10-Day Trip to Ireland

May 30th, 2012, 03:16 AM
  #22  
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Thanks, Tony2phones, for the link. Is it a treacherous drive (at least, do you think it would be for an unexperienced driver, i.e., someone who never before drove on the opposite side of the road?).
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May 30th, 2012, 04:08 AM
  #23  
 
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By the time you get past Tralee you will have had a few days and Dingle under your belt.

Never been out to the Golf club at Ballybunion so cant comment. You could just hang around in Listowel which is a great little heritage town and let Huuby venture out there all alone....

Do not be tempted to take the coast road heading back up the Loop Head peninsular it is a bit narrow with few passing points so stay on the main route. And if its a miserable wet day don't go down in the first place.
https://vimeo.com/27289582 (you will notice I did not get too close to the edge in the wind)

Randaddys is a good place for brunch in Lahinch http://www.randaddys.ie/
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May 30th, 2012, 05:27 AM
  #24  
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Tony2phones, thanks! Loop Head doesn't seem overrun with tourists. I guess we can see how we're doing for time that day. If we're behind schedule and/or the weather stinks, we can go straight to Ballybunnion. If not, we'll detour to Loop Head. Must run all this past my husband, who has the ultimate say because he is doing all the driving (at least, for now he is planning on it). I don't think my husband will play at Ballybunnion. For him, it's like a shrine that he must visit in his lifetime (along with St. Andrews, eventually). As I mentioned above, it would have been his preference to play at Ballybunnion, but Lahinch fits in better with our plans. Oh well, life is tough. I play, but not well enough to play on a links course. In fact, not well enough to play on any kind of course!

Randaddys looks good. What I do remember from my trip to Ireland in September 1979 (arrived less than a week after Lord Mountbatten was killed) was the food, and it wasn't very good back then. I was a recent college graduate with little money to spend on silly stuff like food, so I probably didn't get to sample any of the local culinary offerings. Even though I have kids now, one of whom eats nothing but pizza and chicken nuggets, I'll be able to enjoy the food. I am certainly looking forward to that!
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May 30th, 2012, 06:30 AM
  #25  
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The car that we rent will be equipped with a GPS but beforehand I've been mapping out routes on viamichelin, a site I've used for years. Do you recommend others, such as Google or AA? \
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May 30th, 2012, 11:27 AM
  #26  
 
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I like google because you can drag the route around. it can be a pain though because the programmers are probably from the emerging nations and loose places or place names anyway.

Ballybunnion is south of the Shannon loop head is the other side.

The day we were at loop head was for a limited opening of the lighthouse and the place was 10 times busier than normal. every other time we have been one of less than 5 cars on the car park.
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May 31st, 2012, 04:59 AM
  #27  
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Tony2phones, if we are planning to visit the Cliffs of Mohr (by cruise and car), should Loop Head be on our "must see" list? Is it worth the effort to go out of our way to visit Loop Head? I like the idea that Loop Head attracts hardly any visitors, but I don't know if it's worth the time it will take us to drive there and backtrack on our way to Ballybunnion.
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May 31st, 2012, 05:35 AM
  #28  
 
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Not sure I understand your route? You are leaving Dingle calling at Ballybunnion then taking the Tabbart ferry into Clare.

Once north of the Shannon you can decide whether to drop down to Loop Head or head north to Lehinch. see how long you have and what the weather is like.

An alternative might be to take the tunnel rather than the ferry and pass Bunratty Castle/Folk park.

This link set to the West Clare Railway gives other options for County Clare.

http://www.clare-tour.com/attraction...Clare_Railway/
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May 31st, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #29  
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Whoops, I made a mistake. I meant to say on our way to Lahinch (getting those golf courses all confused!). The plan is to leave Dingle, drive to Ballybunnion for lunch, and then set out for Lahinch, via Loop Head. By going to Loop Head, is that too much backtracking? Is there enough to see to justify the drive to and fro? I found someone's blog online, and the place, including Kilbaha, looked beautiful.

I know that Bunratty Castle is very popular (I went there in '79 for the banquet, one of the few splurges on my trip) but is it considered a "tourist trap"? I think someone here on Fodor's compared it to our Williamsburg, which I love visiting, but I don't want it to be like Disney World, where you feel like you're part of a shopping orgy, and you're there just to spend money (now you know my thoughts about Disney World!).
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May 31st, 2012, 06:38 AM
  #30  
 
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Personally I think the castle itself if just OK, the banquet is just for tourists, But, I do like the folk park and it is a regular stop on my where to take the visitors list. Course its touristy and I wouldn't be seen dead drinking in Dutty Nellies but apart from the shop at the entrance it's just a nice couple of hours wandering round. You Know how busy it is by the car park before you pay to go in and Craggaunowen or Knappogue are close (ish) alternatives

http://www.heritageisland.com/attrac...e-living-past/
http://www.myguideireland.com/knappogue-castle

Throw the Rick Steves guide book in the bin he doesn't like the place so his fans don't like the place.

It all depends on what time you leave Dingle, How long you stay at Ballybunnon if you spend some time walking round the sights of Listowel, whether you take the ferry or tunnel. What the weather is like and if you would rather slum it with a few locals for evening pub grub in Brogans (Ennis) before you wander over to Lehinch. And indeed what time you want to be in Lehinch?

Not enough hours in a day I'm afraid that's why my usual saying is to relax take it easy and just go where the wind and the weather guide you.
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Jun 1st, 2012, 04:32 AM
  #31  
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Tony2phones, great advice. Thanks! I think going to Loop Head might be too much for us. We are planning to have lunch at the Ballybunnion golf club and spending some time looking at the course (from the club house, of course). That will take a couple of hours. I like your advice -- go where the wind and weather guide us. Overplanning can sometimes spoil the spontaneity of a vacation.

I read that kids are not allowed in pubs after 9:30 p.m. Is that true? If so, is it a strictly adhered to law? My son is 15 and I don't want to leave a pub at 9:30, but if I have to, I will.
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Jun 1st, 2012, 07:06 AM
  #32  
 
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Think the pub rule is 10.30 in season but depends on the pub and if your son can pass (loosely)for 18 (not that I would ever suggest such deception but tucked in a corner minding his own business shouldn't be a problem)
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Jun 4th, 2012, 04:57 PM
  #33  
 
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http://www.obrienline.com/cliff-cruise.
We did a trip to the island and then took went on this cliff tour, there is a combo ticket. The Puffins were everywhere.

I know it is illegal to fold your mirrors in but on our first trip in 2000 driving those very small streets we folded them in. You use to see many hanging off. We hit the mountain going into Dingle and it was not a large truck but still a truck and he was taking his half out of the middle. My husband is not a bad driver and he really did a great job. Ireland is not like driving in Germany. We just kept yelling Nissan Micro mini! We took the VW instead and wished we had taken the smaller car. I think the roads have improved greatly and most drivers are very polite. We spent a day with two locals exploring on the same trip and they flew and would honk going around corners to warn drivers. I learned a lot about history and driving that day. Now there are the big highways and really miss the bypasses around the villages.
We did have time to explore the island and eat lunch. The cliffs at Inishmore are still my favorite but save for another trip. I have been many times and still have not seen everything on my list.
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Jun 4th, 2012, 06:06 PM
  #34  
 
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One thing my son and I enjoyed was "trad" music in the pubs. Your B&b keeper, or hotelier may know when and where to listen to it. It was a wonderful way to round out the evening. Everyone packs themselves into the small pub and listens, or participates if they have a musical talent.
My son noted that the Scots played in a major key, and the
Irish, in a minor key.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 03:43 AM
  #35  
 
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Everything in Ireland is mellower than Scotland that's why we triple filter our whiskey. The further west the mellower we get.(general rule, excludes Blow ins)
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Jun 6th, 2012, 06:04 PM
  #36  
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JeanneV, I know that there are cheaper and maybe better car rental companies out there, but we reserved our car through Hertz. In all the times we've rented cars with Hertz, both here and abroad, we never had a problem. But thanks anyway for your advice.

I am sure my husband and son will find something to do for an evening in Dublin while my daughter and I attend the Bruce Springsteen concert. Unfortunately, however, he is not an old looking 15 year old, so I doubt if he could pass for an 18 year old, and might be kicked out of a pub whenever kids have to leave.

I am almost done putting the "final" touches on my itinerary and when it's completed, I'll post it for review. It's very different than the preliminary one I posted at the start of this thread. We're all very excited about going.
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Jun 26th, 2012, 07:02 AM
  #37  
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Just about finished with our itinerary. The only thing left is to figure out what we will do for the day while we are in Dingle. I have some ideas and a book with some walks/hikes, but I'm interested in what others have done.

Here is the itinerary:

Three nights in Dublin. Activities include a walking tour of the city upon arrival (have reserved places on the Sandemans free walking tour but am not sure if we'll arrive in time for the 1 p.m. start. If we can't make that tour, we'll take the historical walking tour that starts at 3 p.m.). Any ideas about a place for an informal dinner? We'll be staying at the Fitzwilliam Townhouse on Upper Fitzwilliam Street.

Day 2 - Dublin City Bike tour in the morning, followed by an afternoon of wandering. In the evening my daughter and I have tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at RDS Arena. Is it wise to walk back to the hotel on Upper Fitzwilliam Street after the concert? I am sure there will be lots of people walking as well. Also, the tickets and the Ticketmaster website say the concert starts at 5 p.m. Is that when the gates open? I am sure the concert starts later, but we plan to get there around 5. Unfortunately we don't have seats -- we're standing. Oh well.

I also need something for my husband and son to do while we're at the concert. Any ideas?

Day 3 - Walkabout Wicklow tour of the Glendalough Valley. In the evening, we're all going on the musical pub crawl.

Day 4 - Picking up car and driving to Cashel, stopping at Kilkenny along the way. We'll tour the Rock of Cashel when we arrive, hoping that most of the day tourist have left by that hour. Dinner at Chez Hans.

Day 5 - First stop, Golden (it looks very quaint in some photos I came across). Next stop, Adare, where we will visit the castle, walk around the town and have lunch. On to the Tralee Golf Club, where we'll stop for a snack and a look at the golf course. Then on to Dingle.

Day 6 - Nothing planned yet for Day 6. We like walking and beautiful scenery. A 2-3 hour circular walk would be nice (could drive to a spot and leave the car).

Day 7 - Drive to Listowel. I've made arrangements for a guide to give us a tour of the castle. On to Ballybunion Golf Club for lunch. After lunch, drive to Lahinch, where we will be staying for 2 nights.

Day 8 - Taking the combined trip to Innisheer and Cliffs of Moher cruise from Doolin. When ferry docks at 4 p.m., will go the Cliffs of Moher (closes at dusk). Any suggestions on which ferry company to use? Are they essentially the same?

Day 9 - Husband will play golf at 7 a.m. at Lahinch. When he's through, drive to Ballyvaughan to meet up with Burren Hill tours for a 3 p.m. tour of the Burren. Drive to Dublin Airport when tour is over.

Day 10 - Go home.

I would also like some recommendations on places we can stop along the way as we make our way across the country. We will be using a GPS, but my drives were planned using viaMichelin's recommended routes.

Thanks!
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Jun 26th, 2012, 08:39 AM
  #38  
 
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I refuse to comment on what to do whilst you watch the Boss, jealousy prevents it.

Ok green gone, cinema or Sports? Or Pub?

Golden ?? probably driven through many times and not noticed. I would have suggested Cahir for the Castle and or Swiss Cottage.

There are a couple of walks I did on Dingle many years ago, The Dead Man above Ventry and Eagle Mount above Slea Head neither was well marked but may be 30years later, Your Host should be able to give advice or point you in the right direction. I think there is a walking Tour but unfortunately know nothing about it (will find out)

Listowel is on my list of the best Heritage towns.

I use O'Brian line from Doolin but only because they were the only ones who responded to an email a couple of years ago. They are decent boats.

Hope you have a great time and the weather is kind throughout your trip.
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