About a month ago, I found out that my best friend is going to be able to visit me during my time here in London. Needless to say, I'M SO EXCITED. It's fun having visitors from across the pond and so I set out to create the best itinerary so she could get the most out of her trip. We are headed to Ireland, Scotland & obviously England because these are three places she really wants to see. I've been to Ireland three times, now four, and Scotland once so I know a lot about Ireland and a little about Scotland (which I am excited to explore more of).
This post will be a detailed itinerary for you to utilize during your travels. It's essentially a ten day itinerary but feel free to shorten it or make it as long & extensive as you'd like. Obviously if we had more time we would go to Northern Ireland and more of Scotland, but for the sake of only ten days - this is what we came up with. Be sure and also check out my Ultimate Ireland Bucketlist post and the one where I discuss my first solo trip which was to Ireland!
*At the end, there will be a downloadable PDF of this itinerary that you can print & use on your journey if you'd like. I've printed my own so it's easy to be organized and efficient on our trip! Also, the local bus routes & prices aren't listed in this itinerary. I thought it would be too messy & it is something I'm adding in with post-it notes to my own itinerary. I have also added a link to several activities and places where we are staying.*
Day 1 // Dublin, Ireland
8:00 - Find roundtrip flights from USA to Dublin. Fly in & head to Dublin City Center
9:00 - Grab breakfast somewhere & drop off bags @ Hostel (we are staying at Abbey Court Hostel)
10:00 - Trinity College & Book of Kells Library
11:00 - Wander around & Find a lunch spot
12- 1:00 - Lunch
1:00 - Temple Bar Area - Explore!
2:00 - Guinness Storehouse (On a Monday it's more laid back & less rushed*)
3:00 - St. Patrick's Cathedral
4:00 - Coffee/Tea Break
5:00 - Wander around & maybe freshen up for dinner
6:00 - Find a dinner spot
7-10:00 - Temple Bar area
11:00 - Sleep!
Day 2 // Limerick, Cliffs of Moher & Galway
8:00 - Head to Limerick
10:15 - Explore Limerick & grab lunch
1:00 - Head to Cliffs of Moher
3-6:00 - Explore cliffs of Moher, Shops & snack break
6:15-8:30 - Bus to Galway
9:00 - Check into Hostel (we are staying at Salmon-Weir Hostel)
10:00 - Pub
12:00 - Sleep!
Day 3 // Kylemore Abbey, Galway, Ireland
8:00 - Grab breakfast @ hostel
9:00 - Head to Kylemore Abbey
11:45 -4:00 - Explore Kylemore Abbey & Gardens (Lunch & Afternoon tea there as well)
4:15 - Head back to Galway
6:25 - Train to Dublin
9:00 - Check into Hostel (Staying @ Abbey Court again!)
10:00 - Pub and/or sleep time - depending if you have energy!
*Update* We ended up taking a tour guided bus to Kylemore Abbey and through the Wild Atlantic Way. It was around €20 per person (with a student discount) and it was an eight hour tour. I normally don't do these types of things, but my friend that was with me wanted to so I gave in! It ended up being really lovely and a great day. However, if you're an independent traveler, I'd stick to my schedule and explore a bit for yourself! Being on a bus all day isn't exactly ideal!
7:40 - Flight to Glasgow
10:00 - Bus to Fort William
1:15 - Check into Hostel & Drop Bags off (We are staying @ Fort William Backpackers Hostel)
2:00 - Explore Fort William & Take a Break
4:00 - Coffee/Tea Break
6:00 - Dinner!
10:00 - Pub and/or sleep!
Day 5 // Jacobite Train, Glencoe, and Loch Ness
9:00 - Grab breakfast in Fort William
10:15 - 2 :00 - Jacobite Train tour through Scotland to Mallaig
3:00 - Head to Glencoe
3:45 - Glencoe + Explore!!
5:00 - Head to Loch Ness
6:30 - Check into Hostel (We are staying @ Loch Ness backpackers hostel)
7:30 - Find a place for dinner!
10:00 - Go to sleep so we can see the sunrise!
Day 6 // Loch Ness, Inverness, Edinburgh
4:45 - SUNRISE on Loch Ness Lake!
6:00 - Grab breakfast
7-11:00 - Explore Loch Ness
12:00 - Grab Lunch
2:00 - Head to Inverness
3:00 - Explore Inverness
4:00 - Grab Coffee or Tea
5:00 - Head to Edinburgh
8:30 - Arrive in Edinburgh by train from Inverness
9:00 - Check into Hostel
10:00 - Pub/dinner/sleep
I have been to Ireland so many times that I feel like it's my second home, so when it came to planning for the rest of Scotland - I was stumped. I reached out to Lonely Planet and they were kind enough to send over this copy of the Scotland guide that also has a map of Edinburgh inside of it!
Day 7 // Edinburgh, Scotland
9:00 - Breakfast in Edinburgh
10:00 - 'Royal Mile' walk Start with Edinburgh Castle
11:00 - 1:00 Camera Obscura's Outlook Tower, Gladstone's Land, St Giles Cathedral,
Scottish Parliament, and Palace of Holyroodhouse,
1:00 - LUNCH
2:00 - Princes Street Gardens
2:30 - Scott Monument
2:45 - Scottish Whiskey Experience
4:00 - Tea/Coffee Break
5:00 - Old Town area
6:00 - Dinner/pub
10:00 - Head back to London via Megabus (we waited too long to get cheap plane tickets!*) OR Find one way tickets from Edinburgh to London
Day 8 // London, England
7:40 - Arrive back in London
9:30 - Head to your location (hostel, home, hotel, etc) freshen up & take nap if needed
10:30 - Grab brunch
11:30 - Head back into London
12:00 - Big Ben/London Eye
1:00 - Lunch @ Wahaca Taco (trust me, it's amazing)
2:00 - Head down Southbank towards Tower Bridge (See St. Paul's Cathedral, Millennium Bridge & Tate Modern on the way)
3:30 - Leadenhall Market, Shoreditch *maybe*
4:30 - Trafalgar Square & Covent Garden
5:00 - Dinner
6:00 - Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, etc
7:00 - Pub in China Town, Food? O'Neill's is great ! *
8:00 - Back to your home base!
Day 9 // London, England
9:00 - Buckingham Palace
10:00 - Hyde Park
10:30 - Kensington Palace
11:00 - Notting Hill
11:30 - Portobello Market
12:00 - Lunch @ Portobello
1:00 - Wander Around
2:00 - Camden Town
3:30 - Coffee/Tea Break
4:00 - Head back to Central
5:00 - Sky Garden!!
7:00 - Find Dinner & back home!
10:00 - SLEEP!!
Day 10 // F R E E D A Y
*Do what you wish today! Explore your surrounding areas, get lost & ditch the itinerary! Live adventurously.
Below is the itinerary in PDF form if you are like me and prefer physical copies of things! I'm happy to share it with you. Like I said previously, however, the bus/rail/transportation information is not included in the PDF and if you'd like to email me specifically about how I suggest getting around, please feel free!
I hope that this has been helpful for those who are planning to do a 10 day journey through these beautiful countries. I'm working on a packing list for this trip that will be up later this week!