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Beginning stages of planning a trip to Ireland...

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My husband and I are booking a trip to Ireland this week.

We've just begun to research the area and we need a lot of help with things to do!

We'll be staying 6 nights (5 full days) at the Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt.

I guess the first thing I need to figure out is how long it's going to take the drive to the different areas of Ireland. We'll have a rental car. I've read the driving in Ireland takes a lot longer than people usually estimate. True?

So my first questions are.....

1. Can somebody give me some idea how long drives will be Northern Ireland, the Western coast, and Southern coast from Powerscourt?

2. We really want to visit some castles. What are the most popular castles to visit? (and where are they?)

3. I'm confused what exactly "Powerscourt" is. It's an estate that the Ritz is located on? What is the closets town/city?

Thanks for getting us started! :)

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