How far is Scotland from Ireland?

The beautiful landscape and fresh green nature of Ireland and Scotland leave many visitors excited to explore these places again and again. But how far is Scotland from Ireland? In short, the west coast of Scotland and the north-eastern coast of Northern Ireland are 12 miles apart at their closest points. If you’re planning on traveling from Ireland to Scotland or vice versa, you need to decide how you will be traveling.  

How far is Scotland from Ireland?


The driving time from Ireland to Scotland is 8 hours and 43 minutes, 384 miles. Of course, this does not consider any stops or traffic. It is not realistic to set out to drive for this long without taking a few breaks here and there. You could maybe do it if you swich with another person halfway through the journey but it’s best not to. Here are some tips for driving for long periods of time:

  1. Rest before you go: Fatigued driving is just as hazardous as drunken driving. Therefore, ensure you get 7-8 hours’ sleep the night before to help you stay alert and give you the energy required for driving for that long. 
  2. Frequent breaks are necessary for long-distance driving. Getting out of your vehicle to stretch your legs and get some fresh air will help reduce fatigue. 
  3. Plan the trip ahead: That means equipping your vehicle with a first aid and roadside safety kit, having food and water, and clean clothes. Try not to rely only on GPS and bring a map with you. Also make sure you fully check your car for any issues before you set off.
  4. To keep your brain from zoning out, play music, listen to an audio book, and do what you can to remain alert. 


Getting a train from Ireland to Scotland isn’t really possible due to Ireland being a completely separate country and island. That being said, you could include train travel within your journey after a flight connection.

If you do decide to include train travel, from Dublin to Belfast or London to Edinburgh for example, here are some tips below for long train journeys:

  1. Take a good quality bag and put as much as you can in that bag. You might not have the lightest suitcase on the train, but your things are safe from being lost or stolen. If you don’t want to travel with your luggage, you can always send it via plane to your travel destination via Uni Baggage.
  2. Use the restroom on the train and not in the station. Using the restroom in the train station costs money but it doesn’t cost anything on the train so save your pennies.
  3. Reserve your seats to prevent you from standing for long periods of time. Trains can get very busy, so it is recommended that you reserve if you want to be guaranteed a seat. You may also be able to reserve a seat next to a socket outlet or table which can be very beneficial for long journeys.
  4. Train food can be quite expensive so bring some food and drink in your bag and save some money on your journey.


If you’re looking for the fastest possible way to get to Scotland from Ireland, then flying is your best bet. The total flight duration from Ireland to Scotland is 1 hour, 4 minutes but this assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/h or 434 knots. You should also consider the time it takes to get to the airport, getting through the security, delays and windspeed. Realistically, it may take you a bit longer, but it will still be the fastest way if there are no major delays. The calculation of flight time is based on the straight-line distance from Ireland to Scotland is about 281m or 452km. Below are some tips for traveling on an airplane.

  1. Arrive early to avoid missing your flight
  2. Check-in online to save time at the airport
  3. If you’re going on a short trip, carry your luggage on board to avoid extra cost and luggage loss.
  4. Download videos, music or books onto your phone because you won’t get signal in the air.


The Belfast Cairnryan ferry route connects Northern Ireland with Scotland. There is currently only one ferry company operating this ferry service, Stena Line. The crossing operates up to 35 times each week with sailing durations from around 2 hours 15 minutes. One of the best things about travelling by ferry is being able to walk around and stretch your legs, but it is not recommended if you’re the type of person who gets seasick. Below are some tips for traveling via a ferry.

  1. Make sure you double-check the minimum check-in time required especially for large car (vehicle) ferries.
  2. If you’re taking a dog on board, ensure they are kept on a leash or in a cage.
  3. If you’re planning on taking any other animals, check with the ferry company beforehand to check that you’re allowed to take that animal on board. 
  4. If you’re travelling on a car ferry, prepare a small bag of travel essentials and check with your mechanic that your car is technically fine and safe.
  5. Book in advance

Traveling from Scotland to Ireland or vice versa is going to take a long time, regardless of what method of transportation you decide on. There are advantages and disadvantages for all ways of traveling but it just depends on your needs. Preparation is key when it comes to traveling, ensure you follow all the tips above to ensure you have the easiest and best time traveling.

Leave a Comment