Stacy and I, for a belated honeymoon-type thing, are planning on visiting Ireland and Scotland from June 8-23. We fly in and out of Dublin, and would like to see Dublin and its environs, and then hop over to Scotland for some Edinburghian and possibly Glaswegian splendor.
Of course, we really don’t know what we’re doing. We will soon be cracking open guidebooks and the like, but I call upon the power of the internet to provide suggestions for what we should consider. Thanks!
My husband and I also did a belated honeymoon in Ireland last year. We flew in and out of Dublin and did the Royal Atlantic Tour with Rail Tours Ireland (http://www.railtoursireland.com/dh3711.asp). It was fantastic! If you are not interested in doing a tour, the points that we saw are well worth a visit – Cliffs of Mohr, Ring of Kerry, Connemara, Blarney, Cork and Cobh, Galway, etc.
If you make it as far as Glasgow, spend an extra couple of hours by hoping on the train and visiting the banks of Loch Lomond. (Glasgow Queen Street (low level) to Balloch).
In Glasgow itself, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery is a must, and head to Princes Square for some classy shopping, then nip up the road to the Apple store! 😉
Galway is a train ride straight west, beautiful and increasingly modern city with great scenery north and south. It’s also where Irish is still spoken in some areas (Gaeltacht) especially on the Aran Islands. If you’re at all interested in Irish music, definitely hang out in the west vs. Dublin. The small towns south of Galway are best for happening upon famous musicians in impromptu sessuins (my fav is Doolin), but you’ll find a lot of music in Galway as well. The Aran islands are west of Galway, you could make a day trip out of a ferry ride there (from Doolin or Clifden, could combine it with a trip to the Cliffs of Mohr), biking around the island and a ferry ride back. Most people go to one island (Inishmor?), but I’ve been to all 3 and if you want a quiet place to hang out for a day that’s not overrun by tourists, try Inisheer instead. Not as many things to see, but nice residents, pubs and a couple of shops. If you’re in search of Claddaugh rings, the Claddaugh is the area along the coast at the north/west end of Galway City. If you do decide to spend a few days in the west, drive through Connemara (nice scenery, Connemara marble, etc.), then drive north to Achill Island, which is a larger island accessible by highway. One of the best beaches in the world is there (Keem Bay), along with some beautiful scenery high and low. We stayed in a converted lifeguard station, room opened right on the beach. Not as much of a novelty for you Californians, I know, but it would be a very nice spot for a honeymoon.
In short: for scenery, stick to the coasts, for music stick to the west, for city stick to Dublin and Galway, and drink as much Guinness as you can while you’re there, it tastes better there than anywhere else in the world. Slainte!
The place we stayed on Achill Island, highly recommended:
Bervie Guest House http://www.bervieachill.com/
(coastguard station, not lifeguard… duh. I need coffee.)
There is only one museum worth visiting in Dublin and that is the Illuminated Manuscripts at Trinity College.
The Guinness Brewery is also a must.
Stay in Temple Bar if you can–center of the action. The Shelbourne Hotel right on St. Stephen’s Green is romantic. Even if you don’t stay there (it is $$$$), go there for lunch or dinner.
Check out Landmark Trust. Amazing historic buildings, often quite reasonably priced. I have the full catalog from them if you want to connect up in Hayes Valley or environs for browsing over food or drinks. (and congratulations!)
Your wedding photos are beautiful!congrats and all the best in your honeymoon!
I am SO bummed that you’re not gonna be in town when I’m there. Coming in on the evening of the 20th and leaving early morning on the 23rd. Poop.
I second both Galway (Ireland) and Loch Lomand (Scotland).
Also, look into taking the ferry from Belfast to Glasgow. It takes 45 mins to 2 hours depending on the ship.
Try not to drive and use the terrific mass transit in both countries.
If you like museums, then in Glasgow try the Burrell Collection, a large & eclectic collection housed in its own purpose-built museum in a park. If you’re into strolling and looking at architecture, then the Victorian terraces of Park Circus, adjacent to Kelvingrove Park, are worth seeing. And for Edinburgh, the Georgian terraces of the New Town, and the Botanic Gardens (the Castle and the Royal Mile are too obvious to require recommendation). A stroll up Arthur’s Seat is also worth doing.
Here are some photos from my Scotland and my Irland Trips:
Have a nice time over there !
If youâ€™d like local knowledge around Glasgow and Edinburgh, drop me an email. Any questions gladly fielded …
Peter, drop me a mail if you’d like the Dubliner’s guide to Dublin. I’m actually in San Francisco until the 11th, but would be happy to be of assistance if you like.
Hello there. If you’re planning on visitng Glasgow I’d suggest that you take a brief look at http://www.top-ten-glasgow-guide.com which might narrow your search for things to do and see. All the best on your honeymoon travels!