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Taking the Train from London to Dublin?

November 13, 2008

The Irish Ferry,
by Maddie Digital

corey says…
Taking the Train from London to Dublin?
Okay, although there is no tunnel, bridge or slingshot that connects Ireland with England, Scotland or Wales — or mainland Europe for that matter — this question comes up quite often. It’s common for travelers doing a tour of Europe or just the British Isles to have their sights set on rail transport…and they hit a roadblock when they include Ireland in their plans.

The fact is, the only ways to make the crossing between the two islands is to take a ferry, take a plane or swim. I was reminded of this when (1) I received another inquiry on the topic and (2) I spotted and article at The Man in Seat Sixty-One – Take a look at the article, and you’ll learn the secret of a combined rail and ferry ticket. You CAN go from any train station in the UK to any train station in Ireland on one ticket…it’s just easy to underestimate the series of transfers, which include hitching a ride on the ferry.

I should also take this moment to warn itinerary planners of the risk of over-extending their geographic reach. As tempting as it might be to include several countries in your touring, remember; less is more. Sure, you could easily do one of Ireland’s cities in a few days, but beyond that it’s just not a good idea to do a micro-glimpse of Ireland — just read Michele’s Green Blur post (

My advice? Spend at least a week on the Emerald Isle, or save Ireland for another trip. And if you’re looking to travel between the Republic of Ireland and the UK (sometimes even Northern Ireland), be sure to also check the budget airlines…you might manage to save time and money.

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