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Irish Holiday Cottage

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We have been researching our trip to Ireland, and we are staggered by the number of places to see. But rather than traveling around and seeing too many things too quickly, we would like to spend some time getting to know one place well.

We would like to spend at least 3 or 4 days in Dublin, getting acclimated and seeing the usual tourist things. Then we’d like to take a train to spend a week in a holiday cottage in a nice town. Ideally the town will be large enough to have a week’s worth of good pubs and interesting sights (museums, castles, historic sights, maybe a canal, lake or beach) in the general area that we can walk, bicycle and take a train to. But the town should be small enough to maintain its character. After a week we hope to have visited the pubs, the grocery, the church, the pharmacy…and maybe say that we have gotten to know that corner of Ireland. We’d like not to have to rent a car, but would like to rent bikes. For both the holiday cottage and the town we are much more interested in character and convenience than in luxury, which we can’t afford anyway.

I am an architect, and am interested in anything historic. My 15 year-old son is interested in exploring his Irish heritage and would love to see a rugby game. My wife is English and would rather be going to England, so she’ll go shopping (no expensive shops nearby, please…).

Every time I open a book about Ireland I see another place that looks wonderful. So I am hoping that someone will say “I know just the place for you!” and make it easy for us.
We will probably travel in August.

Is that helpful? Any recommendations or suggestions or direction to resources will be very appreciated.
Thanks.

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