10 days in NI and North Western Ireland

Mar 18th, 2003, 06:56 AM
  #1  
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10 days in NI and North Western Ireland

Do you think this is enough time to spend in this area? I will be there before flying over to Scotland for 2 weeks. Any advice on areas in Co.Donegal and NI would be very welcome. thank you
Sarah
sarah77 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2003, 06:32 PM
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Sarah... we visited NI Ireland and Donegal from Scotland over the northern coast route. We stayed at the Meadows B&B in Cushendall, NI. Loved the Glenariff Forest Park and especially it's waterfall walk. We took a taxi from Cushendall and the driver dropped us at the top and then told us to call him when we reached the bottom. We didn't quite believe him, but he was right... by the time we called and ate he came to fetch us. I suggest that you stay in Cushendall for a few reasons. First, the folks who helped us in Waterfoot (Glenariff) suggested The Meadows (along with saving and driving us there in a gale.) Second Anne Carrey is grand (and a B&B best place winner of NI, a well deserved prize) and third oh who cares.. the Meadows is a grand place. Cushendall is situated on the coast road and you can then travel west through Derry to County Donegal. We visited the Giant's Causeway. It was okay. Stayed in Portballintrae, but there was no town, store or restaurant. The B&B was right on the shore and lovely tho! The Manor House 51 Beach Road. We ventured west and had a lot of fun in Donegal Town. We had even more fun in Scotland tho! Have a grand time in the North.
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Mar 19th, 2003, 04:23 AM
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now I am curious to hear about where you went in Scotland! Did you take the ferrie from Scotland into Ireland?
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Mar 19th, 2003, 05:07 PM
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Sarah... We took a ferry to Newcastle, train to Edinburgh and coach to Kirkcudbright. (This is the first trip schedule, second time we got a car in Dumfries.) We left Scotland on a Ferry from Stranraer to Belfast. (The fast one, HMS starwars type) We focused on visiting Galloway. Stayed in Kirkcudbright (the best town ever!), Wigtown and Stranraer. We will be returning to stay in Kirkcudbright and exploring the area for the third time in 2004. There is so much to see. I want to explore the south tip of the the Rhins this time. I heard that one can look over the sea and see dolphins, that counts as cool. We may revisit Port Logan Garden. I think that I'm more interested in seeing Port Logan. We had a grand visit taking the coach to the garden and would enjoy a chance to explore the area. Mostly we want a chance to hang out there. I must add that we are also visiting the "Sheila area of Scotland" LOL on our next trip... she's an effective promoter of Aberdeenshire! Have a grand time!
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Mar 21st, 2003, 07:27 AM
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One thing I've always wanted to do in NI, and never got around to, was the city walls tour in Derry. You can find out about it at the tourist office in town. Derry's the most "Irish" city in Northern Ireland, and has such a sad, but fascinating, history. Where else would you see such graffiti as "Boris Yeltsin is a Prod"?

In Donegal, I once stayed at a wonderful B&B called Ashdale House just outside the little town of Carndonagh (walking distance, about 1 km). That was in 1998, so can't vouch for it more recently.
Ann41 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2003, 08:38 PM
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Sarah,

The prospect of spending ten days in Ireland's northwest and the North sounds most appealing, and it'll allow you enough time for a good introduction to an often overlooked part of the island.

Try to spend at least a couple days in County Sligo. There's a wide range of quality accommodations along with numerous historic attractions. Moreover, there's the connection with W.B. Yeats. You needn't be an enthusiast of the poet's work to enjoy a trip to his gravesite, located in the shadow of the unforgettable Benbulben. Also, take a trip out to the nearby and lovely Glencar Lough. As for lodging, consider staying at the highly distinctive B & B, Coopershill, located not far from the Sligo town. Coopershill is a very comfortable Georgian house, built in the late 18th century.

Following your stay in Sligo, make the short drive northwest over the border and into County Fermanagh. Here's one of Ireland's most peaceful and underrated counties, featuring gorgeous lakes and many historic sites, including mysterious stones, round towers, and castles. Try to reserve three days in Fermanagh. Obtain a good and comprehensive travel guide, such as the British Rough Guide, and learn more about this must-see part of Ireland.

Next, drive back into the Republic and stay around Donegal town, at nearby Lough Eske, to be exact. Here, too, is a scenic and relatively unknown Irish "back door". To complement your stay, consider staying at Ardnamona House, located on the shores of Lough Eske. The house features award-winning gardens, is synonymous with solitude, and offers the perfect base for trips to the west coast of County Donegal, including such attractions as Glencolumbkille, the cliffs at Slieve League, the town of Ardara, where you'll find a terrific choice of Irish sweaters, and more. A two-day stay at Ardnamona is highly recommended. See www.tempoweb.com/ardnamon

Finally, head northwest, into Northern Ireland, and spend your final three days along the Antrim Coast. There is much to see and do along the coast. As regards lodging, it would be hard to beat Streeve Hill, an early 18th century house that is located in County Derry. Check out www.indigo.ie/hiddenireland/34.html

I trust the preceding would be a memorable introduction to the pleasures of Ulster and its environs.

Best of luck.
DavidD is offline  
Mar 24th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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David--thank you so much. Your advice sounds wonderful. Now tell me how I am supposed to wait until July to take off on this adventure!!?? : ) I think I may start my tour in Belfast as I am flying into Belfast International (which I am flying out of as well)..head up the coast to Ballycastle, Portrush area..then perhaps over to the Inishowen Peninsula where I would like to do some hiking around Malin Head. From there I am a bit stuck as to where I should go so I am very thankful for all the tips you have given me. I am relying on the buses to get around as I am enough of a problem driving in Canada! Hopefully I will still be able to get to some of these places you mentioned. I am debating adding a few more days on to my trip so I can see a bit more. the last thing I want is to feel rushed. thanks again for all of your help..it is very much appreciated. : )
Sarah
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Mar 29th, 2003, 08:45 PM
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Sarah,

Please pardon this belated response, but you're more than welcome for the information. I can relate to your anticipation; but don't fret too much as July will soon be here.

I do hope that you'll be able to move about Northern Ireland the Donegal region in a relatively efficient way. The North's Ulsterbus system has a pretty good reputation for reliability, but I'm afraid that I can't say the same for bus service in Ireland's remote and sparsely populated northwest.

Are you sure that you'd rather go without your own wheels? You'd have a good deal more freedom and flexibility with a rental car, and driving in these parts is not at all a problem.

In any event, safe journey and best of luck.
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Mar 30th, 2003, 03:54 AM
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Danna, next time try Portpatrick!
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Mar 30th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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zippo... Portpatrick is definately on my itinerary. When we visited last time there were some problems with roads because of too much rain, I think mudslides or such. But, when we visit what should we not miss?
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