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Ireland / Scotland -- War History

Back to back Ireland / Scotland Rick Steve's tours in September. Looking for recommendations in regard to their WWI & WWI history. Museums, sites,... -- reading material. Realize my free time will be limited. Also any of note in England that others tend to overlook? May spend a week or so in London and surrounding area. Have a rough idea of the basics. An aside -- do you see any reason why it would make any difference which country I see first.? Ease of transportation to, and from, appears about the only consideration to me. All suggestions pertaining to the trip is always appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
825 posts

Bletchley Park (an hour north of London by train) is fascinating if you're interested in the WW2 codebreakers. Will appreciate more if you have some background.

Posted by
748 posts

I don't remember any Irish sites related to either wars. Not overly surprising given the first was on the eve of their battle for independence and the later they were neutral.

For London there is the Churchill War Rooms. We didn't make it there but all we talked to really found it interesting.

Posted by
64 posts

I would second Bletchley Park as well as the Churchill Museum/Cabinet War Rooms. Both are wonderful, although you must now book the second in advance due to popularity. Another possibility is the Imperial War Museum which has substantial information on both World Wars (it's also free!). If you are a fan of aviation, it's easy to get to the RAF Museum in Colindale (by the underground and then a 10 minute or so walk). It has wonderful displays of airplanes (from the beginning of flight) as well as special displays (with video) regarding important air battles.

Posted by
429 posts

If you want to see an "in situ" part of Ireland's non involvement with WW2, go to one of the many sites where they wrote EIRE with whitewash painted rocks. There's one at Loop Head Lighthouse. Ireland put about 80 of these markers along their western coast so that airplanes (German and Allied pilots) would know the land was neutral territory.

Posted by
20780 posts

I'd check airfares for both tour sequences. You never know what you'll run into there.

I'm not sure whether you're interested in WWII as well as WWI. If you are, I think you'd find the Channel Islands interesting because they were occupied by Germany. But that would required multiple days before or after your tours.

Posted by
2056 posts

I believe the OP mentioned WW One history. Maybe he will return to clarify this point. I believe I remember that Irish soldiers fought in WW One against the Germans.