Mother daughter London/Ireland trip

Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:26 PM
  #1  
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Mother daughter London/Ireland trip

Hello. First time on here and first time Europe trip just my DD14 and I. Plan is for July/August 2016 England/Ireland ten day total. That is all I know now. Scary to go just us two and need all the help and advice I can get. TIA
cynkane is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:34 PM
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Just responded to your post on Travel04's thread to start your own, and see that you have.
You have plenty of time to read, research and plan, so don't be afraid. In some ways, traveling around Europe is easier than in the US because of the great public transportation.

The major mistake first timers make is trying to see too many places that are too far apart or too difficult to connect by train or bus, in too little time. You need a good map and you will need to look at travel times, not just the highway or train or flight time, but the time for getting from your hotel to the train station, etc. or the wait times at airports, not just flight times.

What are your interests (countryside, small villages, history, ruins, castles, art, architecture, major tourist sights, etc.) and what do you enjoy doing (walking, music, plays, shopping, eating, etc.)? Do you enjoy cities or scenery? The more you learn and the more specific you can be about what excites you, the more helpful advice will be. Example: why specifically did you choose England and Ireland? What do you want to see or do there! Get a couple of good guide books, one with descriptions and photos of important places and one that gives basic info like opening times of museums, trains and transportation info, perhaps small city maps.

With ten days, IMHO, you do not have enough time to see much in England and still have time to see anything in Ireland. You could see just London and Dublin, but because of transportation, IMHO, too much travel time used for what you get. Some places have poor travel connections. Others have fast trains between that make it easy. You could actually see London and Paris more easily than London and Dublin because travel is easier between them. It is important because on a short trip, one choice could eat up a lot more travel time than another. Which interests you most - England or Ireland?

Group travel logistically.
London is huge with lots to do. You could spend four/five nights (three/four days), then Bath, Windsor, Cotswolds, etc.
You could do only London for three or four days (nothing else in England), and go to Ireland for six/seven days.
If you do choose two countries or two major cities, look at multi-city flights, into one and out of the other to save a day of backtracking. You want to spend your last night in the departure city.

Have fun with your planning.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Jan 31st, 2015, 09:37 PM
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Ten days total leaves you 7.5 days free on the ground.

One day and part of the 2nd is spent flying overnight to the UK or Ireland. Then you have about half a day on arrival but will likely be jet lagged. . . . and the 10th day is entirely spent traveling home.

So I would pick ONE -- either London and maybe a day trip or two, or 2 or 3 days out in the countryside . . . OR . . . Dublin and a some of the scenic west coast of Ireland.

Don't try to do both.

You have tons of time so get a couple of guidebooks and decide where the two of you want to go.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 02:59 AM
  #4  
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Thank you all for replying so quickly! My DD who will be 16 then has a great love/fascination with both England and Ireland.this is her dream. What she and I have in common is interest in experiencing very day life. Not big on architecture and museums. Would like to see the famous landscapes, great neighborhoods, cool and trendy shopping places and of course anything associated with Shakespeare and Hane Austin. Plus parks and gardens. Love parks and gardens.
I would like to keep the trip confined to London/Dublin but of course the beauty of the Irish coast would be great just to view. So you see we have no clue and big plans. Maybe someone can recommend a starting point or a TA Good at this? Also, without air travel sand shopping of course what would one expect as a budget modest-moderate for something like this?
cynkane is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2015, 05:20 AM
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London isn't England and by a larger measure Dublin isn't Ireland. They are the 2 main cities in the countries and as such isolated from what lies outside. Everyday Life in the capitals runs at twice the speed of that outside and it is unlikely that you will experience the real feel of either country if you only focus on the cities.

If you have no interest in Museums and Architecture but want Shakespeare, parks and gardens then get into the countryside visit Stratford from London its 2 1/2 hours by train and not expensive if you book 28days in advance.

For Ireland fly into Shannon from London, see the western side of the country, Clare and Galway then head for Dublin for a couple of days before you fly back home. If all you want is to see Dublin 2 days is all you need.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 05:51 AM
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I strongly advise you not to get involved with a TA. They make their money either by collecting commissions on what they arrange for you (meaning they are limited to tours and more expensive hotels) and often do no have any experience in the places they are sending you. If you plan this yourself you can stay in much more modest places and look at discount fares and pay way less and get way more.

Expect prices in both countries to be about 1/3 higher for the same thing (unless you live in NYC). It is possible to stay in modest B&Bs and have picnics or eat prepared food from supermarkets in order to save money. By far your biggest single cost will be airfare so I should start looking now to get an idea of what they will be (expect $1K each unless you find some sort of incredible deal). Then start investigating transit (getting into the deep countryside without a rental car is difficult) as well as entrance fees. In London many museums are free, but other major sights are not cheap - the Tower is 22 pounds (about $33) per person.
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Old Feb 1st, 2015, 08:01 PM
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If you are particularly interested in Shakespeare and Jane Austen, I would spend all your time in England. You could stay in London and take day trips to Stratford-on-Avon (Shakespeare) and Winchester (Jane Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral). Maybe you could arrange some kind of transportation to Chawton, where Austen lived while she wrote most of her books.

See a Shakespeare play at the recreated Globe Theatre in London or in Stratford, go to the British Library to see an Austen manuscript and a Shakespeare First Folio - lots of possibilities!

Lee Ann
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