We are doing some preliminary planning for a trip to the British Isles. We are going to Dublin for a wedding, but wanted to go to London and Edinburgh since we'd be on the isles. We've never been to the British isles, only mainland Europe. I guess my confusion is what order to do the trip. We're looking at about a 10 day trip, but to keep things cheaper, I don't want to do open-jaw. In the interest of saving time, is there an affordable airline to fly in between Dublin and Edinburgh, OR Dublin and London? I know that Edinburgh is only about 4 hrs by train to London. But it would take an entire day to go from London to Dublin or Edinburgh to Dublin by boat/train. I know someone out there has done a similar itinerary :) so could someone give me some suggestions? I appreciate it!
Amy....Ryanair, BMI, and Aer Lingus all offer deals Dublin-London, while Ryanair and Aer Lingus do Dublin-Edinburgh as well. Their schedules for next summer won't be out for several months yet, but you can get an idea now by plugging in your routes to dates later this summer. If you want to fly London-Edinburgh, easyjet, BMI, and even British Airways compete pretty heavily on that route.
Don't assume that open jaw is more expensive - I flew open jaw in/out of Switzerland for the same price as it would have been to fly into and out of the same city.
However, it's easy to fly BMI, Aer Lingus, Ryan Air, EasyJet etc. between the cities - just book well ahead to get good fares. You could go from Dublin to either other city, then between Edinburgh and London and then back to Dublin. If you book all on the same air alliance, you might be able to get a connecting flight back through Dublin to avoid carrying luggage about.
I would avoid BA unless you like losing luggage - BMI and EasyJet do the London-Edin route cheaper and less stressfully. The train isn't such a bad option for London-Edin - there's an overnight sleeper to Edinburgh for as little as £19 for a sleeper berth if you can snag a bargain berth.
Sounds like fly Dublin-London and train Edinburgh-London. I just wanted to say that I made a last minute decision to stop in York between London and Edinburgh (almost midway) and it was a great place!! I will even admit that I stayed at the York Travelodge for 29 pounds and it was actually quite decent. Have fun!!!!!
My sister-in-law swears by Ryanair. Also, I can't imagine traveling from London to Edinburgh without stopping in York! York has much to see and do! You may want to take a little peek at what York has to offer.....http://www.york.gov.uk/visiting/ it's right on the way....
There's buses and trains that go between all 3 cities. It's much easier to sit on a train than going through the hassle of the airport. Especially when you can see all that lovely English countryside.
But if you must save time using a budget airline will be faster, just like previous poster Norm advises. What great advice!!Only if you are comfortable with the long ride to the airport, that is.
ps. I took a National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) bus from Victoria station to Glasgow that was pretty cheap and was faster than the train if memory serves.good luck!
Stopping off part-way in York is a great idea...fantastic city, and well worth a day's layover if you can afford the time. For that, use the train...since short haul runs on aircraft aren't worth it. If you do go straight thru, an express train from London-Edinburgh will, as you say, take about 4 1/2 hours. That's about half an hour longer than a similar route by air. The fastest daytime express bus takes about 9 1/2 hours, if not caught in traffic. But Dublin-London and Edinburgh-Dublin, you're correct....stick to the air, since Irish Sea crossings add considerable to your travel time.
Amy, I received this bit of advice too late to use it, but I wish I'd know about it. £16 each way. http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/promotions/stenaline/default.aspx
RyanAir has a really tight limit on the weight of your suitcase which is sometimes a problem when you're traveling for a special occasion (wedding), but we got a flight for 1 pence plus tax and fee for flying my luggage (£5/bag for each of us) which totaled about £50.
I just went to aerlingus.com and plugged in a possible date of travel from Dublin to Edinburgh (I used May 20, 08), and it was only 1 Euro! After taxes it's less than 30 Euro! Any idea why this would be? Why would an airline fly people for practically nothing? I just wish our plans were set in stone so we could book it now!
It's their way of competing with the discount airlines like easyjet and ryanair. Typically only a handful of seat are offered at that price after that the prices go as the plane fills up.
When planning time, don not forget to consider the time and cost of going to/from airports. This summer took train from London to Edinburgh and return. Was very expensive-trains are not chea[ now. Had to go from Edinburgh to Glasgow and take bus (took taxi actually) to a different station. When flew to Norway 2 days later, went to Stansted (which is where many low cost flights come out of)/ Cost and time commuting to airpor definitely needs to be considered. And i discovered early on taxi drivers do not take credit cards, so this means cash! The security people in England are very nasty! Even took away a small roll of duct tape!