itinerary and transportation advice please- 3 weeks total - Ireland, Scotland, and England

I'm rethinking my itinerary based on some very helpful advice from this forum (thank you all!!).

We have 3 weeks to travel. We'd like to see Ireland, Scotland, and the N. Lake District. We're willing to rent a car where necessary. We are flying in to Dublin, and out of London.

I'm very short of time for reading Rick's books (though I have them), and have seen his videos and those sights are in line with what we'd like to see (I think we'll skip Waterford altogether). We love the countryside, music, beautiful nature, castles, farms and dogs. I had assumed we should fly into Dublin, stay there a few days, then get a car and go south and up through the West of Ireland, into N. Ireland (for a bit) and leave from there to Scotland-- and our dilemma was how to manage the cars. I've already reserved a car pickup in Scotland at the Straenar (sp?) port, assuming we'd drop the Irish car in Belfast and ferry over to Scotland. Several of you are advising against that.

-- Should we drive our Irish car all the way back to Dublin and fly over to Glasgow or Edinburgh? Recommended airlines for that? Should we allow pretty much a whole day for that travel? (I can still cancel our car rental that I've currently got reserved in Scotland).

-- Once we get a car in Scotland, the plan was to drive up to the Highlands and wherever else we want to go in Scotland (sorry, as I said I'm pressed for time to plan this part), and then dip down into the N Lake District, then end up in London to fly home (we've done London before, so we're just driving in to drop the car and fly out).

Your thoughts would be most appreciated. Thank you again-- this forum has been invaluable to me so far.


Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1675 posts

How long do you plan to be in Ireland? Also check on fee to rent car in the Republic and drop off in N. Ireland and also same for Scotland and dropping off in London, usually it is very high. Depending on how long you will be in Ireland will depend on what you can see. If it is only a week, I would start in Dublin for a couple of days, then rent car and head south and then to west coast and to Scotland from Shannon on a budget airline, such as Ryanair or Easyjet but be sure to check their fees carefully as they are very strict. Once you let us know how long you will be in Ireland then you would get help on what to see, do.

Posted by Cyn
Wheat Ridge, CO, USA
1340 posts

Our trip this August involves England and Scotland, but not Ireland. We've booked a Virgin Air flight from London to Edinburgh - it was the cheapest deal going, and we didn't need to transfer out of Heathrow after we first landed there from the US to catch the flight to Scotland. Haven't done the flight, yet, of course, so we'll see how the experience works out. There was a big difference in price depending on what time of day we chose - some flights on the same route from the same airline were much pricier than the one we picked.