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BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?

Joe Offer 22 Jun 19 - 10:48 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Jun 19 - 03:12 AM
Allan Conn 23 Jun 19 - 04:14 AM
Allan Conn 23 Jun 19 - 04:21 AM
Jack Campin 23 Jun 19 - 06:42 AM
Iains 23 Jun 19 - 02:20 PM
Jack Campin 23 Jun 19 - 05:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jun 19 - 08:10 AM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jun 19 - 08:58 AM
Raggytash 24 Jun 19 - 09:09 AM
SPB-Cooperator 24 Jun 19 - 09:46 AM
Mrrzy 24 Jun 19 - 03:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Jun 19 - 05:59 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jun 19 - 07:30 PM
Tattie Bogle 25 Jun 19 - 10:48 AM
michaelr 25 Jun 19 - 07:19 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 19 - 01:29 AM
Gallus Moll 29 Jun 19 - 03:25 PM
Gallus Moll 29 Jun 19 - 03:29 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 19 - 03:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Jun 19 - 04:53 PM
FreddyHeadey 01 Jul 19 - 07:29 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jul 19 - 07:07 PM
Jack Campin 23 Aug 19 - 06:09 AM
Ross Campbell 23 Aug 19 - 07:52 PM
Tattie Bogle 24 Aug 19 - 11:05 AM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 19 - 02:05 PM
Jack Campin 24 Aug 19 - 03:20 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 19 - 08:55 PM
The Sandman 27 Aug 19 - 03:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Sep 19 - 05:42 AM

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Subject: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jun 19 - 10:48 PM

I got my plane tickets to Edinburgh this afternoon for Jim & Susie Malcolm's first tour of the Borders of Scotland. I'm arriving in Edinburgh on the morning of Tuesday September 10, and the tour starts the afternoon of Saturday, September 14 - so I have a few days to kill. I had planned to take a train to Aberdeen and then to Glasgow during that time, but then I thought I ought to go to Northern Ireland, which I haven't seen sufficiently.
I'm wondering if that's a good use of my time, and how I can make transportation connections and such - and how to get back to Edinburgh by early afternoon Saturday for the tour.
Any suggestions, ideas? Anybody want to go exploring Northern Ireland with me and share expenses? I'm thinking of renting an Air BnB in Belfast, and taking the train or bus or on foot from there to wherever.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 03:12 AM

There seems to be a regular bus service from Edinburgh to Stranraer. I don't know if it stops at the Cairnryan ferry terminal but if not there is a local bus from one to t'other. Cairnryan to Belfast ferry is regular. It would take you most of the day though. Maybe hire a car? Good luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 04:14 AM

Flight from Edinburgh to Belfast would be much quicker and relatively cheap. Then perhaps hire a car in Northern Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 04:21 AM

Where are they playing in the Borders? Looked at Jim's website and no details as yet concerning Sept in the Borders. August elsewhere in Scotland and then Oct in the States. I am in Kelso and not seen anything advertised as yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 06:42 AM

It's like an Urquhart's tour with added songs, no public concerts. You could do the same thing pretty well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Iains
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 02:20 PM

Driving to Cairnryan from Edinburgh just over 3 hours. Another couple of hours on ferry. Better off flying and hire car on arrival.

Have a look at expedia.com website

https://www.expedia.ie/?semcid=IE.B.GOOGLE.BT-c-EN.GENERIC&semdtl=a1931732681.b143274283341.r1.g1kwd-13402846.i1.d1238257756366.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 05:35 PM

Jim will know about Kelso FC (Thursday and Friday nights at the Cross Keys; Thursday is mainly tunes, Friday is an open mike without a mike followed by a raucous amplified melee at the Cobbles). He probably won't know about the monthly songs/tunes session in Stow, 3pm-6pm in the Cloudhouse Cafe on the first Sunday of the month - will you be around that long? It's a small room and no space for a lot of extra people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 08:10 AM

Just back from N Ireland ourselves, having taken own car from Edinburgh and Cairnryan -Belfast ferry: not cheap or quick, just convenient having our own car! Daughter and family say flying over and hiring a car is cheaper: they go quite often. They now favour Easyjet to Belfast International, which, although further out of the city, is more reliable than Flybe to Belfast City: too many times they were delayed with the latter.
The Citylink buses say Edinburgh to Belfast: ferries all go from Cairnryan now, so don't think Stranraer comes into it, but will check!
Do make time for a day at the Titanic exhibition: it took us 4 hours to go round, then there's also the SS Nomadic included in same ticket!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 08:58 AM

Citylink buses from Edinburgh do go to Cairnryan Stena Line Terminal (Stena Line being the ferry) Cairnryan is within the Stranraer postal district, which is maybe why it is mentioned. Bus and ferry to Belfast takes nearly 7 hours, so you'd pretty well lose a day each way as DtG said. Flights are about 45 minutes!
Beyond Belfast, the Antrim coast and glens are worth exploring: Carrickfergus Castle (currently some restoration work going on) Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Giant's Causeway. We spent a day on Rathlin Island: nature and bird reserves, ferries out of Ballycastle. And we had a day in Derry/Londonderry: fascinating place, if very turbulent history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Raggytash
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 09:09 AM

I know it's a bit late now Joe as you'll probably lose money but why not fly into Belfast and then go from there to Edinburgh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 09:46 AM

A cheap flight would probably be cheaper and less hassle than travelling 'over land and sea'. I suppose the latter would provide a setting for singing along to Runrig.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 03:17 PM

Flight may be 45mn but are there not 2-3 hours at each airport? So driving would be an hour or two longer but then you have your car. Just thinking from travel experiences...


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 05:59 PM

No, domestic flight check-ins are not as long as that, although increased security has made it sensible to get there 2 hours before flight take-off. Baggage reclaim definitely shorter: our family are usually ready for pick-up from Edinburgh airport, baggage and all, half an hour after landing.
Might take longer for non-EU citizens!

Taking our own car over: standard small saloon car, 2 senior citizens was £330 return. (You can get it a bit cheaper if you care to go at unsocial hours!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 07:30 PM

Hi, Raggytash - I thought of flying to Belfast and then on to Edinburgh, but I couldn't get good connections from rural California to Belfast. It's a 2-plane flight from here to Edinburgh, 4 to Belfast. So, I think I'm best to take an EasyJet once I arrive in Edinburgh...but even a bus and ferry isn't a bad idea.
When I lived in Berlin 1972-73, I vowed never to drive in Europe. Relying on public transportation has been a good discipline for me, and has many benefits.
But on the other hand, I'm driving from California to Detroit in a week and intending to make a Blue Highways adventure of it. Driving is the only way to travel in the U.S., except in certain cities.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 25 Jun 19 - 10:48 AM

One tip we got at our B & B in Belfast was to leave the car there and take the bus into the city. £4.20 each for a day ticket for as many rides as you like!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Jun 19 - 07:19 PM

Joe, just out of curiosity: why would you not want to drive in Europe? The Autobahn and its equivalents in other countries make it so easy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 19 - 01:29 AM

Hi, michaelr,

Why won't I drive in Europe?

I rode with other American GIs in passenger cars in Berlin, and several Mudcatters drove me around in passenger cars in Ireland and Scotland and England. Watching Tattie Bogle nonchalantly navigate a triple traffic circle was fascinating, and it was a memorable experience to ride with Bill Sables behind the wheel. It was kinda scary, but I suppose I might learn to drive in Europe in fairly short order. But driving requires navigation and paying extra attention to the different driving practices in Europe - and I figured all that would distract my attention from what I want to see and experience. And since I wasn't driving, I had conversations with fascinating people like Tattie Bogle and Bill Sables and Ian Chandler and Martin Ryan.

But the main thing, is that I believe in public transportation, and Europe has such excellent public transportation in most places. Taking public transport has forced me to interact with local people, and I'm a bit of a polyglot and have had so many fascinating experiences in so many different languages, that I would have missed if I had been with Americans or with myself in an automobile. Not having a car has its limitations, but I haven't found that much of a restriction. It's a challenge for me to take public transport and enjoy it, and I have succeeded and enjoyed it immensely. The best transport was in Switzerland, but most European cities have marvelous public transportation that I've enjoyed. To me, riding a streetcar in Rome was thrilling; and I couldn't believe all the different forms of transportation I took in Vienna and Zermatt.

Oh, and not having a car makes me walk, and I love walking cities. I've walked the central districts of most of the major cities of the US and Europe.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 29 Jun 19 - 03:25 PM

Hi Joe - I was looking at various possibilities for you, particularly with views and experiences of the country which you don't really get by plane (unless the Loch Lomond Seaplane that deliberately takes you low over mountains, lochs, beaches- - -)although I guess you have to weigh up the balance of speed/efficiency and also fatigue?!
Some helpful sites are:   travelinescotland which can offer suggestions for your journey options by train/bus/coach/ferry and I think plane as well as walking!
-it is always then best to double check with the rail or bus companies what their actual timetable is also the cost ( eg sometimes local buses are useful for sections of the journey - but they might have anomalies like 'schooldays' or 'school holidays' or certain days only)!
Check the Scotrail website for railcard options - eg the Club 50 costs £15.00 and gives good discounts if you buy online in advance? I am assuming it is open to anyone over 50 not just Scots?!
And - there is a scotrail.co.uk/explore page that enables you to buy special rover tickets that allow you to use(mainly off peak?)for 4 days trains/buses/ferries - including to Northern Ireland - again you would need to investigate which option would be best for you, get you back to Edinburgh in time for Jim's tour.
Maybe some of us could double check your options once you have thought about them, before you finally commit?
As I live in Argyll I checked the Kintyre Express ferry service from Campbeltown to / from Ballycastle - it is a rib with airline seats, takes luggage, covered - not cheap, £50 one way I think - but a brilliant experience! And you might be able to fit in a night in Campbeltown, visit Cadenhead's distillery shop?
Trouble is. they change from their daily service to their end of season weekends-only one the week you arrive! so you'd have to do the Campbeltown to Ballycastle then Belfast (or the other way around) on the Friday/Saturday - and I think only one version gets you to Edinburgh in time?
I need to look at other Campbeltown to Edinburgh options - bus to Glasgow then bus or train Ediburgh or
Bus to Tarbert/ferry to Portavadie / bus to Dunoon (or I pick you up and transport you) then ferry to Gourock / train or bus to Glasgow then Edinburgh or
Rib to Campbeltown Friday late afternoon / Ferry early Saturday am to Ardrossan then train or bus to Glasgow then Edinburgh

Think it is possible to do it the other way around ie bus (plane) to Campbeltown then rib to Ballycastle /bus or train to Belfast back to Scotland via Stena ferry from Belfast (or Larne?) train or bus to Glasgow then Edinburgh
or - fly one of the ways to or from Belfast?
There are some flights from Aberdeen to Belfast - more options from Glasgow/Edinburgh.
The N Ireland travel website is Translink - - - works out journeys tho I advise double checking with the companies?

A few years ago one of my island bagging friends and I did I think at that time it was a 5 day Highland Rover ticket, bus/train/ferry ticket - brilliant! Loads of retired backpackers - amazing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 29 Jun 19 - 03:29 PM

think you need to look at a map of West Coast to see what /where I am talking about! When you live here you have the limited buses / last ferry times carved in your brain!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 19 - 03:39 PM

Thanks a lot, Gallus Moll. I'll take some time to think it all out. Right now, I'm preparing for a 6-week driving trip to Detroit. I'll figure Belfast out after that. I wouldn't mind staying in Scotland for my four days if Belfast doesn't work out, but right now I'm planning on taking an EasyJet both ways since my time in Northern Ireland is limited.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Jun 19 - 04:53 PM

Hi Joe: thanks for your confidence in my driving skills! Not sure what a "triple traffic circle" is, but glsd I got you through it safely!
I know you love Scotland, but having 2 family members who come from NI, I'd say, give it a shot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 01 Jul 19 - 07:29 AM

Belfast has a few pins on the Folk Club Map possibly worth checking if you're there in the evenings.
open in a browser, not maps
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1plE0C69JOiO8FotbmDlDvE2qxbM&ll=54.595%2C-5.933&z=13


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jul 19 - 07:07 PM

You could also look on the "sessions" tab on thesession.org to see when and where there are sessions: just put the town/city names in the Search box.

And if you're keen on using public transport the Ulsterbus Antrim Coaster service may be useful:Antrim Coaster


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 06:09 AM

Joe, do you have a definite itinerary now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 23 Aug 19 - 07:52 PM

Hi, Joe
It looks like I shall still be in Northern Ireland (near Enniskillen) at the time of your trip. You would be very welcome to visit or meet up somewhere if it fits in with your plans.
Ross


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 11:05 AM

Hope you make it to N Ireland, Joe, and let us know how you get on.

Just in case you don't, shameless ad for Linlithgow Folk Festival which runs from Weds Sept 11th to Sunday 15th, Linlithgow being on the faster train line netween Edinburgh and Glasgow. Evening events on the Weds/Tgursday, then pretty full programme for the weekend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 02:05 PM

I think I have it figured out. I arrive in Edinburgh Tuesday morning, 10 Sept, and then take a Flybe plane to Belfast. I have an Airbnb near the city center of Belfast for Tuesday-Friday, and then fly back to Edinburgh Friday evening to meet our Jim Malcolm tour on Saturday. Jim and Susie run the most active tours I've ever seen, so there will be very little free time on the tour - but lots of singing, so what the heck?
All my free time before the trip is in Belfast. If anybody wants to walk the streets of Belfast with me Wed-Fri, I'd love to have company.
Thanks for all the ideas.
I would have preferred Gallus Moll's bus-rail-ferry alternative, but I couldn't make it work in the time I have allotted.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 03:20 PM

I guess you know how to contact all of us. If you're in Edinburgh on the 21st, the Middle Eastern band I'm part of is doing a short free lunchtime gig at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 19 - 08:55 PM

Yeah, I wish I had time in Edinburgh like I had last time, Jack, but I don't know that it's going to happen. I get in late Friday, and the tour gathers mid-day on Saturday.
I really like the Jim Malcolm tours, but he and Susie work us hard. I think I'm going to have to change my schedule in the future. The strain of tours is getting tough.
I'm still hoping to fit in my dream vacation in Berlin - fly there, and stay there for a month with maybe some day trips. I spent all my spare time walking Berlin when I was stationed there for 20 months in 1972-73, and I loved it.
I had thought of spending my pre-trip time in Aberdeen and Glasgow this time around, but I had success working out my plan to go to Belfast.
I think the trick to travel at the age of 71 is this: go slow. It worked quite well on my trip across the US the last 6 weeks.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 03:41 AM

yes joe, take it slow but keep on coming
as the actress said to the bishop


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Aug 19 - 12:37 PM

Keep us posted on your tour itinetry, Joe. My September is getting busier by the minute but Dumfries and Galloway is only 3 hours away so if I get chance I may yet buy you a pint :-) I am sure there are others nearby that would love to meet up too.

Whatever happens, have a lovely time anyway. Not that I need to tell you that!

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Edinburgh to Belfast - possible in 4 days?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Sep 19 - 05:42 AM

Hope you are having a great time, Joe. Unfortunately the friend I can stay with when I go to SW Scotland is currently on the Norfolk Broads so no chance of me getting up there this time :-(

Ah well, you will always be welcome at Chez Gnome should you chose to tour the Yorkshire Dales :-)


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