Ireland and UK

Sep 11th, 2017, 02:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
Ireland and UK

So im thinking of going to Ireland Scotland and Wales tbis summer...with 2 to 3 days in London to see my brother.

Right now im aiming 3 to 4 weeks but not sure if that is enough time or not. I wont have a car...planning only on public transit Londons focus is really family and maybe a day trip out to Stonehenge(and tjis is after my trip so im not calculating it in the timeframe) I realize this is high season, but as a teacher Im limited to summer travel.

I do know in Scotland i want to see a Loch and go to Isle of Skye.

Suggestions? Obviously this is several months away so really just getting info ideas right now.
mmshah is offline  
Sep 11th, 2017, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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We did almost 3 weeks this summer in Scotland and Ireland, and while we got to see big chunks of both, it was only a sampling. I couldn't imagine trying to fit in London and Wales to the same time period, so hopefully you can stretch it out to a full 4 weeks. Or cut something out (e.g., save Ireland for another trip).

Seeing a Loch in Scotland won't take much effort ... they are everywhere.

Skye is a great choice, but spend several days there as the weather can limit your windows of opportunity. That said, without a car I'm not sure how much you can see anyway. Might want to reconsider that ... driving there is really not that bad.
paulg is offline  
Sep 12th, 2017, 08:55 AM
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Here's a suggestion: TELL US YOUR INTERESTS.

You picked these places for a reason, not just to see your bro in London. Therefore, you have some idea of what you want to see or expect is there.

Revealing your interests will make it easier to give suggestions.

And doing Wales (esp. N. Wales) or Scotland without a car and expecting to get to anything in a small town or off the main roads is difficult.
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 12th, 2017, 10:40 AM
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Sure you can visit many places in England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland without driving. But not easily in most rural/scenic areas. Trains serve towns - not lochs in the middle of nowhere. Trains do not go to Skye. They go close -- Mallaig where you'd get on a ferry, or Kyle of Lochalsh where you'd catch a local bus. But once on the Isle you are relegated to the infrequent bus service or paying for taxis.

Also traveling by public transport demands more detailed planning. Trains are fine -- but then to get into the countryside you'll need buses and in rural places there may be only one or two buses a day.

Is there a reason you don't want to drive?

So the logistics are more complicated/slower. To make the most of limited time -- assuming the public transport is still a must -- cut down on the number of destinations. 3 or 4 weeks for Scotland and Wales for example.

And, yes - tell us more about your interests . . .
janisj is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 11:16 AM
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One can find small villages and/ or rural places to stay if traveling by public transport but, as mentioned, choices are limited. The West Highland Line from Glasgow to Mallaig has a couple of nice options. I've stayed at the Moor of Rannoch Hotel at a Rannoch Station several times. It's a great spot but little to do except for walking although sitting by the peat fire and reading a book is something I've done when weather wasn't friendly for long walks. Glenfinnan is another very small village along the train route with a couple of hotels ( Glenfinnan House is nice, a bit tired but still pleasant ) again a few small shops to explore and there is a boat trip ( round trip ) up Loch Shiel which I think is one of the loveliest in Scotland. It's also an easy walk to the Glenfinnan Monument. Another possible stop is Arisaig. Again there are several hotels and boats which do trips out to a couple of rhe Small Isles.

As janisj said, Skye is difficult without a car. I believe there is now a tour company that will pick you up for a day tour. There are several locations for pick- up, but can't remember which ones and getting to one of those places may require a booked taxi at Armadale the arrival port for ferry from Mallaig.

It would help to have more input about what you want to do and what your interests are otherwise any itinerary we come up with will be our choices which may not be yours.

Be aware that Stonehenge now requires timed bookings. If time in London is limited a day trip might be fine but, personally, I'd travel to Salisbury for an overnight and tour Stonehenge from there. I believe buses leave from the train station but check. There is a company that does before/ after hour tours from Salisbury. Another option is to travel to Bath and do a Mad Max tour to Stonehenge. That too will require an overnight but both Salisbury and Bath have a lot to offer for a first time tourist.

You might also gave a look at Rabbies as they do small group tours from London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Their tour offerings range from day tours to a week or longer.
historytraveler is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 26
I dont want to drive because im alone. Renting a car is really not cost effective when you are aline and long distance driving alone is hard for me...especially having to remember to drive in the other sidevof tge road. i am not really concerned about london. The focus of london is only to see my brother and niece.. probably something thats just tacked on before leaving

Im into nature landscapes ruins castlws that sort if ok with mini bus tours. Thats how i got around iceland.

So looks like it will be ireland and something else. Thanks. Gave me some things to think about.
mmshah is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:35 AM
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BTW, Rabbies also have a number of tours in Ireland.
historytraveler is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 10:36 AM
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Getting around in rural Ireland without a car is not any easier than it is in Scotland.

We've driven in both Ireland and Scotland, but I have also researched public transportation options before deciding to rent a car.

I wanted to see Loch Lomond and the island of Iona in Scotland. I found that both could be easily reached by bus. It also would have been possible to spend a day or two traveling around the island of Mull (which you have to cross to get to Iona). The main thing to keep in mind is that you have to allow more time if traveling by bus. Often you have to spend a night along the route, because many small towns have only a bus that leaves (heading to a bigger town) in the morning and returns at night.

We didn't go to Skye, but I'm sure you could make some trips by bus there, if you're willing to travel slowly.

There are frequent buses from Glasgow to several towns on Loch Lomond. There are surely buses from Edinburgh, if not to Loch Lomond to some other loch. A loch is just the Scots word for a lake, or a sea inlet, and as someone said, there are lots of them, nearly anywhere you go.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 01:06 PM
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>>I dont want to drive because im alone. Renting a car is really not cost effective when you are alone<<

Yes, it costs more solo. But the extra ££ is not an extravagance if you want to be off the beaten path. If you are absolutely set on not driving -- then explore all the offerings on Rabbies site (not just in Scotland but also in Ireland and parts of England). While places like Skye are doable on foot/by public transport -- it is very slow and inefficient. Rabbies tours, whether one day bus trips or 5+ day tours will get you to some of the places you could have driven to.

Buses mostly serve towns - not lochs or mountains. Loch Lomond is a bit if an exception since there is quite a population centre near the southern end.
janisj is online now  
Sep 16th, 2017, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,525
For information about train and bus routes and timing in the UK, I found the Traveline app or web site very useful. Google Maps should also have information about routes using public transportation, but I haven't used it in the UK.
bvlenci is offline  

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