1st trip to Ireland, where should we go?

Old Feb 18th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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1st trip to Ireland, where should we go?

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Ireland, 7-10 days,want to rent a car, can't decide on an itineray. need suggestions where to go, stay, (a mix of hotels/B&Bs/castles) we love Irish music, pubs, architecture etc. one day of golfing wold be great,
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Per your description, I have a couple of recommendations. Dublin is way, way crowded with traffic and expensive hotels. Not a touring paradise for a driver. Head maybe to a place like Malahide. A seaside sister city to Dublin. Then head west!! Look up the "ring of Kerry" drive on the internet. To me this is the real costal Ireland. Huge cliffs, quaint villages, and mile after mile of vistas. Then plop yourself in (my opinion) the best of irish cities- Doolin. The music capital of Ireland. A tiny place teaming with pubs that feature the worlds finest celtic music artists, good to great food, and long nights of entertainment. Alos it's very close to the Cliffs of Mohr. STUNNING! Take the walk along the cliffs edge- you can do it! I have driven across Ireland a bunch of times and this outlines my favorite trip!
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Check out some of the Trip Reports from regular posters for ideas. If yoyu want to do Dublin, look into a fly into Shannon and out of Dublin (or the other way around) to save a day of retracing your steps. If you are skipping Dublin, it doesn't matter. Decide if you want to tour the North (Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donnegal and some / all of Northern Ireland (The Six Counties) OR if you would rather do the Southwest (Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and / or Wexford, Waterford and Wicklow. You won't be able to do both.
Clare and Limmerick can be added to either, but you WILL have to make some hard choices, with only 7-10 days.
Try plugging in possible itineraries into www.aaroadwatch.ie (add time to their estimates though) to work up your plans.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 01:53 AM
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In my opinion, the best links Golf Course in Ireland (or anywhere else on God's green earth) is Carne Golf links in Belmullet, County Mayo. Carne has a website if you want to look it over.

It's not overly expensive like Old Head (Kinsale, Cork) or Ballybunion (Dingle, County Kerry).

I usually just play 9-holes at a 9-hole Executive course like Spanish Point in County Clare; but I have played Carne twice and it was well worth the effort.
They have about a dozen Buggies (Riding golf carts); if you want to ride, you should reserve one in advance. If it were me, I would rent a buggy for the front nine and walk the back-9.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 02:39 AM
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Two of the top golf courses in the world are in Northern Ireland: the Royal County Down in Newcastle and Portrush. You couldn't go wrong with either of them.

You could fly into Dublin, and drive up north, stopping along the way at Newgrange. Or fly into Belfast (typically connecting in London or sometimes Manchester).

I live in a small village in County Down where you can spend a Saturday afternoon, and well into the evening, listening to music at the Dufferin Arms. It's an open session, although the same musicians usually play every week, and it gets packed, so arrive early and have lunch so you can get a seat. You can stay a few doors down at the Dufferin Coaching Inn, or across the street at the Killyleagh Castle. It's an actual Castle, and the oldest castle in Ireland where the owners still live in the castle. They started renting rooms to tourists a few years ago.

From there, you could go to Newcastle and golf at the Royal County Down. Another option is the Ardglass Golf Club. The third hole is just incredible.

Or you could drive up to Belfast, spend a day there (the Black Taxi tours are great, as is the tour of the City Hall, which is the most beautiful city hall in Europe. Continue on north toward Carrickfergus and along the Antrim Coast Road, all of the way to Portrush. Stop at the Carrickfergus Castle, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway, and Bushmill's Distillery. There's a great inn about 1/2 mile away, the Bushmill's Inn.

You could then drive across to Donegal and the Inishowen Penisula. To say it's beautiful is such an understatement. Anyone who's been there will tell you how special it is.

If you're interested in history, an afternoon or morning in Derry city is worthwhile, doing the tour of the city walls. Sad, but fascinating.

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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My wife and teenage son and I went last May and June and we would go back today if we could. We flew into Shannon, stayed in Ennis two nights,one night in a castle north of Galway, three nights in Dingle,two nights in Kinsale, one night in Waterford, and finally three nights in Dun Laoghaire and flew out of Dublin. We are planning the next trip now. You will have a great time. It takes about a day to get over the driving differences but as anywhere else, common sense and courtesy makes the trip fun. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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Reduce your stress level by choosing a car with automatic transmission. Driving "on the wrong side" of VERY narrow, curvy roads can be terrifying. It's less nerve racking with an automatic. Also, if you intend to enjoy the Guiness beer, you might want to stay close to the pubs. Driving the trecherous roads at night under the influence of drink isn't at all smart.
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Old Feb 19th, 2005, 10:39 PM
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quinoa, The first step in planning your itinerary is to decide on your entry city and departure city in Ireland. After that you need to fill in the blanks. Get a good guidebook and read it. Decide what interests you the most. Go to the library or bookstore and look at photo books. What appeals most to you? Call Tourism Ireland and order a free info kit and ask for a brochure on golfing. 1-800-223-6470.

You need to arm yourself with all the info you can in order to plan YOUR itinerary. It does take time to do properly but you will get good tips here and on other Ireland only travel forums (do a google search for them).

You really can't expect others to plan your itinerary. They have their own interests that may not be your interests. Instead do your own itinerary and ask what people think of it. They will let you know if you are off track in the planning.

Once you have your itinerary set you can ask for suggestions for accommodations. There are also some excellent websites that offer recommendations of inspected accommodations. Do a google of "places to stay in Ireland".
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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DINGLE PENINSULA!! We've been there twice so far and are planning to do a quick trip back in April. It is south-east, in County Kerry. I would suggest flying out of the Shannon airport and driving to Dingle. Take the car ferry across the river shannon. Dingle is beautiful, quiet and gives you the feel of 'typical Irish'. There is lots to do around Dingle, and the pubs there are fantastic. I have to recommend that you go into Benners Hotel (on the main street) for a drink. I can't wait to go back! Check out www.dingle-peninsula.ie
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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Bear in mind that we use public transportation exclusively so there may be a slight hike to places but not really more than fifteen minutes from a bus stop or train station.

Arrived Shannon airport on Sunday and caught bus to Limerick. A friend we met at the bus shed told us where to get off and instructed the driver to make sure he stopped there. He did and we walked up the short cul-de-sac to Glen Eagles (not that Glen Eagles, but very nice.) <[email protected]> About 30 Euros pps ensuite. Helen and Patrick Daly

In Dingle on Monday we stayed at Dingle Heights. <www.dingleheights.com, or [email protected]> Ask for a front room overlooking the harbor. Bridie Fitzgerald was our hostess. Very nice view and about 30 Euros pps ensuite. We had our first, of many, bowl, of Irish stew at O'Grady's across from the tourist board along the waterfront. We lucked out and were able to attend a folk concert of harp, guitars, penny whistle at St. James Church. But we heard lots of music around town as we went back to our bnb after the concert. One place is a hardware store by day and a pub by night! We got cheated out of our tour to Slea Head by the well know local tour operator who renigged on our email reservation. So we will have to go back! And use someone else.

Stayed in Killarney at Cloghroe <[email protected]> about 30 Euros pps ensuite, on Tuesday and did the Gap of Dunloe (three lakes by boat and through the Gap by jaunting car (otherwise a 7 mile walk) on Wednesday. Glad we didn't do the Ring of Kerry. Our hostess Margaret arranged the tour for us. Ate at Murphy's, known for it's pub grub.

Had to spend Wednesday night in Tralee since it is a long haul by bus from Killarney to Doolin. Stayed at The Willows, about five minutes from the bus station. <wwwthewillowsbnb.com or [email protected]> About 30 Euros pps ensuite. On Mary's recommendation we went to the Grand Hotel and ate in the pub section. Excellent food. Next day we walked out (rode the bus back) to the Blennerville Windmill before having to catch our bus to Doolin.

On Thursday night in Doolin we stayed at Nellie Dees. <www.nellie-dees.com or [email protected]> The bus driver will drop you at the door if you ask and it is across the road from one of the hostels. Only about five years old, all wood floors, very nice. Jimmy and Loraine Spencer. About 30 Euros pps ensuite. It was a bit of a hike to downtown Doolin but there were two pubs (out of 3) very nearby where we spent the evening eating delicious Irish stew and listening to trad music at McDermott's.

The next morning we hiked into town ("just a wee walk and a right at the bridge"). We passed several bnbs on the way that looked nice. We caught the ferry to Inishoor. Had to ride a carrick out to the ferry because the tide was out. That was a neat experience, although my wife was not really keen on it but nobody fell overboard.

Arrived on Inishoor (Inishere) on Friday and headed to our bnb, Tigh Searraigh. About 25 Euros pps ensuite. <[email protected]> Basic but clean and warm. Went for a tour around the island. It is only 2 km 2km so we knew we couldn't get too lost but the stone fences did start looking just like the last one. My wife got her Aran sweater made (supposedly) on the island. We went to pub (Fitzgerald's I think. There are only about 3 places to eat on the island) for supper and music. A bit of wait for the music but the food was great and the strawberry rhubarb pie was so good we ordered a second round. Bailey’s ice cream on it was heavenly. I have never tasted such a delicious ice cream! Called it a night about 10 PM and was up the next day to catch the 9 AM ferry back to Doolin and 12 noon bus to Ennis for our last night before catching our flight out of Shannon.

Saturday night we stayed at Stonehaven in Ennis <www.stonehaven-clare.com or [email protected]> about 15 minute walk from bus station but Marie would have collected us if we had called. Very nice family, especially Joseph the 7 year old. About 30 Euros pps ensuite. Ennis is a market town and we were there Saturday, market day. Neat!

Back to the train/bus station for our bus to Shannon airport and on to Scotland..

You can certainly see more if you rent a car but we didn't want the stress. Also, we noticed that more pubs are catching on to the attraction of pub grub by tourists and are starting to provide table service instead of us ordering at the bar. The price sometimes increases accordingly.

This may be more than you really wanted to know but we had a blast and are talking about doing the same tour again. I probably would not do Dublin again but there is something about the Southwest of Ireland that is magical. I will send you some Irish links if you will send me your email address. We are in Virginia Beach, VA [email protected]


Shannon Region Tourism - Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Tipperary, Offaly
Ireland West Tourism - travel guide to Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
Shannon Airport Website
Ryanair.Com - The Low Fares Airline - 50% cheaper than easyJet
Aer Lingus
Bus Éireann - Home
Car Rental Ireland - Car Hire Ireland - Ireland Car Rental
Dublin Airport
Dublin Bus - Home
Dublin Tourism - Welcome to the city of Dublin, historic capital city of Ireland
East Coast & Midlands Tourism
Gulliver - Online Reservations
Hidden Ireland - accommodation - Irish travel information - Ireland lodging - inns
How to get to Dublin by air
Information on Ireland - Ireland of the Welcomes Magazine
Ireland South East Tourism, Official travel and vacation guide The South East Region
Irelands East Coast and Midlands tourism and travel guide
Irish Landmark Trust
Irish Rail - Home
Irish Tourist Board - Ireland Travel and Tourism Information - Bord Fáilte - Welcome
Search for Accommodation in Dublin
Welcome To The Hook Wexford
Wild Coach Tours
~Lonely Planet Online The Thorn Tree~
Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Ireland - Town and Country Homes Association
Discover the island of Ireland, travel and tourist information for Ireland
Destination Guide
Local Ireland -Getting Here and Around
Cork Kerry Tourism
Shannon Offers
Doolin Ferries, Doolin - Fastest to the Aran Islands
Guide to Dingle Peninsula, Kerry Ireland for a vacation of a lifetime
easyJet.com - easyjet low cost airline, easy jet, flight, air fares, cheap flights
Ireland B&B Information Guide
Dingle Peninsula Holiday and Travel Guide
Irelands Northwest Tourism - Official travel guide to Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo
MET EIREANN - The Irish Meteorological Service
Aran Islands
Marketing Sligo Forum - Home Page
Airline Cabs - Online Taxi Cab Booking To and From UK & IRELAND Airports
MUSA Ireland
Aer Arann - - - Save time - - - Fly direct - - - Book online at aerarann.com - - -
Achill Island Home Page
Comfort Inn Shannon - Shannon - Reviews of Comfort Inn Shannon
Dingle Accommodation Guide for Dingle Bed and Breakfast, Guest Houses, Hotels, Hostels and Dingle Peninsula information - Dingl
Tralee, Tralee bed and breakfast, Tralee accommodation, Tralee B&B, Tralee Hotels, Accommodation Tralee Ireland, Irish b&b, Iri
Ireland BNB
Killarney - Kerry Ireland Tourism Information Center
Ring of Kerry Tourism - Ireland
Killarney Ireland
Cill Bhreac House, Luxury & Friendly Accommodation
Holidayhound.com - free visitor guide to all of Ireland with online accommodation booking
Travelodge - great value lodge accommodation across the UK and Ireland
~Graffiti Wall Ireland book~
~Lonely Planet - Travellers' reports on Ireland~
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Something went wrong with the edit feature. I thought I had deleted the bookmarks since they would not link on this site. But you can see what I have accumulated.
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