Ireland/Scotlan Itinerary

Mar 10th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Ireland/Scotlan Itinerary

I am planning a trip through SW Ireland and Scotland with friends in May. I have read many posts on this forum which have been a terrific help in developing an itinerary. However, I would appreciate your thoughts on whether this is a good trip plan. I realize that it is a sightseeing trip that covers a lot of ground but, hopefully, without spending an unreasonable amount of time in the car. We are interested in scenic drives, castles and historic sites, and hope to stroll through some quaint villages. We hope to do some minor hiking but we can't spend a lot of time doing that. So, here is the proposed itinerary along with some individual questions.

Day 1: Arrive Shannon in a.m., drive to Galway; night in Galway.
Day 2: Drive through Burren, Cliffs of Moher, then south to Dingle Peninsula; night in Dingle Town. (How long a drive from Cliffs of Moher to Dingle Town through Tarbert ferry?)
Day 3: Dingle
Day 4: Dingle (1/2 day) then to Kenmare via Killarney National Park; night in Kenmare.
Day 5: Ring of Kerry; night in Kenmare.
Day 6: Drive through Beara Peninsula (can this be done in 1/2 day?) then to Kinsale; night in Kinsale.
Day 7: Fly from Cork to Edinburgh on Aer Arann (arrive noon); night in Edinburgh. (May book an apartment as they seem somewhat cheaper than B & Bs/hotels. Is anyone familiar with the Heriot Hill Terrace apartment near Union St. and East London St.? Other ideas?)
Day 8: Edinburgh
Day 9: Edinburgh
Day 10: Drive to Callander with brief stops at Dunfermline, Culross, Dunblane and Doune; night in Callander. (B & B ideas?)
Day 11: Drive to Skye via Glencoe, Road to the Isles, Mallaig; night in Broadford or southern part of Skye or drive on to Portree? (How long should this drive take?)
Day 12: Skye; night in Portree (B & B ideas?)
Day 13: Skye; night in Portree
Day 14: Leave Skye via Dornie, Invergarry, south to Port Appin or Oban; night?
Day 15: Inverary, Loch Awe area; night in or around Inverary? (Recommendations?)
Day 16: Drive through Aberfoyle, Stirling (castle), and Linlithgow (castle?); night near airport (suggestions?)
Day 17: Fly home

That's it. If you have B & B ideas for the stops in Scotland or favorite stops along the way, I would love to hear about them. Thanks for your advice.
sven04 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Only have time for one comment right now - I am a bit confused by your days 10 and 16. They go through the very same areas. Stirling and Doune castles are only about 5 miles apart. To get to Doune and Callander you will drive right by Stirling. And Aberfoyle is not a drive through to get to Stirling. In fact, there is no reason really to go to Aberfoyle at all unless you were staying there. as a base for a few days to see other bits.

If it were me - I'd stay 2 nights on the way west in/near Callander and use it as a base for Stirling, Doune, the Trossachs, Inchmahome priory, Loch Lomond, etc.

OR - stay two nights in that area at the end before driving to EDI.
janisj is online now  
Mar 13th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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Thanks Janis. My rationale for the way the current itinerary is written on days 10 and 16 is that we are passing through the same area twice - once on the way NW and once on the way back to Edinburgh so I thought we could split the sites. Also, I think it allows us to spend a little more time in the area between oban and Inveraray. But I'll try re-working the itinerary as I respect your comments.

Still hoping for more comments on the route and other questions. Thanks.
sven04 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 12:39 AM
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Hi, Sven

I'm not desperately good on Ireland, but I'll comment on your Scottish bitbr />
Edinburgh- I don't know much about apartments, but you will find a number of Travel Lodges and cheapish hotels if that suits you better. How many will you be? That would inform whether or not you need to book ahead.

Day 10: -This is a good day

Day 11: It'll take you about 3 1/2 hours to drive to Mallaig without stopping. You will want to stop. The last ferry's at 6pm. It takes abit more than an hour to drive from Armadale to Portree. I don't do B&Bs.

Day 13: I wouldn't shift bases. Skye's not big enough to justify it.

Day 14: Stay in Port Appin. It's to die for.

Day 15: Spend time in Kilmartin on your way south.

Day 16: When you look at your itinerary like this, it makes OK sense. You're driving parallel routes close to each other but only for a few miles,a nd rather than cram either day too full, I think you've pretty much got this right.

Stops along the way?

I'd probably not stop in Dunfermilne. They knocked down the good stuff 100 years ago and built rubbish in its place. Culross, Doune Castle

Glencoe, Glenfinnan, Arisaig beach, Morar beach. The wee road over the Sleat peninsula

Elgol, Uig and Dunvegan castle

Cluanie, Spean Bridge (I've got a thing about the Commando monument)

Kilmartin, Crinan, Inverary

The Rest and Be Thankful

I think this is a good well thought out route that mixes the mainstream with the interesting but less mainstream

sheila is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 332
Wow, that's a lot of stuff.
We're going to Ireland over the summer and our B&B told us it takes 4 hours from the Cliffs of Moher to Dingle. FYI - the ferry runs every hour on the half hour going in that direction.

Edinburgh is expensive, I know! We haven't had anyone stay there but there's a place called the Knight's Residence that worked quite well for my inlaws.
pittpurple is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 02:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Sorry - that wasn't clear at all! We've never had anyone stay in the apartment in Edinburgh you mentioned, but the Knight's Residence in Edinburgh worked quite well. I really need to use the preview more often...
pittpurple is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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I recently did almost your exact Ireland itinerary, so it looks good to me.

B&Bs I stayed at include the very good Emlagh Lodge in Dingle and Pier House in Kinsale. Highly recommend both.

Also went to Scotland on the same trip although my itinerary differed from yours a bit. But I can recommend Ben Tianavaig B&B in Portree -- very nice hosts and a great location. Also Callart View in Glencoe was nice if you're planning to stop there (absolutely beautiful area).
romago is offline  
Mar 14th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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We're staying at a B&B near Callendar (in Killin) called Craigbuie - the hosts have been delightful and friendly in their communication so far (we are there in June/July).

Also, there is a neat B&B near Oban called The Lunga (in Croabh Haven?). It's a 14th Century manor house, wonderful setting!
GreenDragon is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 06:11 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your comments. Each one is very helpful. I'm still planning, though, so any additional thoughts from readers will be very appreciated.
sven04 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have information on both Ireland and Scotland on my website. is also very helpful.

My Ireland page, with trip reports:

Scotland trip coming up:
GreenDragon is offline  

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