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Driving in the Irish Republic

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I will spend 7 days in Ireland the end of August. I have booked 3 of these days in Dublin, and 4 in County Wicklow. I chose County Wicklow because it is my ancestoral area and we have found the most amazing hotel that is a highlight of our entire trip.

We are planning on hiring a car the 3rd day in Dublin to drive down to Wicklow. From Wicklow, we hope to do day trips around the south and West, until our last day when we will drive back to Dublin, return the car at the airport, and fly out.

I need to query if our plan to drive about during our 4 days in Wicklow is reasonable, and how far we can reasonably anticipate traveling each day before returning to home base. I've just discovered my plans to drive around England (the next leg of our trip) are questionable and to a large extent impractical. Am I making the same mistake in Ireland by underestimating the time needed to get around by car? Our aim is to see castles and historical sites within reach.

any advice?

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