Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Traveling to Ireland and UK for 15 days
Notices

Traveling to Ireland and UK for 15 days

Reply

Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:00 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Traveling to Ireland and UK for 15 days

We are a couple in our 50s looking at flying to and from Dublin, Ireland but would also like to see some parts of the UK. We would like to see only the highlights/one of each but not all of them (museums, castles, sceneries, landmarks, etc). Any suggestions on what, where and how (BBs, hotels, transportation, landmarks) for this 15 day trip?
GemmaImperial is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:39 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,873
Sorry but no one can really advise you where you should go in the UK w/ just a few days. You are talking Scotland, Wales, England, N. Ireland -- most of which could easily fill your 15 days by itself. I could give you a list of 20 places in Scotland that would only cover a few of the top sites. Same w/ England, same w/ just London.

You could very easily spend your 15 days just in Ireland w/ maybe a few days in Northern Ireland.

I'd get a guide book or two and decide which 2 or 3 places in the UK look most interesting.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,788
Well sure, you could spend months, if not years, in London alone and not be bored, but let's be real here, 15 days is enough to get an overview.

How about 3 days/4 nights each in Dublin and London, the rest of the time spent driving around England and a bit of Scotland? I;m not good at doing itineraries for other people, so I;m sure others will do a better job, but that's my general idea. Drive between cities, either park or give up the car in the cities and walk/use public transpo.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 10:11 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
Why fly into and out of Dublin - why not in or out of London, as that is of course the highlight of the U.K. to most. If you just want a taste of Ireland do a few days in Dublin then head up to Northern Ireland - Belfast is a surprisingly nice town (in spite of its tough reputation!) then take the ferry over to Scotland - spend a few days in Edinburgh and then blast down to London, stopping en route at York, certainly one of the very finest cities in England and spend the last few days in London - try to do a bit more than 15 days.

If doing such a loop trains would make the most sense - cars are best if you want to go thru the lovely countryside of the British Isles but if just cities then a car is rather useless once in say London or Edinburgh, etc.

For a great fix on trains on both islands check out these IMO superb sources: www.seat61.com (written by a British bloke); www.ricksteves.com andwww.budgeteuropetravel.com. IME do not be intimidated by driving on the 'wrong' side of the road - you get used to that very quickly. But again that is if into countryside more than cities.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,873
>>How about 3 days/4 nights each in Dublin and London, the rest of the time spent driving around England and a bit of Scotland?<<

Sure - or there could be a hundred different/totally reasonable options. They have two weeks . . . THEY have to first narrow down a little bit where they want to go/see/do and then we can help.

Just throwing 5 countries on the wall and asking us where they should go . . . They will get tons of different suggestions.

(There is no way Dublin rates the same amount of time as London - there are many many times more things to see/do in London. Not that anyone needs to go to either one. That is personal preference.)

Another issue is you aren't flying open jaw -- you are in and out of DUB. So that takes almost a full day out of your already limited time since you'll want to be back in Dublin the night before you fly out.

If you whole trip is 15 days including travel time then you have 12.5 on the ground - minus half a day across to the UK and half a day back . . . netting you 11+ days free . . . and have 5 countries to work with.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 11:33 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,788
Janisj, that day count doesn't consider the fact that if you are driving, you are seeing things. I would discount only the full travel days at the beginning and end of the trip, giving 13 days on the ground. Very doable. As for Dublin versus London, I'd fly in and out of London and spend more time there than in Dublin, but perhaps the OP has a particular interest in Ireland and less interest in England or London.

I guess I'm still astonished that 15 days isn't considered long enough to do a quick loop encompassing Dublin and London and a few stops in between. In my book, it really is, but I'm not going to construct an itinerary to prove it.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 12:20 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
Hello all. Thanks so much for your feedbacks which give us some idea to narrow down what and where to go because of time constraints. Also, a friend has paid for our flight and we don't have any other option but to fly in and out of Dublin. We really want to visit London if we can, so I guess we are looking at 4 days in Ireland and pass by Wales for a day or 2 before heading to London and staying there for about 3 days. I came across this guided tour by train and might consider if it will give us the most for our time.
GemmaImperial is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 01:21 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
rather than taking a day to go back to Eire look at cheap flights with say RyanAir from Standsted to connect with your Dublin departure.

North Wales to me is one of the most interesting places in the U.K. Check out Llandudno and its area - Conwy the perfect medieval walled town makes a great subdued base - from there you can easily ascend Mt Snowdon by its famous steam train (or foot) - see Caernarfon Castle, where the princes of wales (and I guess princesses) are crowned - Llandudno is a fading but vibrant seaside resort at the foot of the Great Orme - take the antique tramway there from town for views all around. This area also sees many locals speaking Welsh -course everyone speaks English, kind of, too. Good for a two-day stop since your schedule is so short - London needs at least three full days to scratch the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 02:42 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,873
4 days in Ireland is nothing. Most people want to see the scenic west coast (Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Aran islands etc.) They are on the opposite side of the country from Dublin so you will miss out on what most people consider 'Ireland'

3 days in London would require 4 nights and would give you enough time to see a small handful of sites.

So where are we? 4 days in Dublin and a bit of the east coast and a glimpse of London and more than half of your time is gone. Do you want a scattershot mad dash?

That is why I strongly suggest you read a few guide books and get a firmer handle on where/what things are.

You can spend a fortune running around ticking places off a list and never actually 'see' much of anything.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2014, 03:33 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
If 15 days is all you can spend then go for it - IME no matter where I am in the British Isles I find it exciting and have fun - does not matter where you go but to go is the thing - whet your appetite and then return all the wiser.

I found Dublin a fascinating city - a city of real culture and pathos in things like the tinkers running around. Dublin, north Wales and London seems like a great itinerary for such limited time to me. Go for it.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 08:11 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
OP's problem is saying they only want to see the highlights of each country - impossible in 15 weeks let along 15 days.

And what is a highlight - to janis the highlight of Ireland is the rugged Gaellic-speaking West Coast - the Connemara, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Mohair, etc and this certainly is a highlight of Ireland but not the highlight.

Dublin is just as much a highlight of Ireland as rural areas. So you can see some highlights but very few and what is a highlight is very subjective.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 08:29 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,788
Yes, that's the choice, as ever: more time in two places, or a more limited look at several places. For a first trip, I think the latter approach is fine and that there is no point in discouraging posters from faster paced trips, but neither approach is wrong.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 08:45 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,943
Perhaps taking the advice of studing a few guidebooks and, then,deciding what you want to do and where you want to go along with understanding the travel time involved is the best idea.
historytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 09:04 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,873
NewBe: >> there is no point in discouraging posters from faster paced trips<<

I am not discouraging the OP - I am trying to get them to focus. As you said -- planning itineraries for others is not your strong suit (folks actually pay me to plan trips for them)

I strongly suggest the OP gets couple of guide books and decide what are some musts for THEM. Otherwise 100 different Fodorites will give them 200 different suggestions of "Musts". If they fall in love with what they read about the scenic parts of Ireland - then 4 days including Dublin won't cut it. If they find 15 or 20 musts in London -- then 4 days won't cut it. If several parts of Scotland call to them -- 4 days won't cut it. If they decide they just want a taste and not seeing a lot of 'musts' is OK . . . then quick works and can be fun (but can also be more complicated).

And adding more time would be wonderful -- but also means even more research because the possibilities increase.

Could I run up a plan for them - sure. But no one on here (including the OP herself) has a handle on where they should go.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 11:45 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
For a first time trip so so short I would not worry about hitting all the highlights, whatever that means as it means something different to janis and to me and as janis says a 100 different things to a 100 different responders.

IMO just go - oh select a few places and then just go - Dublin - North Wales and London would be a great pairing for 15 days - North Wales will show you the kind of rugged beauty the West Coast of Ireland will (well not quite as awesome IMO but nice) - rather than try to hit several highlights just chose a few places within easy reach of each other and yes plan to come back later when you have more time.

There could be a case for just spending the whole 15 days in Ireland - especially if you want to drive as trains there are not nearly as comprehensive as in the U.K.

anyway don't get bogged down in how many highlights you can stuff into a 15-day period but just spend 15 days in depth in the few places you select. Read up on those places and come back and ask questions about those places so that folks like janis (a real REAL expert in seemingly all things in the British Isles, except trains - and many others too.)
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2014, 04:57 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
I took a friend a couple of years ago for her first trip to Ireland and we stayed in Dublin for two nights, took the bus rt from the city to the airport. Stayed at Buswells, a very nice hotel located in a quieter area by Trinity college. We took an early aer lingus flight to Edinburgh and stayed four nights exploring the city and taking a bus trip one day to see other areas. We rented an apartment in the city and loved it. We then flew back on an early flight, caught the go bus from the Dublin airport and went to Galway exploring the west coast. Back to Dublin after several nights and spent two more in Dublin which we love.
Next year she repeated the trip but took the ferry from Dublin to Liverpool. They spent two nights and came back to explore more of Ireland. They enjoyed the ferry and got to see the Queen on a duck boat tour. Love the pictures they have. They didn't know what the commotion was and there she was. They did the whole Beatle's tour and went to the graveyard where Eleanor Rigby was buried. They were looking and a Priest came out and showed them her grave. No one was there but them. You see it wasn't the normal tourist thing but they loved it. Public transportation is so easy and convenient.
flpab is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2014, 05:49 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3
thanks again for all the great and very informative replies. I will definitely take your advises and look at guidebooks to know what and where we want to go for the short time we have. This way, we will not see everything but at least we will cover the ones we would like to visit. We have quite a bit of time to do some research and hopefully could get your feedbacks once we have decided. Thanks again, very much appreciated.
GemmaImperial is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2014, 06:30 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,502
You said that the air tickets have been bought by someone else for you, but that doesn't stop you talking to the airline and asking what it would cost, if it's possible, to alter the tickets so that you fly into Dublin and out of London.

If you can you should save enough money flying one way to London rather than return, to pay for any cost involved in amending the tickets.
Rubicund is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2014, 07:53 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,342
I need friends who will shell for flights.
BigRuss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
For me flying out of my airport to Dublin has the least expensive flights to Europe. We love Dublin so don't care if we stop plus then buy cheap hops. It was under 45 euro doing the rt to edi from Dublin.
flpab is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:24 AM.