Hi - I'm trying to figure out a trip for June of 2018 so I am just starting the planning process. My husband really wants to go to Scotland me not so much because I'm more of a city person. We are really fast travel people so 8 days is our Maximum. I am thinking 3-4 days in Scotland and then go to either Ireland or England? Any suggestions? We have already been to London so we don't need to go there. And yes I know you will say 8 days isn't enough but we have been to Europe several times and 8 days is a perfect amount of time for us. We like history, eating, coffee and Ice cream. We aren't very big drinkers. Any suggestions?
I really enjoyed Dover, England when I went. The history is nice and the cliffs are beautiful. It is also a 90ish minute ferry ride across the channel to go to Calais which was a nice day trip. I also went to Cardiff, Wales and the castle there is beautiful. I spent a day there but feel you could do two. Dublin is nice big city, it might be worth it to fly out of Dublin, because you do customs and US immigration on that side of the pond and it seems to go a lot faster.
What do hope to see in 3 to 4 days in Scotland? It seems such a short time. My advice is to stay 8 days there's so much to see and do.
we have cities in Scotland,I live in one called Edinburgh,you might have heard of it,Glasgow is a bigger city and known as the second city of the Empire, have a look and see what they have to offer.Then you have Stirling,Perth,Dundee , Aberdeen and Inverness all wonderful cities and all have many things to offer.The distance to drive between then is quite short and all are easily reached by public transport.
As mentioned, Scotland has big, bustling urban areas, but it also has wonderful mountain, country, and seaside sites. Not as far away as Ireland, but in that direction, is the Isle of Skye, part of Scotland, reachable by car, bus, or ferry. Are you planning on driving (keep to the left of the center line, but not too far left or you'll go off the road), or getting around by some other means?
Glasgow has an outstanding ice creamery, Nardini, that's been around for a very long time. They make it all themselves and for true ice cream, it can't be beat. We went to their parlor at 215 Byres Rd, and had sizeable cups of several flavors, but you can get cones or elaborate sundaes, plus other goodies.
We were in Scotland for over two weeks and that was hardly enough time to scratch the surface. What you see depends partly on where you’re flying into. There are castles throughout the country if you like them, Isle of Skye, Loc Ness, Glencoe, etc. From Edinburgh, take the bus to Roslin Chapel or Craigmiller castle for partial day trips. Oban was a nice town. You could drop into England and visit Harrogate, York, Bamburgh or Alnwick castles (near each other). If you like Abbey ruins, Jedburgh and Melrose are nice. So much to see, so little time. Do Ireland as a separate trip. We spent 10 days there and it wasn’t enough.
If you're flying Aer Lingus you'll likely stop in either Dublin or Shannon to connect to either Glasgow or Edinburgh. We spent a weekend in Dublin on our way to Scotland and enjoyed it very much -- but if you only have 8 days total I would say stick with Scotland. There's so much to see, and you'll barely get over your jet lag in 8 days.
3-4 days in Scotland, I strongly suggest spending the whole time in Edinburgh. Day trip to Glasgow and/or Stirling. I understand that eight days is your max, but logical other places to visit would be really underserved by the remaining time. The obvious stops would be York and London--York is worth two full days and London four. You could take a flight to Dublin, but as much as I like Dublin the real interest in Ireland is in the smaller towns and countryside... and your time constraints do not allow for that. I strongly suggest just sticking to Scotland with such a short trip, more than one country in a week is too many. If you must, three nights Edinburgh, two in York, three in London. This is assuming eight days means eight days on the ground, not including days when you are flying.
I have to agree with the other posters.
We are heading to England and Scotland in January (yes I know it will be cold and miserable and dark lol). We have twelve nights in England first, where we have visited frequently, and eight in Scotland, divided into three in Glasgow and five in Edinburgh.
I am struggling to fit everything into those eight nights and wish we had more time, but our flights are booked so cannot be changed.
You will easily fill eight days in Scotland from my research.
As a fellow city person, I spent 4 nights in Glasgow in September 2016 and didn't run out of things to do, and had a great time! My trip report is here - just skip the Manchester and Liverpool parts (although these were also great cities, for your next UK trip): https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/uk-trip-report-glasgow-manchester-liverpool-in-september-2016
So, I agree with everyone else. With only 8 days, there's no need to leave Scotland, and you should be able to see both urban and rural destinations - you'll just have to be VERY selective, as you'll only have time for a bit of each!
We're going to explore York for a few days before we head up to Edinburgh. Enjoy your planning!