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Planning first trip to Ireland, Scotland and London!

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Planning first trip to Ireland, Scotland and London!

Old Oct 30th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Planning first trip to Ireland, Scotland and London!

Well, we're from the US and I've already read not to be loud or rude....wouldn't be that way here, so that shouldn't be a problem. And unfortunately, DO NOT mention your Irish or Scottish heritage, which is sad because I'm proud of them, our daughter even takes Irish Dance lessons. Other than that, we were planning on renting a cottage in either Scotland or Ireland for about 3 weeks. I would love to see Culloden Field, the beautiful castles, the Tower of London. I LOVE the history of this area. Can anyone make any suggestions where would be best to stay (Scotland, Ireland, London) as our home base? Which makes most sense....which airport to fly into etc. Also some "not to be missed sites"? We will have our 10 year old daughter with us also. Thank you!!! Lisa
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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"And unfortunately, DO NOT mention your Irish or Scottish heritage, which is sad because I'm proud of them"

And where pray tell did you hear that?? Silly in the extreme.

You have 3 weeks so you could stay 3 places for one week each. A week in a flat in London, a week in a cottage in Scotland and a week in a cottage in Ireland. That would involve a total trip of about 23 to 24 days minimum. So your 'about 3 weeks' may need to be tweaked a bit.

The problem w/ the week in Scotland & week in Ireland plan is both are large and driving is slow so you won't see vast areas of either country.

If it was my choice - I'd do a week in London and 2 weeks in EITHER Scotland or Ireland. Pick whichever country (Scotland would be my choice - but that is just me personally) and spend one week touring a bit and one week based in a cottage
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Shouldn't be loud or rude anywhere, not just as Americans abroad. You should see how rude the Europeans are.

What's wrong with mentioning your Scots-Irish heritage? Millions of Americans share it and go visiting the auld sod. Who told you that nonsense? What you may want to stifle, depending upon the company you're in or the location, is your particular Christianity (if any) - e.g., does your church have a Pope or not. But that's more at issue in a Celtic-Rangers match than ordinary tourist life and the local population doesn't first ask if you're a proddy or a Tim.

The "history of this area" is varied - Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England have different histories. The Republic of Ireland became and remained separate from the UK for many reasons. The Scots have been part of the UK only 69 years longer than the US has been a country and there's certainly a good number of them that want to separate from the UK (although if how to design parliament buildings is indicative of the ability and judgment of future Scottish governments, the Scots should stay in the UK forever).

You cannot swing a dead cat in Scotland without hitting a castle. Scottish whisky is better than Irish whiskey, Scottish castles are nicer than Irish ones. I'd choose a location in Scotland in the Highlands for 4-5 nights, somewhere on the coast or an island for similar (Skye/Islay), and in Edinburgh for a few nights then train to London for a week. This is assuming you're not going in August. If you are going in August, decide what you want to do in Edinburgh and when and book lodging ASAP - Edinburgh triples in size in August due to the various festivals it hosts (go googling).

As for where and what - you need to look at guidebooks and maps and specify better. Scotland is not a day trip from London and Ireland isn't a day trip from either. Distances in both Scotland and Ireland are "longer" than they seem because the infrastructure is more New England country road than metro NYC thoroughfare.

You also cannot, within the realm of convenience, reason and logic, jaunt down to London and see the Tower and then return to Edinburgh or Dublin that day. Dublin's a plane ride away (or long train plus ferry ride away) and the airports are conveniently located far from anything you'd want to see in London; Edinburgh is a four-hour train trip each direction. Using any place in Vermont as a reference point for London won't work - it's nearly the size of NYC and the largest city by FAR in Western Europe (it's 2x the size of Paris or Berlin).
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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I read the "do not discuss your Irish-Scot Heritage" on these forums. Same with the "Americans are loud and rude"! Thanks for your replies though...very helpful.
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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>>I read the "do not discuss your Irish-Scot Heritage" on these forums.few of those on here from time to time)
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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One among many said:
One thing that irish people really DISLIKE is when an American tries to claim that they are irish because their great great grandfather or something had a child with an irish women or something airy and bizarre like that lol. Youre American, who happens to have an Irish ancestor. It on some occassions may let you get an irish passport and claim part citizenship of Ireland? I dont know. Im not clued up on that. But try to refrain from making those claims. I know Americans like Ireland, and you want to feel some comradarie or common ground and would like to feel apart of it, but it can come across as disrespectful to some people even. Unless of course you say your father is Irish, fair enough, youre certainly part irish. (ive been talking quite a bit, which goes to show that I was not wrong when I said Belfast people will talk you to death! LOL)
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 11:45 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about talking about your heritage, I bet most will be interested or not be bothered.

I think that post was trying to say that you, yourself, shouldn't proclaim that you are Irish just because you have some distant relative that was. You are clearly American (?), not Irish. I think it is a maybe a fine line, but perhaps the poster had many Americans claim to be Irish because their great great grandmother was from Ireland 100 years ago and was a bit sensitive about it. I don't think a casual conversation about your relatives would be an issue, but claiming to be Irish yourself because of them may put people off.

I really wouldn't worry about that and have a fabulous vacation!
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Old Oct 30th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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Oh meant to add...I would start by flying into Ireland, then fly to Scotland, then train to London and fly home from there...or vice versa.

A week in London is a great way to see London and do a day trip or two. Check out www.walks.com for cheap walking tours and good day trips.

You can't do one base for the three countries, but I am pretty sure that isn't what you meant? Hopefully someone can help you more with your Ireland and Scottish portions of your trip.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 01:01 AM
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I'm with jamikins on the heritage thing. Of course it's OK to mention it as a connection and a source of your interest in the country. Just don't assume (as I'm sure you wouldn't) that requires you to be an instant breast-beating "patriot" in whatever simplistic terms Hollywood may have encouraged (I'm looking at you, Mel Gibson). History, never mind present-day culture and politics, is much more complicated than that.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 02:29 AM
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Lisa welcome to Fodors, you do ask deep questions.

My take on saying "I'm Irish American" is that most Irish people will hear "I'm American". There is no concept of "German-Italian" in Europe though there are people who might say my mother was German and my father was Italian.

There are those for whom the work of Americans in the Irish struggle was either a boon or a threat and it is up to you if you wish to spend your holiday time having that discussion.

While I consider myself British, to anyone from Scotland or Ireland I would immediatly sound like an Englishman and would be catagorised as such. Within these isles most people can catagorise your social standing in about two sentences so these things can matter to us but are of little interest to others.

Of the various countries I prefer Scotland as the land is so wild and the two main cities are pretty impressive. I find Northern Ireland is a forgotten gem, while Eire (despite bungalow blite) has the most customer focused tourist trade and hence a well developed and enveloping customer service ethic.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 04:03 AM
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Thank you ALL for such wonderful comments!! I have learned a lot! bilboburgler....what is "bungalow blite"? Never heard the term!! And all of you please know...I would LOVE to have ALL of you in Vermont, USA! LOVE the accents and the history!
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 04:22 AM
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The Irish decided to do away with a fair bit of planning law in the early 60s. Given the historic skills in building the guys went crazy and built loads of bungalows in all directions. It lead to the term "bungalow blight"
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 04:41 AM
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Makes sense...thank you!!!!!
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Americans have a habit of saying they're Irish or they're Italian when they really mean they're of Irish or Italian descent. It's a form of speech that bugs pedantic me. If some one says you must meet so-and-so, he's Finnish, I get excited, a real Finn here in the US, it'll be nice to hear his views on this country. Then it turns out this Finn was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Look: if you think "crack" is a drug or a feature of either a sidewalk, ceiling or wall, then you're not Irish enough to walk into a pub in Dublin and say "I'm IRISH!" (google "craic"). But considering how many Irish have visited the US and how many Irish left Ireland for the US years ago, you're not going to offend by saying "we're Irish too on my __ther's side."
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 12:31 PM
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OK -
I'm confused. You're sayig you want to rent a cottage in Scotland or Ireland for 3 weeks - then that you want to see both countries plus London. Would you be going to London before Scotland or Ireland - or after?

And you're going to have to choose either Ireland OR Scotland - or else do differnt cottage for a week at a time.

Can you clarify the timetable/plan better? Will you be traveling by car or train or plane from place to place?

And I think what you might have misinterpreted is someone saying that it's not a great idea to proclaim how Irish you are in certain parts of the UK - due to the late troubles. (And although americans often identify themselves as Irish-americans or German-americans or whatever - to locals the only Irish are the ones living there now - not based on where great grandparents came from. Although I agree that we often identify ourselves as this - I'm 50% german-american and 25% each irish- and czech-american - but it's all really immaterial - except for roots to explore when you go to the "old country".)
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Old Nov 7th, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Thank you guys

Looks like I better forget to see these 3 places in my first visit to UK next July. I only have 15 days in UK. 2 days each to and from Aussieland.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 04:02 AM
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>>And I think what you might have misinterpreted is someone saying that it's not a great idea to proclaim how Irish you are in certain parts of the UK - due to the late troubles.
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Old Nov 8th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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>

There's a yes and no to this. Plenty of English think the Irish are poorer relations (check out flanneruk's postings on this site for examples) and the views may vary by generation but generally the UK is a melting pot; especially London and there are ton(ne)s of Irish there.
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