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Glasgow - Northern Ireland Solo traveler

Hi - I'm planning a month long solo trip from US to Northern Ireland. I couldn't turn down a great multiple city airfare if I stopped in Glasgow. So trip now includes Scotland I didn't know much about Scotland (other than what I've seen on Outlander!) so I just watched Rick Steves' Scotland tape; am now in love with it and thinking of making my first leg of trip into a car trip vs staying just a few nights in Glasgow.

Current "fluid" thoughts are:

August 16 - 25 Scotland:
Spend 3-4 days in Glasgow, rent car and do 4-5 day road trip up coast. See Highlands, Oban, Isle of Syke (just saw tape and not sure of order!)

Question: What else? Should I allow myself more time?

Question: What is best way to got over to NI? I'm leaning on doing Ferry but need to confirm how I can drop off rental car and get another one in NI.

August 25, September 15 - Northern Ireland:
If I do Ferry, then rent car and do coast. I understand there is a festival late August in Ballycastle and I think I'd like that. Do rest of coast, make way down to Belfast by Sept 10 and do sightseeing in town.

Question: What other spots should I be sure not to miss? I want to do Derry

September 16 - Dublin
Spend 4-5 days sightseeing

Any suggestions on what I can do to space this out better? I'm in the early stages of planning this and it looks like I might have more time that I originally thought though I'm sure I won't have trouble filling in the time. I've been to Republic of Ireland quite a few times and could easily drive down to Mayo if I need. But, purpose of trip was to see NI.

Any thoughts for me? I'm a retired senior doing "my thing" and always looking for good advice.


Posted by
2546 posts

The most practical way of travelling from Scotland to Northern Ireland would be to return your car to Glasgow airport, fly to Belfast, and pick up another car at one of the Belfast airports. Trying to cross the Irish Sea by ferry just adds time and unnecessary complications.

Posted by
8802 posts

Agree fly to Belfast or to Dubln. Whichever airfare is cheaper.

Both cities are easily explored on foot. Rent the car when you want to see more rural areas or make the drive from The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland to Derry. Or in Ireland from Dubln to Glendalough or Rock of Cashel.

As I've recommended countless times if you like fresh mussels and seafood chowder then Mournes adjacent to Kelly Cellars pub in Belfast is a must.

Enjoy the journey.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you both. Air plane it will be. Thanks also for eating advice in Belfast. Will do that as well.