Middle Age Miles

A Summer Holiday in Ireland and Scotland – Overview

The magnificent Cliffs of Moher

This article is part of our Trip Report, A Summer Holiday in Ireland & Scotland.

For the past several summers, Philly and I have made a week-plus trip to Europe with daughter Maria and her longtime friend Erin.  The 2016 edition of our traditional summer trip took us to Ireland, with a side trip to Scotland.

For the first part of our trip, we flew into Dublin, rented a car, and drove a loop through the southern/southwestern part of Ireland.  This part of our trip included:

  • Spending a night in an Irish castle at Gregans Castle Hotel near Ballyvaughan
  • Driving down the beautiful, rugged Irish coast near Black Head
  • Exploring the magnificent Cliffs of Moher by sea and by land
  • Staying in the lovely town of Killarney
  • Taking a boat for an unforgettable visit to Skellig Michael
  • Driving the Ring of Kerry
  • Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle
  • Driving to Dublin for a night in the Temple Bar area before heading for the next part of our trip in Edinburgh, Scotland

Our route for this first part of our trip looked something like this:

For the next part of our trip, we flew from Dublin to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Our original motivation for the side trip to Scotland was that Maria had been admitted to the University of St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh, and we wanted to visit those schools to help her decide where to go.  However, by the time of our trip, Maria had committed to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, so our Scotland jaunt turned into a simple two-night tourist visit to Edinburgh, where we visited Edinburgh Castle and several Harry Potter-related sights in the hometown of J.K. Rowling.

For the last part of our trip, we flew from Edinburgh back to Belfast, Northern Ireland.  From there, we:

  • Visited Giant’s Causeway, which had been one of my bucket-list destinations
  • Toured the Titanic Exhibit in Belfast
  • Visited the ancient passage grave tombs at Brú na Bóinne, and
  • Spent a last relaxing day in Dublin before heading home

We also had a rental car for this part of the trip, and the path we traveled looked like this:

Our trip report, A Summer Holiday in Ireland and Scotland, includes these articles:

Ireland is a wonderful place to visit, and I can’t wait to go back to explore more of it and its countryside.  I hope we see you there!

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