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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Ireland-Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare

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We need help either paring down our wish list (prioritising) OR figuring out how to do things on our own, without tours (just to save time, not money). August trip. We don't have any accommodations booked yet but I am not at all concerned about that. I will just book what ever is available, where ever we happen to be for that night. Don't mind switching hotels every night. We are doing castles, history and cities on other parts of our trip.

For this portion of our trip we start our in either Youghal or Cobh. Right now the plan is to start in Youghal and the only reason for that is we want to give the kids (8 and 11) some time on the beaches. We can skip Youghal and start in Cobh if there are good sandy beaches somewhere else along our route (western side of Ring of Kerry, Kilrush vicinity or Galway?). We have our own car and have 3 days to fit in the following: I realise that we have a full day's worth of just driving from place to place (including the Ring). We're not 9-to-5ers, we will keep on touring till 8 or 9pm if the itinerary allows it.

1. beach time for the children (sandy beach please); an hour or two
2. Cobh - Titantic Experience, just enjoying the village and, maybe a short harbour boat ride (4-5 hours in Cobh?)
3. the Gap of Dunloe - just for the scenery, we want to do the jaunting cart and the boat but don't really care about touring castles, etc. I know we can hire the jaunting cart on our own, but what about the boat? Years ago there was a kiosk at the place where the tour-operated boats start so people could hire them separately. Is that still there? What are the hours of operation? What is the total time we would spend if we drive to Kate Kearney's, do jaunting cart, then boat, then taxi(?) back to our car?
4. driving the Ring of Kerry - what are the absolute must sees along the way and how long do we allow for each stop that you mention? Can we do half one day and the other half the next?
5. on to Kilrush to do a dolphin watching expedition
6. Galway - would like to end up in Galway in the evening because of pubs/restaurants; alternatively, if available, we might spend the night at Dromoland or Ballyseede Castle and skip Galway
7. some sort of fishing for the kids (their first time, not an all day or half day boat trip - it doesn't have to involve a boat at all). The question is where?

I've read lots of posts and still find it confusing. Some of the info I have looked at is old so I don't feel like I can rely on it. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thanks so much.

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