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Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

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Montreal, Quebec...
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Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

My wife and I, experienced independent travellers in our 60's, and faithful advocates of TA, need some help on a planned trip in early July 2013. After spending about 10 days in Ireland we plan on taking the morning train from Dublin to Belfast for a couple of days and then the ferry to Stranraer where we will rent a car to tour Scotland. We will be travelling with 2 large suitcases and we would appreciate how luggage of this sort is handled on the train from Dublin to Belfast and also the ferry to Scotland. Is it checked or are we expected to bring it on the train and ferry to store near our seats. We are asking because depending on the country, luggage is handled differently.

Also, could you please tell us at that time of year the time that it becomes dark in the evening. Appreciate if you could help.

North Coast, N...
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1. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

I haven't been on the ferry in years so can't answer that unfortunately. Just note that it may actually be cheaper to fly with a low cost carrier to Edinburgh or Glasgow (e.g. Easyjet) and hire a car from there.Worth considering at least.

For the train, you have to take your luggage with you. It is a bit easier on the Goldliner bus as they have luggage storage in the underside of the bus. Train is a bit more comfortable though,,

No issue re daylight - you're talking about 10.00pm on the north coast at summer - in fact it may be a little later as early July is close to the longest day.

Finally just remember that the 12th and 13th July are public holidays here and unless you want to see the Orange Marches, I would avoid the 12th at least as there quite a bit of disruption to travel and also some things are closed. Personally I would not want to be on a boat to Stranraer on 11th-13th as it might get rowdy with buses of bandsmen. So if you're travelling early July, just maybe readjust your plans by a day or two to avoid this..

Bingley, United...
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2. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

Other options

1) Fly to Inverness, rent car, drive around Scotland, finish in Glasgow / Edinburgh - saves you the long journey north

2) Rather than book transport / ferry / transport book Belfast to Glasgow / Edinburgh which will include the cost of the ferry and saves the hassle of hauling luggage about

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

Consider rails sail from Belfast to Glasgow. That inlcudes the ferry and the train to Glasgow Central.You will have a better choice of car rental places in Glasgow a short taxi ride away. I think only Hertz have an office at the ferry port. Will probably work out cheaper.


As far as luggage goes I think you have to drag it around yourself, no check in.

You can get sunset times anywhere in theworld by using sites like


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4. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

Dublin to Belfast by train: www.translink.co.uk

Dublin to Belfast by coach: www.buseirann.ie and www.translink.co.uk - the express service, via Dublin airport, is run jointly by Bus Eiraann and Translink Goldline.

Belfast to Loch Ryan port (Stena Line ferry terminal) - and on to Glascow and/or Edinburgh: simplest way is to travel by coach from the Europa Bus station in Belfast: www.nationalexpress.com - luggage is handled as at airports, deposited at the ferry terminal and collected from the carousel at Loch Ryan, then wheeled out to the awaiting coach for the onward journey. There is no actual weight limit regarding what may be carried on the cross-channel coaches, the booking conditions state " Transferral of luggage is the passenger's responsibility throughout the journey. Luggage space is limited. Two medium suitcase (sic) per person plus hand luggage are carried free of charge. Excess luggage will not be carried. No bikes or livestock."

Consider flying.

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

The train from Dublin to Belfast is certainly a nice journey but you do have to look after your luggage yourself, so if that concerns you I would look at a bus option instead, either the Translink/Bus Eireann service already mentioned, or Aircoach who I've used a few times and think are great (free WiFi, comfy seats, etc) - that way your bags will be stowed in the luggage compartment throughout your journey.

The Stenaline website isn't working for me to confirm but I think there is an option to check in luggage there - there are certainly baggage belts in the terminal anyway. You would need to ask Stenaline to confirm though. I do agree with the others though that flying might be an easier option for you, not least because you'll land where there are plenty of car hire options rather than in the middle of nowhere (and Cairnryan is, I assure you, the middlest of all nowheres).

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6. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

When you travel from Belfast to Scotland, consider using the direct 923 coach service to Glasgow or Edinburgh, marketed by Eurolines and operated jointly by Ulsterbus and Scottish Citylink.

Three departures a day, city centre to city centre - the coach goes over on the ferry and your luggage stays onboard.


Belfast, United...
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7. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

"We will be travelling with 2 large suitcases and we would appreciate how luggage of this sort is handled on the train from Dublin to Belfast and also the ferry to Scotland. Is it checked or are we expected to bring it on the train and ferry to store near our seats."

On the train you bring it on board yourself and can stow on racks at the end of the carriage.

On the ferry you check it in and collect from a carousel in the arrival terminal (just like an airline.)

Bangor, United...
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8. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

hi I am not sure if the following will be helpful or not, but the train from Dublin to Belfast you carry luggage yourself however there is plenty of storage on the trains for this, (we managed this with 6 large cases and 2 small kids last December) as for the ferry i would suggest that you book on-line through translink as this would mean on one ticket you will get your coach from Belfast city centre to ferry, then ferry crossing and coach from Scotland port to either Glasgow city centre or Edinburgh city centre (from what i am aware you leave luggage on the coach with this method). i recently brought my untravelled 16year old brother to see us in Scotland using the translink service and he found it very good. hope some of this is helpful and you have a good trip

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9. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

Writing this based on expeience: Traveled the past Oct 16 from Dublin Airport to Belfast by bus....luggage underneath the bus. We took the rail/sail from Belfast to Glasgow via Stena Line. We each had a 21" rollerbag, and 1 smaller personal item. We checked the rollerbags onto the carousel at check in, and carried our personal item on board the ferry. Upon arrival in Scotland, we collected our checked luggage, and put it under the bus at Cairnryan. Arrived in Ayre where we transferred to the train to Glasgow. We took our luggage on board and they easily fit in the overhead bin, much like on the airlines. Easy Peasy!


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10. Re: Help re travelling to Belfast & ferry to Scotland

Hi could you tell me what it cost you to do this? i am flying to Shannon from Newark, NJ with my 17 yr old daughter On Sept 13th arriving on the 14th. We will stay with a friend in Kilnaboy and one in Dublin. I would like to do somethings there but I need to be in Scotland by September 20th. Looking at the best way to see Ireland + friends and still make it to a funeral service in Scotland for my mom on the 21st. Have seen how expensive it is to bring our overseas luggage on a short flight from Ireland to Scotland. Was wondering if anyone could suggest the best way to see my friends and get to Glasgow in 6 days? Thanks for any help you can give me. How long is the Bus/ferry trip to Glasgow from Belfast. How long would it take us to get from Dublin or Shannon to Belfast by bus or train? Would this cost a fortune to do?

Edited: 25 April 2013, 01:01