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Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life

Thinking About a Trip to Ireland & Scotland

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My wife and I are thinking about a trip to Ireland and Scotland in a year or so. Anybody been? Have suggestions about time of year what to visit.....what NOT to visit. We have traveled all over North America, but never to Europe, so this will be a first. Maybe Norway too.

 

All 3 of these countries are where lots of our ancestors are from.

Edited by Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life

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My wife and daughter went for two weeks about eight years ago.

 

Their only piece of advice: don't kiss the Blarney Stone. The locals pee on it.

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Cyrus Cassidy has been.

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I bummed 'round there... well over 30 sum-odd years ago. Enjoyed it thoroughly... at the time. Although I caught the clap a time or two. Was even dusted for crabs several times... them dam youth-hostels. They weren't much... hygenic... if ya know what I mean.

 

Ran into a real-life... Jason Bourne... I'll tell ya 'bout it, sometime. He... was a... good guy. But he began to question his friends. Was afraid he was always gonna cut my throat. Lot of stuff goin's on back then... I didn't understand his reluctance to help the USA. He died in East Germany in 1979.

 

ts

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Was in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England last September and October.

Drove from Dublin to Galway with site trips to Newgrange, and Tullamore. Toured the Tullamore DEW distillery and stayed in a B&B there. Next day on to Galway and a B&B there with a couple of side trips to see castles.

Tour train through Galway and some shopping. Drove to the little town of Cong, just north of Galway. It's where they filmed the Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Lovely place.

Had a dinner at Dunguaire Castle just south of Galway. Great time that.

Then drove to Waterford on the southeast coast. Toured the Waterford Crystal place, stayed at a B&B.

Drove back to Dublin and hit the Guiness Brewery and the Jameson Distillery. All the time we were stopping at pubs for Irish Music Sessions and local flavor. Great time.

Note - Nobody serves breakfast. No restaurants open before noonish. We're country people and get up early to see the sights, no food until lunch. Bring your own or you'll be hangry. Folks eat at home or, if your a tourist, at the B&B.

Flew to Wales and stayed at a B&B in Cardiff for two nights. Drove to LLantrasant to see where the Black Army was founded in the 1600's. This is where the English(welsh) Long Bowman came from. The ones that won at Agincourt and Cercey.

Then via train to Glasgow, rent a car and drove to Stirling and the Wallace Monument (yes, I climbed all the stairs). Drove to Inverness to see the Queen of Blings peoples castle in Cawdor. Then back down the north side of Loch Ness to see my peoples ruins (we backed the wrong king). Back to Glasgow then train back to Cardiff and the same B&B then drove to Windsor via Stonehenge. A day trip to London (too crowded for this old boy) and then home. In all 28 days.

We'll do it again but stay in Ireland for more music and fun.

We did our own planning, reservations, flights, cars, B&B's etc. Enjoyed the heck out of it.

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Was in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England last September and October.

Drove from Dublin to Galway with site trips to Newgrange, and Tullamore. Toured the Tullamore DEW distillery and stayed in a B&B there. Next day on to Galway and a B&B there with a couple of side trips to see castles.

Tour train through Galway and some shopping. Drove to the little town of Cong, just north of Galway. It's where they filmed the Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Lovely place.

Had a dinner at Dunguaire Castle just south of Galway. Great time that.

Then drove to Waterford on the southeast coast. Toured the Waterford Crystal place, stayed at a B&B.

Drove back to Dublin and hit the Guiness Brewery and the Jameson Distillery. All the time we were stopping at pubs for Irish Music Sessions and local flavor. Great time.

Note - Nobody serves breakfast. No restaurants open before noonish. We're country people and get up early to see the sights, no food until lunch. Bring your own or you'll be hangry. Folks eat at home or, if your a tourist, at the B&B.

Flew to Wales and stayed at a B&B in Cardiff for two nights. Drove to LLantrasant to see where the Black Army was founded in the 1600's. This is where the English(welsh) Long Bowman came from. The ones that won at Agincourt and Cercey.

Then via train to Glasgow, rent a car and drove to Stirling and the Wallace Monument (yes, I climbed all the stairs). Drove to Inverness to see the Queen of Blings peoples castle in Cawdor. Then back down the north side of Loch Ness to see my peoples ruins (we backed the wrong king). Back to Glasgow then train back to Cardiff and the same B&B then drove to Windsor via Stonehenge. A day trip to London (too crowded for this old boy) and then home. In all 28 days.

We'll do it again but stay in Ireland for more music and fun.

We did our own planning, reservations, flights, cars, B&B's etc. Enjoyed the heck out of it.

Thanks a bunch

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Went to Ireland for a seven day tour in 2002. I recommend Trafalgar tours. Let someone else drive. The bus height gets you above the hedgeline. They take you places that you cannot get into otherwise. We had afternoon options in Dublin, Waterford and Donegal.

We ended our tour in Dublin on St Patrick's day. This was before the tourist season (May thru August).

Sligo was interesting, as was the porcelin plant in Waterford.

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I used to live up in Lancashire, just south of the Scottish borders. I've also just relocated (2 years now) from living in the UK for another two years.

I absolutely love the place, and if they had our bill of rights I could make a case for going ex-pat and living there for a while.

 

Part of your planning has to revolve around how long you'll be there. We plan to travel for two+ months at a time every other year for

those kind of trips.

 

Having said that, I have not been to Ireland yet, although on our next trip over we hope to spend a few weeks there.

 

I suggest you either visit in the May/June time frame, or the August/September time frame. Weather will not be a problem, they don't usually get

extreme temperatures or other weather events. Bring a jacket or wooly jumper (sweater) and you'll do fine. Walking shoes are essential!

 

Driving is something to tackle only if you are confident you can handle the backwards aspect of it. I have my British license and I enjoy driving over there,

they are fantastic close quarters drivers, not so good on long haul though!

 

For visiting Scotland, a must see is Edinburgh, and the castle at Stirling as well. If you've time to go further afield head to Ft. Williams, and then on to Skye.

Seek out small towns and find a Ceilidh or two (folk dance), the music and the party atmosphere will charm you no end!

 

The Whisky tour is worth doing, if you like that spirit, and there are distillaries now making Gin and Vodka up north as well.

 

Look for Gastro-Pubs when you search for eating places. Pubs still do the fried food thing in a lot of places, but since the ban on smoking and the tax on booze,

there are a lot of Pubs closing. The big attraction to generate revenue is to have really good food locally sourced and simply prepared. The historically

bad food of the old days can be found, but there is a wave of excellent food rising higher every day.

 

Here's a few snaps from when I lived there the first time:

 

http://imgur.com/a/cXKPY

 

Wish I had intell of Ireland to share - I'm sure it is easily as hospitable as the UK.

 

Have a safe trip and enjoy yourselves.

 

Shadow Catcher

 

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Interesting, Ramrod's note that "nobody serves breakfast". In my many times in the UK, I'd say that pretty much every place serves breakfast.....

 

I've racked up about 8 weeks total driving in the UK. You adjust quickly; not hard at all.....

 

Love the place. As for London; Samuel Johnson said, "when you're tired of London, you're tired of life." I agree with him!

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Been to Ireland twice (early Oct 2012, August 2013) and Scotland once (June 2014) for 30th anniversary. Would gladly go back to both.

 

Castles. OH my. I love castles, may have been born about 1200 years too late.

 

In 2012 we got to spend a couple nights in Ashford Castle in Ireland. This is just outside the village where The Quiet Man was filmed. Absolutely beyond description. We were on a tour with a band we love, The Elders, based out of KC. The lead singer is from Arklow, Ireland. Got to see a ton of southern Ireland, plenty of time in Dublin. Can't even begin to describe how wonderful Ireland and the people are. In Dublin, visit The Brazen Head, Dublin's oldest pub, established in 1198. The fish and chips are the best I've ever had. Watching Irish football is interesting but once the locals explain it, it is a blast and they are into it!

 

Scotland: Went for our 30th anniversary, both the wife and I are of Scots-Irish descent. Rented Lickelyhead Castle for a week, childhood home of the actress Rose Leslie. Visited GlenDronach distillery, now my favorite single malt. Visited multiple castles, hiked various historic sites, the coast, Edinbourgh, etc. Food is outstanding, people are incredible.

 

Both countries have numerous small vilages with pubs aplenty. Sitting down for a pint in a pub that has been in the same family for 500 years is incredible.

 

The only thing I found detrimental to living in either country is their gun laws.

Edited by Lost Trail

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If you're into Military marches, Edinburgh has a very large Military Tattoo held each August. The town has a lot of other things to recommend it, tourist and history-wise. It's not a particularly large town, and quite walk-able. My wife stayed in one of the many bed and breakfasts, and had an awesome time.

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Lots of old Iron Age and prehistoric ruins in Ireland. Saw a mini version of Stonehenge, rocks about 2 to 6 feet high, in a cow pasture just south of Dublin. Mounds and ancient forts all over dwarf the age of the castles. This is one type of attraction that most tourists don't think about. Lots of that sort of thing all over the British Iles. You can't hardly miss having fun in Ireland. It's the people that are the main attraction.

 

Seamus

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My wife and I went back in 2012. She writes a travel blog, here is a link to that trip.

 

http://havelistwilltravel.blogspot.com/p/may-2012-trip-to-scotland-and-ireland.html

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I was stationed in Londonderry, N.Ireland and Thurso, Scotland from Dec. 75 to Feb. 79. I visited Dublin once. Never got down to the south so I never got to see my ancestral home. I did visit Giant's causeway a couple of times, and did a tour of the Bushmills distillery. In Scotland my wife and I went to the Edinburgh tattoo and toured the castle and other sights of Edinburgh. We also went to the Orkney islands and Inverness. It was beautiful country, one of the best ways to get around was a Britrail pass if you don't drive.

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I have been to Ireland seven times. My grandparents are from there and I have a bunch of relatives I go over to visit. You need to stay in Ireland a minimum of ten to fourteen days. If you want breakfast out, you have to go to a Pub and get the full Irish breakfast. If you do not know where to eat, the smart way to go about it is to ask a fat man. Fat men know where the food is.

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