Ireland or Scotland - Rick Steve's tours

Jun 10th, 2010, 09:03 PM
  #1  
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Ireland or Scotland - Rick Steve's tours

Hi - I am trying to decide between the Scotland or Ireland Rick Steve's tour. If you have taken one or both then I would appreciate any advice on which you preferred and why. Thanks!
Kristine5575 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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Have you been to either place yet? I haven't taken a Steves tour, but the itineraries, and time of year might help decide.
sheri_lp is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 09:45 PM
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I haven't taken any Rick Steves tours. However I always read his guidebooks when I go to Europe, in addition to Fodors guidebooks and sometimes Lonely Planet.

We found Rick Steves Ireland guidebook to be very useful for the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. HOWEVER the same guidebook wasn't helpful for other areas, we felt. His sections on Northern Ireland in particular weren't always accurate, in our opinion. (This is our subjective evaluation.)

We loved our first family visit to Ireland. My favorite grandmother was from Ireland. I have a shelf-ful of Ireland guidebooks. The most helpful was Michelle Erdvig's guidebook, which you can find at her website IrelandYes.com. Stay tuned here for more answers to your question, as this fodors website has plenty of great info too!
Melissa5 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 11:30 PM
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Unless you have a specific reason for going to Ireland I can't see why you would want to choose Ireland - it's like having a choice of Iowa or California
alanRow is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 01:21 AM
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A lot depends on how much time you have. We've just returned from a week in Scotland (and the weather was fantastic). Our trip took in:

Inverary 1 night
Tobermory(on Mull)3 nights
Portree(on Skye) 2 nights
Callender 1 night
Alnwick (back in England) 1 night

This was a driving tour, passing through some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere.

If you have a similar amount of time and like the sound of our stopping places, I'd be happy to give you hotels, B&B's that we stayed in during the week and places we visited (like Iona).
Lifeman is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Kristine5575, have you tried looking at what travelers have posted on the Rick Steves website as far as best and worst experiences for Ireland and Scotland? Reading through that, and then "searching" those places here on the fodors web-site could give you an interesting perspective. It might help you decide.

I've never been to Scotland but it's on my list. We loved Ireland...we traveled independently using all the guidebooks, including Rick Steves and Fodors and etc. etc. We enjoyed Belfast (where my grandmother grew up)...the wildly beautiful west coast and southwest coast of Ireland...Westport...the Burren...incredible music in pubs in small towns and villages...the wide-open spaces along the west and southwest coast along the coastline...

Try also reading some trip reports on Ireland and Scotland.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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alanRow; You obviously never been to Ireland or you would not have made that comment. We took our first trip to Ireland last September and had such a wonderful time we are going back again in the Fall. The countryside is just beautiful; looks just like a post card. I am sure Scotland and Ireland both have thier wonders to see.
floridapugmom is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Lifeman, please do a trip report! (if you haven't already, I should say, having been offline for a few days)
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:27 PM
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floridapugmom, you've obviously never been to Scotland or you would not have made that comment.
alanRow is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Been to both, and don't understand the argument!
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Hopingtotravel, I agree. Both countries are magnificent. What struck me about Scotland (as compared to Ireland) was how desolate so much of the landscape was. One could drive for miles and not see a person nor habitation - or a pub!
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:56 PM
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Thank you guys for your comments. I am single and want to do a tour in Aug/Sept. and RS looked pretty comprehensive. I'm not sure I understand the comment from AlanRow but would like to know what you mean. I live in CA and have been to Iowa so not sure which state you are identifying as Ireland/Scotland. Haven't been to either Ireland or Scotland and have looked for reviews of the trips but there is nothing from this year. Thanks Lifeman - I have two weeks available so would like to hear about your tour of Scotland. Thanks to all of you and if you think of anything else then let me know! Kristine
Kristine5575 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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Thanks Melissa5 for your advice and website - I will check it out before I decide!
Kristine5575 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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Kristine5575 Trip report now on here.
Lifeman is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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EGAD! MILES WITHOUT A PUB! I'd definitely go with Ireland then.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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just ignore the AlanRow comment - it is confusing and definitely not applicable
bellalinda is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Kristine5575,
I can't understand why you would want to take a tour with a jungle guide for either of these countries. You can do them yourself with public transport and a couple of guide books. Get your heels on the land with the locals, not riding a tour bus with a bunch of Rickites from California. I've used trains, local buses, taxis, and shoe leather and enjoyed both Ireland and Scotland for a couple of weeks. Personally I'd go with Guinness Island for a first outing but it all depends on your preferences.
spaarne is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Got it bellalinda. Spaarne - I was considering the RS tour but am looking at other companies now b/c they are less costly and I'd like to do Ireland and Scotland together and that's not possible with his tours. The reason for doing a tour is that I'm a single woman going alone and have no idea experience in either country. I'm used to traveling, AF brat, and been to Europe in a group, but hesitant to go by myself. It's been recommended that I look at Trafalgar, Globus etc so I've been checking those out. But hey, if you've done it on your own any advice would help. Thanks
Kristine5575 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Also look at CIE Tours.
jaja is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 07:55 AM
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<>

Check out other tours. Since you have two weeks to travel it would be nice if you could visit both countries.

I understand why you want to do a tour when you're going somewhere for the first time. I'm a single woman too and have traveled many times solo to Europe. I spent one week on my own in Ireland a few years ago. I didn't give a thought to driving on "the other side" so rented a car and drove through the Southwest staying at B&Bs. It was a good experience but if I return, I think I'll do it with a tour or with a friend or family. I don't want to drive there alone again and would prefer to have congenial company.

The tour would be a week or two and you're bound to have some good times and learn about both countries and probably go places that you wouldn't go to on your own. If you like one or both countries then go back alone and use public transportation.
Luisah is offline  

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