Ireland or England? 10 days in Aug

Old Apr 16th, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Ireland or England? 10 days in Aug

I'm in the planning stages and want advice on what to see this trip. We did France in 10 days last year (just the Loire and Paris) and I learned the hard way to underplan! We did maybe 3/4 of what I planned to do! Anyway we have a tight budget of $3500, 10-12 days in Aug and a babysitter! We made the same budget work in France, I'm hoping we can do it again.

I found cheapest airfare to Dublin- should we stay the whole time in Ireland and if so can anyone suggest a great itinerary? We love countryside, castles, quaint towns, and archelogy- pubs and late nights and big cities not so much. (For example we loved Chinon, Paris scared the crap out of me!)

Or should we take the cheap ferry/train from Dublin to England do a day or 2 in London and see Bath and the lake district? I can't decide. Would a little of each be feasible? Which side of the channel would be more budget friendly? I'd love tips and advice! thanks!
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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If you don't like big cities, why would you even think about going to London? And if so, why just for one day?
10 days is not that much, especially if you had to subtract the time and add the money to cross the Irish Sea twice. I doubt that that cheap flight to DUB is much of a bargain if you want to travel to England.
I'd either fly into Dublin and see Ireland - or fly into London and visit England.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 05:02 PM
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I agree with cowboy--one or t'other, not both!

You've told us that you are flying into Dublin. Are you flying out of there as well or will you leave from Shannon? That would make a big difference in proposed itineraries.

Are you renting a car? If so, is that cost included in your 3500?

How old are the kids?

Give us a few more clues and there are many on this forum who will be glad to give suggestions.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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If Paris cared you London will terrify yo - it is much more big city.

If you prefer countryside I would stick with ireland. You could spend a couple of days in Dublin - cityish - but barely within the meaning of the act (only about 1.2 million people) but feels small townish and has several interesting things to see and do. then head for the countryside.

But do realize you will need to rent a car to really see the countryside.
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Thanks everyone, I'm leaning toward Ireland myself, although I'm a huge anglofile and I'd love to see everything in england besides London- Bath, the Lake District, all the little towns. I'm the biggest fan of Agatha Christie mysteries- but would I be disappointed that rural England is not that rural anymore?

The kids are young still, under 10 but GRandma is great!! I beleive in traveling while I'm young even though we go cheap. I teach piano lessons and save my pennies for our trips- why wait until I'm old and can really afford it? I think traveling cheap makes you see the real side of the country anyway.

I have a quote for $400 with insurance for a 10 day car rental- pretty good! ALthough I think we could turn it in early if we are in Dublin the last few days and use public transportation or the new bike system. I think 2 daysin Dublin should do it, the other 8 driving around the rest of the country. Any itinerary suggestions and super cheap but clean and friendly accomadations? I've read about farmhouses- how do we find one?
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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" I be disappointed that rural England is not that rural anymore?"

Rural England is among the most aggressively conserved few thousand square miles in the world: there are dozens of fields within a mile of my house which have been grazed continuously, with not a single plough ever allowed to touch them, for the past 500 years, surrounded by hedges we know have been in precisely that location, with precisely those shrubs, even longer. Our 8,000 medieval rural churches (about 7,999 more than in Ireland) are properly looked after.

It's also overwhelmingly the most accessible countryside in the developed world, with over 120,000 miles of free-access footpaths across private property.

Urban England - and worse still suburban England - is a whole nuther story. But if what you want to see is Miss Marple territory, why waste time on Ireland? Ugly villages, caravan-scarred coasts, fields surrounded by barbed wire to keep you out, diabolical public transport, hideous modern churches miles outside town. Lovely countryside in parts, but there's a reason so many of us rarely return: England looks after its countryside a very great deal better. And works a damn sight harder at making it accessible for people who don't live in it

There's a lot to be said for a holiday in Ireland. But not if you're looking for Agatha Christie's world.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 12:29 AM
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Besides his rather colorful assessment of Irish countryside, I think flanner has a point.
You have pretty strong ideas of what you would like to see in England. Then why go to Ireland?
I cannot imagine that flying into London is THAT much more expensive than going to Dublin.

You don't even have to bother about the big city.
Take one of the frequent direct buses from Heathrow airport to Oxford and stay the first 2 nights in Harrypotterville.
And start your trip - either by public transport (which has indeed a much denser network in England than in Ireland) or a rental car after you got yourselves acclimatized.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Although I appreciate flanner's opinion I think he is a bit off the mark on Ireland. Ugly villages and caravan scarred coasts is a silly suggestion. In fact, I find more caravans in England than Ireland. Oh sure, if you hang out at some of the golf courses along the coast you will find them but traveling the coast of Donegal for instance, is spectacular. Then there are the people. The Irish are friendly by nature and the English, they find being friendly rather and insult, as if it was put on for some reason. More specifically though, you will find no more ruder folk than a London bartender, worse than civil servants in the US.

but that's just my opinion. If I were you and I had landed in Dublin, I would visit Ireland. Oh and by the way, the cost to fly in to London is much more right now and I'm not sure. I was planning an England trip but the airling costs were more than $300 more.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 07:19 AM
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I love both Ireland and Great Britain. They are similar but also quite different. I don't think either would be more or less budget friendly. Both are expensive, IMHO, but worth it.

I agree with the above posters that trying to do both is not feasible. As you say about your France experience,it may be better to underplan. Traveling from one country to the other wastes time and money. Stick with one country and do it some justice. You really don't have a lot of time to see one, let alone two.

You will see countryside, castles, quaint towns, and archeology in both countries.

You say you are an anglophile; maybe a trip to England is in order. You already have ideas where to go. I live in California and have seen a few 'deals' to London around $800 [+ whatever taxes they tack on but don't disclose in the offer]; don't know if they are cheaper than what you found to Dublin.

If you decide Ireland, look at some guidebooks to get an idea of where you would like to go. Once you have an idea where you want to go,we can help with suggestions of where to stay that will fit with your budget.

Have fun planning. You will love whichever you choose.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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Or you can take a bus to Bath upon arrival at Heathrow.

For seeing the countryside in either place, you really need a car. (Though you could rent a horse-drawn caravan in Ireland or a narrowboat in England.) Will you require automatic transmission? That pushes up the price.

Sounds like you're a good candidate for slow travel, where you stay in one spot and make daytrip excursions. You could rent a cottage someplace in the countryside or in a village, some place like the Cotswolds. Do a lot of cooking to keep costs down.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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You have some real misconceptions about both countries I'm afraid. (If rural is what you want and you are an Anglophile - I'm curious why you chose Ireland in the first place).

some random thoughts:

What scared you about Paris? It is generally one of the least scary major cities I've ever visited, but if something specific caused upset that could make a difference.

Your 10 days is not long enough for a comprehensive itinerary in either country. Pick one or the other - and even then you'll have to limit what you can see/do.

That $400 rental quote seems quite low in Ireland. Did it include insurance? Credit cards (except for a very limited range of World Mastercards) don't cover insurance in the Republic. Insurance can add a fortune to the cots. Visa/mc/Amex do cover rental cars in the UK.
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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I've done both countries and I would say that the above posters are correct for the most part - but I would skip London all together. Too expensive.

If it is cheaper this year to get to and from Ireland, then I would say that is your answer. England is not going anywhere. I also question the car rental at $400 - doesn't sound right for Ireland, but if it is, great! Ireland is more of a moody, rural and small town country. Loads of history (often about misdeeds of the English) and the friendliest people hands down.

England on the other hand does have well preserved fields and castles and churches (like Ireland) and the area outside the urban centers are indeed beautiful. But like I said, they aren't going anywhere. Go where your budget will allow you to go and still have fun. London will drain your wallet too quickly. A couple of nights in Dublin is enough and after that you definitely want a car. A week to see the major sights of the south is fine - remember however not to plan too much.

Either place is fantastic. Neither place is cheap, but you can do well if you stay out of expensive big cities.

Have a great time.
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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I'd never skip London due to expense -- JoeCal, if there is any large city that is generally expensive BUT can be seen quite easily on a small budget, London fits the bill. From apartment rentals at relatively low rates compared to a similar quality hotel to inexpensive dining and eating options, plus the numerous free museums and inexpensive transport options, London can be explored thoroughly on a modest budget and a hard cap of $3500 isn't that small.

To the OP: perhaps you should explain why Paris scared you so because central Paris is pretty nonthreatening. Look -- London is the largest city in Western Europe, it is TWICE the size of Paris, and Central London is busy busy busy.

BUT London is the repository of English history and should high on the list for an Anglophile to visit. You like castles? Windsor, Dover, Hampton Court, the Tower, and far more are in or near London. Quaint towns? The whole of Southeastern England is accessible from London's main-line train stations.

That said, if you want to avoid London, England is still a better choice. Although Flanner's commentary on Ireland is, at best, unfiltered, the English countryside (and Scottish) are far prettier than Ireland, and English castles are far more interesting than Irish ones (many of the "major" castles in Ireland are ruins).
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Big Russ is absolutely right about London. Many people visit London on limited budgets. It is possible.

Have you checked airfares to London? Perhaps that cost should be your first decision as to choosing between Ireland and England. Honestly, flanner's opinion aside, either country offers what you seem to be looking for.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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Ireland is friendlier than England - well I would say that but it's renowned for its hospitality. Countryside is beautiful as well. North of Ireland is better preserved than the south because of stricter planning rules and the north antrim coast giants causeway and beaches are stunning. Because of the recession , southern Ireland has also become a lot cheaper, Galway, Dingle, Donegal, Dublin pure magic, really. I live in the French countryside - I work in France - and it's nice but Ireland has something very special, believe me.
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Old Apr 25th, 2011, 04:50 AM
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Sorry to add to that here's a suggested itinerary.
Dublin - two days
Dingle penisula -two days
Galway - one day
Westport - one day
Donegal - two days
Antrim coast road (Cushendall, Cushendun Ballycastle) two days
Belfast - one day
Return to Dublin
This is a circular clockwise tour oof Ireland. The island is small of corse so there are no overlong journeys
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