Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Scotland or Ireland Driving Tours Where I Don't Drive?

Scotland or Ireland Driving Tours Where I Don't Drive?

Nov 6th, 2019, 06:02 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 608
You can see a few bus photos on this page—

https://www.rabbies.com/en/info/abou...bies/our-story

There is a bench of seats (4, maybe) along the back of the bus. The remaining seats are in a 2-1 arrangement—single seats on one side of the bus, pairs of seats on the other side. Our guides encouraged us to change seats for segments of the tour so that we were not always in the same seats.
k_marie is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 06:35 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,019
We are going to use them for Wales. None of us wants to drive so it is our best solution plus it will make my girlfriends travel lighter. They are getting so much better but this will help.
Macross is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,367
Thanks for the thread, AJPeabody. I rarely do tours, but nor do I drive myself when traveling, and I am considering finally visiting Ireland (was in the north way back before the Troubles, but have never been to the Republic).

I do wonder why some people find it so hard to accept that some of us simply do not want to drive when traveling. I learned to drive in England, but I still don't want to drive there when I go back. I travel solo, so I would not be sightseeing on the road, and I simply don't want to have to cope with parking, overtaking, stop and go traffic on the M25, etc. etc. And I guess gardyloo missed the upset over the diplomat's wife's accident when he claimed no Americans caused accidents by driving on the wrong side of the road
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 09:10 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,989
if you cancel sightseeing due to weather when visiting Scotland (or anywhere in the UK or Ireland) . . . you'l cancel a heck of a lot of sightseeing.

Of course they wouldn't cancel for rain.
janisj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 09:20 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 240
I highly recommend Vagabond Tours in Ireland. It's Irish owned and all the guides are Irish. The maximum group size is 15, the tour leaders are wonderful and added so much to my understanding of the places we visited. I picked this tour company because of the small size of the groups and the high level of flexibility in the daily schedules. You can opt out of any activities and the guide will work with you to provide options. We traveled in a van rather than a bus, and visited lots of out-of-the way places. Lunches and dinners are not included in the tour price, and you are free to choose where to eat according to your individual preferences. I absolutely loved our tour guide and the other people on the tour. But the flexibility around meals and activities meant we weren't all in lock step.
enewell is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 09:25 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,668
Another fan of Rabbies. Used them in Scotland and Ireland. I'm a nervous driver so left side driving would be way too stressful.
Treesa is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 10:25 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,579
And I guess gardyloo missed the upset over the diplomat's wife's accident when he claimed no Americans caused accidents by driving on the wrong side of the road
Please don't misquote me. And of course I know about the diplomat incident. I'm just suggesting that for many thousands - maybe millions - of visitors, it's not a big deal. But of course it's a personal choice.
Gardyloo is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 11:17 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,367
you never hear about some flaming crash caused by a jetlagged Yank driving on the wrong side of the M90 motorway.
True, not that exact event, but the implication was quite clear.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 11:47 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,989
I had two wrecks when living in the UK - both totaled my cars, and both were caused by drivers on the wrong side of the road. However neither driver was a lost Yank -- BOTH were Brits, one drunker than a skunk and one confused by a new road layout.

Accidents happen every single day - just like back home.
janisj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 11:49 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,019
I wish 90% of Europeans had an option of a tour when they land in Orlando, Sanford and Daytona. If you book the kit and caboodle with Disney they do but those poors souls that land in Orlando/Sanford are in a daze when they find out they are so far from Disney. I-4 is not for the faint-hearted.
Macross is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 12:17 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,367
Accidents happen every single day - just like back home.
Very true. Actually, driving on the "wrong" side of the road has little to do with my desire not to drive in the UK. I don't want to drive elsewhere in Europe, either. I'm just tired of seeing people here urging those who have expressed a desire to travel without driving to change their minds.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 12:34 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,136
Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Very true. Actually, driving on the "wrong" side of the road has little to do with my desire not to drive in the UK. I don't want to drive elsewhere in Europe, either. I'm just tired of seeing people here urging those who have expressed a desire to travel without driving to change their minds.
I'm in total agreement.

I have a theory, unproved, that it's mostly men who insist that driving is the only way they want to go, women often being the more sensible of the genders. And the thought that since we always drive places at home, it must be best. I do, as I've mentioned before, rent a car on occasion but only after resigning myself to the necessity if the place I'm committed to visiting dictates it. But I'd be interested (maybe I should do one of those Fodor's polls) in knowing if my theory is correct regarding male transport tendencies.
MmePerdu is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 02:17 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,368
My one and only time driving in Scotland, someone ran a red light. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and immediately stopped. The car on the other side of me saw me do that and also stopped. By doing so, I avoided an accident and had just picked up the rental car. It was only for the day and I returned the car as soon as I could and said never again.

I drove the rest of the day ok but that is all it took. I don't want the added stress while on vacation. I don't want the added cost and most certainly don't want the horrible fights over directions. Yes some people refuse to listen to the gps. The gps can be wrong too and reading a map while driving can be challenging. To me this all stressful and I want to relax on vacation.

I have rented a car away from home in the US but at least I'm not dealing with a language barrier or being on the side of the road I'm not used to. To some public transportation is a reasonable trade off. It's not for everyone and that's fine. I'm glad we all aren't the same.

I am sure no matter what tour you take, it will be great as after all its beautiful Ireland or Scotland.
sassy27 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 04:04 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,989
I think there is absolutely no gender difference re wanting to or avoiding driving. We've had just as many males post that they don't want to drive as females. Or often a woman posting the 'my husband doesn't want to drive' since the wife is the Fodorite.

I drive when it makes most sense for that itinerary and I don't . . . when it doesn't. One is not better than the other -- it is the trip/plan/destination/activities that makes the difference.


>>someone ran a red light. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and immediately stopped. The car on the other side of me saw me do that and also stopped. By doing so, I avoided an accident and had just picked up the rental car.<<

There are relatively many fewer traffic lights in Scotland (and the UK in General) than in the States since roundabouts and other junction types are frequently used instead. Driving in the cities IS harder (which is why I usually recommend not driving in cities) - but out in the countryside there are almost no traffic signals and litte traffic in most areas. BTW I have seen FAR fewer red light runners in the UK than at home because the lag time between green/yellow/red is longer in the UK (at least longer than is typical on the West Coast)
janisj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 04:28 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,635
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
I think there is absolutely no gender difference re wanting to or avoiding driving. We've had just as many males post that they don't want to drive as females. Or often a woman posting the 'my husband doesn't want to drive' since the wife is the Fodorite.

I drive when it makes most sense for that itinerary and I don't . . . when it doesn't. One is not better than the other -- it is the trip/plan/destination/activities that makes the difference.


>>someone ran a red light. I saw it out of the corner of my eye and immediately stopped. The car on the other side of me saw me do that and also stopped. By doing so, I avoided an accident and had just picked up the rental car.<<

There are relatively many fewer traffic lights in Scotland (and the UK in General) than in the States since roundabouts and other junction types are frequently used instead. Driving in the cities IS harder (which is why I usually recommend not driving in cities) - but out in the countryside there are almost no traffic signals and litte traffic in most areas. BTW I have seen FAR fewer red light runners in the UK than at home because the lag time between green/yellow/red is longer in the UK (at least longer than is typical on the West Coast)
Cities vs countryside in the UK can be misleading. Not sure what 'countryside' really means. Places (even many smaller villages) can become very congested and 'urban' in nature for US drivers not used to tight and congested driving. Especially around places that people want to visit. The fact is that when you drive in the 'countryside' you can regularly encounter very congested areas.
walkinaround is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 04:51 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,367
The fact is that when you drive in the 'countryside' you can regularly encounter very congested areas.
Not to mention large, slow vehicles that need to be overtaken on narrow and winding roads unless you want it to take forever to get where you are going.

Congestion can certainly be a factor - heading to Dorset a couple of years back I was very happy to be on a bus rather than driving a car in the line of traffic inching westward along a two lane road.

However, rather than disputing the "best" method of transport, it would be of more use to the OP to accept her desire not to drive and discuss alternatives.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 05:56 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,980
Wales made converts out of us. Driving on the left was not the problem. However, we turned in the rental a week early because of the stress of high speed narrow twisting roads. Bicycles, lorries, sports cars, buses vehicles parked blocking half the lane. Then a sign that said "Road Narrows".

The nice people at the rental agency said, "This happens all the time."

Our alternative, after we finally arrived at Beaumaris, was to use a local taxi service. With the rental car we got to sites like Pentre Ifan or Penrhyn Castle, which were wonderful. But the taxi took us to Bryn Celli Ddu and Penmon Priory, also great and hard to reach by public transport. It was an acceptable middle road between driving ourselves and a bus tour.
Nelson is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 06:14 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,019
Thank you for that confirmation Nelson concerning Wales. We have a UK friend that works at MCO for immigration and we tell her she is the only one that can drive and she doesn't want to so she can have drinks. We are doing public transportation and tours. Her brother always offers to drive us but has ulterior motives so we say no thanks.
Macross is offline  
Nov 6th, 2019, 06:48 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,980
Macross, you are quite welcome. When we got to Harlech we were so stressed that we had to have a drink before touring the castle.

We met two other tourists who had damaged the passenger (left) side of the car by making the common mistake of over-correcting to the left in a tight situation. Interestingly they were both English!
Nelson is offline  
Nov 7th, 2019, 06:36 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 849
Originally Posted by sassy27 View Post
I have done just about every Rabbies 3-5 day tour they have from Edinburgh. I have also done Timberbush and Heart of Scotland. The day tours were perfectly fine and I do enjoy the Rabbies 3-4 day tours. If there is one you are looking at let me know and I can tell you more about if I took it. All were small bus tours.
AJPeabody, my sister and I also want to spend about 10 days in Scotland, probably early July. Neither of us wants to drive and we plan on taking a four day tour with Rabbies, either the Scottish castles or Isle of Skye and west Highlands. We’ll spend a few of days in Edinburgh and maybe a DIY day trip to St Andrews.

We’re still trying to figure out mutually convenient dates, my sis has a conference she needs to attend end June and would like to club the two in one trip to Europe...
geetika is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:12 AM.