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Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

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Southeast
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Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

My daughter wants to travel from Dublin to Edinburgh mid March. She wants to take the train and ferry as she wants to be able to see the country side and she doesn't love to fly.

How is this trip between Dublin and Edinburgh? Are the ferries calm or could it be choppy? I am assuming these are open air ferries; will it be cold? She will be traveling in Dublin with other girls, but I think they all might fly to Edinburgh. I would assume a single girl can travel safely on the train and the ferry; am I correct?

Edinburgh
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1. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

First of all it is perfectly safe for a single female traveller to travel alone on the trains and ferries.

It is a long way to travel by train and ferry and would take maybe 12 hours altogether compared to 45minutes in the air. It is probably also considerably cheaper to fly as Ryanair and Aer Lingus both fly direct in to Edinburgh and depending on how long in advance you book you can get here for about £30 one way.

But assuming she is determined to go over land and sea, and the scenery is pretty along the way then the route would be as follows:

Dublin- Belfast train - takes about 2 hours. Then options for ferry are to either A) carry on to Larne (about 1/2 hour north from Belfast) and get the ferry to Stranraer or Cairnryan (takes about 1.5 hours). B) Get the ferry from Belfast harbour to STranraer. c) Get the longer crossing but shorter journey at the other end by going to Troon.

The weather can be windy and choppy in March but not usually enough that they get cancelled. http://www.poirishsea.com/

stenaline.co.uk/stena_line/stena_line_uk/gb/…

At the various ports and railway stations there are usually bus transfers for foot passengers to get to the trains, but if the ferry is late, the train doesn't wait. From the landing point in Scotland, she needs to take a train to Glasgow, then change station and get a train to Edinburgh.

There may be a "right through" joined up option to buy one ticket by going through a travel agent or maybe on the ferry websites, I'm not sure.

Perth, United...
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2. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

Great answer by the poster above - seems a long road for a short cut to me....

To answer one point not covered by the above comprehensive answer is that these ferries are more like cruise ships these days and will have inside lounges, cafes and restaurants.

Southeast
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3. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

Now I am wondering if my daughter checked this out carefully. I thought she told me it would only take about 4-5 hours to travel by train and ferry with down time in between. I will need to check back with her and see if she planned this out correctly. Maybe she wasn't going to Edinburgh, but I thought she was.

Thank you for the above information; I will pass it on to her.

Cumbernauld
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4. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

She could also get the ferry from Dublin or Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead (Wales) that takes just under 2hrs on a fast ferry. Going by train from Holyhead to Edinburgh would take about six hours and require at least one change of train.

Dunfermline, United...
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5. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

Shame she won't fly. 40 minutes on Ryanair or Aer Lingus for about £20. Doubt the ferry/train combination will be anywhere near as cheap.

Southeast
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6. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

She will fly, just doesn't love it. For a person that hates to fly, especially a small plane, she is doing a good bit of flying this semester while abroad! One more flight will not be a big deal, especially when she sees the flight is only 11 EUR :-)

Russell, Kansas
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7. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

The planes for these short flights like Dublin to Edinburgh aren't exactly small. They are regular jet planes carrying 100 people or more, just not as huge as the transocean long haul jets. Nothing like the ditzy turbo props they use for puddle jumping here in the US.

Perth, United...
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8. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

By the time she settles down in her seat - buys a disgusting cup of overpriced coffee the plane will be starting it's descent into Edinburgh and if the approach is from the east over Cramond she will get the most fantastic views of the city below her unless the cloud cover is thick of course.

Kansasbeck - I love your decription of flying in the US - puddle jumping... LOL

Southeast
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9. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

I just checked both the Stenaline and National Rail site and both show a travel time of 10 1/2 hours. I don't know what she saw before, but this doesn't look like a leisure trip to me!

stenaline.ie/stena_line/…timetable

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/en/pj/jd2

Not including getting from her hotel in Dublin to the train station or getting from the train station in Edinburgh to her hotel, she will have 3 trains, 1 ferry, 1 bus, and 2 walks, cabs, or buses between stations. All the while she will be lugging 3 weeks of luggage and souvenirs. I don't like to call my daughter crazy, but this trip is crazy!

Southeast
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10. Re: Train/Ferry combo to Scotland from Dublin

That should have said timetable at the end of the Stenaline link.