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Ireland in December

Okay, I know this may sound a little odd given the weather and other obstacles--such as closures, short days, etc--but we have already purchased airfare to Ireland on Christmas and returning after the New Year on Jan 3. My question is, "are we nuts?" For us (my husband, daughter, myself, and mother-in-law) it is just an excuse to travel (which we love) and we like cold weather (maybe not wet weather so much but we can dress for it). For our family friend and her daughter, this is a long overdue and much-needed vacation and a chance to have something to look forward to over the holidays.

But is everything going to be closed? Is the weather mild enough to still enjoy the natural wonders? We fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. Plan to use public transportation in Dublin, stay maybe 2 days and then take train to west coast. Rent a small village cottage or stay in B&B, get a rental car and explore. Is it feasible to stay in one location on west coast and establish it as a home base or should we plan to stay in several locations?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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