Must sees in Ireland and Scotland?

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Apr 10th, 2006, 04:38 AM
  #1
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Must sees in Ireland and Scotland?

My friend and I are in our ealry 20s and will be spending about 9 days in Ireland and 4 in Scotland. Museums are o.k. but what are particular castles and scenery that can't be passed up? Ususally, when I go to other countries, I've heard of the major cities time and time again so I know whwere to go but I really don't know the popular places in these 2 countries other than Dublin and Edinburgh. If it helps we love "different" landscape, animals/nature, and I'd like to throw in some fairly minor hiking.
Thanx for the help in advance!
Linzy
P.S. We are flying into Dublin and feel free to write an itinerary = )
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Apr 10th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Linzy:

Here is some help on Ireland without writing a book about the country. In 9 days you could see some, NOT ALL of either the South and West or the North and West. If you are more into drive by sightseeing, you can fit more in but this is a pretty extensive list. You could probably not see more than half of the castles and 25% of the scenery in either direction.
Castles & such to the South & West:
Kilkenny
Rock of Cashel
Cahir Castle
Ross Castle (Killarney)
Bunratty Castle
Dunguaire Castle (Kinvara)
Athenry Castle

Castles & such to the North & West:
Trim Castle
Newgrange - megolithic tombs
Dunluce
Doe
Glenveigh
Parks

In both directions there are countless ruins of tower houses. This is a partial list off the top of my head.

Scenery South and west:
Powerscourt
Glendalough
Wicklow Mountains
Hook Head
Mizen Head and Sheepshead are beautiful and uncrowded. There is a wonderful trail where the road ends that takes you out to the lighthouse at Sheepshead. Very few people do this. It can get muddy and iff you intend to do any hiking in Ireland, bring a rain jacket and pants.

Beara Penisula
On the Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry) consider doing the Gap of Dunloe tour which could give you some nice hiking opportunities or take a jaunting car ride.

The Dingle Peninsula is considered by many the biggest bang for the buck scenery wise. There are lots of ancient sites like beehive huts, though some of them are fake.

Cliffs of Moher are considered one of the most famous scenery points in Ireland. Much more interesting later in the day after the buses have gone.

The Burren

To the North and west:
There are some beautifull spots up the east coast through the Mourne Mountains.
The Antrim Coast Road and the Torr Rd
North Antrim Coast & Giants Causeway.
You could easily spend most of a week in Donegal alone and see some spectacular coast line and the Glenveigh Nation Park is beautiful.
Achill Island if the weather is good.
Connemara

Again, in 9 days you could go either south or north. The SW is the most popular tourist area in Ireland and there are still some places that are off the beaten path there Mizen and Sheepshead for instance. What you really need to do is get a book on both Scotland and Ireland.

Oh yeah, Scotland. With four days you won't get to see much. Scotland is a vast area and there is lots to see. I'm not an expert on Scotland (only visited once, but you'll need a day or two in Edinburgh and then only have a couple of days for touring. Hardly worth the trouble of renting a car. You may just want to do some tours out of Edinburgh.

Hope this helps. When is your trip scheduled?

Bill
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Apr 11th, 2006, 05:15 AM
  #3
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Thanx so much for all the info! We are leaving at the end of May. So unfortunetly that's high season but with myself being a teacher and and my friend just graduating college, we don't have much of a choice. Last year I spent 6 weeks going from country to country and we really moved quickly. So, I'm hoping I can do that in Ireland and Scotland too but we might only be taking buses.
Linzy
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Apr 11th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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The end of May shouldn't really be too bad. July and August would be the most crowded.
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Apr 11th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Aw Bill, say it isn't so!! Which ancient sites on the Dingle peninsula are fakes, and is that common knowledge? Now I'm going to have to get out all my photographs from previous trips to see where I was gullible & got fooled! I bet now you're gonna tell us there's no Santa?
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Apr 11th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Linzi, how ar you travelling to Scotland? If you're depending on public transpor once you get here you won't have time to travel very far unless you want to spend the full four days on the road. If you're flying into Glasgow (or even better, sailing to Stranraer) I'd recommend you stay in the south west. Dumfries and Galloway will have everything you're looking for, and enough of it to fill your time. Or get the train from Glasgow to Ardrossan and the ferry to the Isle of Arran. You can never guarantee the weather in Scotland but early June is one of the best times to visit. Be aware that Saturday 27 to Monday 29 May is a holiday in England and many parts of Scotland, and some accommodation prices will be much higher for the whole of that week.
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Apr 11th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Sad to say, it's believed to be true plr. It seems that some enterprising farmers decided that those beehive huts are pretty cool, so they built some themselves and charge an entrance fee. It isn't terribly well known but I chatted with a B&B owner who pointed out that he has a friend that helped build some of them. Michele Erdwig has heard the same thing. Some of them are real and others aren't. Her suggestion was to go on an archeological tour of the peninsula to see the real ones. Or climb the Skellig Rock. I did see Santa in one of the beehive huts by the way.

As stated, end of May shouldn't be too bad, but again, the last weekend in May is a bank holiday in the UK and the 1st weekend in June is a bank holiday in Ireland. I would not use public transit in Ireland if you want to see a lot.

Bill
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Apr 12th, 2006, 04:13 AM
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Craig- We were planning on takin Ryan air from Dublin to Edinburgh. Not a good idea? And we still don't know about what transportation we're using from city to city. Maybe bus beacuse neither of us are any good at manual, it's a bit more $ for an automatic and we arent' too comfortable with driving on the left. I've only done it once and it was in a golf cart in the Bahamas = )
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Apr 14th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Linzy,
There's no reason why Dublin to Edinburgh is a bad idea. You have the option of staying in Edinburgh and taking organised day tours put of the city - not my scene but it's how some people like to sightsee. St Andrews and Fife, Stirling, the Trossachs and the Borders are all possible trips. Down the east coast from Edinburgh there are some big sea bird colonies around St Abb's Head, and the Scottish Sea Bird Centre at North Berwick (no relation to Berwick on Tweed). Alternatively you could head for one of those areas and stay there. Edinburgh and Glasgow are only an hour apart by train if you want a change of scene.
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