10 Must See or Do in Ireland

Mar 19th, 2002, 07:13 AM
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10 Must See or Do in Ireland

We (husband, myself and 2 children under 12 above 8), are leaving for Ireland in a few weeks for 14 full days to spend, in 3 different private home rentals: Arlow; Ballinrobe and Killarney. I have many books on driving tours and even children things to do. I'm inquiring about 10-12 top suggestions
of what you must see while in Ireland. Thanks

Mar 19th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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There's a recent thread about family trip to Ireland with some good suggestions - you may be able to find it by highlighting "Ireland" in the search box, leaving the "text" box blank.

If you all have a good head for heights, a boat trip to the Skellig Isles (off the West Coast), with a climb to the deserted monastery at the top, is fun.
Mar 19th, 2002, 08:36 AM
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There are so many must sees and dos. You can easily come up with a list by searching past (exhaustive) chats. But I do have one definite "don't". Killarney. I had heard very good things about the town, and I was bitterly disappointed. Nothing but a tourist trap. Have you ever been to Gatlinburg, Tennessee? Sadly they are pretty much the same town.
Mar 19th, 2002, 09:06 AM
Lillie Harty
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I think the Killarney area is probably the most beautiful in Ireland.The town itself is small and crowded in summer.
Mar 19th, 2002, 09:11 AM
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We're staying in private homes. The Killarney one is in the National Forrest area south of the town itself, for five nights here. We did this mostly for location to travel the SW coastal area, when there. Just as 5 nights in Ballinrobe to travel NW coastal, and 4 nights in Arklow for East Coast.
Mar 20th, 2002, 06:05 AM
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You and your children will have an amazing time! My husband and I toured Ireland three years ago and I can't wait to return. These were my personal highlights:

1. Killarney (unlike the previous poster, I loved the city, it was full of energy and fun), the Ring of Kerry was amazing as was the Dingle Penisula.

2. Dunloe Gap - most impressive

3. Kinsale - charming and beautiful

4. Blarney Castle - you just have do it.

5. Bunratty Castle - very educational for the children

6. Kilkenny castle (all three castles very different)

7. Cliffs of Mohr

Mar 20th, 2002, 06:14 AM
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Kim, thanks! Sound like most of your suggestions were in the SW or southern part. I am diffently looking forward to the trip.
Mar 20th, 2002, 06:53 AM
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If you get as far as the Cliffs of Moher make sure you take the tour into Aillwee Cave in the middle of the Burren region just a little further North of the Cliffs. The tour is fun and educational, there's a great place there to have a picnic and a shop's there that makes home made everything - breads, cheeses, honey and jams.

Kinsale and Kenmare are both beautiful, charming small-ish towns in the SW.

Muckross House and Farms will be loads of fun, especially for the kids. When we went they had baby "everything" at the Farms from horses and donkeys to puppies, goat kids and chicks.

The best castle for the whole family is Cahir Castle in Cahir. They have a tour but also you can explore almost the entire thing on your own and it's all in great condition. A great place to let the kids run and explore on their own (and maybe even tire them out a bit!).

Mar 20th, 2002, 07:37 AM
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My 11 year old son and I took the ferry to Innismore for the day and rented bikes. It was a glorious day and we covered most of the island, stopping for a swim in a lovely bay and for lunch at cafe with a patio with a stunning view. Even in August, we saw few other tourists except at the pub while waiting for the return ferry to the mainland. Lots of sheep and dogs, though, and we parked the bikes and took a walk along a footpath above the the spectacular rocky coastline along the (I think) south side of the island. footpath
Mar 20th, 2002, 07:50 AM
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Ryan -
We also took the ferry to the Aran Islands from Doolin and rented bikes and toured the island. I think you would enjoy doing this. A nice trip back in time - small cottages lots of stone walls. Very typical of sw Ireland. If you didn't want to rent bikes there are pony carts to take you around - very interesting scenery - a fort in ruins.

We only spent one day in the Killarny area and I always reqreted it. We did a pony trap up the gap of Dunloe which I recommend - you can get the pony trap at Kate Kearney's cottage right at the road to the gap. I've heard since that you can hike up the gap of dunloe and then take a boat ride back. I just wish we had spent more time there - maybe taking a hike to a waterfall in the National Park.
The high point of our trip was biking around the Dingle Penn. It was a perfect day - just magical - blue skies, blue/green ocean - truly outstanding.

Enjoy your visit.
Mar 20th, 2002, 12:48 PM
Lillie Harty
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Have a look at www.heritageireland.com for details of some of Ireland`s heritage of castles,churches etc.There are photographs and details of many places worth visiting.
May 16th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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A visit to the Skellig Rock off the coast of Valentia in County Kerry is very special.There you will find about 600 feet above sea level the remains of a monastic settlement which lasted for hundreds of years until about 1,000 years ago!The beehive huts are still waterproof after all those years.Getting out there from Portmagee is a bit of an adventure as only a small number of quite small boats are licensed and they only go on days which are relatively low in wind.Do not go if you get seasick easily.You need to be physically fairly active too to do the climb which is however just a matter of climbing steps and making sure you do not slip off them.See http://indigo.ie/%7Elavelles/lavelles.html for photographs and details.
May 16th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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Blarney Castle??? Oh please. The gift shop is bigger than the castle! Don't waste your time.

Number one on my list is the gathering spot of all the Irish. The local pub. And yes you can bring the kids and have some "pub grub" and a pint.
jor is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Cahir Castle would be on my must-see list, especially for the kids. Unlike some of the others you are free to run all over it and it's not full of fussy furniture. Definitly go there. Only a half hour from there is the Rock of Cashel which is also fun. Also in the center, a little east of Cahir, is Kilkenny which was one of our favorite towns. There's a castle there too but we didn't go in it. I just like the town.

Very near Kilarney is Muckross Friary. Not Muckross House (which is a furnished manner house) but the Friary ruins. My favorite of all the ruins we visited (and we visited quite a few). It's free. It has a separate driveway/parking area from Muckross House. It's about a five minute walk from the parking area but there will be a lot of those pony carts offering to take you (for a fee). We just walked but the kids might enjoy the ride.

Dingle Peninsula was one of our favorites. Be sure to go past Dingle town and drive the Slea Head loop. That is where the best scenery is.

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park would also be on my top ten list, again especially with kids. The folk park is somewhat educational. Knappague Castle, about an hour north of Bunratty/Shannon area was also wonderful. While Bunratty was crammed with tour groups, we were practically the only ones at the less visited Knappague and you really could pretend you were back in the days when it was occupied and you lived there (assuming you have a vivid immagination). Have a great time.
isabel is offline  
May 16th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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ARE there 10 "must sees" to do in Ireland? Coulda fooled me-sorry, I've been there at least 50 times (mostly not by choice) and I would be so bored I once went to watch the nuns tat lace in Limerick! Bunratty Castle and Dirty Nelly's 'bout does it for me- and Temple Bar in D
May 19th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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I have family in Ireland and spent 4 weeks there in 2000 (with four children) and another 2 weeks this year. To me, the amazing thing about Ireland is the history and culture. I can pick 10-12 ?must-see? places and try to fit them into some sort of historical/cultural perspective.

1. Prehistoric times

Stone circles, such as Drombeg http://www.stonepages.com/ireland/ireland.html
or smaller stone circles found all around the country, including several on the Bere peninsula

Megalithic tombs and dolmens, such as in The Burren http://www.burrenpage.com/ or
the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery in Sligo http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/His...CemeterySligo/

Beehive huts, Gallarus Oratory along Slea Head on Dingle Peninsula

2. Celtic/Chieftain times: Maeve?s cairn, Ross Castle, for example.

3. Rise of Christianity and monasteries: Crough Patrick, Skellig Island monastery, Book of Kells

4. Viking invasions: Viking museum in Dublin, round towers, Waterford

Ardmore round tower http://www.op.net/~rkane/Ireland/1992/ardm.htm

5. British invasions and destruction by Cromwell: ruined abbeys and castles, such as Dunboy Castle on Bere peninsula, numerous ruined abbeys all over

6. British occupation: Cahir Castle, Muckross House, others.

7. Emigration and potato famine: monuments in Dublin and Sligo Town, Cobh Heritage Center

8. The Troubles/Civil War/rise of IRA: Dublin Castle.

9. The drink: tours of Guinness or Jameson factories; order a pint in any pub in Ireland.

10. Music: sit in a pub in the evening and enjoy a local band sitting in the corner playing traditional Irish music.

11. Natural beauty: Cliffs of Mohr, Aran Islands.

12. Dublin: St. Stephens Green, Grafton Street, Temple Bar.

13. Activities: golf at Ballybunion, fish for salmon, or ride a bike around Slea Head.
ed_jacobson is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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I loved Killarney. I loved Killarney National Forrest, Muckross House/Abbey, Dingle Peninsula, Blarney Castle (grounds are very interesting, and I did have to kiss the stone), Bunratty Castle and Grounds (definitely try to do the evening medieval banquet), Newgrange, Monasterboice, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Aran Islands...
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 12:09 AM
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Killarney town is the South of the Border of Ireland.

Airlawgirl--there are no boring places, only boring people. With the possible exception of Limerick. And Killarney, unless buying plastic leprechauns is a priority.
Ann41 is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 04:04 AM
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Hiking the Gap of Dunloe was magical. You can make arrangements at Kate Kearney's for the boat trip through the lakes to Killarney then bus or cab back to your car.
Pawleys is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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Do not miss out on Killarny Nat'l Forest. Dingle Peninsula was amazing and the Cliffs of Moher were wonderful as well. Just north of the cliffs is the Burren which was very interesting as well. Do the dinner theater at Bunratty Castle it's very fun and your kids will love it. Too bad you are limiting yourself to that area. We did much more than that in only 9 days and did not feel rushed at all.
rshersnow is offline  

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