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Ireland or Scotland?

West Monroe...
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Ireland or Scotland?

Husband and I were going to try and swing seeing both Ireland and Scotland in an 8 day period.

Most suggested we do one or the other.

This will probably be the last time we take a trip for sometime as we are planning to start a family this time next year..... So we really want to blow it out with this trip!

So.... For two in their early 30's, planning to rent a car, wanting to stay in castles, extremely outdoorsy, and want culture/art as well......

Which one should we commit to? Ireland or Scotland?

Help!

Dingle, Ireland
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1. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

I agree that with only one week you must choose one or the other, but there' s the rub - YOU must choose!!

Yellow Springs, Ohio
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2. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

Being familiar with both countries I can probably give you at least my own opinion. First it depends on what you want and how hard you're willing to work. Scotland is very well-defined. The roads are well marked and though sometimes narrow, they're not much different from country roads in the US. It's possible to get lost in Scotland but you have to work to do it. In Ireland it's much fuzzier and that's a big part of the charm. You never know what's around the corner. Bear in mind that I'm only familiar with the west coast from Galway south to Kerry and Cork. As much as I love Scotland (20+ trips over the years) Ireland grabbed us by the heart last year and it's our new go-to place.

In reading what you want to do I'd suggest Ireland. Research the areas that you want to visit but I'd suggest looking at what we did on our first visit:

Fly into Dublin and make an easy first day. Perhaps drive to Athlone and spend the night.

Drive west to Galway and Connemara. Visit Clifden and Roundstone. Perhaps drive up to Westport from there and then down through the lakes to Galway and south to Clare and The Burren. Visit the Cliffs on the way down.

Go on to the south and visit Killarmey and, if you must, Ring of Kerry. Go farther south to kenmare and don't miss Ring of Beara. It's everything that you'll find on ROK without the tour buses and crowds. Great hiking, really interesting megalithic sites and the odd castle to see. Really good restaurants in kenmare, too!

You can go south from there and then work your way back to the north. Here's a wild card suggestion. On your way back to the north stop in the village of Liscarroll. They have a very interesting castle and a terrific Donkey Sanctuary. Don't laugh. Google it. It was a wonderful place to stop, stretch your legs and pat some donkeys. We adopted two of them.

You won't go wrong with either choice but this is an Ireland Forum and my advice would be to see one country on this trip.

Whitney, Texas
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3. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

of course on this forum, we're going to say Ireland....as was already stated, "you" have to make the choice but I can tell you 8 days is barely enough time to get a taste of either, much less both.....

Fair Oaks...
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4. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

Well, we haven't been to Ireland and are going in May, so I am not the best person to ask, but we are also going back to Scotland for a week because we loved it so much! I agree the roads are easy to drive in Scotland, if your husband or yourself love to golf, there are amazing golf courses and of course beaches, scenery, castles, etc. We loved Edinburgh, island of Skye, St. Andrews, castles, highland cows, and the people! I am struggling to see everything I want in half of Ireland because I know we will be getting lost, have more difficulty driving, etc. I agree that this is part of the charm, but if you have only one week, it may be better to spend it where you can get around more easily. Having said that, I am very excited to go to Ireland and hear it is the most beautiful country! Have fun!

Dingle, Ireland
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5. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

I really havent seen any difference in driving in Ireland to Scotland. Cities are busy in both countries, motorways are good, and rural roads are narrower. Out in the country single tracjk roads are common, as are sheep. I cant see why you think Ireland is more difficult?

Whitney, Texas
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6. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

well said fuchsia.....I don't think it's any more difficult to drive in Ireland and I have 9 trips of experience....

Yellow Springs, Ohio
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7. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

I agree that it isn't more difficult. What I was trying to say is that it's easier to get lost. Of course, the confusing roads are just a good way to meet friendly local people. In May of last year we were in Ailhies looking for St. Kilcatherine's Cemetery. We pulled up next to a man who was working on street repair and I asked him if I could ask a question. He said yes so I asked if this was the right road. He looked at me for a long second and said "That's two questions." We had a good laugh and he pointed us in the right direction.

Edited: 06 February 2014, 15:23
8. Re: Ireland or Scotland?

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