GPS in Scotland & Ireland

May 9th, 2008, 02:51 PM
Original Poster
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GPS in Scotland & Ireland

I will be getting a Magellan GPS as part of a deal with Dell. How would I go about using it in the two countries...or can I? Thanks.
nimbus109 is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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I don't know about Magellan - but other brands have maps you can download. Would assume Magellan has the same.

BUT - do not depend on any GPS 100% in either country. Several rural towns and villages have had to put us signs warning unsuspecting motorists to not trust their GPS, The sign sort of looks like a radio antenna in a red circle w/ a line across it. Many cars and lorries have gotten stuck on dirt roads, under low bridges, in farm yards -- because the GPS led them astray and they had no road atlas to fall back on.
janisj is online now  
May 10th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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To play safe, buy a decent road atlas (5 GBP at most). Use it to estimate your mileage. If your GPS give a mileage that looks silly, it's using a different town with the same name.
Always try to get the post code for your start point and destination. These should be unique anywhere in the British Isles and should avoid disasters caused by ambiguous name places.
Personally I never use GPS. I'm quite capable of getting lost without a computer to help me....
Craigellachie is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 05:46 AM
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I agree with janisj and Craigellachie - be cautious using a GPS and get a decent map as backup. You mention Ireland but don't say where - postcodes are used in Northern Ireland but not in the Republic of Ireland. For your GPS you need specific spellings for your chosen towns, or at least an idea where you will find them on your GPS map once you arrive.
pjdscott is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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We used our Garmin with a Europe map card I bought on ebay ($48). While it wasn't perfect, it was pretty damn good. It's especially good for the roundabouts so you're not getting distracted reading the signs while going the opposite way with a bunch of other crazy drivers. I found it very useful. I also had a map for the overview and in case I wanted to go a different route. Good luck!
34barbara is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 07:38 PM
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34: This post is nearly a year and a half old. The OP hasn't been on Fodors for about 6 months and I doubt he is still looking.
janisj is online now  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:16 AM
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But that doesn't make the answers less useful to someone else who is now looking for information by doing a search, rather than starting a new thread to ask a question that may have already been answered. It's also possible that the maps that are now provided have been corrected to keep you from taking the sheep trail over the moors, and the only way anyone would know that is with an answer that is 18 months newer.

We just got back from Scotland using a Garmin loaded with the UK / Ireland maps. We found the maps to be pretty reliable where we were. We also travel with a road map as a backup, but to find a specific B&B in the country with a general road map is no where near as easy as finding it with the post code.
GoAway is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 01:22 AM
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We used our Magellan GPS with European maps loaded when last in the Cotswolds and it knew EVERY and the very BACKEST of "back" roads....made things a lot simpler, especially when traveling before sunrise and after dark.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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"Many cars and lorries have gotten stuck on dirt roads, under low bridges, in farm yards"

I wonder how much of an urban myth this is as far as motorists are concerned.

There ARE railway bridges too low for lorries to pass under, and unsealed backroads that are tricky for lorries. Both are fine for cars, though, and no GPS system I've ever encountered shows non-vehicular rights of way, or farm tracks not open to other drivers (which proliferate in the UK, and could easily lead drivers into farmyards if they drove on them).

It's not rare in the depths of the countryside to find a lorry on a road the driver would never have gone on if he'd had he sense to use a map and read road signs. But are there really real, documented examples of car drivers being GPS'ed to places they can't drive?
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:03 AM
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One of the problems, especially with Eastern European trucks, is that they bought or are supplied with the cheaper car GPS, instead of a proper truck GPS that does avoid low bridges, farm tracks etc.
These are the odd news stories that crop up.

I use a TomTom here in the UK, for getting to the North of Scotland and down to the South Coast and have never had a problem, either on Motorways or side roads. It does seem to be reliable, apart from the infrequent long way round that it seems to take.
Lifeman is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 03:41 AM
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GPS can be hilarious in Scotland. Just get yourselves a decent map and you'll be fine!
alihutch is offline  
Sep 30th, 2009, 04:23 AM
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flanneruk asked: "But are there really real, documented examples of car drivers being GPS'ed to places they can't drive?"

By chance, it happened to me as recently as last week, albeit in France. I attempted to navigate to a headland by touching my destination on the screen. I admit that I might have been a bit clumsy. The GPS took me to a point a few hundred metres from my destination and told me to turn left -- off a cliff into the sea. I didn't need the aid of a good road map to help me over-rule.
Padraig is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 03:42 PM
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I know of a least one band following their GPS to perform at a concert on Skye only to find that the GPS directed them to the port of Mallaig and didn't mention the fact that there's a ferry crossing there that doesn't run after 6pm or in winter... They then had to turn back and add 3 hours to their journey to go an alternative route.
Benn is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Flanneruk -- Three weeks ago my Garmin GPS directed me to a road I was not supposed to drive on, and possibly couldn't, in the UK.

I was in Laugharne, on the southwestern coast of Wales, trying to get to Dylan Thomas' home (known as "The Boathouse"). The GPS didn't direct me to the car park near the base of the castle, which is where you're supposed to go. Instead, it tried to direct me directly to the Boathouse, up a very narrow lane. A car would fit, but it's clear that you're not supposed to take your car there now. Fortunately I looked up and saw that it was marked as a walking path (brown sign with a silhouette of a hiker) and not marked as a road before I committed myself.

There was a car behind me, either following me or following a similar GPS. Unlike me, they didn't turn back, and tried to go up the lane. When I last saw them they were trying to back out and around a sharp corner to escape.
tahl is offline  
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