12 days in Ireland, Scotland & England Itinerary

12 days in Ireland, Scotland & England Itinerary

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Dublin, Ireland
— 2 nights
Kilkenny, Ireland
— 1 night
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Alnwick, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
London, United Kingdom
— 3 nights


Dublin, Ireland

— 2 nights

Fair City

A history spanning over a thousand years, vibrant nightlife, and a mix of Georgian and modern architecture make Dublin a popular European tourist destination.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. Museum-lovers will appreciate Guinness Storehouse and National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. There's still lots to do: browse the exhibits of Kilmainham Gaol Museum, take in the exciting artwork at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, get your bearings at National Library of Ireland, and contemplate the long history of Trinity College Dublin.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Dublin online tour itinerary planner.

Los Angeles, USA to Dublin is an approximately 14-hour flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Los Angeles to Dublin due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Los Angeles in May: high temperatures in Dublin hover around 59°F and lows are around 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kilkenny.

Things to do in Dublin

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Kilkenny, Ireland

— 1 night

Marble City

The country's smallest city in terms of population, Kilkenny boasts a rich cultural heritage and diverse tourist attractions that include well-preserved medieval architecture, exciting nightlife, a vibrant culinary scene, and abundant shopping opportunities.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Thu): explore the historical opulence of Kilkenny Castle, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Black Abbey, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower, then brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Ballykeefe Distillery, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Jerpoint Abbey.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Kilkenny day trip app.

Getting from Dublin to Kilkenny by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Dublin in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Kilkenny, with lows around 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Edinburgh.

Things to do in Kilkenny

Historic Sites · Parks · Breweries & Distilleries

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

— 2 nights

Athens of the North

World Heritage-listed Edinburgh combines ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Fri): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Rosslyn Chapel, then make a trip to Greyfriars Kirk, then step into the grandiose world of Edinburgh Castle, and finally sample the fine beverages at The Scotch Whisky Experience. On the next day, get a new perspective on nature at National Museum of Scotland, then pause for some serene contemplation at St Giles' Cathedral, then don't miss a visit to The Real Mary King's Close, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Edinburgh route planner.

You can fly from Kilkenny to Edinburgh in 7.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Edinburgh when traveling from Kilkenny in May, with lows around 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to take a train to Alnwick.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Alnwick, United Kingdom

— 2 nights
Alnwick is a relatively large market town in north Northumberland, England, of which it is the county town. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): explore the ancient world of Lindisfarne Priory and then explore the historical opulence of Bamburgh Castle. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Cragside House and Gardens, step into the grandiose world of Alnwick Castle, and then admire the natural beauty at The Alnwick Garden.

For maps and more tourist information, read Alnwick online road trip planner.

Traveling by train from Edinburgh to Alnwick takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. May in Alnwick sees daily highs of 56°F and lows of 44°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to travel to London.

Things to do in Alnwick

Historic Sites · Parks

Side Trips

London, United Kingdom

— 3 nights

The Square Mile

Vibrant and noisy, London is one of the world’s leading cities, an international capital of culture, education, fashion, music, finance, trade, and politics.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at The British Museum and National Gallery. Visit St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey for their historical value. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on nature at Natural History Museum, admire the masterpieces at Victoria and Albert Museum, make a trip to Coca-Cola London Eye, and steep yourself in history at Tower of London.

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Getting from Alnwick to London by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Traveling from Alnwick in May, you will find days in London are a bit warmer (62°F), and nights are about the same (46°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in London

Museums · Historic Sites

Ireland travel guide

Specialty Museums · Nightlife · Castles
Emerald Isle
Gentle green hills, Guinness, leprechauns, and friendly folks characterize this small isle of a country. From the busy big city of Dublin to cozy countryside, the emerald isle harbors a varied natural landscape and is steeped in tradition. Visitors can immerse themselves in the native Irish language by visiting a Gaeltacht, or Irish-speaking region of the country, where traditional culture thrives. The Irish are known for being open and welcoming: from the moment you land to the moment you leave, you'll be greeted with "cead mile failte"--a hundred thousand welcomes.

Scotland travel guide

Castles · Specialty Museums · Distilleries
A land packed with thousands of years of history, Scotland is home to numerous thriving cities and a vibrant population proud of its distinct culture, heritage, and art. The Scottish people are fond of saying "Good things come in small packages," and nowhere is that more true than in their compact homeland. Despite its relatively small size, the country is crammed full of attractions, not the least of which are numerous world-famous golf courses and whiskey distilleries. Though the sun may not always shine here, Scotland is a stunning country renowned for its dramatic scenery of mountains, valleys, hills, green fields, and rugged coastlines, guaranteeing a diverse holiday. While most tourists restrict their itinerary to the historic Highlands, where they search for the mysterious Loch Ness monster, you can also explore the Lowlands’ outstanding natural wonders and flourishing cultural scene.

England travel guide

Specialty Museums · Nightlife · Historic Sites
A trip through England is a trip through world history, and few places in the world offer such a diverse variety of places to visit, activities, and experiences. The sprawling urban areas surrounding the capital city offer countless sightseeing opportunities, such as museums and historical sites, as well as some of the best shopping, nightlife, and culinary options in the world. To truly experience this country steeped in centuries of history, try to make time to explore the sweeping countryside, where you can enjoy the warm hospitality of small villages and explore the ancient remains of once-powerful societies. England boasts an outstanding transportation system, and many visitors find that even a short train ride through the country’s landscape of rolling hills and plains can be a highlight of their entire vacation. However you choose to move about, remember that in this compact country you’re never very far from a bustling town, where modern pubs, shops, and restaurants await to be explored.