My daughter is beginning to plan her trip - she plans to leave Seattle by train about Jan 17th going east, then (somewhere) go north to Toronto and fly to Dublin. About Feb 1st the plan is for me to join her in and we will spend a week in Ireland, a week in Scotland and a week in England. I will return home to BC (we live on Vancouver Island) and she will continue. At this point her plan is to fly to New Zealand then Australia, coming back to Canada to spent a week in Churchill, MB before returning to Alberta for her summer job which should start early April. Both my husband and I are sure she is trying to do to much at one time! Has anyone ever done Ireland/Scotland/England in 3 weeks in February - and had fun? We won't be doing tours, may rent a car for part, and are frugal-minded. She also would like to somehow volunteer with nature/wildlife projects and I've heard that is hard to do in the UK. And suggestions/ideas would be appreciated! thanks - Christine/Vancouver Island
London is approximately the same latitude as Vancouver and may have similar weather in Winter. Edinburgh is like panhandle Alaska with Dublin somewhere in between. We had snow flakes in Scotland in April. A friend of mine was snowbound for 3 days in York in January. If you are taking the train you should be fine. You'll just have to watch the weather forcast if you plan to drive off the main roads in winter. It is possible to do the British Isle in 3 weeks if you have specific sites you want to see, etc. You have forgotten Wales...which has the best mideval castles. I don't know if Winter is the best time to look for nature volunteering. She'll have may have better luck in Australia.
We went on a tour that hit England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland-in 16 days. I know it was a whirl wind tour but we saw all the main sights. I think the weather might slow you down. Outdoor volunteering projects might be hard to find with cold weather.
I think it can be done but at that time of year, and to avoid exhaustion, I would focus on hub travel. Stay in cities (one or country, maaaaybe two) which will have plenty to do indoors, and then do day trips from temif you want something more rural. That will be easier on you than moving around every two or three days.
Personally I think that schedule is a little busy, but it depends on what you're interested in seeing. The "problem" is that London deserves several days by itself so it leaves only a couple days for the rest of England. If you're interested in more rural areas or just bigger cities then three weeks might be enough. Because outside of few big cities the country is largely rural without some many sightseeing cities you kind of have to just wander around and see it. Two years ago we did three weeks and covered southern England, Ireland and London and it still felt a little busy. We had planned to wander north and see the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall but let it drop off the schedule to make more time. The other thing to keep in mind is the days will be relatively short that early in the year so sight seeing time will be more limited and some attractions will have shorter hours or modified days of being open. Whatever she decides I hope she has a great trip!
I agree with Tod. Have made two three week trips to the UK. One was two weeks in the south and a week in London and the second two weeks in the north and Scotland and a week in London. I have not been to Ireland. But, you don't say what you want to see in Ireland, Scotland, or England. I think I would recommend spending at least 4 days in London and choose between Scotland and Ireland. I know you said that the plan is to fly into Dublin. Is that because there are specifics you/she want to do in Ireland or because there is an Irish airline fare that looks attractive?