotland or England, I just wanted to get as much of a true feel of it as possible. I actually think it's entirely possible to get a feel of NYC in 2 days. Of course, this doesn't include doing literally everything the city has to offer but it's still possible to visit the top landmarks and still have time to catch a ferry to Liberty Island, see a Broadway show, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, take a stroll through central park, MoMA, etc in 2 days. And it's possible to do it without feeling rushed either by planning properly (i.e. avoid getting lost in the city, avoid lines by pre-purchasing some tickets, heading out early for the ferry, reducing commute by doing things that are clustered in one area). It doesn't mean that you're "doing" NYC or America, it's just getting a feel of the city and enjoying what it has to offer, but also at the same time not forcing yourself to do what might not appeal to you. There are many things considered attractions like Botanical Gardens, Museums, etc that I've never bothered with despite being there several times, so I can't imagine if someone is only able to head to the East Coast of America rarely for a short period of time would want to spend their time there instead. In those cases, I would recommend them spending a day in DC or Philly. The other places you mentioned are too far away to just take a train to.

thursdaysd Feb 8th, 2014 08:41 PM

janisj - actually it's worse than that. Three of those eight days are being spent in Dublin. I don't think the OP has allowed any travel time, either.

rodarte - you could easily spend all eight days in London, maybe with a day trip or two, and still miss a very great deal. I suggest splitting your time between Dublin and Edinburgh or Dublin and London.

rodarte Feb 8th, 2014 08:48 PM

I have 8 days and 8 nights.
My overnight flight arrives in London in the morning on Day 1, but I will be immediately heading over to Dublin where I will spend 3 days and 3 nights. On Day 4 early in the morning I will be catching a flight to Edinburgh (flight departs very early, I should be in Edinburgh long before noon), spending Night 4 there and then take a bus tour to the Highlands, heading back for Night 5 (now this is where I'm stalled on what to do next). On Day 6 I can take a train to London which would be about 5-6 hours or I could go to another recommended place on the way there. But overall Day 6, Day 7 and Day 8 are left for England. I will be flying home from London.

rodarte Feb 8th, 2014 08:53 PM

Thanks thursdaysd, Originally I had only intended to spend 3 days in Dublin and 5 days in London but a lot of friends who had been there insisted I go to Edinburgh and the Highlands and told me to leave London for 2 days as I really would not want to miss the other places, etc. I rarely get the time to travel for several weeks and unfortunately money can also be a bit of an issue having to constantly spend for airfare to make one week trips abroad rather than spreading a trip over 2+ weeks.

janisj Feb 8th, 2014 09:17 PM

You are talking about three <u>countries</u> - you are not going to get a 'feel' for anything except the few tiny parts you choose to visit. All of the places you've mentioned are worth visiting -- as are 400 other places in these three countries.

There is no way anyone here can tell you what to see - York is worth 2 or 3 days, Edinburgh is 'worth' 4 or 5 days, The Highlands are 'worth' a couple of weeks (I've spent well over 4 months in the Highlands over many trips and still haven't seen even a majority of 'worthwhile' sites), Other parts of Scotland are worth many weeks, and Cornwall and Kent and the Peaks and the Lakes and Northumberland and East Anglia and the Cotswolds and -- then there is London.

You can't really get a 'feel' for London in a couple of days - it is <u>enormous</u>. You might fit in 4 or 5 major sites but you'll miss most of them.

So your dilemma is you want to experience 'England' but are only giving it a handful of days. No matter what anyone recommends, there will be <B>hundreds</B> of other places just as scenic/interesting/historic.

Pick a place - go there - enjoy it.

thursdaysd Feb 8th, 2014 09:49 PM

Do you fly home on day 8 or 9?

You could salvage day 6 by taking the night train, see - the Caledonian sleeper.

rodarte Feb 8th, 2014 10:15 PM

I fly home on Day 9. I didn't really count the two travel/flight days (Day 0/Day 9) because I probably won't have any time for attractions during that last day. And thank you! The sleeper train seems like a good idea.

Ackislander Feb 9th, 2014 01:05 AM

I have to do this kind of planning on a spreadsheet:

Rows of ays in the left column, hours in columns across the top.

Activities in the cells under each hour. It helps to prevent over planning because it doesn't let me think "travel from DUB to EDI" but makes me think in terms of " arrive EDI. Find bus to Center of city. Find ATM. Get pounds (Eire uses euros). Buy bus ticket (where) or get change to pay on bus (where to get change?)"

I also use the grid to plan my packing; what are the fewest clothes I can manage with, and when will I wear (or wash) them?"

You can skim quite a lot of these three countries in the time you have, though you won't be able to go inside even a fraction of the famous sites in any of your three cities. But if you can get up early, you can walk the Royal Mile before the crowds arrive. And the same in other places. You are going to have to spend a fair bit of money on hotels because you don't have enough time to stay out of the city centers.

If you think about it, you are doing pretty much what you would get on a standard tour of the UK only they do all the hotels, transportation, and admissions for you. I know this forum is anti-tour, but this is one o he times you might consider it.

annhig Feb 9th, 2014 02:38 AM

rodarte - of course you can see a bit of Dublin, Edinburgh and London in 8 days, and it's a good sign that you recognise that you're only going to be scraping the surface whether you just do 2 of them or go for all three.

As you are flying into and out of London, of course it makes sense to include London in your plans, so the choice is really whether you see Dublin and/or Edinburgh as well.

Can you give us an idea of why you have prioritised Dublin over Edinburgh? lots of people might suggest that there is far more to see in Edinburgh than Dublin, plus there is access to the Highlands as well.

You could develop a much more coherent and dare I say cheaper itinerary by cutting out Dublin! [every time you move not only does it cost you time, but money too - not just the cost of transport, but finding the best/cheapest bar/cafe/supermarket - all this takes time and effort as well as cash that you haven't got!]

jamikins Feb 9th, 2014 02:52 AM

With 8 days I would limit myself to two locations. Otherwise you spend more time and money in the logistics of travel rather than seeing the places you have chosen to visit.

It may seem like a quick flight to all these places but you need to get to the airport, wait for your flights, take the flight, wait for luggage, get to city centre, find your a one hour flight actually wastes about half a day before you can start seeing anything.

My personal choice would be London and Edinburgh, as I don't like Dublin...but London and Dublin work just as well.

rodarte Feb 9th, 2014 06:24 AM

Thank you everyone!

Ackislander - thanks for the suggestion, you're right this will help tremendously! In past travels I usually try to account for every single thing planning things down to a T including emergency situations that may or may not come up, because I know how much time can be killed just getting lost/looking for things. I quickly went over the Edinburgh day and I definitely will lose about half a day, so that gives me virtually no time at all. However when people suggested it, their main reason was for me to visit the Highlands rather than thoroughly see Edinburgh. I'm reconsidering it, however it does make me sad as I don't anticipate returning to the UK if I make this London trip for another 4-5 years!

Do you happen to know any good tours in the UK? I'm not too fond of them either as I once ended up on a short tour (2 days, luckily) in the middle of a trip for safety purposes and aside from my friend and I being the youngest by a long margin, there was a lot of waiting around and being stuck in places you weren't as excited to go to.

annhig - The reason Dublin is a portion of my trip and taking up 3 days is because I will be meeting several friends there who are traveling through Ireland before I reach. It helps as there will be familiar company as soon as I get there, especially since I will be traveling solo for the first time to the other places and this will make me feel more secure, calm the nerves, etc. So it's mostly been more of a decision to remove Scotland and spend more time in London (though with people suggesting other cities, I thought it would be best to ask here so as to not regret anything later).

jamikins - Thanks! It looks like this is shaping out to be just a Dublin and London trip. Wish there was a way to extend stay! I am almost considering postponing it, however, I'll lose those 3 days in Dublin with friends, etc.

jamikins Feb 9th, 2014 06:29 AM

London and Dublin will make for a great and memorable trip!! I think you will really enjoy it!!!

stevelyon Feb 9th, 2014 06:58 AM

As jamikins says London and Dublin would make for a great and memorable trip .... Liverpool and Manchester would not. You are not missing much by leaving those out. York is a different matter and would add to it being a memorable trip, but its whether you should kill yourself doing it. I would stick to London and Dublin.

dulciusexasperis Feb 9th, 2014 08:56 AM

Well your original post was a nightmare of wasted time rodarte, so it's good to see you are coming around to cutting it down.

Why are you flying into London if Dublin is your first destination? Day 1 will be gone by the time you get to Dublin, so you will NOT be spending 3 days there, only 2 if you leave on the morning of day 4 as you say you plan to do.

You will also be jet-lagged which further adds to day 1 being a lost day.

You will also lose another day moving from Ireland to the UK. That means you will actually only spend SIX days total IN Dublin and London. Frankly, I consider that a waste of time. I would suggest you visit Ireland or visit England but not attempt both in so few days.

Why not fly to Dublin directly, meet up with your friends and enjoy their company and get over your jet-lagged and get your 'sea legs' so to speak and then head off for 5 days around Ireland on your own before flying back home from Dublin.

That to me is a nice little visit to Ireland with far less lost time and hassle involved.

nytraveler Feb 9th, 2014 11:35 AM

Well I don;t beleive you can "see" NYC in 2 days. You can see a few major sights and walk the streets for a couple of hours. The same is true of London IMHO to really get any sort of feel for London you need at least 4 days (5 nights) there. Which you just don;t have.

Frankly I agree with taking the overnight train from Edinburgh to London so you can see at least a LITTLE of it. And even if you could see NYC in 2 days (which I deny) you can;t see the entire US - or even NY State in 2 days - so how could you ever see England?

Just remember the more breadth the less depth. You can see the "most" by taking a helicopter ride over everything.

rodarte Feb 9th, 2014 11:53 AM

I can fly open jaw to Dublin and then leave from London, but Day 1 in Dublin doesn't really consist of much besides evening strolls and drinking with friends. I acknowledge I'll be dead tired and jet-lagged but I have traveled like this before and been completely fine even getting off the plane in the morning, spending the rest of the day sightseeing and drinking, spending 3 hours sleeping the following morning and then the rest of the day on my feet at a music festival. And this was just last summer, so it's probably the least of my worries.

To be honest, even though I do want to spend time in Dublin, it's probably the one thing that can wait out of everything else I have on the itinerary. The primary reason I am going is to be with my friends for a reunion type of thing, and had it not been for this I would scrap it completely from the itinerary and divide my time between London and Edinburgh and could probably wait until I have a longer travel time for those 2. So I'm less enthusiastic about devoting all my time to other places in Ireland for this particular trip. It would be great to visit one day when I'm not on as much of a budget, older with a career. But for now my focus is getting that time for my friends and visiting London.

If I get a flight to Ireland then I'd probably get 2.5 days in Dublin and a flight from there to London would give me 4.5 days in London. Flying back on Day 9.

jamikins Feb 9th, 2014 12:00 PM

I think that plan is fine and you will have a great time! You friends will show you a good time and 4ish days in London will give you a good taste of London....probably leave you wanting more!

Stick to that and you will have a great time I am sure!

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