Ireland and Scotland--what cities?

Old Oct 9th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Ireland and Scotland--what cities?

I've never been to Ireland or Scotland, probably because I froze in London in late June. However, I am thinking about giving it a try in July. Can you recommend what cities to visit and anything I can avoid. Would the train be the best transportation method? Any comments would be appreciated.

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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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How long is your trip??

Both copuntryis are fabulous. But they are not places you can rush through. And theye are not "city-centric" places. Dublin (not so hot IMHO) in Ireland and Edinburgh/Glasgow (both very good - Edinburgh is fantastic) in Scotland. Otherwise they are mostly small town/villages and amazing history/scenery.

Trains are OK fo Scotland - but not as flexible as driving. Trains really aren't great for Ireland - not for touring the main scenic areas anyway.

W/o know how long you have for this trip, can't really give useful advice. If less than 3 weeks you probably should stick to one country - not both.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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Thanks, janisj

Could you recommend one over the other? Scotland or Ireland? Don't think I want to drive as I may try to convert everyone to driving on the right. I sure tried in Australia a few years ago.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 04:55 AM
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Hi, wal
Ireland is absolutely gorgeous BUT if you don't want to drive, you pretty much have narrowed it down to Edinburgh or Glasgow (I agree with janis re: Dublin). I went to Edinburgh last year and fell in love with it. Much to see. People were so friendly. Food was excellent.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Scotland is the most obvious choice due to its better rail system. However if you go to Northern Ireland (via train frm Belfast/Dublin), there is good bus service to all the sights along the Antrim coast. That said, you'll have a wider range of possibilities in Scotland.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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If you froze in london in late June, then I dont imagine Ireland or Scotland will be any warmer in July!!
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Dear Wally,

Weather in both Ireland and Scotland (as well as England) are a crapshoot. I have been in all of the places in the summer and had to dress in just about every piece of clothing I brought with me. I have also been there when it was so hot all I wanted to do was find a cool place to sit and something cold to drink. I have also been when it was perfect--a light sweater and temperatures that gave me the energy to do even more than I had planned.

As previous posters have mentioned, public transportation Ireland to many of the interesting places and scenery is inconvenient. However, if you base yourself in one of the cities, there are lots of options for day tours.

You might not even want to stay in the city of Dublin, but base yourself in one of the seaside towns just south of the city. The DART trains go in frequently through the day well into the evening. You could then take a break and walk on the beach or into the hills, go see the city during the day, pick up a train or bus tour to the ancient monuments (Newgrange, Glendalough, etc.), come "home", hit one of the local pubs for some music and sociability, and then hit the hay at a quiet B&B.

As far as Scotland is concerned, my favorite city is Edinburgh. There are rail connections to many places from there. There is so much to see in the city itself, you could spend a week easily and not see eveything.

I have driven myself around Scotland, but you know yourself where your comfort levels are. I believe I have read several posts on this forum by those who have seen a lot while using busses, trains, etc.

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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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Thanks for your comments. Do you think I could base myself in Edinburgh and take the train for the day to different cities? This way I could travel light.
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Most June's in England are OK but now and again they do get a bad one. With Scotland as well as Ireland, weather can mean the difference between a poor holiday and a great holiday but it is unpredicatable.

In July you should get good weather but that is when everyone else goes and everywhere will be full of tourists and you will pay top prices for accommodation, etc. That is also when the midges, small biting and annoying insects, appear in force and can make you wish for cold weather.

The only way to see Scotland is by car. If you cannot drive, consider teaming up with a friend who can. If you are just worried about driving on the left, no problem. There is not much traffic about once you leave the big cities and you can just take your time. Going everywhere by train will be very expensive, very time consuming and you will miss many places.

Weather is hit and miss but I went in September to Scotland, and a year later to Ireland and had brilliant weather. Friends who followed my example did too. However, it could have rained every day.

What cities? It is tempting to just name all the big cities but you'll miss many small out of the way places, as well as places you see enroute. A possible way to do it is to book a tour of Scotland which will take in many of the sites. Use a search engine with the words:

tour scotland
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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Driving is the best way to see Scotland, but having only used public transportation on my 11 trips, it is fair to note that I have seen a lot without a car. When necessary I use a local guide to get to a special place. Most places not served by train have a bus service. Last year I used the bus to Whitby, Scarborough, Melrose and Tobermory on Mull. Used local guides on Skye and the Orkneys. So, it can be done without a car.

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Old Nov 6th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Wally, for what it is worth, I am like you about driving on the left

We went to Ireland and landed in Shanon and drove around the southwestern part of Ireland. The driving on the left was very easy because traffic was very light. However, you are going in July which might be a different story

The being said, I read a post here before I left that basically said something very simple which made it very easy to drive. It was matter what country you are in, the middle line of the road is always next to you. Keeping that simple piece of advice in my mind made it very easy to make turns and navigate roundabouts.

Good luck whatever you decide.

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