Hi! I'm planning a 2-week trip to Europe next year around April or August and have no idea where to go.I was initially thinking of going to Scotland + Ireland or just Scotland..but I'm not sure if its the best place for me to go particularly because apart from the cliffs of moher and the army tattoo parade I've really yet to find anything that really draws me to the place. (Which I believe is mostly due to my lack of research skills, or filtering skills , quite sure these places have more to offer than these 2 things I've mentioned)
Also thinking of doing a Scandinavia tour but I am not really sure where to go, and mostly just curious as I've never been there before.
Basically, I've seen a little of the "essentials" before, been to Paris,Versailles,Fussen, Jungfrau, Zurich, Lucerne, Madrid on my first time.
Lived/Stayed in Brussels for about 6 months on my second time and visited quite a number of the "essentials" again - Brussels,Munich, did the Romantic Road tour ,Vienna,Rome,Venice, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lux, Amsterdam, London- Stonehenge, Oxford.
Just in case some info on my would help to trim down the choices, I am a foodie, open to some outdoor/sports activity suggestions (though probably would keep it to a minimal as I would not want my entire two weeks focused on trekking or hiking), mid 20s female solo traveller (suggestions on where not to go would be great as well).
This will only be my second time traveling solo in Europe, all my previous trips were with family or friends apart from my 1 week solo trip to London.
Your suggestions would be highly appreciated
Thanks a lot!
You could easily spend two weeks in Scotland or Ireland. A car is undoubtedly the best way to get around and see everything.
The thing about both places is that there is a lot of countryside and weather can make or ruin a holiday there.
August is normally good weather but in the middle of the school holidays, it is the most expensive time to visit both places when there are so many people about and prices are inflated. April can be very wet and windy. Possibly September would be better?
Scotland has a lot of history, with sights and sites as well as castles (you can even stay in one). Also lots of open countryside as well as lakes (lochs). Huge towns and nice little villages. And then there are the islands, which you can drive to or take a ferry to.
Maybe it's also worth a visit south of the border to Hadrian's Wall (built by the Romans) and Alnwick Castle (Hogwart's School in Harry Potter films), etc?
Ireland has some castles, open countryside, nice little villages, etc.
Scandinavia? Where? It's a number of countries. Norway, Sweden and Finland are best down south. A bit isolated up north.
Definitely a summer location. These places can get seriously cold in winter.
Plenty of great places to visit in Scotland. If you aren't confident driving the train network is fairly good though not necessarily cheap. If you book far enough in advance you can get good deals (www.thetrainline.co.uk).
The west coast of scotland is very dramatic and beautiful, the east coast is a bit more windswept. Obviously Glasgow and Edinburgh are must stop and see places but you can also visit Sterling, Braco (very very teeny but fantastic pub with accom) Fort William, Oban (and the island of Mull), Fort Augustus, Skye (Eileen Donan castle on the way - where they filmed Entrapment) and all the way up to little but charming villages like Applecross. On the east coast you have Aberdeen and inverness as your bigger destinations. Aberdeen is a lovely place to visit and the people are really nice. Right at the top in the middle is a little place called Bettyhill which has a fantastic restaurant at the top of the hill looking out over the Atlantic.
If you do visit Scotland I recommend planning to head up the west coast from Glasgow through Glen Coe - its far more dramatic to head from the low lands to the highlands this way than to come back down this way.
Alternatively you can do a Haggis/shamrocker bus Tour - which do tours of Scotland and Ireland respectively. You can see a lot and have the benefit of travelling in a group.
Definitely more worthwhile to travel in the UK in September - July and August are usually a wash out and from October its getting cooler/chilly.
If you want to do hiking there is the West Highland Way. I haven't done it but a friend has several times and I'm pretty sure you can do segments of it and have your back pack delivered to your stop off point for a small fee. From the photos I have seen it looks brilliant.
Have a great time!
Have you thought of travelling a little further south?
I may be biased... but if you are after a little bit of outdoorseyness combined with things to see... how about Liverpool? Its is only 45 minutes away from North Wales with all the outdoor woolly sock wearing things to do plus Liverpool is just the best city in the world... almost as good as Rome... but then I am a little biased...
Good luck with your trip... sounds fab!