England, Ireland, Scotland

Any ideas for planning a 3 week trip in this area? Love the three week plans for some of the countries listed on the site. At the same time, any suggestions for great B&B's appreciated.

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

Your question is a little broad. I suggest you look over a guide book or three (use RS Great Britain & Ireland books) and ask more specific questions. I personally feel you can easily do three weeks in Great Britain. Ireland is worth at least 10 days if not two full weeks.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I was going to say maybe cut the three countries down to two. You are going to spend quite a lot of time traveling. Why not visit Scotland and England? We use a Rough Guide for Scotland.

Posted by Karen
Gig Harbor, WA
1 posts

We just returned from almost three weeks, with great weather most of the time and excellent memories. We commenced in London, then Oxford, Alderly Edge, and Chester in England, traveling by train throughout and up to Edinburgh. City Bus Sightseeing worthwhile in every city available. Flew from Edinburgh to Belfast, then rented a car at the airport and drove around the entire Island. Our goal was to see as much of Ireland as possible so we skipped some famous sights but took in as much as possible, allowing time for relaxation in the pubs at night! Take a Michelin quality map for all the small towns and roads, which include major cities, and Rick's 2012 books for all the travel sights and tips which are also up to date on B&Bs and small hotels. They were absolutely invaluable. The Irish Tourism Board website also has excellent resources for travel itineraries. Wouldn't recommend driving between very small towns in Ireland unless you are very comfortable on narrow, winding roads with 100 KM/hr speed limits! From Belfast we visited the Giant's Causeway, Portrush, then south to Sligo (Markree Castle), Galway, Tralee, Dingle, Kenmare (The White House), Kilkenny and ended up in Dublin where the Temple Bar was quite fun for the Irish music, along with an excellent European art exhibit at the Art Museum, the fabulous decor at the Trinity (Book of Kells) and Irish Libraries, St Patrick's, etc.
We felt safe and welcomed where ever we went, and appreciate Rick's advice!

Posted by Yolanda
Corona, CA, USA
18 posts

Thanks everyone for the ideas, suggestions, and tips. Since it might be our only trip to that area, we really would like to visit the 3 countries even if we have to add a few days. Will definitely get the books and start a plan...THANKS again!

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

If you feel the need to see the whole of britain and Ireland in one trip-I have not been on RS tours in britain, but you may want to look at his tour and what areas he goes to. (Dont expect to be able to do all that RS- or other tour companies do in X days, it is a lot of driving) and use that as a framework, read- add on areas, cut out other areas - he misses so many wonderful places. I would suggest that you plan on twice as many days as the organized tours take. Just remember, you could take three weeks and only see a tiny corner of England (East Anglia or Devon/Cornwall, for example) or even just London. There is so much to see, you wont get close to seeing it all

Posted by Yolanda
Corona, CA, USA
18 posts

Hi Brian, Thanks for your reply. We are used to alot of driving. We have driven all around Spain, Italy, some France, Germany, Austria. We do 2 nights here, 3 nights there and just keep moving along. I will check out that tour for ideas. It's hard to get away for more than a month. A month is pushing it.... Will do my research and see what happens. Thanks again!
Yolanda

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8725 posts

We have driven all around Spain, Italy, some France, Germany, Austria I have never driven in Spain but just to mention that driving in England is quite a lot slower than driving in Italy, France, Germany, and Austria (except around the lakes in Northern Italy). Greater London has a diameter of around 40 or 50 miles. To go into, through, and out the other side can easily take 3 or more hours. To drive from London to Chester non-stop can easily take 4.5 to 5 hours. Our motorways only have a speed limit of 70 mph, much slower than in Europe. Once you get onto A and B roads you will slow right down, most are only one lane in each direction. Unclassified roads are often only one lane or less wide and you may have to back up to let traffic pass, or dive into the hedge or up on the verge. Driving in Scotland can be much slower than in England. Many more of the roads are much narrower and there are nearly no motorways north of the border. I haven't driven in Ireland but have many Irish friends who tell me that driving in Scotland is practically flying compared with Ireland. I suggest that you leave sufficient time.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17713 posts

Yolanda, You might consider something along these lines..... > D1: Depart U.S. > D2: Arrive London > D3-D6: Touring London; possible day trip to Bath or other towns of interest > D7-D8: Train to York; tour York > D9-12: Train to Edinburgh; tour Edinburgh, possible day trip to Highlands or Glasgow (there are good day tours available from Edinburgh to places like Loch Ness). > D13: Flight to Dublin > D14-D20: Touring in Dublin, day trips or other towns of interest I definitely agree with Nigel, as I've found that driving in England always seems to be slower than even the best laid plans. Ireland has a lot of narrow, winding roads so those also tend to make driving slow. I suggested trains in most cases, as those will be faster and will be a more efficient use of your somewhat limited travel time. > D21: Flight home There are lots of ways this could be arranged, and this is only one possibility. Good luck with your planning!