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4 Days - Dublin to Cork

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I know I am opening myself up to some type of abuse only visiting Ireland for 4 days, but have added this leg to a European holiday, so apologies up front. Having read a number of comments on trips jam packed with unreasonable goals, I appeal for some constructive ideas (READ: Terrified of some of the no-nonsense comments posted to some American visitors trying to drive right around Ireland in a day), as to an itinerary travelling with a 3 and 6 year old who are very good car travels (Read: Mom and Dad are exhausted by "I Spy" and other games by the end of the day.

We love coastal towns, residing in one ourselves, and need to see Kinsale as my grandparents came from Cork and spent most holidays in a house in Kinsale.

We arrive in Dublin on a Wednesday morning and leave out of Cork on the following Sunday morning.


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    Are you arriving in Dublin from an overnight from US or from another part of Europe?

    If you are arriving from US and jetlagged on that Wed., I'd take the train to Cork andpick up the rental car. Head to Kinsale for your time. While Kinsale is not my favorite place in Ireland (nothing wrong with it, just places I like better), I understand your reasons for going there and think there is plenty to do in the area. Oops,just noticed your name, so perhaps South Africa?

    If you are arriving from somewhere else in Europe, maybe pick up your car at the airport and drive to Kinsale.

    Drive over to Cobh, which was the last stop of the Titanic on its ill fated voyage. This being the centennial year, there will be special exhibits I am sure. The Lusitania sank near here and many of its victims were buried in Cobh. Just a short drive away is Fota Wildlife Park. It is a branch of the Zoological Society. Lots of animals roaming large enclosures. Some of the enclosures are merely surrounded by deep ditches so that you feel as if you are right with the animals. Many of the smaller animals are free and will come quite close and even allow touching. Cafe and gift shop on the grounds. I have always enjoyed my visits there.

    Clonakilty is quite close to Kinsale in the other direction. Clonakilty is a pleasnt town and nearby there is a minivillage and miniature railroad laid out that the children might enjoy as well as the grownups. There is also a recreation of an old ring fort. I remember seeing a baby deer curled up in the grass in our walk around. Inchdoney Beach is reached by a causeway from Clonakilty.

    On the way to Clonakilty you might make a short stop at the Drombeg stone circle. It dates back to about 150 BC.

    Of course, there is always Blarney, which can be a driver's nightmare. The grounds are lovely and would give the children a chance to work off some energy. If shopping is of interest, there is quite a complex of shops with Irish goods there.

    Perhaps go over to Baltimore and take a ferry out to the islands. See Fastnet Light from one of the boats.

    Cork itself is worth a visit. You can climb the tower of the Shandon Church and get a good view of the city. Also for a small price you can ring the bells. There are music books laid out with some familiar tunes you can play. (Bet the neighbors just love this!) Blackrock castle is a mile or so downriver from Cork.

    I think there is bus service from Kinsale to Cork which would save you driving and parking in the city.

    Anyway, there are lots of other options from Kinsale and these are just a few off the top of my head. There are others who will chime in with other ideas. Personally I like the idea of being in one spot for 4 nights and the feeling of "coming home" after a day's outing, especially with all the accoutrements of traveling with children and all the packing and unpacking each time you change lodgings. Please don't take this last comment as snarky, just my opinion and sorry if it offends.

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