This is my first time posting here, so please go gentle with me. Myself, hubby and two teenage boys (16 and 13) are planning a trip to Ireland/Scotland next year. We will first be doing a 7 day River Cruise that finishes in Budapest. From there, we would like to fly out to either Ireland or Scotland( not sure where first) , hire a car and drive around.
I have a gazillion questions so bear with me:
Firstly, we will need to end our trip at an airport that gets us home to Australia - so I guess any airport that goes via London will get us there. Keeping that in mind and the fact we have a hire car, would it be best to start in Ireland or Scotland? From what I have read, it seems it would be cheaper to hire a car for one country, then fly or go on the ferry on foot to the next, and then pick up a new rental car. Does this sound right? My gut instinct is to fly to Edinburgh first and end the trip somewhere in Ireland.
I was thinking two night in Edinburgh, and then three somewhere else and three somewhere else.....we aren't really city people, so thinking two nights will be enough. Then the question is where to next. I don't want to run ourselves ragged driving from place to place, rather find somewhere lovely to base ourselves for a few days, where we can make day trips. We do try to avoid the well beaten tourist path and love to soak up the atmosphere of a place. It's ok if we don't see everything, but a castle or two would be great, beautiful scenery, a walk in the wild, definitely need to see the coast and some culture/history.
So I need suggestions for two or three places that are in good locations for day trips. If there is some magic spot where someone thinks we could base ourselves for the rest of our Scottish trip, I am open to suggestions.
Accommodation wise, we really prefer a two or three bedroom fit out, otherwise, we will surely kill each other, especially my boys. We like our own space. Apartments, B&Bs, historic accommodation, Quirky accommodation, even a farm stay - throw at me any recommendations you have.
Then we are onto Ireland. So thinking of flying out, bypassing Dublin and landing somewhere like Cork? Again, I'd like a similar plan for Ireland. Quality rather than quantity, villages, rather than cities etc. any suggestions as to where we could base ourselves, maybe three nights somewhere and two or three nights somewhere else and a night at the start in Cork. We do need to end our trip somewhere where we can drop the car off and get a flight home to Oz.
Any advice/Tips/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.