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Ireland & Scotland

Old Jan 24th, 2020, 01:14 AM
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Ireland & Scotland

Hi all,

I am planning on surprising my partner with a trip to Ireland for his birthday, as he and I both have Irish heritage and it is his dream place to visit.

I am looking at traveling from LAX between end of April-end of May for a total of 10 days on the ground (+ 2 travel days) in Ireland and possibly Scotland.


My partner is a big history buff, while I am more of a nature gal. While we may have a few drinks, we aren’t the partying type and we are happy waking up early to see as many sights as we can. Since it will be our first time in either destination, we definitely want to see the top tourist spots, but also go off the beaten path a bit and see some hidden gems if time allows.

1. Is it worth it to add Scotland to the mix if only for a few days?

2. If I were to add Scotland onto the trip (with the main part still being Ireland), how many days should I spend in each place?

3. Any itineraries you would recommend based on the above information?

All advice is welcomed!

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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 05:46 AM
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Welcome to Fodor's!

Ten days is enough time to see a decent amount of Ireland and a little bit of Scotland, provided you don't get too ambitious and move around too much. My own view is that it's tempting to look at both as relatively small countries with distances nowhere near as great as things are spaced in the US, particularly the US west, but, well, it ain't necessarily so. With, say, 3 days in Scotland and a week in Ireland, you're going to have to pick just a few destinations or experiences, and leave the rest for the future. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your view) both countries are so compelling and wonderful that you'll probably be like everybody else; you'll be planning your return trips before it's wheels up on the way home.

Here's what I'd suggest, but this is just one of many possibilities. Fly from LAX to Dublin (Aer Lingus has nonstops) but just change planes at Dublin and head to Edinburgh, Scotland's glorious capital. Spend three days in Edinburgh, during which you can overcome jetlag, get used to looking to the right before you step into the street, and getting into cars on the left side. Explore Edinburgh's amazing history and sites, maybe take a day to head out into the Scottish countryside using Rabbie's (a big and well regarded tour agency) and hit some pubs. Take some walks.

Then hop a plane back to Dublin, but instead of spending time in the city right off the bat, rent a car at the airport and head west. If it was me I'd probably head out toward Kerry and Killarney, with a route something like this - https://goo.gl/maps/bwxjPrBGrtjgcHrg8 - (Google the places on it) but there are many alternative plans. The basic idea is to start with a tour of the countryside, then end up in Dublin for the final few days before heading home. As with Edinburgh, you won't need a car and can enjoy the city's historic and cultural features unimpeded by logistic concerns.

Like I say, this is just one of umpteen options for how to manage your time. Happy planning and again, welcome!

Last edited by Gardyloo; Jan 24th, 2020 at 05:48 AM.
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Welcome to Fodor's!

Ten days is enough time to see a decent amount of Ireland and a little bit of Scotland, provided you don't get too ambitious and move around too much. My own view is that it's tempting to look at both as relatively small countries with distances nowhere near as great as things are spaced in the US, particularly the US west, but, well, it ain't necessarily so. With, say, 3 days in Scotland and a week in Ireland, you're going to have to pick just a few destinations or experiences, and leave the rest for the future. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your view) both countries are so compelling and wonderful that you'll probably be like everybody else; you'll be planning your return trips before it's wheels up on the way home.

Here's what I'd suggest, but this is just one of many possibilities. Fly from LAX to Dublin (Aer Lingus has nonstops) but just change planes at Dublin and head to Edinburgh, Scotland's glorious capital. Spend three days in Edinburgh, during which you can overcome jetlag, get used to looking to the right before you step into the street, and getting into cars on the left side. Explore Edinburgh's amazing history and sites, maybe take a day to head out into the Scottish countryside using Rabbie's (a big and well regarded tour agency) and hit some pubs. Take some walks.

Then hop a plane back to Dublin, but instead of spending time in the city right off the bat, rent a car at the airport and head west. If it was me I'd probably head out toward Kerry and Killarney, with a route something like this - https://goo.gl/maps/bwxjPrBGrtjgcHrg8 - (Google the places on it) but there are many alternative plans. The basic idea is to start with a tour of the countryside, then end up in Dublin for the final few days before heading home. As with Edinburgh, you won't need a car and can enjoy the city's historic and cultural features unimpeded by logistic concerns.

Like I say, this is just one of umpteen options for how to manage your time. Happy planning and again, welcome!
just giving you an idea of what worked for us with 8 days “on the ground”. We flew from London to Dublin, arriving in the early afternoon. Spent 3 nights in Dublin (so 2-1/2 days) which was perfect. We saw sites (the Gaol, Book of Kells and the amazing library at Trinity), wandered on foot a lot, had a wonderful time meeting and talking to random people in cafes and bars, listened to lots of music (Irish and otherwise). After the 3rd night we rented a car and drove via Kilkenny to Kinsale, then from there we did the Beara Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry stopping overnight in Killorglin, then to Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula (2 nights) and on to Galway (2 nights, during which we backtracked to the Cliffs of Moher due to weather). On the last day we drove to Dublin, dropped off the car and flew home. It was a nice “introduction”.
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 08:44 AM
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I'll start by saying the Scotland is my favorite place on earth. But with just 10 days on the ground (actually 9.5 days when accounting for arrival day formalities/transfers . . . and really 9 days factoring in the jet lag) I would just to Ireland. . . . and even then you'll have to be very selective where you go and what you do. Travel, especially in the really scenic western bits is VERY slow -- like 30 or 35 mph slow.

So with such a short time -- do either a bit of Ireland or a bit of Scotland. Otherwise you'd only have time for mainly Dublin and mainly Edinburgh and not very much else.

Where are the two families originally from in Ireland? That could be your jumping off point for working out an itinerary.
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