Scotland and Ireland

Travel Forums Europe Scotland and Ireland

1. Posted by DaisyWhite (Budding Member 6 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Hi.
I intend to go to Scotland and Ireland in April or May.- I don't like organized tours so I'm going on my own.- But I could see in the Web that many people says that in this moment of the year is almost mandatory to book accommodation and tickets to buses, trains and ferries to avoid lack of place.
I would like not to book in advance in order to be free for decide in each place the amount of days to stay.- Is that possible or is a risk? I 'll appreciate your kindly advice.
My route would be Edinburgh, Sterling, St. Andrews, Inverness, Isla de Sky, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Mallaig, Oban, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Cardiff, in 25 days.

Hola.
Pienso ir a Escocia e Irlanda en Abril o Mayo. No me gustan los tours organizados de modo que iré por libre.- Pero he visto en la Web que mucha gente dice que en esta época del año es casi obligatorio reservar alojamiento y pasajes de bus, tren y ferries para evitar no encontrar lugar.- Yo no quisiera reservar por anticipado para ser libre de poder decidir en cada lugar cuantos dias quiero permanecer. Es eso posible o es un riesgo? Les agradeceré sus generosos consejos.
Mi ruta sería Edinburgh, Sterling, St. Andrews, Inverness, Isla de Sky, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Mallaig, Oban, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Cardiff, in 25 dias.

2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 499 posts) 1w 2 Star this if you like it!

First of all, you are going to Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales...four countries, not two! :-)

>Is that possible or is a risk?

It is possible and it's a risk..a very big risk in some circumstances.

> many people says that in this moment of the year is almost mandatory to book accommodation and tickets to buses, trains and ferries to avoid lack of place.

'Many people' are entirely incorrect unless they mean the weeks which include Easter and the two main public holidays.

Details of the 2019 holiday periods:

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are part of the UK (you'll need pounds sterling). The main Easter public holiday is April 19th and 22nd in 2019 and Monday 6th & 27th May are also UK public holidays. Easter and the late May public holiday (whatever year) are often, though not always, included in a longer school holiday (especially Easter).

The Republic of Ireland (euro) has public holidays on Monday April 22nd 2019, Monday May 6th and Monday 3rd June. Again, these holidays may be part of longer school holidays, especially Easter.

Accommodation:

Apart from the periods above you should be able to find accommodation easily enough in April & May but be aware that not booking in advance means you are less likely to find accomm which fits your budget, is acceptable and is in a convenient location. If it's a small place you may find no free accommodation at all and may have to travel elsewhere.

If you are travelling in the holiday weeks then imo it would be very foolish indeed not to book your accomm in advance, especially as you are relying on public transport.

Ferries: It is very unlikely that you won't find a foot passenger ferry space but, as with accomm, it's best to book in advance in holiday periods. The enclosed 'fast ferries' carry fewer passengers than the larger, slower ones.

Trains: Apart from the Eurostar and a couple of overnight trains the only reasons to book UK trains in advance are:

a) To save money. Advance fares are much cheaper than walk-up fares though most advance fares can be bought at the station up to 6pm the night before travel.

b) To reserve a seat. Reserving a seat does not guarantee you a seat on any train. If a train is very full you may not even be able to get to your seat.

c) To take advantage of Irish Ferries Sailrail or Stena Line Rail &sail advance fares when travelling from the UK to the island of Ireland or vice versa.

Irish Ferries https://www.irishferries.com/uk-en/special-offers-from-britain-to-ireland/rail-sail/

Stena Line https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-britain/rail-sail

Buses:

Local buses never need to be booked in advance.

Long-distance buses (e.g. National Express, Megabus) can and do get full up, especially at weekends and during holiday periods so unless you are 100% flexible it always makes sense to book or buy tickets in advance, if only by a few days.

You have all the relevant info above so, based on your exact dates and budget, you can now make decisions about what accomm etc needs to be booked before you set off on your trip, what can be booked in advance as you travel and what doesn't need to be booked in advance at all. Enjoy your planning! :-)
whether

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jan-2019, at 00:13 by leics2 ]

3. Posted by ToddP (Budding Member 96 posts) 1w Star this if you like it!

Accommodation in Ireland:
Following recent recession and hotel closures and experiencing the tourism boom again we do have a shortage of hotel beds. This off course drives the prices up. Hotels can be expensive and especially if booked at the last minute and in central locations.

However, there are always cheaper options available as hostels or less centrally located properties that can be reached by a public transport.

I do travel last minute myself a lot around the world and always able to book last minute accommodation. The options might not be the same as booking few months in advance, but without major variations I can work around my budget.