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Amber Nae
05-15-2012, 12:04 PM
Ireland and Scotland! If anyone is from either, what is the best time of year to visit, and the best places for a tourist to go see? I want to experience life in these places, not just sit on a tour bus. Any advice is appreciated!

waylander
05-15-2012, 03:54 PM
Bring an umbrella!

Dublin is unlike the rest of Ireland; by all means spend some time there but get out into the country.
Clifden in County Galway is pretty lively in the summer months.

Perks
05-15-2012, 03:58 PM
I went in July to Dublin and the Ring of Kerry. It was terrific. And I wouldn't bother with an umbrella - just wear a hood and get used to puffy hair.

Amber Nae
05-15-2012, 04:07 PM
I want to see everything, but I mostly want to experience what it would be like to live there. I've always felt that I was meant to live there. Maybe in another life, huh?

Perks
05-15-2012, 04:15 PM
When I was on the Irish coast on a sunny summer day, there was a quality of air, scrubbed over thousands of miles of saltwater, that felt like a magic potion. If I just stand here and breathe, I'll never get sick, I'll never get old, and I'll never die.

Of course, that's rubbish, but you can stand there for a little while and then go have a pint at ten in the morning and no one will look at you funny.

We rented a little house and it was one of the best times I've ever had.

Amber Nae
05-15-2012, 04:20 PM
Well, my family isn't too keen on me visiting by myself. I guess they're afraid I would never come back. I'm sure it would be tempting. I've never been out of the states, but it's definitely one of my biggest dreams.

waylander
05-15-2012, 05:08 PM
Stay bed and breakfast in private houses in Ireland if you want to get closer to the Irish people, cheaper than hotels too. There are thousands of houses to stay in all over the country.

Amber Nae
05-15-2012, 05:12 PM
I've been looking into Vagabond Tours. They stay in small B&B's. I'm 24 so I do wanna get in on the pub life. Familiar with any of those?

BigWords
05-15-2012, 06:05 PM
For Scotland, the advice is pretty much what you have received for Ireland - though I would also suggest planning in days before you arrive. You need to see some of the heritage sites and historic places when you get here. :)

One place you can safely scratch off your list is Loch Ness. it is so, so disappointing, and unless you like standing at the edge of a body of water for hours on end being pimped tacky souvenirs you are going to be mightily bored. Glasgow is beautiful, though it isn't really as individual as it used to be (too many of the shops specific to the city have shut, and the usual high street shops have opened in their place), and Edinburgh is dreary (I'm willing to take the heat from folks who live there - never been to such a cold and depressing city), while Falkirk is surprisingly entertaining. Not sure why I like the place, but I do.

Take in as much of the small places along the way - there are beautiful, small towns and villages, though you have to make your own amusement in most of these places.

Perks
05-15-2012, 08:09 PM
One place you can safely scratch off your list is Loch Ness. it is so, so disappointing,

Along those lines, I have to say Stonehenge, if you go to England. An English friend of mine said, "Have you ever seen a postcard of Stonehenge? Yeah? Ever seen a documentary on it? Then you've seen Stonehenge. Skip it. You'll be in the car for three hours, you can't get anywhere near it, and there's nothing else out there to see."

I was going to take his advice, but my travelmates insisted. He was very right.

BigWords
05-15-2012, 08:13 PM
That they went and built a bloody great road right next to Stonehenge kinda ruins the atmosphere. Trying to just be there, in the moment and feeling the history wash over you, is utterly ruined by the noise of traffic.

Terie
05-16-2012, 06:19 PM
That they went and built a bloody great road right next to Stonehenge kinda ruins the atmosphere. Trying to just be there, in the moment and feeling the history wash over you, is utterly ruined by the noise of traffic.

They're fixing (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/our-plans/) that. Work begins this month. :D

BigWords
05-16-2012, 06:24 PM
Oooh. That sounds good. I hope they manage to fix things without destroying any of the buried archaeology in the area, as they did when they put the current monstrosity in place.

Terie
05-16-2012, 06:46 PM
Oooh. That sounds good. I hope they manage to fix things without destroying any of the buried archaeology in the area, as they did when they put the current monstrosity in place.

Oh, it's a heritage site now, and they're proceeding very carefully. We have better sensibilities now than when that road was first constructed. You can find a lot of information at the link I supplied.

The Illusionist
05-16-2012, 10:42 PM
Along those lines, I have to say Stonehenge, if you go to England. An English friend of mine said, "Have you ever seen a postcard of Stonehenge? Yeah? Ever seen a documentary on it? Then you've seen Stonehenge. Skip it. You'll be in the car for three hours, you can't get anywhere near it, and there's nothing else out there to see."

I also had friends that went there and found it a waste of time.

I do have to make a case for Wales here though, the underdog of the UK for tourists it feels like :P I'm not originally from here, just studying, but it is quite a unique corner. Cardiff (where I study) is a pretty 'normal' city but once you get outside the unique Welsh flavor comes out. & Brecon Beacons is a beautiful national park.