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1. Where to go in Western Europe: England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland

Going at this kinda blind, consuming lots of hours and coffee trying to piece together the itinerary for this trip.

Sean and I are going to go over things as well, and will sort out the final route together. But as I draft, it keeps coming back to one thing for me: I know so little about Europe! And there's so much to put together: the how much time here, the why should I go to this place, the how do I make sure that I get to this place by this time of year so I'm not freezing my arse off the whole time?
I'm kicking around doing the UK first, with probably a nip over to Ireland for a few. Ireland itself is part of the Eurail countries. I spent a few months there back in 2000, and never got on a train once. I took the bus everywhere, and people even tended to tell me that if Dublin wasn't involved in the route, it wasn't worth it to train. This is supposed to be a pretty Eurail/train-focused trip, so first instinct is to say that Ireland doesn’t apply. But how can you sanely plan a trip to Europe, and not go to Ireland?
Exactly. Besides, we’ve got some friends and colleagues in Dublin that I should be meeting up with (the fine folks who help us bring the BootsnAll hostels section, in fact).
What’s next? England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland (?), Scotland, back through England—and bugger if I know anything else from there.