IrelandYes ~ Top Rated Ireland Forum ~ by Tourism Ireland



MICHELE'S BOOK     ~    BLOG    ~    IRISH SHOP    ~    PLAN MY TRIP    ~    TWITTER


Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: First Trip To Ireland and Scotland


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:
First Trip To Ireland and Scotland


Hi,

I am planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland. I attached some photos of our itinerary. I was hoping for some general comments, suggestions, corrections, thoughts on accomplishing this itinerary?

I'd also like some suggestions for places to stay, B&B's, castles, or just hotels in the areas we are stopping in.

I looked at the cell phone sticky and didnt notice anything about data. I was planning to use my unlocked iphone 4S with a local SIM to make phone calls but more importantly for data so that I can use the internet to look things up and for navigation. Do you have any information about using data with a local SIM?

I like to do active adventures so if you have any suggestions for that too!

Thanks!!



Attachments
__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

In looking at your plans, all I can see is blur... You want to spend your first two nights in Dublin...your next two in Cork and then drive to Kylemore Abbey.... wouldn't attempt that and I am a seasoned Ireland traveler... The activities you have lined out for each area is enough for an entire two weeks just in Ireland herself

If your goal is Dublin and the North, with the exception of Blarney...with a week, I would drop Cork/Blarney and focus on Dublin...the Northwest and into Belfast...otherwise all you will have is windshield views

Ireland and Scotland are deceptive in that they are small in size...but they are long in roads...There is a lot of slow and go...and not because of vehicular traffic jams...but because of four-hooved traffic jams...farm equipment traffic jams...pedestrian trafic jams... There is also the "Oh I have to have a pohoto of that!" stops to factor in and allow time for...

In Ireland and Scotland... "Slow is Better" is oft heard...also "Less is More" ...and "You won't Miss what you don't see"

You might check off all the things on your list...but it will be just that...a tick mark next to an attraction...You will have no time to truly experience what brings people back to Ireland and Scotland time & time again....The people, the culture...those things can't be experienced in a mad dash around



__________________

www.rinconcreekstudios.zenfolio.com



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 610
Date:

By blur... Bit/CowboyCraic means green blur from the car window, and you've definitely got that going on.

With so few days, don't try seeing both the far southern tip and far northern tip. It's a lot of ground to cover... especially if you want to stop and see places between... I'd try cutting the amount of ground you're trying to cover in Ireland in half.

Since you're traveling to more than one country, definitely look at the cost to add international data to your existing phone plan. It will likely be more convenient than trying to buy/change SIM cards every few days. You'll want to reserve sending photos for when you've got wifi, but for navigation, checking email, and basic web searches, an international data plan will serve you fine. Have the folks at your phone store talk to you about using their app to monitor your data usage and how to upgrade your plan if you're getting close to your limit (remember it can take up to 48hrs for international data use to appear in your usage info).

__________________
Corey
www.IrishFireside.com


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:

Thanks for the replies. Can you modify the itinerary below by deleting what you would skip and adding suggestions of places to see and stay for the night? Thanks in advance!!

Day 1: Fly in to Dublin in the morning, Tour Dublin, Jameson distillery, national botanic gardens
Day 2: Tour outside Dublin to the Guinness Factory, from a central hotel what is the best way to get to the factory?
Day 3: Rent a car in Dublin, see Powerscourt and hike sugarloaf, lunch in Kilkenny, then to Blarney castle and spend the night near Blarney castle
Day 4: See Lakes of Killarney and Dingle peninsula, back to hotel near Blarney castle
Day 5: Drive from Blarney castle to cliffs of Moher stopping to visit cliffs of Moher and Galway, spend the night at Kylemore abbey
Day 6: Drive from Kylemore abbey to marble arch caves, causeway coast, spend the night in Belfast, Return car in Belfast
Day 7: Fly Belfast to Glasgow, tour Glasgow
Day 8: Rent car, tour outside Glasgow to Loch Lomond hike, Trossachs, Stirling castle, Falkirk wheel, return to Glasgow for the night
Day 9: Glasgow to Oban, Islay, Jura, stay the night in this area
Day 10: Islands to Ben Nevis, to Inverness, stay the night in Inverness
Day 11: Tour Inverness, drive to Cairngorms trail and Speyside whiskey trail, sleep in Dundee??
Day 12: Drive to Edinburgh, return car, tour Edinburgh
Day 13: Tour Edinburgh, fly to Dublin in the PM or in the morning next day
Day 14: Fly to Dublin, Fly Dublin to US


__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9851
Date:

We can only comment on Ireland.

Draw a line from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher on your map. Choose to do what is above the line or below it. You can't do both unless you are a super hero with super powers...or you drive really, really fast day and night.

Here is a handy tool for driving distances. Get mileage (not kilometers) and divide by 35 to get your average driving times. Remember, you need to stop for food, sightseeing and comfort stops. Each sightseeing stop takes time. Many people forget that.

You cannot "stay" at Kylemore Abbey. It is a place to visit. You will have to stay in a hostel, B&B, guesthouse or hotel.

For the Dublin portion of your trip I suggest using the hop-on hop-off green bus. The tickets are good for 48 hours.

Since only you know what you must see while in Ireland, you need to make the decision as to what to cut and what stays in your itinerary. With a little homework you should be able to do so. No one gets their itinerary right on the first try. Try, try again and eventually it will work out.

 

 



__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:

Thanks for the advice. Which do you reccomend, the north or the south, for a more adventurous and active experience?

__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Since you are looking to head to Glasgow from Belfast, I would recommend that you stay North.



__________________

www.rinconcreekstudios.zenfolio.com



Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9851
Date:

Makes sense to me.

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 549
Date:

Having been there....done that recently, It is my opinion that it depends mostly on your method of transportation between the 2 islands. If you go by ferry, spending time in the north would be more convenient. However, if you fly from Dublin or Shannon to Scotland, then the south half of Ireland would be equally do-able! if that makes sense!?! As for the north or south for adventurous and active experience....it is a toss up, mostly depending on what your must-sees are. It seems that there are more visitors to the south, but I could never figure out why...lots of "uncrowded" beautiful areas north of Galway all the way to Belfast, and you would be spoiled for choice either way, and as they always say....you will return!!!!

Dan

__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:

We decided to go North!! Here are my notes so far. Would definitely like your expert advice again. Looking for suggestions for things to do, places to stay and eat as well as any other advice to make traveling easier. We like active tours that include walking, hiking, or bicycling.

Day 1: Arrive Dublin in the morning or mid-day, need a Dublin hotel/B&B? How to get from airport to hotel? Where to get SIM card for cellular data usage to navigate and browse internet? What cellular network is best for Northern Ireland?

Day 2: Jameson distillery, Guinness storehouse, National Botanical Gardens, same Dublin hotel/B&B?

Day 3: Best location to rent a car, at the airport or somewhere else? Drive to Cliffs of Moher, need a place to stay in this area like a castle/hotel/B&B? Maybe in Galway?

Day 4: Kylemore Abbey (9:00-5:30) and Marble Arch Caves (10:30-last tour at 4:30), need a place to stay near the Marble Arch Caves?

Day 5: Marble Arch Caves to Giants Causeway, on to Belfast, need a hotel/B&B/castle in Belfast? Return car in Belfast. Which car hires will allow pickup in Dublin and return in Belfast?

Day 6: What to do in Belfast?  

Day 7: Fly Belfast to Edinburgh, I will post second week Scotland itinerary in appropriate forums but would appreciate your advice on that too

THANKS!



__________________


Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 1442
Date:

Sim cards can be picked up in one of two places within the Dublin Airport.  Airlink Bus #747 offers regular runs to City Center.  I prefer to rent from the Airport as it saves driving within Dublin.  Virtually ALL Car Hire companies allow One-Way rentals from Dublin to Belfast, but generally charge a HEFTY premium.

Your Driving Days seem rather Ambitious.  I'm guestimating 8-12 hours every day, just to cover your wish-list.  Were it ME, I would either forget Clare (Cliffs) and Galway (Kylemore) and concentrate on Northern Ireland, or cut back on Dublin by flying into Shannon and ending in Dublin.  If you decide to do the North, take the train or bus to Belfast, rent a car there and return it there, saving the Drop Off Fee.  Likewise, I would then wait until Belfast to buy a SIM (which would be good for the there AND Scotland) and rely on Free Wi-Fi while in Dublin.

Bob



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Sunday 31st of March 2013 08:05:04 AM

__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

LoveGuinness wrote:

We decided to go North!! Here are my notes so far. Would definitely like your expert advice again. Looking for suggestions for things to do, places to stay and eat as well as any other advice to make traveling easier. We like active tours that include walking, hiking, or bicycling.

Day 1: Arrive Dublin in the morning or mid-day, need a Dublin hotel/B&B? How to get from airport to hotel? Where to get SIM card for cellular data usage to navigate and browse internet? What cellular network is best for Northern Ireland?


I liked the idea that on Day 1 you eliminated the touring. After being awake continuously from the morning of the day of your trans-Atlantic flight until you set down in Dublin, unless you're a great airplane sleeper, you are going to be pretty tired. Getting to your hotel/B&B and getting some rest will leave you in a much better position to enjoy your Dublin touring on Day 2.

And a BIG +1 on the Dublin Hop-On/Hop Off bus tour! Doesn't go to the Botanical Gardens which are a little ways out from the city center, but can easily be reached by city bus. Or maybe you could find a B&B near the gardens! Good luck & have fun. 

KC



__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9851
Date:

For getting to and from Dublin Airport: http://www.dublinairport.com/gns/to-from-the-airport/overview.aspx

Places to stay: http://www.irelandyes.com/lodgings.html Please note that my website has a lot of good info on it if you have the time to look at it.

I like Bob's idea of train to Belfast and renting a car there to avoid the drop-off fee.

You do have a lot of time driving in the car. There is plenty to do in No. Ireland. Have you thought of choosing a smaller area to explore?

 



__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5
Date:

Thanks again for the advice!

We feel like we already cut it in half by choosing the north. However you are more experienced, so please do suggest a different itinerary as I am not sure how to cut it down from here. The cliffs of moher and giants causeway looked especially interesting. We are just looking at the big tourist locations but maybe you have smaller more local things to do?

What about flying into Belfast,day trip to giants causeway, train to Dublin, then rent car from Dublin to cliffs of moher and stay around shannon to fly to Scotland?

__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9851
Date:

There are an endless number of scenarios you can create. Some will work and some will not. Personally, I would be happy seeing just Northern Ireland in that amount of time. The Cliffs of Moher get lots of publicity and they are impressive but they are "touristed up" for mass appeal. Weather can make or break the cliffs. Unless you plan on spending a lot of time in the visitor's center or hiking to Hag's Head, you may not actually spend much time there. A quick look over the edge, some photos and cross it off your bucket list. I don't know if I would go that far out of my way for them. There are cliffs in Northern Ireland all along the Antrim Coast.

This may help with some decision making as you read up on what to do and see: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/

For more off-the-beaten-path attractions: Ireland Travel Kit.

 



__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1382
Date:

Even with cutting out the south, your itinerary still attempts to cram two weeks into 4 days, in my opinion.

I could very easily spend 4 days along the Antrim coast between Belfast and Portrush alone and not touch all there is to see and do.

There is so much to see:

Dun Luce Castle

Strangford Lough

Carrick-a-rede

Musenden Temple

Giants Causeway

Bushmills Distillery

Glenariff Forest park

Mountsandel Fort

Binevenagh Forest Park (For Cliffs)

Dark Hedges

Just that list alone would take closer to two weeks to see everything properly, without rushing through

You might look to Ballygally Castle Hotel which would put you in good position for most of the coastal activities. It is a hotel built around and to include a 17th century castle.

 



__________________

www.rinconcreekstudios.zenfolio.com



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Date:

Hi I am planning a trip to Ireland in July of 2014, and was wondering if you could give me some tips. I have been working with exploringireland.net. They seem reasonable but I really want an authentic experience. Any ideas? I really want a drive yourself tour and maybe rent a cottage, or stay in B&B's but there is a group of us going. Its for my 30th birthday and I really want it to something memorable. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

__________________
Amanda Kimmer


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9851
Date:

Amanda,

You will be better off starting your own post rather than piggy backing on this one. That way everyone will see it is a new request and will be looking to offer advice. All you need to do is click on "Start a New Topic" near the top of the page.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us

make custom gifts at Zazzle