Ireland / Scotland

Old Aug 15th, 2001, 12:41 AM
  #1  
Jenn
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Ireland / Scotland

I'm hoping that someone may be able to provide me with some advice regarding a trip that I am planning. I am looking to go to Ireland and Scotland next spring (either April or May) and only have 10 - 11 days of vacation. I plan on flying into London, stay there for 2 nights (since I've already been to London before) and then fly either to Ireland or Scotland first, spend some time there and then fly to the other country, spend some time there, and then ultimately fly back to London and leave the next day. Since I only have a limit time frame, I need to find out what would be the best cities to visit. I am really intrested in Scotland with all its castles, the highlands, and the ruins. But I also at least need to visit Ireland (even if for just a little while) to see where my ancestors came from. I plan on renting a car for some of the time in Scotland, but since I have yet to check out the costs for one, I'm not sure. Thanks in advance for any help that you can give me!
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 03:51 AM
  #2  
Pam
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Jenn - you might want to consider flying "open jaws" - which means you would fly into London, but would return home from wherever you are, (i.e., Scotland or Ireland). This way, you're not wasting a day by travelling back to London for your flight home.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 04:05 AM
  #3  
Joy
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I am going to Ireland in two weeks with a friend who has been to Scotland and loved Edinbourugh. Everything I have read about Ireland tells me it is fabulous and Galway (Connemara etc,) is a must see and Dingle Peninsula is an absolute must. If you like big cities Dublin should be good but if you are going to London, maybe you could pass on that for time restrictions. 10 days with travel is not a lot of time so you need to cherry pick locations.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 04:18 AM
  #4  
steve
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Consider flying Ryanair if you are interested in saving money.

In Scotland, I would spend one day at most in Edinburgh.

Visit Stirling Castle and also nearby Doune and Campbell Castles

Two unique castles in the SW of the country are Threave Castle and Caeverlock Castle. If you are into castles, they are certainly worth the trip.

Frankly, atho I really liked Ireland, I don't find it much different than England/Scotland (scenery wise). I would go for a day in Dublin and then maybe a day or two in the nearby country.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 06:36 AM
  #5  
Edmond O`Flaherty
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Ireland and Scotland are quite similar as regards scenery.I really liked driving from Edinburgh to Inverness in the Highlands and down the west coast to Glascow.Edinburgh itself is a very fine city.

Perhaps the main difference I found is that there appears to be far more Bed and Breakfasts in Ireland so that you actually get to meet people there-from all over the world in fact.I do not recall talking to anybody in Scotland.In fact Ireland is one of the few countries where you get contact with the locals.Best places to visit would be Dublin,Killarney,Connemara and Donegal.Ryanair will take you to many Irish airports from London,including Kerry (Killarney),Dublin and Knock.They also fly Dublin to Edinburgh and Prestwick.See www.ryanair.com
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 08:49 AM
  #6  
janis
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Everyone is giving you good advice. But I would first ask you to reconsider your plan.

Say you have 10 days (maybe 11), the first two in London - down to 8 days. The last day is shot getting back to london (open jaw is a good idea) and flying home - down to 7 days. One day will be spent getting back to e1ther Edinburgh or Dublin and flying to the other - down to 6 actual days to see Ireland and Scotland. And you want to see castles and the Highlands.

My advice is to drop either Scotland or Ireland entirely (both are fantastic but both need more than 3 days to see) - OR better yet, drop London. You could easily fly into Shannon, drive around Western Ireland for 4 days then fly either from Shannon or Cork to Edinburgh. Spend 2 days in Edinburgh and then pick up a rental car and do a 4+ day loop up through the Highlands and then fly home if you can do an open jaw - or fly back to Shannon and fly home.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 10:22 AM
  #7  
Tina
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I went to Ireland and Scotland earlier this year. While I enjoyed Ireland, I loved Scotland. I would have been greatly disappointed to have left Scotland and then landed in Ireland. There's no way that Dublin can hold it's own to Edinburgh in my opinion.

As an option to renting a car, there are several 1 day van tours to the Highlands out of Edinburgh. I took one and found the driver to be very well informed and the van was comfortable for our 12 hour tour. We were given time to stop and roam around the countryside and yet saw a lot of the Highlands area without the hassle or cost of renting a car.

In Edinburgh, be sure to stay in the heart of the city so that you can easily walk around to all of the sights.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #8  
Ann
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Best parts of Ireland--Donegal, Antrim Coast area, Wicklow Mountains (check out Kilkenny, too) and the west coast (Galway area). Avoid Killarney like the plague. A tourist-ridden trap full of overpriced, bad restaurants and Americanized pubs.
 
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 07:06 AM
  #9  
Jenn
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I'm sorry, maybe I should have made myself more clearer. I was referring to having 10-11 days just for Scotland and Ireland. I was thinking of open jaw tickets, but because I can get a round-trip ticket from Phoenix to London for about $500 its looking cheaper than doing the open jaw thing. But who knows, someone could do some great rates for open jaw to Dublin or Edinburgh. I was, however, looking to use Ryanair for cheap tickets for flight to and from Scotland and Ireland.
 
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 08:45 AM
  #10  
janis
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OK Jenn - with that clarification my recommendation will be different. I'd still recommend only Scotland or Ireland - but if you heart is set on both here is a way to do them in 11 days. Fly from London to Cork (into Dublin only IF you can get a much better fare - Dublin is a wonderful city but Edinburgh is better so since your time is limited skip Dublin).

Drive around west/southwest Ireland for 4 days. I'd even consider staying the entire 4 days in one B&B and using it as a base for day trips. You can see the ring of Kerry, Dingle Penninsula, Rock of Cahel and a lot more. It is fabulous country. It won't be all of Ireland - but you can't see it all so don't try.

Then fly from Cork (or Dublin) to Edinburgh - spend two nights there. You can see most of the city in two days - but again you won't see everything. Then pick up a car and spend 5 days taking a loop up the east coast, across to the Highlands and back to Edinburgh (through Fife, Dunnottar Castle, the "castle trail", Huntly, Cawdor, Culloden, Loch Ness, Glen Coe, Stirling) This is a doable 5 day drive without any really long days.

You can B&B and in Spring you don't need to book the B&Bs ahead of time - there will be plenty of rooms available so you can change your plans as you go along if you find something else that interests you.

You will neve be less than 4 or 5 hours from Edinburgh so you can get back there easily.

I gather you will be traveling alone, and may be worried about driving - don't be. I go to Scotlane every year or so, often by myself. As long as you don't drive in Edinburgh or Glasgow you will have no trouble and Scotland in general is a very safe place for a woman alone.

After you get back to Edinburgh you can either fly or take the train back to London to fly home.
 

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