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Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

Dumfries, Virginia
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Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

I am trying to plan a trip for my sisters and mom and I to see both Scotland and Ireland. I was hoping a week for each would be enough time. Three of the four of us can take turns driving and we don't have anything in particular we want to see other than at least going to Forfar since my mother's family is from there and visiting Cork area since my dad's family was from there.

I would probably prefer driving, but I am not averse to flying or rail travel either. They are more interested in scenic drives, out of the way places rather than very touristy places.

My biggest concern is that my mom has bad knees and cannot do a lot of walking. Are there places in particular that are more difficult to see with limited mobility?

We would like to stay at bed and breakfast places and possibly a night at a castle.

I have read so many posts on here about itineraries, but I would love some ideas and input about your favorite places. Thanks

Edinburgh
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1. Re: Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

You can fly direct from Edinburgh to Cork with Aer Lingus 6 days per week, or fly Aer Lingus or Ryanair to Dublin then drive from there 2.5-3 hours. This is the only practical way between the countries with such a short time.

Dundee, United...
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2. Re: Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

Yes, Aer Lingus also fly from Glasgow-Cork on a similar schedule. You can obviously work it how you like, fly from the US into Ireland/out of Scotland or vice versa, but with limited time it is best to fly between Scotland and Ireland, other methods would take a lot of time. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports have direct flights to the US too (as you are touring it makes little difference which you arrive at so probably best to check both for the cheapest fares).

Although Scotland may look small on a map, a week is not a lot of time here (and I would say the same for Ireland), so you will only realistically be able to take in a little of what there is on offer. Ideally you would want to spend your whole 2 weeks in one other and then come back for another trip, and obviously Scotland should be first on the list!:-)

Re Forfar, it's in a nice enough rural area, but arguably not that touristy in its own right. One idea might be to base yourselves somewhere like Highland Perthshire (towns like Pitlochry, Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, maybe Creiff etc) for 3-4 days. It is an attractive area and an easy drive from there to Forfar (you could combine this with a visit to Glamis castle). It's also central to much of the Highlands and would allow day trips to the likes of the Cairngorms further North and even Glencoe to the West. Another nice option near Forfar is around St Andrews (although this offers much weaker Highland access).

With limited time you'd probably be best to spend the rest of your time seeing Edinburgh/Glasgow - You don't need or want a car for this bit and can stay in one and take a day trip by train to the other. If you're really not interested in cities then you could instead avoid them and head somewhere else in the Highlands like Skye.

The nature of the tourist industry is that some places get very touristy in peak months (Jul/Aug mainly) - Places like Loch Ness and Edinburgh (especially during the festival in August) can be busy. Outside those specific places/dates you should be able to avoid other tourists easily enough! The only qualification is that there are a lot of big events on his year - Glasgow will be busy with the Commonwealth a games in late July and both cities will probably be busy in late Sep due to the Ryder Cup.

Edited: 10 January 2014, 11:22
London
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3. Re: Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

Taking a rental car registered in the UK on a one way hire and dropping it in Ireland (or vice versa) would incur an eye watering one way charge. Plan on separate rentals in each place, and fly between (but read baggage rules very very carefully for both Aer Lingus or - shudder - Ryanair.)

Dumfries, Virginia
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4. Re: Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

Thank you so much. Great advice from all of you.

5. Re: Scotland and Ireland Driving Tour

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