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Trying to fine-tune itinerary from Antrim Coast to Bantry Bay area

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We appreciate your comments so far. We are energetic young seniors starting on our bucket list, going early Sept. for 15 full days plus a day over and a day back. Our goal is to see some of Northern Ireland, then go west and south, winding up in Kenmare or Bantry area before catching flight back from SNN. We will skip the major cities. We want to see historical sites and poke around the beautiful countryside. We like charming towns, B&Bs with good beds for old backs, water views, window shopping, local crafts, good seafood and pubs. All comments are welcome, and feel free to mention favorite places near each stop. Here’s what we’re thinking.

Day 1: Land in Dublin 7:30ish, pick up car (automatic). Drive to Newgrange, do the guided tour, have lunch, drive to Carlingford, arrive early-mid afternoon. First night in Carlingford. Thank you for your comments up to this point.

Day 2 & 3: Antrim Coast, overnight in Portrush or Portstewart. Any opinions on one town or the other for overnight?

Day 4 and 5: Thinking Killybegs area, perhaps Inishduff House. Want to see Glenveigh Nat’l Park. What would the driving be like around Dunfanaghy? Dungloe?

Now things get a little murky…
Day 6 and 7 and 8: Westport or Clifden. Which would you recommend for access to Connemara and the Burren? Also, we may spend a day and night on Achill Island or can we see a good bit of it on foot or on bicycle in a day, then return to the mainland? Is there a tour on horseback? Any lodging recommendations near restaurants for dinner?

Day 9 and 10: Dingle for the drives. Maybe only one night and day if we start early and then head towards Kenmare around 3:00 p.m. Kenmare appears to be a bit less than a 2-hour drive from Dingle. Or perhaps leave Dingle early on day 10 and stop at Muckross House and see the grounds in the morning and early afternoon, then on to Kenmare or Bantry.

Day 11-12-13: Kenmare for lake area scenery, Muckross House and gardens, Beara, Sheepshead, perhaps an afternoon in Kinsale. Shelburne Lodge sounds very nice to us. Or would Bantry be a more convenient or scenic location, although farther from Muckross?

Day 14-15: Open to suggestions. Add one or both of these days on to any of the above towns? All the better if we can do less packing/unpacking. We leave from Shannon mid-day on Day 16. Looking forward to your seasoned advice.

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