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Ferry from England to Dublin?

Hi all,

I’m researching for a trip in August and am interested in driving from London north to catch the ferry to Dublin.

Two questions please!

Can someone tell me where to catch the ferry and is it an enjoyable experience? Is it Liverpool?

Also, is it worth driving from London to the ferry port (guessing Liverpool)? I’m thinking it might be an interesting day to see some countryside, maybe stop along the way, stay overnight somewhere the catch the ferry to Dublin.

Or is this plain silly and we should just fly from London to Dublin?

Thank you!

Posted by
14145 posts

Ferries to Dublin from the UK leave from either Liverpool in England or Holyhead in Wales.

Both are easily accessible by train. You could also rent a car. It depends on what you want to do

Be aware, if the weather is bad and the sea is rough, the ferries get canceled.

You also have to see what the drop off charges will be if you rent a car in London and leave it in either Liverpool or Holyhead.

Posted by
435 posts

I used to do the Holyhead to Dublin trip many times when I was a child - to see the relatives in Ireland. Awful boring trip. And if the sea is choppy (which it seemed to be every time we went, no matter the season) was a nightmare. Though I expect boats have better stabilisers these day.

Now I would fly - every time.

Posted by
470 posts

Some people have a low boredom freshold
I never get bored travelling except by air

Posted by
6113 posts

The countryside between London and Liverpool isn’t that interesting so I would fly.

Posted by
516 posts

Some of the car rental companies will not allow ferry use. Was specifically prohibited in my Enterprise rental contract.

Posted by
909 posts

How long of a ferry ride is it from Liverpool to Dublin? Do we need to buy tickets in advance?

Posted by
14145 posts

Are you going to bring the car with you to Ireland? If not, and you will be foot passengers, forget Liverpool. There is only one ferry a day between Liverpool and Dublin. It takes 8 hours and they don't accept foot passengers.

The ferry from Holyhead, and there are numerous ones daily, takes anywhere from 2:15-3:15 depending on which service you choose.

If you plan to take a car in August then a reservation is necessary.

You can see what's available at

They're a third party seller but you can do directly to whichever ferry line you choose and buy direct.

If it was me, and I've done the route between Dublin and London nummerous times, I'd fly. You can still drive if you want, but then go to the nearest airport and get a fight to Dublin. Manchester and Liverpool, as well as other airports in the area, have flights to Dublin.

Posted by
909 posts

Thanks Frank. Yes, taking a car across to Ireland.

Given what people have said here, it sounds like we should just drive up, take the ferry, and not worry about sightseeing at all along the way.

Posted by
57 posts

Calimom -

This is a great website - that has information about the ferry ride between Holyhead Wales and Dublin, including video. (If my link doesn't work, just Google "the man in seat 61".

My wife and I are planning our London/Ireland trip for this Sept./Oct., and we plan to start in London and then take the combined "sail-rail" trip to Dublin. We will not have a car, so I cannot speak to the implications of that. I see other replies along the lines of, the scenery is boring, the seas could be rough, etc., but we are looking forward to it (and I don't travel anywhere without Dramamine). Coming from the states, we generally don't get to take significant rides on comfortable trains, so that is something we enjoy on occasion. Air travel is certainly quicker, but comes with its own whole world of complications and uncertainty. My two cents.

Posted by
292 posts

A couple of years back we took a train from London to Holyhead, and then a ferry to Dublin. That gave us the opportunity to see the Welsh countryside on the way. Evidently the seas on the journey may get rough, but the day we sailed they were calm. The ferry was comfortable and offered food and beverage service. For us the only downside was getting from the dock in Dublin to town. There was little in the way of cab service/ride share offers that day. Ultimately we got there, but it was a long wait for a ride. I fly enough anyway, so for me the journey by train and ferry was worth it simply for the experience. BTW, the man in seat 61 advice is good info. Also, for travel comparison -- time spent, cost, complications, etc. -- check out