Family Travels
Europe Trip 2006
Things to Do -- Places to See
Lessons Learned
We were freezing...and had a whole suitcase of shorts, capris and tank tops
never worn...we bought sweaters and wore them everyday.

***Book Military Tattoo tickets months in advance....thanks to our B&B
host for helping us out
***Bring warm clothes, socks, shoes
***Flying from Edinburgh to Dublin is cheaper than cars, trains or ferry
****Bring warm clothes, socks and shoes....a coat too!
                    How We Traveled
**We arrived in London and used public transportation

**We arranged a bus tour from London, to Windsor and
Stonehenge...and left the tour in Bath... We arranged with
the tour operator to bring our luggage with
basically easy transportation out of the city

**From Bath we rented a do the Cotswolds,
Ironbridge Gorge, Wales, Caernarfon, Hadrian's Wall

**Edinburgh--We used taxis even though we had a car

** Flew from Edinburgh to Dublin--Used the Red Hop
On/Hop Off Bus for sightseeing.  

**Rented another car in Dublin to drive across to Dingle

**Leave from Shannon Airport
For our 4th trip to Europe, we decided to
explore the United Kingdom and Ireland.

We liked London, but didn't love it.
We really enjoyed Bath .

Wales was by far our favorite country.
Don't miss staying at our recommended
B&B if you are staying in Conwy.

Edinburgh Festival and the Military Tattoo
was a lifetime experience you simply
cannot rate high enough

Ireland was a disappointment all the way
                      Try New Foods
***Bangers and Mash
***Shepherd's Pie, Steak and Ale Pie, Steak and Barley Pie
***Try the Ciders (instead of beer)
*****Try the Fish and Chips everywhere...
some of the best is at greasy hole-in-the-walls places
***Blood Sausages for breakfast - yuck
***Scottish Hot Tea for breakfast
               New Adventures to Try
*****Don't miss the Military Tattoo
***Try a Fringe play or musical
***Try a "Broadway" musical in the accents.
***Get tickets before you leave the US for the Ceremony of the
Keys at London Tower
England, Wales
Scotland, Ireland
Arrive London--very late to a nightmare of a hotel
Day 1 - Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey   Walk down Whitehall..stop at Churchill War
Cabinet Museum, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery
Evening--Tower of London Ceremony of the Keys
Day 2  - Imperial War Museum, British Museum, British Library  
Evening--London by Night Bus Tour
Day 3 - Dad and kids do the London Eye  Mom and Erica go at Harrods
Victoria and Albert Museum,  St. Paul's Cathedral    Evening--
Mama Mia Musical
Leave London by bus tour...visiting Windsor and Stonehenge...leaving tour in Bath
Tour Roman Baths   Evening - Excellent Dinner and Bizarre Bath Tour
Day 2...Explore Bath visiting the Royal Crescent, Costume Museum, Bath at Works Museum,
cathedral and market  Rented a car and drove out to visit Cheddar Gorge and Scrumpy Farms
Day 3....Leave Bath, Visit Avebury Stone Circles early in morning....Head to the Cotswolds
Stay in Chipping Campden Visit Moreton-in-the-Marsh,Bourton-on-the-Water
Cotswolds--Stow-on-the-Wold, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Snowshills
Leave Cotswolds...Drive toward Wales...stopping at Ironbridge Gorge for the morning
Explore Wales - Trefriw Woolen Mills, Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia National Park
Blaenau Ffestiniog for tours at Llechwedd Slate Mines Beddgelert for ice cream.
Caenarfon...the castle of the Prince of Wales  Beumaris on the Isle of Anglesey.
Leave Wales--driving for Scotland--Visit Hadrian's Wall and Vindolanda
Edinburgh--Edinburgh Castle takes many hours, Camera Obscura,  Shop the Royal Mile, Have
beer break at the Fringe  Attend a Festival play at night
Edinburgh--Shopped the Royal Mile again....Fringe Festival fun!  Scotland's National Museum
Free concert at St. Giles Cathedral, Evening--MILITARY TATTOO!
Fly from Edinburgh to Dublin  Visit Trinity College and Library of Kells
Dublin--Start Early with Red Hop on/Hop Off Bus...for city tour  Visit Guinness, Kilmainham
Gaol, Jameson Whiskey Distillery  and dinner and stayed for Irish Dancing
Rented car and headed for Dingle...Picnic in front of Kilkenny Castle and visited Rock of Cashel
Stayed in Dingle--raining so headed to Kinsale to find sun--visited Tralee Festival of the Rose
Followed Rick Steves' Dingle Pennisular Tour
Left to Visit Cliffs of Moher and stayed in Shannon
England - London, Windsor, Stonehenge
Bath & the Cotswolds
Wales--Conwy and surrounding areas
Scotland - Edinburgh & Military Tattoo
Ireland - Dublin and Dingle Peninsular
They are SSSOOOOO wrong about
the bland food in the UK

We had some of the best we have
ever had

Westminter Arms, London
Jugged Hare, London
Chimes English Restaurant, London
Loch Frye, Bath
Town House Restaurant, Conwy
Galleons Fish and Chips, Conwy
New Bell Restaurant, Edinburgh
Fishy Fish, Kinsale, Ireland
Bryn B&B with castle walls in the
backyard--Conwy. Wales
*****Military Tattoo
*****Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe
*****Wales--everything was wonderful
*****New Bell Restaurant in Edinburgh
***Ceremony of the Keys
***Iron Gorge
***Wale's Slate Mines
*Kinsale, Ireland

Don't Do's
Don't bother staying in Dingle--Very disappointing
Stay in Tralee which is wonderful
Don't bother with Dingle Peninsular tour unless it is
beautiful weather....We did not do the Ring of Kerry.
I wish we had.

Don't bother with the crowds of Buckingham Palace.
You can see the Changing of the Guards at Windsor or at
London Towers Ceremony of the Keys and get up close
and personal

Overall, Dublin is despressing....filled with more tourists
and Polish immigrants than Irish.  You will hear more
foreign languages than the lilting sound of Irish language.
Any music or dancing is just staged for the tourists.  

Don't try to drive in Wales unless you are VERY confident
driving on the other side of the road, in EXTREMELY nerve
wracking... narrow lanes, with ROCK walls, and STEEP cliffs,
dodging SHEEP.   Get Accident coverage on the rentals.