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Ireland, Scotland, London budget travel tips.

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1. Posted by Dawgfather (Budding Member 18 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Greetings friends.
My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon for 2018. The plan is to take 3 weeks in Scotland, 3 weeks in Ireland, and finish up with one week in London. We dont have much of an itinerary yet but the basic idea is to have one of the 3 weeks in both Scotland and Ireland in which we stay at more traditional style bed and breakfast/cottage/hotel, while the other 2 weeks in each respective region will be spent budget traveling by hiking and camping or hostel sleeping. We plan to do one major activity per region (sky dive in Ireland and 3 or 4 day cruise in Scotland). And finish off with 5-7 days in London or suburbs. My question is this. With plane tickets paid for and a travel budget of a minnimum of 6,000 USD, does this trip sound reasonable? Are there any suggestions or tips anyone might have? Ive spent a fair amount of time researching, but nothing beats first hand information. Thanks alot

Donny.

2. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 774 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

That sounds do-able. It’s certainly possible to do the hostelling or camping bits well within that budget, so it depends how you blow the budget on the more expensive bits - how pricey the B&Bs are, and how much London is.

The 3 or 4 day cruise in Scotland has me stumped, as I don't know of any apart from the posh and very expensive Hebridean Princess. The Queen has hired it a couple of times for family holidays, which gives you an idea how posh. It would take your entire budget.
Did you find another cruise?

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Respected Member 217 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

We used B&Bs and rented country houses which you might consider. You usually have to rent for a week but if you are in a nice central area, you have a week to go hiking, biking and general sightseeing in the area. In Ireland, it's pretty inexpensive out in the Connemara Peninsula and very dramatic. In Scotland we enjoyed the Highlands but were surprised how much we enjoyed the lowlands, especially the western part and it's not as touristed so less expensive.

Check the two country's official Tourist Office web sites for accommodation that is pretty well vetted.

Save a lot of money for your last week in London. It's about the most expensive place we've been and we go to Paris all the time. There is a lot to do for free there so, again, check the tourist office web site. Many of the museums are free but you have to pay for many of the churches which struck us as odd but we just visited a lot more museums than churches and it worked out all right.

We've discovered that going places on a budget is a good thing. It forces you to interact with the local people and you find things the more wealthy tourists never get to see. You'll have a great time. Enjoy . . . and congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

4. Posted by Dawgfather (Budding Member 18 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Andyf. I have just done some very basic searches for cruises and this is just one example of some that i have found

http://www.cruisedeals.co.uk/cruise-holidays/british-isles-cruises#topdeals

We are also looking into less formal style cruises. Our B&Bs would range 130 or less/night according to some preliminary numbers i have crunched for a potential budget. Anytime we overspend we just have to do more camping!

Beausoleil
Great tips thanks for the added info. Gives me more to consider and think about. I had assumed London would be the most expensive area, and our flexibility gives us room to shave a day or two off of Scotland and or Ireland in order to hit London with enough funds. I agree. Budget travel often lets you interact with the area in ways more "traditional" travel does not. Thanks for your congratulations! I have one more big trip planned for myself in South East Asia before the big day!

Thanks both so much!

Donny

5. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1164 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

There is so much to see & do in London ..

.. have a look at the London Tool KIt for some transport & Accommodation ideas.

Consider getting an Oyster card before you leave or when you arrive .. it will save you money I expect but it is worth it just for the convenience of not buying tickets every trip. Jump on & off buses .. if you feel lost, dive into the nearest tube station & it's easy to follow maps get you home.

The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London is a great thing to do but you need to apply early .. like NOW .. I see the site says they are fully booked til February 2018.

If you enjoy a drink, or even if you don't, going from pub to pub along the Thames river from the Grapes in Limehouse to The Tower of London via the Prospect of Whitby & several other pubs with outlooks over the river .. a pleasant stroll.

& cross over the very top of Tower Bridge & down the leg of the bridge at the south end & see the workings that raise & lower the bridge .. amazing engineering.

Turn left off the southern end of the bridge & then back track to the right of the bridge & again follow the river to London Bridge & to the George .. an actual coaching Inn.

A spot I really like to visit is through Lincolns Inn , . . not an inn as in a pub but the Inns of Court . . it is a little treed oasis in the middle of the city & stop in at the quirky little pub the 7 stars on Carey Street .. being 'on Carey Street' means being bankrupt .. I hope your time in London did not make you so.

Steve

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Feb-2017, at 06:17 by hasbeen ]

6. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1164 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

And if you fancy getting out of London, I can highly recommend Mad Max tours from Bath .. I did the Stonehenge Tour - including Avebury Stone Circles and Cotswold villages .. a wonderful day out & not an outrageous price.

Bath itself is a great place to visit too .

Steve

7. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1164 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

And if you are considering travelling by rail .. National Rail Enquiries is a good site . It is amazing the difference in prices they have sometimes for the same trip.

The man in seat 61 is also very good for all things train.

Steve

8. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 774 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Hi Dawgfather :)

Okay those cruises you linked to, as far as I know they're all at least a week, sail from the south of England doing a loop round Britain, and are very much pitched at old people. This may suit you, but it doesn't sound like it fits with the rest of what you were planning. They also don't go to many places - typically being in ports 5 days in 7 while sailing at night, so you get maybe 9am-5pm in a port, fixed dinner sittings and daily dress codes. I'm not sure they're the splash-out treat you're looking for.

On the other hand, the state subsidised ferries in Scotland are great if seeing the islands is your goal. Google CalMac ferries for those covering the Hebrides. Their 3 isles daytrip is one of the best days out in Britain. Orkney is also a treat if you like prehistory, and can be done as a daytrip - Gordon grant tours run from John O'Groats..

As you mentioned a skydive, would a powerboat trip through a whirlpool interest you? Seafari Oban do trips on the Corryvreckan Whirlpool off the coast of Scotland, when the tides are right for a few days each month.

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Feb-2017, at 06:38 by Andyf ]

9. Posted by Dawgfather (Budding Member 18 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Hasbeen

Great great tips. I hadnt even thought about any sort of travel card. My style of travel has typically consited of backpacking through the woods and mountains of North America. With over 3000 miles hiked here, busses, trains, trams, and subways are not common for myself except to get me from my home to the forest! Also great tour trip tips to! I sent my fiance some of the links you sent me and scored myself some brownie points. Kudos friend!!.

Andyf

Yea the websight and itineraries looked somewhat different from what i was expecting. I will have to look into CalMac ferries. Checking out the islands and coastline is our goal, in addition to getting a few nights sleep with the caress of the ocean sway . Powerboat through a whirlpool? Sign me up!! Again with the great ideas!

10. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1164 posts) 16w Star this if you like it!

Wikipedia gives a list of trails in the UK

You could walk from the top of Scotland to London .. Google maps reckons about 214 hours should do it.

Steve