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Self-Drive: Dublin to Shannon, or Belfast to Dublin

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Hi and thank you in advance for your help!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland June 24-July 3 and we are looking for some advice. To start, the flight lands on June 25th around 9:30am and we will need to fly out the morning of July 3rd. We can add one extra day if you think it's a must.

Do you recommend we drive from Belfast to Dublin or Dublin to Shannon?

The reason for Belfast is because I'm interested in Gobbins Cliff and Bushmills, however I've noticed that the drive from Dublin to Shannon is much more popular so I presume that's for a reason. The Wicklow mountains and Ring of Kerry also look very nice, as well as the Cliffs of Moher if there's time to squeeze it in.

We originally looked at landing in Belfast and driving to Dublin and flying out of Shannon, but I'm worried that's too much ground to cover in just 8 days if we want to be able to get out and enjoy some of the stops. It will likely be at least 8-10 years before we are able to make another trip out to Ireland so we want to enjoy it :)

Any advice would be much appreciated because we would like to have everything booked in the next 7 days.

Thank you!

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