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2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

County Wise

2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

My boyfriend and I are talking about combining our wedding and honeymoon into one elopement style trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland.  We plan to land in London, spend a few days there, then head over to Gretna Green in Scotland for the wedding, and spend the rest of the trip touring Scotland and Ireland.  I'd love to visit Loch Ness because Nessie is my favorite mythical "monster."  Past that we aren't really sure where we want to visit in any of the 3 countries.  The trip would be about 2 weeks long with half a day spent getting married. Suggestions are welcome!

5 Replies
Nationally Recognized

Re: 2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

Obviously, it depends on what you like doing. Here are links to the stories I've posted on this site about my trip to England and Scotland with my daughter. If you like my stories, I'd love it if you leave me kudos!

 

http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Hangin-Out-in-Edinburgh/ba-p/160593
http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/The-Mystery-of-Rosslyn-Chapel/ba-p/120453

http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Isle-of-Skye-Scotland-Overdose-on-Natural-Beauty/ba-p/129861
http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Isle-of-Skye-Ancient-Standing-Stones/ba-p/130935
http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Isle-of-Skye-Faerie-Glen/ba-p/129961

http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Driving-Hadrian-s-Wall/ba-p/120221
http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/Historic-Carlisle-a-great-place-to-visit/ba-p/131019

http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/The-Smallest-Distillery-in-Scotland/ba-p/114797
http://arrival.lithium.com/t5/Stories/By-the-Bonny-Bonny-Banks-of-Loch-Lomond/ba-p/109449

 

Very briefly, I would say: I don't think we made the best use of our short stay in London. If I had it to do over I would have visited St. Paul's instead of the Tower. We took the train from London to the Scottish border, which was fun.

 

I loved Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall on the England/Scottish Border, but that's because I'm a bit of a history freak and prefer less crowded tourist sites. I think we both loved everything we did in Scotland. If you're city people, spend several days in Edinburgh (no car needed). You'll probably want to spend at least one night in Invernesse and maybe another in Glasgow.

 

We didn't visit either of those cities because we were more interested in exploring the countryside. If it's natural beauty you are looking for, book a B&B on Skye and plan to spend at least 2 or 3 nights there. 

 

I realize that Gretna Greene is the traditional elopement spot, but we drove through it and it was pretty underwhelming. It might be the most efficient place to schedule the ceremony, but I'd recommend heading right out of Gretna afterwards to someplace a little more romantic for the wedding night. Maybe a castle or old manor house to get in the spirit of the traditional cross-border elopement.  :-)

 

Stately Explorer

Re: 2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

How fun! I agree with the previous reply. If beautiful countryside and lanscapes interest you, definitely visit the Scottish highlands! You can drive there yourself in a rental, or book with a tour operator which will pick you up in Edinburgh or Glasgow. When I visited the highlands, this is the route I took because you get incredible local perspective from the tour guide and you don't have to worry about navigating the "wrong" side of the road while driving yourself! Isle of Skye is wonderful; I would definitely recommend time there. If you are more into the urban areas, I would visit Edinburgh over Glasgow. Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and is much more touristy than Glasgow, but offers more "bang for your buck" if you're in Scotland for only a short period of time. If you do make it to Glasgow (fun fact: voted the friendliest city in Europe and also the stabbing capital of Europe, haha), check out the University of Glasgow (specifically the cloisters), the Botanical Gardens, and Ashton Lane. (also, the shopping is great! Second to London!). What's better is that all of the national museums in these cities are publicly funded so the entry is free! Bad for taxpayers, good for tourists!

Now onto Ireland:

Once again, if you are looking for an experience off the beaten path, visit Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is the less-touristy-but-just-as-beautiful British counterpart to the Republic of Ireland. There's no border between the two countries so rent a car or grab a bus from Dublin to Belfast for 10 pounds. Travel time between Dublin and Belfast is approximately 1.5 hours. While in Northern Ireland, the Giants Causeway is a must-see as well as the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

I've spent a great deal of time over there so feel free to ask any more questions!

Stately Explorer

Re: 2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

How fun! I agree with the previous reply. If beautiful countryside and landscapes interest you, definitely visit the Scottish highlands! You can drive there yourself in a rental, or book with a tour operator which will pick you up in Edinburgh or Glasgow. When I visited the highlands, this is the route I took because you get incredible local perspective from the tour guide and you don't have to worry about navigating the "wrong" side of the road while driving yourself! Isle of Skye is wonderful; I would definitely recommend time there. If you are more into the urban areas, I would visit Edinburgh over Glasgow. Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and is much more touristy than Glasgow, but offers more "bang for your buck" if you're in Scotland for only a short period of time. If you do make it to Glasgow (fun fact: voted the friendliest city in Europe and also the stabbing capital of Europe, haha), check out the University of Glasgow (specifically the cloisters), the Botanical Gardens, and Ashton Lane. (also, the shopping is great! Second to London!). What's better is that all of the national museums in these cities are publicly funded so the entry is free! Bad for taxpayers, good for tourists!

Now onto Ireland:

Once again, if you are looking for an experience off the beaten path, visit Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is the less-touristy-but-just-as-beautiful British counterpart to the Republic of Ireland. There's no border between the two countries so rent a car or grab a bus from Dublin to Belfast for 10 pounds. Travel time between Dublin and Belfast is approximately 1.5 hours. While in Northern Ireland, the Giants Causeway is a must-see as well as the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

I've spent a great deal of time over there so feel free to ask any more questions!

City Slicker

Re: 2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

One thing we enjoyed on our last trip to London was the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.  You have to plan ahead (you mail a request a few months in advance), selecting a couple dates, but it is free. 

 

http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/WhatsOn/theceremonyofthekeys

Stately Explorer

Re: 2 Weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland

Congratulations on your wedding!

 

I went on a two-week tour of Scotland two years ago with Tauck.  It was an organized tour, so it probably would not fit into your plans.

 

However, I just wanted to make a couple of points...  First, Scotland is a beautiful country or area, and I posted a "story" where you can see some photos.

 

My second point is that I think you would be trying to cover too much territory in two weeks. My suggestion is that, for example, you focus on England and Scotland, and leave Ireland for a future trip. I myself want to tour Ireland as well, but I want to devote time to it as I did with Scotland.

 

London, if you haven't been there, is an amazing city (my favorite, actually), and if you use it as a base, you can take one-day trips to may places. And London itself has a lot to see and do....  Go see a play in the theater if you go there!

 

Best of luck to you!

 

Sergio