Planning a trip for visiting both western Ireland and then on to the Lake District in England. We were wondering what would be the best way to get from Shannon, Ireland to Keswick, England? We were also wondering how to include seeing Hadrian's Wall. We were thinking of flying from Shannon to Edinburgh, taking a train and then bus to reach Keswick. Then renting a car in Keswick for touring around the Lake District and possibly up to Hadrian's Wall. Any thoughts?
Get the car at Turnhouse or everwhere when you're done in Edinburgh. You can drive to Keswick in three hours and it's mostly freeway. You pass within spitting distance of the west end of the wall on the way down. Dump the car somewhere in England when you're done. There's a trick to Turnhouse. There's nothing but Travelex/AmEx booths and machines on the lower/arrivals level. Walk to the far end of the terminal (two point three minutes) and go up the escalator to the departure level. Work yourself around to the back side of the wall you're about to walk into and there's a bunch of bank ATMs. Watch you don't get to much Scottish sterling, it doesn't spend very well once you're south of the border.
When we flew Shannon to Leeds the plane stopped in Dublin. It was all one flight number, but we may have changed to another plane - I don't remember!.......Anyway, here's another possibility: fly to Edinburgh, spend one full day there, then get a rental car and work your way south. Good stops would include Roslyn Chapel, Melrose (border abbeys of Melrose and Dryburgh), Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Northumberland castles (Alnwick, Warkworth), Hadrian's Wall around Once Brewed, Lakes District if you must (scenery here in the Pacific Northwest is better IMHO and it's a couple of hours out of the way), Yorkshire Dales which are very scenic and full of ruined abbeys and castles, Whitby, and then return your car at the York train station. Spend a full day in York, then take the train to London....We have visited all the sites I have recommended.....You don't say how much time you have for this trip.
Thanks so much for your replies, Ed and Cynthia. Good info. We are now investigating taking Edinburgh out of our itinerary and replacing it with York. So maybe we would fly from Shannon to Leeds. Rent a car and explore the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall. Return the car to Leeds, and spend time in York before taking trains on to Bath. Any additional thoughts? Thanks again.
Cynthia says she flew Shannon-Leeds Bradford a few years ago, but it isn't possible now. Dublin or Belfast City are the only choices for direct flights from Ireland/Northern Ireland to Leeds Bradford. In any event, Edinburgh and Leeds are about the same distance from Hadrian's Wall (actually Leeds is probably a little further away), and both are around the same distance from Keswick, no more than 30 minutes difference in driving time. I think I'd go with Ed's suggestion, collecting a car in Edinburgh. If you do go to York as well, then the best rail route to Bath is on the Crosscountry Trains service to Bristol Temple Meads, then it's just a 20 minute ride on a local train to Bath Spa. That avoids London completely.