Glasgow to Bushmills Ireland--Ferry for cars? Cost and time.

We will be driving and would like to go from London up to Stirling Scotland and then across to as close as we can get to Bushmills Ireland. We have a Rick Steves map and a Michelin map. One indicates there is a ferry and the other one doesn't. Both show ferries further south. Do the ferries transport cars, is there one to Bushmills, what are the fares, and how long does it take?

Posted by Sherry
Bodnar, Indiana, USA
6 posts

Kathleen, Thanks for the info. Where would I get the information on the ferry? If we don't take the car, we wouldn't be able to travel around Northern Ireland and see the places that appeal to us. We plan to hit the pubs for the whiskey, but we like the countryside much better than the big cities. We are flying in to Dublin, and our original plan was to go over to the Cotswolds and London for a few days, then back to Dublin, and up to the Giant's Causeway, the Antrim Coast, Glenveagh National Park, and back to Dublin, then take a flight to the Continent to visit Germany, Austria, Czech Rep, and northern Italy. But I got to thinking about Loch Lomond and Stirling and wondered if we could fit Scotland in by going up from the Cotswolds and then over to Ireland. Instead of retracing our steps by going from Dublin to London and then right back. Does this make any sense at all??? None of us have ever been to Europe and it seems the more we investigate the more questions come up. And is it a hassle to take a car over from Dublin to London? Or do we need to rent a car in each place? What IS the smartest way to get from Dublin to London? There will be 4 of us going. And our flight from Dublin to Brussels is already booked. I'm thinking we may have to see Scotland on the next trip.???

Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
331 posts

Sherry: The Ferry to Ireland from Scotland recently moved port of departure so make sure you have current information. Taking a car on board is not worth expense. There is a bus connection from Glasgow to ferry. If you are going for the Whiskey...just go north of Edinburgh to the Glens for many distillary tasting tours.

Posted by Tom
2876 posts

The ferries from Scotland to Northern Ireland depart from Cairnryan, which is about 2 hours south of Glasgow. The two ferry ports in Northern Ireland are Belfast & Larne, which are roughly equidistant from Bushmills. Yes, they do transport cars, but you may well find it more economical to rent cars separately in the two countries. You can find ferry information here:

Posted by Ed
7972 posts

Before you go too far down this road you'd better check real, real, real well with the car rental outfit to see if they'll allow you to take a car across the Irish Sea. And then check again. And again. I'm so convinced that it's not allowed that I once left a rental parked at Holyhead, hopped the ferry, and rented another one for a few days. What I'd thing about doings is ducking from Stirling down to either Glasgow or Edinburgh and nabbing a cheapo flight to either Dublin or Belfast (they're a two and a half hour drive apart) and press on from there. There's no problem taking a car between the Rebublic and Northern Ireland.

Posted by Sherry
Bodnar, Indiana, USA
6 posts

What excellent advice! You guys are treasures! We have now totally scrapped the idea of car on the ferry. Too bad we booked our flight from Dublin to Brussels on RyanAir before we read some of the reviews. I skimmed over the conditions and noticed that each person can take one carry on (the depth of mine is 2 inches oversized), and that purses, cameras, everything has to be in that one bag. Mercy! Am wondering what other bombshells there may be. Will check out EasyJet or one of the others for Dublin-London. We've spent hundreds of hours trying to get our ducks in a row, but I feel as though we're getting there. Thanks so much. But I may have another question or two. You are all very cool!

Posted by Sherri
Goleen, Co Cork, Ireland
69 posts

Ryanair is cheap but make sure your luggage is the exact size and weight they say. There is no room for an inch or kg difference and then you'll have to check it in for a crazy amount. If you're within the size limit then it's great. They're usually on time and boarding is fast since each person only has 1 bag to store! Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

Since you have already booked Ryanair, and probably haven't booked a checked bag during the booking process, you should go back and add it now. You will undoubtedly have your bag weighed/measured at check-in, and if you have to check it at the last minute it will cost a LOT more than if you go back and arrange for a checked bag now. Then you could still have one carryon item. Ryanair flights are short, one leg flights, so there is little chance that there could be a lost bag. Ryanair is fine, as long as you follow all of their rules.

Posted by Sherry
Bodnar, Indiana, USA
6 posts

On Ryanair do you have to let them know in advance if all you have is a carry on? My son booked this flight from Philadelphia and also added a car for two weeks. I'm sure he didn't read all the terms and conditions. Do they make car rental complicated? Also, we are flying in to Dublin, have learned that we should rent one car in Ireland and another in England. Checked EasyJet and they apparently do not fly out of Dublin. Have very little time to spend in England so what is the best way to get over there? Actually, what I really want to see is the Cotswolds and some of the English countryside. And one of those beautiful English gardens. Will spend more time there on the next trip. Any suggestions on the gardens? If you had to pick just one, which would it be?