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Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Johannesburg, South...
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Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Can anyone recommend a company that offers itineraries and help for a self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland, departing from Belgium?

Many thanks

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

I don't know that there would be such an operation. Are you travelling by your own car and ferries or looking at flying between the three points and hiring in UK then Ireland?

It would be simple enough to plan your own tour with the help from regular contributors on these forums, many of us have knowledge of both countries. The time scale and rough dates would be a help if you decide the DIY option.

Raleigh, NC
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2. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

ITA with tony2phones. Half the fun is planning it yourself. Decide how long you can stay, and the top 5 things you want to see in each country. Then post on both boards asking for route suggestions.

Will you bring your car? Assuming so, go Zeebrugge - Rosyth and spend, say, ten days looping up to the Highlands and back down. Then go Stranraer - Belfast for another stretch. If you didn't want to double back through Scotland, ferry Dublin-Liverpool, and drive over to Hull to get home via Rotterdam. Depending on time of year, you could almost do book as you go B&Bs if you wanted to wander.

I think all that works. Someone here correct me if not. But it sounds like a marvelous trip.

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

It would be great if you guys were prepared to help out with planning an itinerary.

We are indeed planning on bringing our own car and taking ferries. Dates are 27 August to 19 September, more or less (I know we should have planned in advance, but it was totally unforeseen that we would have this time available to fill!) We are looking at a combination of B&B and hotels for accommodation. The thing is that there are companies in Belgium that offer those kinds of tours, and the price is not bad (500 Euros for an 8 day 7 night self-drive tour) but we would prefer to get information in English.

In Ireland we want to see Dublin, the Ring of Kerry, Belfast, Cork and Killarney National Park.

In Scotland, the Highlands, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Inverness and the Isle of Skye...

Suggestions and help would be very welcome!

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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4. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Not sure if you are familiar with the ferry logistics but it might interest you that there are ferry services from France to Ireland: Cherbourg to Roslare also Roscoff to Cork

Raleigh, NC
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5. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Suggest you start by (1) deciding how you want to get home -- backtrack thru Scotland or drive across the waist of England? Do you care whether you come or go via Zeebrugge or Rotterdam, etc.? (2) decide what date you want to cross to Belfast. Then check all the ferry schedules to be sure you can get the appropriate reservations. Should be no problem, but w/a car, make sure.

Then you've got two chunks of time to fill, or maybe three if you backtrack. Do you want to see the lowlands of Scotland? Then I'd backtrack. Anyhoo, now you have dates to play with. Lots of folks can advise on that. Post your dates on the appropriate boards and let folks toss suggestions. (Do you want accommodation recommendations? Then toss out a budget, too.)

Some rough thinking points -- hit Edinburgh from Rosyth if you mean to leave the UK via Hull. IF you feel okay about driving on the left. If not, go into Fife first and get used to it. Then come back thru the lowlands and hit Edinburg last. (Or just take train into town from somewhere in Fife.)

Re the driving, I'm sure you will be fine but be aware that in the Highlands particularly, you need to allow about half-again the driving time for the same miles as Belgium. Parts of Ireland will be similar. Map is deceptive. Very crooked roads -- and well worth the time. Think about how much time per day you want to spend behind the wheel. That will help you decide your route.

Hope that will get you started! I can give very specific advice on northern Scotland, general advice on the Lowlands, and very little on Ireland, so I will leave this forum now and let the experts talk. I will look for your posts on the Scotland board. Otherwise, if you wish to ping me, feel free.

Happy trails.

Johannesburg, South...
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6. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

This is what we've thought of so far:

Saturday 27 August Ijmuiden for ferry

Sunday 28 August Newcastle to Edinburgh

Monday 29 August Edinburgh to St Andrews

Tuesday 30 August St Andrews to Pitlochry

Wednesday 31 August Pitlochry to Inverness

Thursday 1 September Inverness to Isle of Skye

Friday 2 September Isle of Skye

Saturday 3 September Isle of Skye to Oban

Sunday 4 September Oban to Loch Lomond

Monday 5 September Loch Lomond to Glasgow

Tuesday 6 September Glasgow to Stranranraer (ferry to Ireland, night in Belfast)

Wednesday 7 September Belfast to Dublin

Thursday 8 September Dublin

Friday 9 September Dublin to Galway

Saturday 10 September Galway to Limerick

Sunday 11 September Limerick to Dingle

Monday 12 September Dingle to Killarney

Tuesday 13 September Killarney

Wednesday 14 September Killarney to Glengariff

Thursday 15 September Glengariff to Cork

Friday 16 September Cork

Saturday 17th September Ferry to France (Rosscoff)

Raleigh, NC
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7. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Looks like you have it planned already! Your Scottish section is perfectly do-able, drive wise. The stretch along Loch Lomond is a little crooked, but lovely. The leg to Skye is your longest, but not a bad drive. You'll be in the car most every day, but if you don't mind that, you're good.

I am sure someone here can comment on the Ireland aspects.

Johannesburg, South...
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8. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Planned, not so much - we have no idea of where to stay or how to even find places to stay - so step one is good - glad to hear we have the driving part worked out - guess I'll post in the Scottish bit for accommodation suggestions.

thanks!

Perth
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9. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

Hi Looking for a suggested 5 day/4 night drive from Dublin Airport, staying in Dublin for 10 days after the self drive so no need to include Dublin. Looking at 1 night in Kilkenny, 1 night in Waterford, like to drive the ring of Kerry (after visiting Mt Melleray on the way) and the last night in Galway. Love to get a few thoughts from you all.

Nova Scotia Canada
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10. Re: Self-drive tour of Ireland and Scotland

B&Bs in both Scotland & Ireland are places where you see a B&B sign as you drive by, stop, and go to the door to ask if they have accommodation for the night-so many of them everywhere in both countries. Prices last September all over Ireland were mainly 70 Euros each night with wonderful breakfasts. Most rooms had 2 beds. We found it a good idea to stop driving and get a place shortly after 4:00pm as some do get filled up if you wait too late to start looking.