Please sign in to post.

Best of Scotland 10 tour & heart of ireland 8 day tour Alumni

I am looking for info from tour alumni for the Best of Scotland.... just curious, the itinerary has the tour stopping at St Andrews, but I was curious to know if the tour includes the golf course or do we have free time to go to the St Andrews golf course. Husband is a golfer and he would enjoy going there to see it (I already have been in 2010). This year was his 1st RS tour (overseas, also). We went to Holland and Belgium april 2016, We have already signed up for his 2nd, my 3rd for 2017 Barcelona and Spain 8 day tour. So I am a planner/dreamer and was trying to figure out where our next destination would be in 2018 (LOL). Both retired now, so my desire is to do an overseas trip once a year. Guessing my next question is for Heart of Ireland alumni..... Did you all like this tour? I told husband that he needed to go to Ireland and I want to return to Ireland (I took the best of Ireland 14 day in 2014 with my sister). I loved Ireland. The heart of Ireland has a few spots that I did not get to see and a return trip to dingle area which was fanastic, cliffs of Moher (rainy the day we were there), I did not get the tour of Dublin or trinity college on my previous trip due to me running a half marathon instead of going with the group that day, and I have not been to Brú na Bóinne archaeology site. Planning stages of deciding to do back to back RS tours in 2018 1st one would be Heart of IReland 8 day tour. Flying into Shannon, ending up in Dublin. Next day fly to from Dublin to Edinburgh and then catch the RS Best of Scotland 10 day tour. Then head back home after tour was done. Guessing this would be doable and if you have done back to back tours, how was it? Guess that is all for now.

Thanks.

Kim

Posted by
65 posts

Hi Kim - we took the Best of Scotland tour earlier this year and there was free time during the stop at St. Andrews to explore the town, eat lunch and visit the golf course on your own. We took back to back tours beginning with the Best of England and continuing with the Best of Scotland. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad that we did it. I felt that I enjoyed the first tour more fully because during the second half of that tour instead of starting to think about going home, I started to think about continuing with the next tour - that helped me to relax and enjoy the rest of the first tour. We flew on British Air from London to Edinburgh and that worked out great to get from the end of the first tour to the beginning of the second. We were very glad to have a couple of extra days in Edinburgh before the beginning of that tour. Another couple on our tour in Scotland flew over from Ireland on a European budget airline (I can't remember which airline but I think Aer Lingus and Ryanair both offer flights as well as BA) and said it was an easy connection. Doug

Posted by
1794 posts

HI Kim,
I am considering Best of Scotland tour in Sept. My thought about back to back tours is I think I would choose a tour of a different culture, for example, Loire & the South of France tour. Close enough to get to the beginning point after the end of the first tour. Just a thought...
Thanks,
Judy

Posted by
86 posts

I took the Heart of Ireland tour last year and very much enjoyed it. There will be things you didn't see on the Best of Ireland: Ennis is a lovely town; the tours of the Dingle whiskey distillery and glass cutting were excellent; and Bru na Boinne was the highlight of the tour. Plus, if you missed seeing the national museum in Dublin on your free time previously, it's definitely worth a visit (bog bodies, ancient gold jewellery, etc). So if you loved Ireland, I think you'd like this tour for a return trip. And neither it nor the Scotland tour are very long so they would be a good combination, time-wise.

Posted by
815 posts

Thanks guys for the info! I know this is early in planning but I like to check on things before deciding and I do have awhile to plunge into the two trips. LOL. I have to take baby steps into getting husband to travel overseas. Holland and Belgium this year was his first overseas trip and he thoroughly enjoyed it I was very nervous that he would not like European visits like I do!. I mentioned to him the other night and see said it was doable. I am part Irish and Scottish, so these countries are like home to me.
The time table is very workable taking these trips together. If we get enough miles to do it, the flights will be awesome.
Judy - I hear ya where you are coming from about the cultures, but not sure is France is on his agenda right now. I am going to france in 2017 on a river boat cruise with work, ending up in Barcelona, so Hubby is flying over and meeting me there and we are doing the Barcelona and Spain 8 day.

Kathy - how easy was it getting from Shannon to Ennis?

Posted by
1068 posts

First, my 2 cents on different cultures: depends on what you want. You will get a good taste of Celtic culture taking Scotland and Ireland together, that's not a bad thing. It is only a taste as there is even more to see in Scotland and Ireland than 2 tours can cover. If you are looking for diversity, that should be easy enough to find as well. I generally take 2 tours and have done both...... 2 in the same area or 2 very different areas and they both work out fine. This year I did the Best of Scotland tour and it was wonderful. You have time to visit the "Old Course" in St. Andrews and walk over the bridge, take photos, etc. (oddly it is right next to the beach used in the famous "Chariots of Fire" beach running scene.) There is not enough time to play a round (and most people have to book their round long in advance.) I have not done a RS Ireland tour but have toured there on my own.... the areas you want to return to are great. Enjoy your trip(s).

Posted by
3446 posts

We were on the Scotland trip and there was free time at St. Andrews to explore the town, eat lunch, and visit the golf course. Would definitely plan on either extending the trip before or after the tour or do a back to back with another tour. The Scotland trip is great, but not long enough, in my opinion, to justify the expense of flying over just to do the tour.

Posted by
1794 posts

Kim,
It sounds like you have some wonderful trips planned. I have not been to Ireland and look forward to it someday. The same with Barcelona.

Take care,
Judy B

Posted by
86 posts

Kim, it's very easy to get from Shannon airport to Ennis. There is a bus that picks you up at the airport and goes to Ennis with no need to change buses. I think it cost around 10 or 15 euros. Then it's just a few walks from the Ennis bus station to the very lovely tour hotel. I should mention, for your golfing DH, that one day on the bus we drove past a famous Irish golf course (can't remember where) that looked like it would be impressively difficult to play!

Posted by
9339 posts

The Heart of Ireland tour is a fairly relaxed tour without a lot of rushing. You shouldn't be too tired after taking it to take another one.

As mentioned earlier, getting to Ennis from Shannon Airport is easy. The airport terminal is fairly small and the bus is right outside the door. You will get precise direction about a month prior to the start of the tour. (Be aware, the driver does not accept credit cards. Cash only. (Euros))