Touring - Ireland or Scotland

(21 Posts)
Yukduck Tue 02-Aug-16 11:00:15

Help please!

DH and I want to see some of our beautiful UK. No more kiddy based beach holidays abroad for us now - our dc's have kiddies of their own. Our dc's were never keen to holiday in the UK but dh and I love castles, historical buildings, dramatic scenery, heritage, history and want to book for a week's tour of either Ireland or Scotland (neither of which we have ever visited but have yearned to). We have visited Snowdonia twice now and absolutely loved North Wales, people and heritage.

We are taking our car, a suitcase, the sat nav and the debit cards! We will hit the road next June. We are very excited by the idea but I do want to book a nice B&B in the area we visit or maybe a holiday cottage as a fixed base for exploring an area. It is just the area I am not sure of as all the tourist guides rate their own areas top of the class!

Anyone done this? Any obstacles? Advice? We are very close to retirement so want something special in 2017, full of UK history and dramatic scenery.

OP’s posts: |
KittyOShea Tue 02-Aug-16 11:06:32

Hi Yuck

The west of Ireland is beautiful. Nice towns with plenty to do in Galway and Westport. Beautiful scenery in Connemara- Leenane is a high point. Achill island has stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. Some beautiful ruins in Cong and Kylemore Abbey is well worth a visit.

A piece of advice though- only Northern Ireland is in the UK so if you choose to go to the West remember it is a separate country and they spend euros smile

Missgraeme Tue 02-Aug-16 11:27:20


Yukduck Tue 02-Aug-16 12:14:44

kitty I had no idea that southern Ireland uses Euros. It will not be an issue but good to know. I was blown away watching Christine Bleakeley's journey up the Wild West cost of Ireland, which is what got us hooked on a touring holiday up the West coast. But the East coast of Ireland has more celtic history and celtic culture. We are a bit torn. I sent off for brochures from the Irish tourist board last night and they are on their way as we speak.

Miss Thankyou for Aviemore. It has cropped up on several posts to do with Scotland as has the Cairngorms. I think I need to contact the tourist information centres for some brochures.

DH and I are off to the Peak District in September but not to tour as we are visiting relatives in the area, but we will do a bit of sightseeing.

This 2017 June touring holiday is just for us so we want to make it special and full of dramatic scenery and history. Looking forward to any more ideas.

OP’s posts: |
Radyward Wed 03-Aug-16 22:48:10

West of Ireland all the way as opposed to the east coast. Fab scenery

NicknameUsed Wed 03-Aug-16 23:06:04

We visited all the places Kitty describes, and she is right, the scenery is stunning. I would love to rent a cottage in Clew Bay for a week.

The West of Scotland is also stunning, but in a different way.

heron98 Thu 04-Aug-16 14:08:59

They're both wet and cold and you won't be able to see the scenery because of the cloud.

<voice of experience>

crapfatbanana Fri 05-Aug-16 08:39:31

I think you'll have a fabulous holiday which ever you choose. I love the Highlands and Islands of Scotland but have been yearning to see the west of Ireland for a while. I think I just love rugged west coasts.

Yukduck Fri 05-Aug-16 16:05:35

Thank you Nick & Crap & Rady. I think we have decided to do the Wild West Atlantic coast of Ireland first in June next year.

Scottish Cairngorms are next. Both have been on the bucket list for as many years as I can remember but it is time now to actually do it!

Heron Take your point about the weather but I am the eternal optimist. Any excuse for a long rainy pub lunch!!

I am going to look at all the suggested places along the West cost of Ireland and do my research now.

OP’s posts: |
WankersHacksandThieves Fri 05-Aug-16 21:54:38

As much as I love Aviemore and the Cairngorms, it wouldn't be my first choice in your position. I'd do North west Scotland and include Skye too. It's by far the most dramatic and awe inspiring area, if you can manage a wee circuit and ending up North of Inverness, you could fit in Dunrobin castle - a well as Eilean Donan near Skye. Amazing beaches up there Achmelvich, Applecross

We toured southern ireland for our honeymoon, you need to see the Burren just for sheer weirdness of the landscape.

Yukduck Sat 06-Aug-16 09:19:19

wankers I have just watched the programme Highlands - Scotland's Wild Heart narrated by Ewan McGregor and it just makes me itch to see the Cairngorms and Highlands. So dramatic. All the nature and scenery you could ever wish for. I think the time of year would be crucial though.

I will have a look at the NW and Skye. We are going to save the "abroad" sun/beach/holiday villages holidays for when we go as an extended family group but for just dh and I it has to be seeing much more of our beautiful UK.

OP’s posts: |
WankersHacksandThieves Sat 06-Aug-16 09:46:31

I haven't watched the program, but I find the cairngorms a bit dull compared to the north west highlands and Skye. Have a look at the cuillins and torridon. I would add in the lake district into your plans to at some point. So much to see all over the UK. You have many happy holidays ahead. smile

FarelyKnuts Sat 06-Aug-16 09:56:22

The Wild Atlantic Way follows the west coast of Ireland (my home) and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Not that I'm biased or anything! grin
But we are very definitely not the UK. Or "southern Ireland". We are Ireland (and we use euros) but we do love visitors and are very friendly and welcoming to anyone who comes to visit us usually!
There's castles and scenery and pub lunches and great music and lots of different things to see and do.

Yukduck Tue 09-Aug-16 11:48:46

Thanks Farely. I am going to have a closer look at Galway and Clew Bay and rent a cottage for a week in one of those, so we can use that as a base to explore and tour a bit.

So that is 2017 sorted! Thanks to all.

OP’s posts: |
FadedRed Tue 09-Aug-16 12:09:51

If you are planning to visit historic houses and other sites, then English Heritage membership will get you in many places in Scotland, and National Trust membership for Nothern Ireland.
We loved the north coast of Scotland and visited Orrkney, which was fascinating. Harris and Lewis are beautiful, blue/green seas and silver sand, if it weren't for the temperature, you would think you were on a Greek island.
The Antrim coast is also well worth visiting/touring.

Lucydogz Wed 10-Aug-16 18:46:15

We are in our caravan on the Wild Atlantic Way now. I imagine it would be spectacular in good weather, but it's pouring with rain (and has also been really windy). There is bugger all to do in bad weather. I wish I was at home.
There is very little in the way of good pubs/eating places (especially if you've been stupid enough to have brought along your Jack Russell - this is the most dog-unfriendly place I've ever been, as NOWHERE will allow you to take your dogs in).
Having said that, we really enjoyed our time in Northern Ireland. Lovely people and more interesting. (just as long as you're not averse to Union Flags all over the place.

chocoLit Wed 10-Aug-16 18:55:06

Head up through fife east Neuk, St. Andrews up to the moray coast (gorgeous) over to Skye and then down through Perthshire.

So so much to see in this glorious country smile

Yukduck Thu 11-Aug-16 21:38:14

Oh no Lucy sounds awful being stuck in the caravan in bad weather. I think we will leave our ancient collie with relatives when we holiday. Hope the weather perks up soon for you. I love holidaying with our dog but it does limit what you can see and do (we don't have a caravan and holiday cottages will not let you leave them alone in the cottage).

Choco thanks for the route. I was hoping to pinch a tried and tested route with recommended splendid scenery! That will be one I will check out for the holiday after Ireland.

Farley I had not thought of joining the National Trust or English Heritage so will look into that. I don't think we will reach Northern Ireland but it may be worth looking into joining something that would give discounts and special rates for castles and stately homes etc. It will be good for Scotland.

I wish the Irish Tourist Board brochures would come soon. They are taking ages!

So many good ideas - thank you all.

OP’s posts: |
chocoLit Thu 11-Aug-16 21:59:47

No problem - lots of glorious friendly villages up through fife. You can drive up through the borders Berwick on Tweed, North Berwick quick stop in Edinburgh. Into fife over the bridge and then you have the delights of Pittenween, St Monans, Crail, Anstruther, St Andrews, over the bridge to Dundee and head north.

We love Ireland too - DH is NI so have spent a lot of time on the Emerald Isle too. My absolute fave is Wicklow. My best friend lived there so we went often but she's had the nerve to emigrate and I'm furious grin

NicknameUsed Thu 11-Aug-16 22:03:31

If you go to Galway you absolutely must go over to the Aran Islands. We took a ferry to Inishmore and flew back in an 8 seater plane. It was the best day of our holiday.

GingerAndTheBiscuits Thu 11-Aug-16 22:14:41

Lucy start a thread on the craicnet section of MN and you'll be inundated with suggestions of things to do and places to eat, as I was last week when I poured with rain in West Cork last Monday!

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