Post # 1
Has anyone done a honeymoon split between Ireland and Scotland? Is trying to do this over 2-3 weeks in January, too much or foolish?
We do the beach at least twice a year, we’ve done the cruise thing, FH used to work for Disney and I’ve been a slew of times, and we’re not crazy adventure types. So, we are trying to think of something different. I’m of partial Scottish descent and FH is about as Irish as they come, so we thought it might be fun. Are we crazy?
If it helps, neither of us is from an area that gets very cold or snowy (Southerners, born and raised) and neither of us has been to the UK before, though we have traveled internationally. We like to drink socially, but neither of us are wine snobs, and we tend to enjoy visiting small towns as much as big cities. Our only real constraint is that we either have to do it in January or wait until August 2013 due to FH’s work.
If this idea is too crazy, any recommendations for fun-loving but bookish theater nerds in their late 20’s?
If it is doable, any recommendations on higher-end but not too chain-y hotels and on any sights we absolutely must try to see?
Post # 3
My only concern with doing Ireland and Scotland in January is that your days are going to be very, very short! I lived in London and in January, the sun doesn’t rise until 8:00 a.m. and sets at about 3:30 pm….. which does not give you very many daylight hours to do things. Ireland will be similar, Scotland’s days will be even shorter.
I went to Scotland in February for a weekend and it was brutally cold – I’m a Chicago girl so for me to say it was brutally cold, you KNOW it was cold!
If at all possible, I would push off Ireland and Scotland until August as your days will be very long (think daylight starts at around 5:30 – 6:00 and sunset is around 8:30 – 9:00). Weather is always variable and never dependable but it will more than likely not be freezing cold. Also, as both countries are heavy on the natural beauty, you will probably want to spend a lot of time outdoors exploring the gorgeous countryside. I’m just not sure January is the right time to be doing that.
If you still want to do January, what about looking at southern Europe where the weather is a bit milder? Spain and Portugal are lovely as is Italy. Croatia and Bosnia are amazing countries as are Turkey and Greece.
Post # 4
As long as you bring all- weather clothing and din’t mind if it’s crazy windy you should be fine – and let me add that waiting til August doesn’t guarantee better weather! Make a list of all the things you want to definitely see both in Ireland and Scotland and then see how far apart they are. If you’re mainly doing Kerry and then up along the coast to Dublin, hopping over to Scotland either by ferry or plane should be no problem. Or driving up to Belfast, the ferry only takes about 2 hours. Not the best option of you want to go all the way up into the Highlands, a plane to Edinburgh would be your better option then. But if you want to do the Isles and Edinburgh at the end that’d work out no problem!
Post # 5
@Ree723: I agree- it will be really cold and the days will be short. Also there are often road closures and if it is a bad year you will also have snow and ice to contend with. Black ice on the roads can make driving really dangerous for those who aren’t used to it. Add to that rain rain and some more rain it can make sight seeing uncomfortable (some of the best things to see in Ireland are literally in paddocks).
Post # 6
Cold, windy and wet will be the three main problems with Scotland and Ireland in Jan/Feb! Cities will be OK, but anything countryside based could be a bit miserable.
Post # 7
I had a feeling it was a bit too crazy for us Southerners…Do any of you ladies have any other suggestions? FH and I aren’t that interested in doing the Med as we went on a cruise there (it was AMAZING), but we’d like to experience a different side of Europe, nwim? Mexico is next on his list but not at all on mine and safari by rail would be my next but he is dead set against that. Austria fits with the inspiration behind our wedding but I can’t fathom how we would deal with the snow… We don’t want to lounge around on beaches all day and we’d like some history or culture to wherever we go. We don’t dive or even snorkel much, but we do enjoy hiking (not Mt. Everest, mind you) and I enjoy camping, but FH finds it icky 🙂 I suppose we should stick to south of the Equator…This is fun and difficult at the same time. Keep the suggestions coming, Bees!
Post # 8
I should add that we don’t ski, but aren’t opposed to learning. I’m pretty clutzy though, so there’d have to be decent medical facilities nearby if I tried 😉
Post # 9
@1920cottagegirl: Have you thought about Africa? You could hike Kilimanjaro and do a safari. You could also visit some of the Maasai villages and go to Olduvai Gorge, “the cradle of mankind”.
Jan/Feb is the perfect time to go to Africa as it is very warm and all the animals are around.
We just got back from Tanzania and it was incredible. I’ve posted several recaps of our trip, if you look in my profile you can find them.
Or if you want good theater and culture you could go to London. It’d still be cold and the days would still be short but there is a lot to do after the sun goes down and SO much good theater.
Post # 10
what about Prague?? it’s gorgeous!
friends of mine love Berlin and another says Bucharest in Romania is her favourite city in the world! Or Athens? I’d love to go and see all the culture there.
Most places in Europe that aren’t in the Med are a bit chilly in January. Ireland and Scotland, although nice, are probably best visited in the summer.
Post # 11
erm, january in Ireland and scotland- I dont know…
I’m from Ireland and my Fi’s family are all scottish, both GORGEOUS, Fabulous countries but january is a miserable month in both. I hate Ireland in January-
The PPs are right, it gets dark there at about 3.30pm in January, Its also very cold and downright depressing after Xmas
in the summer on the other hand it gets dark at 10.30-11pm at night!
I wouldn’t suggest it I’m sorry 🙁
Ive travelled all over europe, been to almost every eurpoean country lived in several and I can totally recommend Austria, Prague or Budapest in Jan 😀
Post # 12
I live north of London and I don’t see any reason why I would want to vacation here in January. It’s wet, cold, gray and the days are super short, just like the PPs said. The UK is gorgeous, but if you really want to come here then I would wait until August.
If you are set on January, I’d check out Italy, Greece or Spain. You’re still going to have good weather going any of those places. Plus, you can do the beach thing, but you have other choices too.
Santorini is one of my top places I want to visit while we live here.
Post # 13
yes I agree with the PP
Ive lived in France and Greece and my folks have a house in spain all-are fab in jan, certainly not scalding hot but better than blizzards and short days… Id get out of athens pretty quickly though and head down to the islands, they will be very quiet in jan but pleasurable.
Spain and France border with skiing in the pyrenees and a visit to the south west france would be lovely- or south of spain, get a speedboat over to morrocco to for a serious cutural onslaught!
Post # 15
Why not Portugal or Spain? or Morocco.
Otherwise you could always go to Asia- Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia.
Post # 16
@KatNYC2011: FH wanted me to ask how dirty it was…Yes, he’s kind of a big baby. I think he’d love a safari (and we’d be warm!), but he’s never camped out or had to “rough it” in the slightest. I don’t think he’s ever even been to summer camp. Do you think an active, physically fit person who has not spent any substantial time outdoors would enjoy a safari? We go hiking, but nothing more than four hours at a time. I grew up camping, hiking, all that good stuff and like to keep in it as much as I can, but FH is kind of a hard sell. I was perusing A&K’s site during my lunch break and the Botswana program where you get to interact with elephants sounds very cool. I then proceeded to drool over your pics. Wow! I don’t know anyone who has gone on safari, unless you count a camel trek in Algeria…