How should we split our days??

My daughter and I will be in arriving in London on August 7. We will be departing back to the US on August 20. We would like to visit England, Scotland and Ireland, with ou focus on Scotland. We were wondering how we should split our days among the 3 countries. I had planned a tentative itinerary, but wanted some "expert" opinions: 1) Arrive in London at 9 pm on 8/7. 2) Spend 8,9,10 in London. Try to take day trip to Cotswolds during one of those days. The main thing my daughter wants to see in London is Kensington Gardens (where Peter Pan statue is), Tower of London and Big Ben. 3) 8/11: Train to Edinburgh (arrive at 2:30pm) 4) Spend 11,12,13,14,15 in Scotland: we would like to see Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle, Alnwick Castle (where Harry Potter was filmed), Inverness and maybe Culloden Battlefield, and Isle of Skye. Can all that be done in 4 1/2 days, and via public transportation?
5)8/16: Fly to Dublin. Spend 8/16, 17, 18, 19 in Dublin. BAsically, we want to explore Dublin, and maybe see Cork or the CLiffs of Moher. So, we should be able to do all of that in 3 days, right? We were thinking of renting a car in Scotland. Any input would be appreciated! 6)8/20: Fly from Dublin to Paris (our return flight home is 8/21 from Paris).

Posted by VS
Palo Alto, CA, United States
696 posts

Three countries in twelve days (not counting days in transit) is a lot, in my opinion way too much. This is especially true if you are getting on a plane in the middle of your trip. (Sorry if the following sounds like I am being negative, I have a hard time cutting things out too.) That's a lot of territory that you propose to cover in Ireland in just a few days. Dublin is a solid three fulls days type of city. It would never occur to me to try and do Cork or the Cliffs of Moher as a day trip when there is plenty to do in Dublin and nearby, and those places are far away from Dublin. Seems like a waste to be flying out of Paris but not visit Paris. Likewise visiting the Cotswolds as day trip from London. I would say do London + Scotland, but then you have figure out how to get to Paris from Scotland. Maybe start and end in London, Scotland in between, then Eurostar to Paris for flight home.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1274 posts

On our 2010 trip we flew Easy Jet from Edinburgh to Paris. Easy flight - you do have to stick your purse in your carry-on - only one item allowed......Skip Ireland on this trip, it's too much for one vacation..... Alnwick Castle is not in Scotland. The Harry Potter connections are pretty thin, anyway. It's more of a stately home, although the garden is excellent......For Scotland, choose either to go to the sites near Inverness or visit Skye. You really don't have time for both unless you want to spend all of your time driving instead of seeing.

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2584 posts

Unless you rent a car a day trip to the Cotswolds will be about time on public transport and NOT about seeing the villages. Focus on London and Scotland only. Sites in London are close to one another. Big Ben, parliament, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, horse Guards, The Palace, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus and Kensington Palace and Gardens can be seen in a day. Yes, a busy day but its doable. BTW unless they moved the Peter Pan statue it is not in Kensington Gardens. It is in Hyde Park but at the opposite end. R By concentrating on England and Scotland you could give the Cotswolds the time they deserve. Leave Ireland for another trip. And why RU flying out of Paris?

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3276 posts

Another beautiful HP filming location is Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucestershire. I am a photographer and a few years ago went with a client to take senior portraits of a HP fanatic! So, this was one of the locations. She even had her HP robe for most of the photos and lots of tourists were taking photos of her as she looks a bit like Hermine! There was also a woods near there where other scenes were filmed, but I can't remember the name. Have a great time.

Posted by Wray
Boston, ma, usa
409 posts

When I was reading your itinerary, I thought you had planned well and had a good amount of time in each place. Needless to say, I was surprised at the other answers. I think part of the adventure is the travel time as well. I'm a huge observer of people. The train to Edinburgh provides lovely and interesting scenery and a respite day, IMO. It's a quick flight to Dublin. I say have a wonderful trip! You can always return another time if you feel as if you missed something. ...Although, IF you have never seen Paris, I would drop dublin and spend those days in Paris, but then I love Paris.