my wife has a conference in scotland in june of 2014. we are wanting to add another part of europe to our trip. what would you reccomend? Ireland, England? we know nothing really of scotland or ireland. I have been to England but my wife has not. Her conference is in Edinburgh. We will be there about 3 days and would like to add another 6-7 days.
You are lucky. Get a Rough Guide Scotland and you will be able to plan all your days there. Scotland has so much to see and do you will be amazed. From Edinburgh you can go north to Inverness, west to Glasgow, my favorite city, or to about any place else in Scotland by train or bus.
Given your schedule I would recommend England over Ireland if for no other reason you can easily train it versus having to spend the time and trouble to fly or ferry it to another island and then come back. I would look at some England tour books and figure what interests you. A nice tourist trip might be Edinburgh, train to Durham 2h for an overnight, train to York 1h for two nights, train to London 2h for a few nights and then come back after whatever day trips from London you want. Then train back to Edinburgh from London (or a town outside of London) to fly home. This would be a nice sample of different size towns with old world influence and sights as well as modern London. Have a great trip!
Consider spending some additional time in Scotland, and your remaining time in England (including London, of course). Do some reading up on the areas, and take a look at some of Rick Steves' videos.
With an additional 6-7 days, you could just cover some of Scotland really well. But if you truly want to add another destination, I'd add London. You could do 2 or 3 more days in Scotland, if you want (we enjoy staying in both Aviemore and Inverness, but there are other good 'bases' to choose from, too). Then you could take the train to York- spend one or two nights there then train to London. Spend the rest of your time in London. If you don't add the extra days in Scotland, that would give you a nice bit of time there. If you want there are lots of good day trips you can take by train out of London- Windsor, Brighton, Cardiff Wales, Stratford-upon-Avon, Winchester, Canterbury, Dover, Bath and many others are easy! Even if you wind up with only 3 days, there, you can still see some of the 'major' sites without rushing too much. Personally, I'd try to add a few more days. You already have to spring for airfare for the conference, so why not take plenty of time to really enjoy the trip!!!
While your wife is at her conference for three days in Edinburgh, one day take the bus to Glasgow and using Rick's guidebook see the wonderful sights in that City. The bus ride is only about one hour and very inexpensive. If you really don't want to spend more days in Scotland (a shame not to, I think) the train to Durham from Edinburgh with a one night stay is a good idea as is one night in Windsor. Hard to spend fewer than five days in London so maybe you need to plan another trip!
Scotland is nice, and you would have time to explore quite a bit. But it ain't England. I would book open jaw, into Edinburgh and out of London. train directly to London after the conference. Areas to explore: London, Cotswolds/Stratford, Windsor, Dover. York is also nice and the Edinburgh-London train stops there. Worth a day or so, then on to London. Save at least 3 full days for London.
Scotland has over 700 islands. Each one, remarkably, diffierent from it's neighbour. The North West corner is beautiful and is the most epty area in Europe. Less people per square mile than anywhere. Evcerybody says Loch Ness and Inverness, but there are over 3000 lochs, most of which, if you visit, you will have to yourself, not sharing with the million plus peole who visit lLoch Ness every year, clogging the road up the West bank. www.calmac.co.uk for island hopping up the West coast. www.undiscoveredscotland.com.uk for information on EVERYTHING and Arnold Clark are the biggest car rental company and local and cheapest. You haven't enough time to see Scotland, never mind Ireland (very like Scotland) or England - very congested mostly.