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Great Britain and Ireland Itinerary - Need direction please

We are planning a Great Britain & Ireland trip for August or September 2014 for almost a month by car. My husband does not want to go to Northern Ireland. Other than that, he wants to fly into London, leave immediately and start our trip heading southeast...? Maybe cross over by ferry (with our car) to Ireland from Wales. Spend a week there, Circle around and come back to England, up to Scotland, back down, ending in London (and probably turn the car in when we arrive in London) to fly home. I'm having a hard time figuring stuff out and am getting super overwhelmed. We did buy the Ireland and Great Britain Rick Steves' books, so am going to start working on the trip. Also, I printed his recommended tours for each of the areas, but being that we're doing 4 countries in one trip, don't know what's doable. Any suggested itinerary and must-sees are appreciated. We love small towns and villages, love castles, the countryside. We'd like to see a couple of museums. Any suggestions for where to stay, hotels (3 star) would be helpful, as well as must see's. Any ideas at all are appreciated! Thank you!
(will also post this on Ireland and Scotland forums.)

Posted by
1265 posts

Yolanda - I'm not sure where you are flying from but you may want to consider an open jaw flight. Fly into Ireland and fly out of London or reverse, fly into London and fly out of Ireland.
This suggestion is because, I don't believe you can take your rental car from England over to Ireland.

Posted by
9110 posts

STOP right now.

If you take a car across the Irish Sea in either direction the insurance voids on the other side. Period. No ifs ands, or butts.

Your best option is going to be to drop (or park) one car at Holyhead and get a new one in Dublin and come back the same way. Using any other ports will eat so much car- switching time that it's not even worth discussing.

Optionally, you could do everything on Great Britain the switch to Ireland. You could fly or ferry between the two islands or arrive on one and depart from the other.

Posted by
9363 posts

It would be more cost-effective to fly into London and out of Dublin because you will save the huge departure fees at Heathrow. I would do my UK things, drop the car and fly to Ireland (lots of choices of location in each country to leave from and land in), and rent a new car there. Then I would do my Ireland things (dropping the car before spending time in Dublin), and leave from Dublin. That way you are not paying ferries both ways (or flights both ways) between the UK and Ireland and spending a lot of time backtracking.