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Scotland/Ireland

Shreveport...
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Scotland/Ireland

Hello everyone. My wife and I are planning a trip in late May to Scotland and Ireland. They have both been a dream for us to travel to and we can't wait. I've read a lot of posts stating that one should pick Ireland or Scotland, but we would love to give both a try so please tell us if our itinerary is too cumbersome or rushed to do so.

The purpose of our trip is to avoid big cities as much as possible, and enjoy small towns and the beautiful countryside via a rental car. We do not want to feel rushed, and want a good pace to see everything and take it all in. Here's what I have so far and thank you in advance for the help.

5/27: Arrive in Aberdeen and pick up rental car. (we picked this city so we could go from north to south for time's sake. Seeing the highlands is our priority in Scotland). Stay overnight

5/28: Drive to Iverness and see Loch Ness. Stay overnight around here

5/29: Drive to Portree, see the isle of skye. Stay overnight in Portree

5/30: See more Isle of Skye if we feel the need to. Drive to Ft. William and stay here overnight.

5/31: Drive to Edinburgh and spend the rest of the day here. Stay overnight in Edinburgh.

6/1: Fly from Edinburgh to Dublin, and pick up new rental car. (I would love to fly to Belfast to save time as we don't really desire to see Dublin at this point, but we will be flying out from Cork and the drop fee is outrageous if we got our car from Belfast.) Drive from Dublin to Belfast, see Titanic Exhibit and walk Granite Mile. Stay overnight in Belfast

6/2: Drive Belfast to Giant's Causeway. Stay overnight

6/3: Drive Giant's Causeway to Galway. Stop to see Cliffs of Moher on the way

6/4: Spend the day in Galway?

6/5: Drive from Galway to Cashel and stay overnight

6/6: Drive from Cashel to Killarney and stay overnight

6/7: Drive the Ring of Kerry and stay overnight again in Killarney

6/8: Drive to Cork and see Blarney Castle. Stay overnight

6/9: Fly home out of Cork

I haven't booked any flights yet, so that is flexible for any suggestions. Again, we just want to relax and enjoy some of nature's beauty. We have done big city vacations for the past three years and are ready for something slower paced and less stressful.

If we could fit more two night stays in I would love to, but don't see how I can. If we do, which cities would you suggest to stay two nights in?

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks again!

Shreveport...
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1. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Any help with the Scotland portion would be greatly appreciated.

Basically, we will be flying into Aberdeen and departing from Edinburgh. Our priority is the Highlands and Isle of Skye but in relatively short time. How does this look?

Day 1: Fly into Aberdeen in the morning, pick up rental car and drive to Fort Augustus to stay overnight

Day 2: Drive to Portree and stay overnight

Day 3: Take a day tour of Isle of Skye

Day 4: Drive to Edinburgh by way of Glencoe (A82 and A84)

Day 5: Edinburgh for the Day

Day 6: Depart Edinburgh in the morning for Dublin.

I realize that our days will be full of a lot of driving, but is it doable without feeling too rushed?

Thanks.

Oakham, United...
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2. Re: Scotland/Ireland

It's possible. Quite a lot of driving for my tastes: day 1 has a long-ish drive. Day 2 has a reasonable drive. Day 3 is up to you. Day 4 has a 5 hour+ drive.

To me, I would feel rushed with all that for one day on Skye - a place that merits at least a couple of days longer (it's bigger than you think). But I do realise a lot of people seem happy to spend time sitting in the car. You're landing on the most easterly-lying airport, and then driving to the far west.

Don't feel that you *must* reach Skye. There are plenty of gorgeous places on the mainland, and that might make better use of your limited time if it gets you out of the car for a couple of hours more.

Edited: 05 March 2014, 14:10
Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Sorry to throw questions at you, but:

When you fly into Aberdeen is that the last leg of a transatlantic flight? If so it is generally not recommended to drive after such a long journey in a totally different driving environment - if you're doing a shorter hop after getting over jet lag then that won't apply. If you are coming from the US I would suggest reversing the Scottish leg - fly into Edinburgh & stay at least one night (no car needed), then pick up your car & head off where you choose. There are flights to Dublin from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow so I would suggest a Scottish route that ends at one of these airports.

UK driving is very different to US - our roads are generally much narrower and overall more congested, so do allow plenty of time. The various online route-planners (AA, RAC, viaMichelin) tend to be optimistic on travel time. As it stands I would find your route to be too much - particularly day 4.

Oakham, United...
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4. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Too late to edit ... generally, the most classically scenic places are on the west coast. If you have a free choice of airports, Glasgow is the most obvious choice. A tiny but closer to Skye, and you're out by Loch Lomond as soon as you're clear of the city. There are fans of the east coast a well of course, and much of central Scotland is lovely too. Can't go wrong I suppose .. I think my point is to juts consider making it a little shorter. You want to time to sit in a pub, go for a walk, admire the view, poke around in a river, along the way.

Shreveport...
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5. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Thanks for the advice everyone. Well, we definitely don't want to feel rushed. How's this look instead?

Day 1: Fly into Glasgow and spend the night (after a transatlantic flight)

Day 2: Pick up rental car, drive to Ft. William and stay overnight. Explore Loch Lomond and the Glencoe along the way

Day 3: Drive Ft. William to St. Andrews via Fife Coast

Day 4: St. Andrews to Edinburgh. Stay overnight in Edinburgh

Day 5: Edinburgh sightseeing

Day 6: Depart Edinburgh for Dublin

Any suggestions on places to skip or places worth staying overnight would be great. I wish time would allow to go to the Isle of Skye, but like some mentioned, that would entail too much driving in this time frame I suppose (if anyone has any ideas on how to get there in this time frame please let me know). If not, perhaps in the future. Thanks.

Shreveport...
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6. Re: Scotland/Ireland

bump.

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Your revised itinerary sound much less crowded - depending on how the flights work for timings you could reverse it (ie Edinburgh to Glasgow).

I suggest you post on either the Scotland forum or the more local ones for more local ideas - long time since I've been in this area.

Edited: 06 March 2014, 08:52
Shreveport...
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8. Re: Scotland/Ireland

Great, thanks for the help.

9. Re: Scotland/Ireland

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