Eire is more than just Guinness, green hills and redheads... Come talk about what makes Ireland so special.

Ireland tour with a side of England advice needed


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  • Added on: January 8th, 2010

I am planning a trip for this summer with my daughter for her pre-college break. After all, this may be our last chance to travel together. I am planning on a 14 day tour to see as much of Ireland that we can with an emphasis on Northern Ireland. My hope is to take her to see Liverpool and a day or two of London.

We will be renting a car in Ireland and I've researched a little about the ferry system. I'm wondering if we should take an overnight ferry from Dublin to Liverpool, whether or not to take the rental car with us or if we'd be better off flying and taking trains to finish our England leg.

Any advice?


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Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: January 13th, 2010
My answer to this question is going to be a bit lengthy and look at different angles.

First, do you plan on only seeing Liverpool and London? If this is the case I would suggest looking into the Ryanair and Easyjet. Easyjet doesn't fly from Dublin, only Belfast and Ryanair flys from Dublin. If it is only these two cities you want to see in England I would say that its perfectly acceptable to fly to them both, especially with how cheap Ryanair can get. (My husband and I flew from Dublin to Bristol, England for 25 euro round trip.) Flights can be as cheap as 1 cent, however then you would still have taxes to pay. Ryanair also does 1 euro flights with no taxes. You still get a charge for using your credit card, but still...very cheap.

Secondly, no ferry should take all night to get from Ireland to England. I've taken a Stena ship from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead both of which are very close to where you've been talking, it shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 hours. Stena line also has deals with English trains so even if you don't take your car with you the ferry is still an option.

A final thing you need to consider if you decide to take your rental car outside of Ireland is if you want to have to return it. Or if it is possible to leave it in London and end your trip there. This is something you would have to talk about with the rental car company you're dealing with.

I hope this is all helpful. If you have any other questions feel free to send me a message.


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  • Added on: January 13th, 2010
I'd guess that flying on one of the budget carriers will end up being best. They like to add on fees so watch out for how much luggage you bring and how heavy it is. Arthur Frommer (of the guidebooks) has been posting deals to Ireland pretty regularly on his blog. They aren't going to the summer yet, but you may way to keep checking there until you buy your tickets. Here is his latest link for there. Even if you don't fit into the offers yet it's good info for what companies to look at.
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  • Added on: January 14th, 2010
Thanks to both of you for the replies. I'm not sure where I came up with the idea that Dublin-Liverpool was a 7 hour ferry ride.

As of now my plan is to fly from the states to either Shannon or Dublin and rent a car, Then it looks like the best bet would be to take Ryanair or Easyjet over to England from either Belfast or Dublin. The places that I'd like to take my daughter to in England are Liverpool-Stonehenge-London. I flew Ryan air from Paris to Milan 2 years ago and I had no problems with the budget airline thing.

I'll look into the Stena ferry line just to compare costs.

Thanks again!


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  • Added on: January 15th, 2010
The places that I'd like to take my daughter to in England are Liverpool-Stonehenge-London

Your best bet may be to take the train or bus from Liverpool to London. Megabus generally offers some fairly cheap fares or if you take the train it'll be cheapest if you get an advance fare. I wouldn't recommend flying as the trains/bus drop you off directly in the city whereas the London airports all take time/money to get to the city (with Heathrow being the easiest and cheapest). Then, after that get one of the day bus tours out of London to Stonehenge.

If you want more flexibility than a bus tour, you could always hire a car. You're best bet in London then is to get one out of Heathrow. They generally have the cheapest rates and are open nearly all hours. And often you can get better rates if you go direct to the car website. When everything else is equal we often use Alamo since they don't take any credit card details for the reservation. Outside of the airports, car hire companies generally has very limited hours and are rarely open on weekends. I wouldn't forget the price of fuel, though, as it isn't cheap here. Plus, if you're not comfortable driving a manual from the other side of the road, it's generally quite a bit more expensive to get an automatic.


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Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: January 15th, 2010
In addition to the above...if you want to visit London then hiring a car to get around in England is madness. The train or bus will get you from Liverpool to London cheaply and easily. The bus will be far cheaper, but the train will be far pleasanter. Once in London the Tube will get you wherever you want to be.

Hiring a car to go to Stonehenge may be more fun than the bus tour, so that you can do waht you want, and perhaps visit some other nearby places of interest too, such as Cheddar Gorge and Bath.

To get back to Ireland by air from London, bear in mind that the low cost airlines won't fly from Heathrow. Aer Longus will fly to Dublin from there, byt Ryanair or Easyjet will go from either Stansted, Luton or Gatwick - all some distance from London, and will cost a little to get to, but the flights will be way cheaper if bought sufficiently in advance.
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