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Getting to Dublin from Scotland (or northern England)

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to the UK in summer or 2015. Towards the end of our trip we will be in Scotland (after starting out in London, we will be spending the bulk of our almost-three-week trip in Scotland). Before we head home, I'm thinking about spending a few days in Dublin (flying home back to the US from Dublin). My question is about the best way to get from Scotland (from say, Edinburgh).

Looking for flights, I'm not seeing any direct flights from Edinburgh to Dublin (they seem to go through London - or places much further out of the way, ie Stockholm!).

I know there are ferries from Scotland to Northern Ireland (from Troon and Cairnryan to Larne and Belfast, respectively). There are ferries direct to Dublin from Holyhead and Liverpool. Since our time is short and our goal is just to add a little time for Dublin (rather than spending more time in Northern Island and getting to Dublin), I'm guessing that our best bet would be to go from Scotland to Liverpool or Holyhead, and jump on a ferry direct to Dublin from there. I'm assuming that we could catch a train or perhaps rent a car from Edinburgh and get to the more direct ferry.

I'd welcome any input from those of you who know the various ways to get from Scotland to Dublin. Our priorities are 1) efficiency (time); 2) a pleasant journey; and 3) reasonable cost.

How would you do it? Thanks!

Posted by
11154 posts

Looking at Skyscanner, I see nonstop flights from Edinburgh to Dublin on both Ryanair and Aer Lingus (multiple flights per day).

Also look into flying from other Scottish airports; depending on your itinerary, it may not be most efficient to use Edinburgh.

Posted by
5019 posts

Ah, thanks. I see Aer Lingus goes from either Edinburgh or Glascow to Dublin for about a hundred bucks - that'll be hard to beat (I'd rather skip RyanAir).

I also note that you can buy a combined rail/ferry ticket from Edinburgh (via Holyhead) to Dublin for just 38 pounds - although it's a long day (10 hours or so). That's crazy cheap. And on a nice day, I bet that's a relaxing way to go. Hmmmm.

Good options. Any other recommendations? Thanks!

Posted by
9110 posts

The ferry ain't going to be the highlight of your life. What's your time worth?

Posted by
5019 posts

How do you know - maybe my life has been pretty dreary? ; )

OK, I get it - the ferry isn't a grand, romantic adventure (then again, a RyanAir flight ain't either...). Fair enough. Sounds like the short, inexpensive flight meets my criteria better. Point taken. Thanks!

Posted by
1008 posts

We have done the Rail/Sail option twice. We rather enjoyed the train and ferry ride. We were not in a hurry though. It is much cheaper than flying BUT time is money and if your time is limited, then do the Air Lingus or other airlines. I'd skip Ryanair if possible too.



Posted by
266 posts

David, we had the same dilemma you have in spring 2013 when we were embarking on a 6 week trip for 4. We each had an international carry on suitcase, personal item )purse or backpack, and for my husband and me one large suitcase. The Aer Lingus flight to Dublin was only 18 tight rows and I had pre-paid the luggage fee for 3 suitcases but expected to fit the carry -on bags in the compartments above us. Looking back, knowing what I know now, and enduring a very uncomfortable flight I would have selected the Aer Lingus flight that has the largest plane for that day - perhaps find out which is the more popular daily flight and has the largest plane. The weekend flights may also use larger planes.
The flight from Dublin to London on a Sunday afternoon was on a much larger plane, with adequate storage and more comfortable. Pre-paying for the luggage fee was also less expensive than paying at check-in. They were very sticky on the weight limits for all bags.
As you can expect, Aer Lingus is very popular so I suggest you get to the airport early to check-in, check your size and weight limits and select a larger plane especially from Scotland.

We did not use the ferry as we were told there was no guarantee they would leave in inclement weather and on a tight schedule, we couldn't risk missing the ferry. I did check into all the ferry lines like you are doing, and decided with our timeline to go with Aer Lingus. Have a great trip!