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!