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First timer - which airport?

Hello!

We will be visiting in January. The first part of our trip will be spent in Ireland and the second part in Scotland. Which airport should we fly in to from Ireland? What about flying back to the US? Which airport is best to fly out of?

Any additional tips would be greatly appreciated (ie. should we rent a car, must see attractions, etc) We will be there from 1/1 - 1/4 or 1/5.

Thank you!

Posted by
9363 posts

It's difficult to answer your questions without more information. The things you want to see will determine whether you need to rent a car or not. We have no idea what kind of things you like to do or want to see, so it's hard to suggest anything. Have you looked at any guidebooks yet? What kind of lodging are you planning to use? As to the "best" airports, that usually depends on price. Edinburgh and Glasgow are only an hour apart by train, so which airport you use makes little difference unless there is a price difference. There are lots of deals from the US to Dublin, particularly in the winter. I would price out several different options to see what works best for you. Since you are seeing two countries, it makes sense to, say, fly into Dublin and out of Edinburgh to avoid backtracking. But you might find a deal so good RT to Dublin that it might be worth going back to Dublin to fly out. In short, you need to do some research yourself to see what the options are for your timeframe. If you want to price out the US>Dublin/Edinburgh>US, you will look for the "multi-city" option on the airline's page.

Wait. Are you really going to try to do this whole trip in four days? If you fly on the 1st, you usually arrive on the 2nd. That gives you only maximum of three nights! If that is true, you really don't have time to do two countries. You barely have time to see much in Ireland. Perhaps this is a typo?

Posted by
6 posts

We will be getting to Scotland on 1/1 but will be arrive in Ireland a few days before that. So we will be in Scotland from 1/1/ - 1/4 or 1/5.

I am starting to do some research but it's a bit overwhelming! :) Thanks for your input!

Posted by
5262 posts

With your short timeframe I'd suggest using a guidebook to help you decide whether to spend your few days in Edinburgh or Glasgow, and fly to whichever city you choose. You really don't have time to see much of Scotland, so I'd stick to one of those cities with maybe a day trip somewhere nearby. But, as noted above, the two cities are so close together that you could decide based on cost alone (taking account of the train fare).

I've been to Edinburgh but not Glasgow. I think you could find plenty to do and enjoy in either city. Maybe tomorrow you'll hear from some of our UK friends who know a lot more.

Posted by
2540 posts

Some things you need to consider is that the 1st and 2nd of January are major holidays in Scotland and with New Year falling on a Sunday then that holiday will be extended to the 3rd of January. many places will be closed especially public buildings museum etc . Public transport will be very to extreemly limited.
Have you checked if there are airlines Flying to and from the states at that time of year as they are limited at the best of times and in January may not even exist .

Posted by
5689 posts

There are a few things that you will need to consider:

As Unclegus has said, you are arriving at the start of a 3 day national holiday in Scotland, where much will be closed.

Sunset is c 3.45 pm at that time of year.

Who knows with the weather - it maybe OK or it could be quite cold or snowy.

Accommodation availability may be reduced, as most people booked months ago. Some, more rural places close over this time of year.

Locals travelling over Christmas and New Year booked their flights months ago, as soon as the best fares became available.

What do you want to do when in Scotland? It's pointless us recommending an airport if it doesn't fit with what you want to do. There are hundreds of must see attractions in Scotland, so some guidance from you would assist in providing something useful.

Flying back to the US will be easier from Scotland rather than backtracking to Ireland. Try Skyscanner for route options to your home airport. This also impacts on whether to hire a car - it isn't needed in the city centres. There maybe engineering work taking place on rail routes, which may delay services.

Posted by
9363 posts

How long is the Ireland part of your trip?
I agree that it would be easier to fly back from Scotland rather than go back to Dublin, but sometimes unusual routing can pay off. For example, I am going back to Madrid in May. When I checked general prices, they were running about $900, so I was waiting to buy. Then I was told of a $472 RT fare to Paris, where I was not intending to go. I checked on availability/cost of connecting flights to Madrid, and I found a RT on EasyJet that will be about $115, which includes checking a bag that won't fit their carryon requirements. I don't have to change airports, and the timing of the EasyJet flight gives me a chance to get into Paris and have a quick look around, all while saving over $300. It's worth at least considering.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you all for your input so far.

I think we'd like to see castles, anything that is a must see as far as nature goes, pubs, good restaurants...

We will be in Ireland 5ish days - we are going for a wedding.

Posted by
6 posts

We pretty much have everything set for Ireland. As for lodging in Scotland, we are pretty open at this point. I would love to stay somewhere unique for a night and then just a regular hotel of some sort for the remainder of our time there.

Posted by
6 posts

I am having a hard time finding flights back from Scotland that don't require a 12-14 hour layover in London.

Posted by
9363 posts

Considering the holiday shutdowns, I think your time would be better spent extending the Ireland part of the trip and saving Scotland for another time. Ireland has castles, pubs, restaurants, and beautiful scenery, too. The wedding will limit your other sightseeing time, anyway. You'll save time and money by buying one fare to Dublin (or into Dublin and out of Shannon), and staying in Ireland.

Posted by
2540 posts

As I said in my earlier post getting flights from Scotland is difficult if not impossible.Also flights to London airports as well as trains and buses will be very busy due to folk returning from holiday visits, getting back to work,college and university.
I know you want to visit Scotland but as other have said staying on in Ireland might be a better option. Any other time of the year I would say go for it but I think you will be giving yourself major problems if trying to follow this plan.

Posted by
581 posts

I don't know which airports you have checked for return flights to the U.S., but when I went to Scotland a few years ago I actually went through Amsterdam in order to avoid Heathrow. I flew into Edinburgh, and out of Glasgow, a short 1 hour flight, then a direct flight from Amsterdam home.