Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2014 - Morton Arboretum
I live in chicago and my fiance and I have never been to ireland, wales or scotland. I am looking to go a two week vacation/honeymoon before starting to have children. Looking for the best time of year to travel and also the most inexpensive for airfare.
Also I would like to go a relaxing and romanitc trip with a bt of culture.
What would you recommend?
I would love lots of ideas. I have been to london twice so maybe a night or so in london but then we want to be off.
Is travel between the countries hard, and what would be most time effective. It is only two weeks.
Post # 3
Travel between is pretty easy. I would recommend getting public transport for the long distances. London to Edinburgh is about 5 hours by train – or you can get the overnight sleeper train which is a great adventure. The Man in Seat 61 is your friend for all things train-related: http://www.seat61.com/UK-train-travel.htm#.UsAJYGRdUmU
You might well want to hire a car – personally I’d do this just for when you need it – e.g. fly in to London, get a train to Edinburgh and hire a car there. I’ve driven long distances in both UK and US and UK driving is much more like hard work!
It’s actually quite hard to recommend itineraries – I’ve never done a 2 week trip in the UK! My general approach to planning travel in different countries is to look up tours to that country and work out from them which places to go and how much to squeeze in.
Places to investigate include: Bath, York, Lake District, Edinburgh, Highlands (and islands), Welsh coast. Do you have any particular interests? (TV, literature etc)
Best time of year to travel is probably April to September. If you want to go to Scotland then the summer is midge season, but if you can put up with that then go for it. If you’re interested in local festivals and events then they’re mostly in the summer.
I’ve not noticed a particular time of year which is cheaper for flights. Apart from Christmas which is very expensive.
Post # 4
Seeing London & Bath is a must!
Post # 5
I’d recommend heading out of London towards to West Country, maybe even Devon and Cornwall, then working your way up England and Scotland. Most of Wales’ appeal is its countryside and it can be quite remote, so if you’re on a limited trip then it might be better to sacrifice it this time simply for practicality reasons. It’s obviously beautiful and worth a trip, but in two weeks you’d be better off doing a compact trip allowing you a couple of days in each place. Likewise, Ireland would be a bit ambitious. Perhaps something like:
Devon/Cornwall – Bath/Bristol – London – Oxford or Cambridge – Manchester/Liverpool- Lake District – Glasgow- Edinburgh
might be a good route, you’d see most of the things that tourists tend to want to see, and all of it is easy to do via train. By ending in Edinburgh, you can get the fast train all the way down the East Coast Mainline and be back in London within 5 hours.
If your heart is set on Ireland, I would probably go for something like Cork – Dublin- Belfast- Glasgow- Edinburgh – Manchester/Lake District – London, with maybe a day trip from London to Oxford/Cambridge (easy peasy) or Bath (longer journey, but doable if you get up early and get a late train back to London/stay one night in Bath). But if you’re wanting to fly in and out of the same place on your main flight, it becomes a bit trickier having to spend travel time flying from London to Ireland and Ireland to Scotland.
Unless you want to pitch out into the wilderness of the Highlands/Wales, you will absolutely not need a car. Public transport in the UK is miles ahead of the US, and our cities are designed more for walking than for cars. Driving in any city would be pretty stupid for a tourist- presumably you’ll be staying in the town center and all the tourist attractions can be reached on foot/by public transport.