2 Weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland

2 Weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland

Description

This 2 Weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland Itinerary includes sightseeing in London, the former Roman baths in Bath and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge.

We then took the train north along the coast to Scotland, where we saw a castle, an underground ghost tour, and engaging pieces of modern art.

Next was Belfast, where we toured pubs and engaged with political history. After that, we headed south to Dublin, where we enjoyed Guinness and beer gardens as well as local musicians and history.

Finally, we jumped on a plane back to London to catch our flight home out of Heathrow.

Our 2 Weeks in England, Ireland and Scotland Itinerary
Day 1-3: London
Day 4: Bath
Day 5: Day Trip to Stonehenge
Day 6: Train to Edinburgh
Day 7-8: Edinburgh
Day 9: Ferry to Belfast
Day 10: Belfast and train to Dublin
Day 11-12: Dublin
Day 13: Ferry and train back to London
Day 14: London Eye and bon voyage

Gallery

Route

  • Distance Instructions

Overall costs

$ 2700

Duration

14 days

Rating


Itinerary:

London


We arrived on a busy day at Heathrow Airport and took the tube directly to our hotel. For this trip, we knew we would be relying on public transportation, so we utilized traveler backpacks. Wheeled luggage would work, but it can be a hassle to drag your belongings along the road. Either way, make sure you mind the gap when you exit the tube.

How to get there

By plane: Heathrow Airport is an international destination, and should be easily accessible.

Get around

Public transportation: Take the tube anywhere you want around the city. Alternatively, bus service is also available. You can use your credit card to get through the gates and it will automatically calculate the best fare for the day depending on how often you used the train / bus. In case your credit card is not accepted, buy an Oyster card which is also available as an app for your phone.

Note: Uber does not operate in London.

Things to do

Tower of London: Check out over 20 thousand separate gemstones that make up the crown jewels on this tour, and view historic armor from past kings of England. This World Heritage Site provides that classic British experience. Be sure to engage with the famous ravens who guard the tower, per order of Charles II– but don’t feed them! They are given a special diet that encourages them to stay on the tower grounds.

The National Gallery: Visit this absolutely breathtaking and historic art, from van Gogh to Michelangelo. Free entry; open daily 11am–6pm and on fridays until 9pm.

St. Paul’s Cathedral: Climb the dome and visit the stone gallery, or learn about how this domed structure survived the blitz.

The British Museum: See the Rosetta stone that helped decode hieroglyphics and uncover the secrets of Ancient Egypt, and view Japanese samurai armor. This historic collection is unrivaled and a must-see. This collection has something for everyone. Closed on Monday and Tuesday, all other days open from 10am to 5 pm.

Trafalgar Square: This historic site is a great place to read a book or do some people watching. Not only is this communal square a vital piece of British history, but it contains remains of extinct mammals from more than 12 thousand years ago. Cool off next to the fountains or view Nelson’s Column and the bronze lions.

Bath


We stayed in a little hotel here and spent the whole day touring the ancient Roman baths and enjoying the naturally warm springs.

How to get there

By train: Trains leave at least every hour from London Paddington Station to Bath with travel times around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

By car: 2.5 hours via M3 and A303.

Get around

Downtown bath is best explored on foot. For excursions outside the city center, consider public transportation, as traffic can be heavy on roadways.

Things to do

Thermae Bath Spa: This thermal spa is the only hot springs in the UK. Relax and unwind in the soothing, bubbling waters. With modern amenities, you and your companions will add new meaning to the word “chill”.

The Roman Baths: Visit the historic site of ancient Roman baths, utilizing underground hot springs. Walk on original pavement installed by the Romans. Check out the ruins at the temple. Learn how this water was seen to have healing properties, and how curse tablets were left to the patron goddess Sulis Minerva. You’ll even see her gilt bronze head!

The Jane Austen Centre: Famous author Jane Austen lived in Bath. Learn more about her life and times at this interactive space.

Stonehenge (Day Trip)


Take a day trip to Stonehenge and wonder about this mysterious and ancient installation. Where did these stones come from, and how were they transported? Listen to the birds as they perch casually atop one of humanity’s biggest mysteries of the past.

How to get there

Organized Tour: We booked a tour from Bath to Stonehenge where we spend around 2 hours. There are several tour operators to choose from. Mad Max makes a full day tour with additional stops while Scarper Tours and Lion Tours just go straight to the site and then return back to bath.

Public transportation: Take a train from Bath to Salisbury (1 hour) and from there buy a ticket for the tour bus to Stonehenge.

Edinburgh


The air in Scotland is a bit cooler, so we brought jackets for this leg of the journey. Upon arrival, we could immediately see Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Hill.

How to get there

By train: The train trip will take 6 hours and 30 minutes and you have to change the train once in Birmingham.

By car: It’s around the same travel time and route as the train. Follow M6 north via Birmingham, Manchester, Kendal and Carlisle.

Get around

You can walk between the main sights in the city center. For longer distances consider a bicycle or ride the bus.

Things to do

Edinburgh Castle: Tour this stronghold to learn about sieges, cannons, and the Scottish spirit. For those with a stronger stomach, consider touring the dungeon, containing such tools as “thumb screws” and other devices.

Underground ghost tour: This walking tour takes visitors through the underground vaults below the city. Learn gruesome and fascinating tales of the darker side of Edinburgh history. Who knows – you may just catch a glimpse of a shadow figure from the past.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Fans of modern art will love this fascinating and inspiring collection. Visit modern one or modern two – two neoclassical buildings from the early 1800s that house the gallery collection. Take the time to enjoy the grounds as well, and enjoy the sculpture park. Even the grass and pools have an award-winning design suitable for art lovers of all kinds.

Whisky Distillery: Just outside of Edinburgh is a whisky destillery (Glenkinchie Distillery) with guided tours and a tasting room. Best way to get there in a group is by taxi in 30 minutes.

Belfast


We knew no tour of the UK would be complete without a stop to this unique and significant Northern Irish city.

How to get there

Public transportation: Bus No. 923 (twice daily) to Cairnryan with a duration of 3.5 hours. From there take one of the five daily ferries to Belfast which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. You will end up at Belfast Stena Line Terminus at the harbor from where you can either take a taxi into town or by bus (no. 96).

By plane: The faster and often cheaper solution would be by plane, but you will miss the scenic views along the way.

Get around

The city center is small enough to walk around. For longer distances you can use one of the two bus companies, but they are a bit confusing about their fares and lines. So renting a bike if the weather is okay was the better option for us.

Things to do

“Troubles” Walking Tour: Take a walking tour around key sites of the “troubles”. Learn stories from guides who are familiar with the cultural experience of being in Belfast during these difficult and fascinating times.

Giant’s Causeway: Enjoy a day tour to this breathtaking and scenic location of basalt cliffs towering above ocean waves. If time permits, check out nearby sites of such shows as Game of Thrones – filmed in the area.

Dublin


We had to make the time for the capital of Ireland, taking a dip into the pub for a Guinness and an Irish stew with soda bread.

How to get there

By train: Several trains run daily from Belfast Lanyon Place Station to Connolly Station in Dublin. The trains takes two hours for the journey.

By car: Follow A1 / M1 south (toll road).

Get around

Tram / Trains: The easiest way for longer ways in the city is the tram called Luas and the suburban rail service DART for the suburban areas.

Walking: The main attractions in the city can also be explored by foot.

Bicycles: A great way to get around are bicycles which can be hired in many hostels or at Dublinbikes which has many stations across the city.

Things to do

Temple Bar: Gulp a glass of Guinness or Irish whisky within this unique red pub and raise a glass to the past – folks have been bellying up to this bar since 1300 AD.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral: This Catholic cathedral dates back as early as 1100 AD – with the architecture and history to engage and delight members of any faith.

Cliffs of Moher: This day trip is an astonishing, once in a lifetime opportunity to look down sheer cliffs over 600 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. Feel the call of the void, but watch your step. These rock formations were created over 320 million years ago, and visiting them is the quintessential Irish experience.

Dublin Zoo: See golden lion tamarins, Asian elephants, penguins, rhinos, and more at this family friendly attraction. With over 180 years of history, this beautiful and diverse zoo provides a glimpse of the world to patrons of all ages. Learn about conservation efforts, and the best way to support wildlife on a global scale.

London part 2


We decided to take in one more attraction before we left the United Kingdom. It was a historic and beautiful journey, and we wanted to take a bird’s eye view one last time before our plane took us home.

How to get there

By plane: While you can take the ferry and then proceed by bus to London, the whole journey will take 12 hours. So it’s best to catch one of the many flights between Dublin and London which has a flight time of a bit more than an hour.

Things to do

London Eye: This ferries wheel provides an epic ride at almost 450 feet off the ground. Visitors can see the whole city starting with the Thames River where the eye is located. This unique observation wheel is a chance to take a moment out of the day and marvel at the history and culture of one of the world’s most influential places.

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