Scotland/Ireland

Aug 3rd, 2012, 07:09 AM
  #1  
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Scotland/Ireland

Planning a trip to Scotland/Ireland in mid September. A rough itinerary is: Fly in to Edinburgh 2 days, train to Glasgow 2 days, train to Ayr or Stranraer 2 days then ferry to Belfast. Rent car and drive to Dublin then fly back to US. Do we need reservations for places to stay or will there be plenty B&B andHotels available especially in Scotland without a car.
angeltish is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 08:15 AM
  #2  
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We have never been to Scotland or Ireland and have no idea where to go and what to see. Is it easy to get around in Edinburgh and Glasgow without a car? Also we are not familiar traveling on trains and buses so any help would be greatly apperciated. I am not even sure if this route is possible but just trying to figure out how to get from one destination to another. We are flexible and can change routes if we need to. I have read that the weather can be beautiful in September but is it going to be cool enough to wear boots? Will I need a heavy jacket or a light coat? Do we need to pack light? We are not sure about taking luggage on trains or buses either so any advise would be helpful.
angeltish is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 09:51 AM
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It is easy to get around in larger cities by feet ad public transit. One you start heading for the countryside travel by car is much easier - unless you have just one or two places you want to go. If that's the case I would check train schedules for details.

I never travel without reservations - there are too many chances to run into some large local event that will leave you wasting time searching for a place at your price range - or having to move on to another town.

Scotland and Ireland tend to be cool and damp (a lot of mist and drizzle - even if not heavy downpours) so you will need a couple of sweaters, comfy waterproofed walking shoes (or booties if you prefer) and a sturdy folding umbrella. How comfy you are in the temps depends on where you are form.

On trains, your luggage is yours to deal with. Small bags go up on the rack, larger ones at the end of the car. Don't have a clue about buses - since we almost always drive.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 12:39 PM
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I have never been to Scotland, so I can't comment, but it seems very fast paced to me. Change of location every couple of days, if you include drive days on those, I guess it is only one full day on each area. You do not mention your interests, but I am sure those cities worth more time.
About Ireland,I do not get why to hire a car if your sole aim is to get Belfast to Dublin... Easier to use train or bus, and no drop off fees. If you are flexible, I think there is almost always accommodation available on large towns such as Dublin or even Belfast, but if your itinerary is set, why not to prebook for peace of mind? Furthermore, on a tight itinerary, I would try to get practicalities out of the way. Getting somewhere and look for accommodation on the spot might be time consuming. If you have specific dates, it might worth to check and be aware of local events on each place.
mariha2912 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 02:17 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for all the information. We probably should stay longer in each place. Coming from the South, 40 degrees is cold. We have also considered renting a car while in Scotland. As for driving from Belfast to Dublin we were hoping to see some of the countryside while driving. How hard is it to switch from driving on the right to the left side of the road and are the roads really that narrow? Are the drop off fees added from one place to another or is it just between Belfast and Dublin? Since we are interested in seeing the scenery, which place would you recommend first in case we decide to make this into 2 different trips? If we try to see all places in one trip how many days should we allow for?
angeltish is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:11 PM
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About weather in Scotland, we have been there the first week of September a couple of times and both times it was wet, windy and cold -- 40-ish. We have been in Ireland around the same time of year and experienced everything from mild and sunny to wet, windy, and cold -- on the same day. Dress in layers and take waterproof jackets and shoes and a sturdy umbrella.
crckwc1 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 03:44 PM
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It doesn't make much sense, especially economic sense, to rent a car to go from Belfast to Dublin. There is good and easy train or bus transportation between the two cities and there really isn't much in the way of scenery on the way. (It would not be a particularly scenic drive.) Plus the drop-off fee is going to be large. Hertz is quoting a drop off fee of 120 GBP for mid-September.
Camporico is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Ireland typically has milder temperatures than Scotland (rarely gets actually cold) - but 50s, rainy and windy may feel cold if you're only used to very high temps.

Scotland has a lot more cold weather. We were there in July one year and it was mid 40's pouring rain and very windy - and we were wearing tee, shirt, sweater and rain jacket and were still chilly. Locals has gloves and scarves. And it have been in the 80s when we left London 5 days before (although that's unusually warm).

If you're not touring the countryside - but just going from Belfast to Dublin agree you don;t need a car. Driving isn't difficult as long as you are a capable and confident driver. There are few highways. Most are local roads - often one lane in each direction, fairly narrow lanes, soft shoulder and sheep. Lot os sheep in the countryside - and they seem to wander wherever they want. But you wouldn;t see that going from B to D - which I beleive would be all motorway.

As for Scotland - I don;t know the area well enough to give specific advice - we did Edinburgh and a couple of day trips - but it does seem you are trying to cover a lot of territory in limited time, You need to understand that driving in the countryside is MUCH slower - perhaps ou will average 30 to 35 mph.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 4th, 2012, 09:08 AM
  #9  
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Thank you for your help, I think we are going to pass on seeing Scotland on this trip and just rent a car and drive.
angeltish is offline  
Aug 6th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Touring Ireland, the apparel solution is to dress in layers--I find that a waterproof windbreaker with a hood works much better than carrying and keeping track of an umbrella. Also, I take several shawls which are easy to pack, provide warmth alone, under a jacket or over a sweater. Comfortable shoes (waterproof is nice also) are a MUST! I think your decision to do one country at a time (either Scotland OR Ireland) is wise. There's so much to see and do in each country and both deserve their own time! Happy travels!
MarilynT1435 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2012, 08:13 AM
  #11  
 
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P.S. to above post: Check out easytourireland.com for car rental in Ireland! It has gotten good reviews!
MarilynT1435 is offline  

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