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Just starting to plan a 10 day trip to Ireland - help please!

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Our 20 year old son just arrived in Dublin for a 2 month internship and we (me, DH and our 20 year old daughter) have decided to visit him for 10 days 2 weeks from now. This post will be a work in progress as we try to quickly put together an itinerary while doing as much research as possible in the meantime. I'm confident we can pull it off...especially with the help we always receive from everyone here! Thanks in advance!

We will arrive in Dublin early on a Friday morning and leave from Dublin two Mondays later giving us a good 10 days. We planned this over 2 weekends since those are when our son is free to tour with us. We would like to concentrate on the western part of Ireland and will rent a car, probably through Dan Dooley. Wish we had considered at least one way into or out of Shannon but it's too late for that now, and we wanted to spend as much time with DS as possible over the 2 weekends.

Why did we wait so long to start? We wanted to see what excursions would be offered to our son so we would not duplicate anything for him, while still being a relaxing trip for us...well, maybe not so relaxing the first couple of days, but the weekdays between the weekends should be! He had not received any information until arriving this week so that limited us other than some beginning research with not many decisions made.

Here is a very loose set of ideas for the first part of the trip. I would love any suggestions! We love scenery, and are interested in Irish music, folklore, hikes (unless it's raining which I know it does a lot!) and are not up for museums as much this trip.

Friday - arrive - DS gets out of class about 1:00 so we don't have a lot of time to go into Dublin. Maybe we might visit a seaside town near Dublin. Any favorites?

We had wanted to go to Newgrange, but decided that we didn't have enough time for that this day based on some other posts. I know the usual thinking (mine included) that we shouldn't go much of a long distance the day of arrival, but our son would like to see the Burren so we feel that we would need the full day there Saturday. Therefore, we are contemplating driving west once we meet up with him, planning to take turns driving/napping when needed.

We thought we could make it at least to Killarney for a hotel. We'd love to get to Doolin that night, but maybe that's a bit much driving for that day. Opinions? The top Tripadvisor B&Bs are full for that and the next few nights.

Saturday - Burren, Bunratty Castle. Would the "theme park" section be interesting for 2 20 year olds and adults or is it more geared to younger kids? My son thought the medieval banquet sounded fun, but I'd like some advice on that too. Too much? This could shape up to be our most touristy day, but I can do that once for DS!

Has anyone ever stayed in the Doolin Hotel or have a better suggestion for tonight? As I mentioned above, some of the B&Bs are already booked. We'd like to stay in one place as a base for about 3 nights.

Sunday - Take our time getting out today. We'll drive along the coast up to Galway. Maybe walk along the cliffs, depending on the weather.

Next couple of days - we'd like to stay put a few days and visit the Aran Islands, take a boat ride along the cliffs, hear some Irish pub music. I heard it's very good in Doolin, but is that also where the tourist busses go?

Tuesday - we've toyed with going up to Sligo to see the tombs. I don't know if the payoff will be good enough for the amount of time to drive. We'd maybe go back south to the same hotel in this case...

...OR...

just take a southerly route towards Dingle and/or the Ring of Kerry. Any preferences?

I guess that would be Wednesday.

Thursday/Friday - make our way east - Kinsale, waterford? Too much driving? Friday evening DS will take a train to meet us somewhere - maybe Kilkenny?

Saturday - We could visit the Rock of Cashel and Wicklow Mountains

(You can see my research has not quite gotten this far thus the lack of detail - all suggestions welcome!)

The alternative is to skip Waterford, meet DS closer to Dublin, drive north and go to Newgrange Saturday, especially if we skip the Sligo area. My husband is interested in seeing one of those tombs.

Sunday will be in Dublin - Trinity College, Temple Bar, fish n chips :) , and a comedy club or pub crawl that night. I booked a B&B close to the Dublin City University campus to be near DS and to have east access to go back to the airport Monday morning.

We leave Monday.

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