Ireland or Scotland

Oct 21st, 2014, 10:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 43
Ireland or Scotland

Dear all,
We (2 ladies) would like to travel to Scotland or Ireland at the end of May 2015. We'll spend 2 weeks there. This will be our 1st trip to Europe. Both of us love nature and scenic landscapes. We also love easy walks or hike. As MAS is on promotion, we want to take the opportunity to get the cheap tickets.

We've some doubts:
1. Is it possible to travelling in Scotland/Ireland using public transport?
2. What's the travel expenses per day for Scotland and Ireland ( we 're not youths )?
3. Should we fly to Amsterdam or Heathrow Airport or other airports? Last but not least, the biggest doubt
4. Scotland or Ireland?

My friend suggested that I fly to Amsterdam and then to Edinburgh. She does not like transit at Hearthrow Airport at all. We really would like to hear advice and comments from expert travelers or locals. Please help us. Thank you in advanced.
zhung is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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1. Yes. Although seeing out of the way places (like great hiking trails) will be difficult to get to.

2. It depends on what your expectations are for accommodations, how you like to dine, and how much you like to shop. Whatever budget you are given, double it.

3. It depends on which country you are going to, where you are flying from, how many connections you want to make, how much time you want to spend in transit, your budget, and if you have any loyalty towards a particular carrier or alliance.

4. If your friend suggested flying into Edinburgh, then it sounds like she wants Scotland?
sparkchaser is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 02:36 AM
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1) yes, us this for Scotland and as Sparky says

2) costs are going to be similar but exchange rates move all over the place

3) Amsterdam is a good hub, Heathrow is not so bad (I like both) so it is more about which makes more sense logistically and financially. What I would say is you might like to look at Scotland as the Main southern belt of cities and then the Islands and flights into the Islands from Amsterdam or Edinburgh or Glasgow can be cheap.

4) I like Dublin for a few days and then I kinda get bored by the rest, but Scotland has a range of different cultures, from the lowlanders to the highlanders to the Islanders. I'd go to Scotland
bilboburgler is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 08:22 AM
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Posts: 64,933
1) IME it is a bit easier in Scotland than in Ireland.

2) There is no "Amount". You can do a budget trip, or splurge, or somewhere in the middle. The thing to do is tell us what your budget per day is and then we can tell how to make it work (or if it is undoable)

3) Fly to whichever airport gets you the best fare/schedule/FF points/whichever is most important to you.

4) Both are lovely. I personally would choose Scotland because it is my favorite place on earth. But Ireland is nice too.

For folks who don't want to drive I HIGHLY recommend staying in Edinburgh a few days (though accommodations are more expensive there than in other parts of the country) and then take one or more day trips or overnighters w/ Rabbies or Timberbush. Rabbies is my favorite but both are very good. Rabbies especially uses small bans and limit group size to about 12 so it snit like taking a massive coach tour.
janisj is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,462
Yes, staying in Edinburgh and doing tours through one one the companies janisj mentioned is a good option. Both companies have departures from Edinburgh or Glasgow and while I think Glasgow is worth a day or two, Edinburgh would be my preference. The tours offered include anything from one to five days trips.

I disagree with sparkchaser's comment that great hiking trails and out of the way place are difficult to get to with public transportation. Hogwash! I've been doing in for several years. Of course, there are some limitations, but still lots of choices. I would be happy to provide further information.

I think Scotland is easier if using public transportation. Never used it in Ireland as I always drove but for the past several years have done most of my traveling in Scotland via train.

I've always enjoyed Ireland and hope to get back but, my heart belongs to Scotland. I was there last year and although still in the early planning stages, my itinerary for 2015 already includes Scotland..
historytraveler is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 07:34 AM
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1. Is it possible to travelling in Scotland/Ireland using public transport?

Yeah, but not that easy - better to have a car in either for the more out-of-the-way places. Of course, it helps to know where you're thinking of going so that you don't get bogged down in competing generalities (see HT and Sparky's comments above).

2. What's the travel expenses per day for Scotland and Ireland (we're not youths)?

This is not answerable without an itinerary and potential lodging preference. What do you want to spend per night and per meal? What establishments do you normally dine in? If you want a couple of French Laundry meals, the costs will go up and up.

3. Should we fly to Amsterdam or Heathrow Airport or other airports?

Where are you coming from? Newark and Philly both have direct flights to Edinburgh. If Heathrow and Schipol are your choices, I'd pick the latter and doubly so if the Heathrow transfer would mean changing terminals (go to its website).

4. Scotland or Ireland?

Scotland twice over.

Edinburgh > Dublin (this is not close).
BigRuss is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 09:35 AM
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Interesting, I came to say Scotland fully expecting most to say Ireland. The Amsterdam connection is fine over Heathrow if it makes sense for where you are coming from-- it is somewhat easier although neither is difficult.
RoamEurope is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I have answered this elsewhere saying a 5-8 split Scotland Ireland..

Not surprising that Scotland gets the lead on this forum, for some reason Ireland is out of favour. Perhaps being more countryside than built up folk who prefer City scape will key in against Ireland. Bilbo is clearly against Ireland as Dublin (apart from geographically) is definitely not typical Ireland (as anyone who lives outside Dublin will tell you).
Tony2phones is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:10 AM
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Tony- the VAST. Majority of Scotland is not city, nor near any cities. There are really only the 'cities' of any note. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. There are some terrific towns, but hardly any of Scotland is built up.

The reasons some prefer Scotland and some Ireland will be personal, but to say it is because we want built up areas is crazy.
janisj is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Just an observation. over recent times,, City wins over country and people. And for some reason Ireland seems to have lost favour on Fodors where multi destination questions have been asked.

I don't have a problem with Scotland, I have worked there holiday'd there and even considered living there. I don't have a problem with cities either but I'm a born and raised Cultchie. Edinburgh or Dublin would be Edinburgh hands down, Glasgow gets little favour and I don't remember Aberdeen, Dundee or the Cairngorms getting many mentions?
Tony2phones is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 12:25 PM
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Actually tony, month over month there are more threads about Ireland. It jus seems that lately there have been more about Scotland. It tends to be cyclical. And except for Edinburgh (which IMO is head, shoulders, and full torso above Dublin), few are concerned w/ cities at all.
janisj is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 01:40 PM
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<< I don't remember Aberdeen, Dundee or the Cairngorms getting many mentions>>

Well, one of those is Dundee, so . . . Even the artist formerly known as "shiela" on this board offers only a halfhearted endorsement of Dundee and she lived there for quite a bit.

Aberdeen is all well and good, but like Inverness the attraction of the city lies elsewhere - its surrounds.
BigRuss is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 01:53 PM
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Why don't you spend a week in Scotland and a week in Ireland. Get an open jaw ticket. Very easy to fly from Edinburgh to Dublin in an hour. The new tram takes you right from the city to the Edinburgh airport. I have done public transportation in both countries and been very happy. If you want to see a bit of the country you can take day tours.
flpab is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Since when is Cairngorms a city . . .

The problem w/ trying to squeeze in both is a week is not long enough to see much in either country. Traveling around the scenic / rural bits of both countries is slow going.
janisj is offline  
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