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6 Days Driving in Ireland - Itinerary Help?

6 Days Driving in Ireland - Itinerary Help?

Aug 13th, 2012, 12:32 AM
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6 Days Driving in Ireland - Itinerary Help?


My husband and I will be in Ireland from 8th-14th October (leaving very early in the am on the 14th). We arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin, and would like to have the 13th in Dublin to explore the city (I've heard we probably don't need much more than that).

I'm hoping for some help with the itinerary. I realize from reading and researching that a) driving takes much longer than Google Maps would say and b) that many people recommend staying on long trips. Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of more time (government workers and all, and must get back to our overseas post in Africa), and are young and hate being in one place for long. We've never been to Ireland, and as much as we like to have the mindset of "We'll be back so just see one sliver of the country," with our careers that is rarely the case. As such, we have to kind of consider this our one chance (at least for a while) to get to Ireland, and we want to see as much as possible.

With those disclaimers, this is what I'm thinking (and would love input on it - possible activities I haven't thought of, or great places you've stayed/eaten):

Monday the 8th: Arrive in Shannon (late morning) - head to Doolin
- Cliffs of Moher
- Burren (maybe)
- Overnight in Doolin

Tuesday the 9th: Doolin to Dingle (leave very early am)
- Slea Head
- Overnight in Dingle

Weds the 10th: Dingle to Kinsale
- Essentially just stop and see what we want along the way - Ross Castle, parts of the Ring of Beara, etc
- Overnight in Kinsale

Thursday the 11th: Kinsale to Kilkenny
- Cashel Rock
- Side detour to Tipperary, where my husband's family is from
- Overnight in Kilkenny

Friday the 12th: Around Kilkenny
- Glendalough Monastic Settlement
- Kilkenny Castle
- Overnight in Kilkenny

Saturday the 13th: Kilkenny to Dublin
- All the fun things we want to do in Dublin
- Overnight in Dublin

Sunday the 14th: Dublin to Africa (super early am flight)

I'd also love some ideas for good rental car companies. The great thing about spending time in Africa is we're already used to driving on narrow roads in a right hand drive car (although we have more donkeys in the road than sheep) at a pace much slower than we'd wish.

I'd really appreciate your help, I'm kind of winging all this and realize it's ambitious, but we'd rather spend time in the car and be exhausted (I'm not worried about jet lag, it's a fact of life for us and we push through) and see things than feel like we missed something amazing.

cdscully is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Visiting Glendalough and returning to Kilkenny is back tracking, so I would spend the early morning of the 12th seeing Kilkenny Castle and as soon as possible with opening times leave for Dublin via Glendalough and then you will have a full day on the 13th to check out a few things in Dublin.
irishface is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Great advice! I thought that might make more sense logistically, but I haven't yet gotten to the detailed mapping portion of my planning (still trying to see if any of this makes sense). So would you then say spend one night in Kilkenny and two in Dublin (with Friday night really just being arriving around dinner)?
cdscully is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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I would do.
irishface is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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Sounds great. I was going to recommend an automatic car but since you are used to using the other side of the road a standard would be fine. I do recommend taking their insurance however. We did not thinking our insurance would handle anything and we ended up paying a lot of money as we were not used to stone fences on the sides of those narrow streets, and another car through a stone and broke our windshield which we were liable for.
cd is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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Per the recommendations of Fodorites, we used Dan Dooley to rent our car.
peggionthego is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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You won't have the energy, likely, to explore the Burren (I assume you are flying in from Africa, a long flight) on the first day.

Dan Dooley is who I recommend for rental car. All their costs are quoted up front, no surprises. They are very helpful!

Don't miss Conor Pass in Dingle, just north of the city - gorgeous! But often misty, so plan for a couple opportunities.

Check out the Swiss Cottage and Cahir Castle, on the way to Kilkenny. If you run short of time, Rock of Cashel is the best - very impressive.

Kilkenny - I loved the Castle, the Black Abbey, Dame Kyteler's Inn, and Jerpoint Abbey in Thomastown.

From Kilkenny to Dublin - go by way of Glendalough Abbey and Powerscourt Falls and Gardens - a long day, but well worth it.

It will be fast paced, but still doable.
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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I would recommend easytourireland.com for car rental. The Husband used them recently for his golf trip to Ireland and was quite pleased with the car, the price, everything. They include everything, even Super CDW, and the price at the end was what was quoted and guaranteed at the beginning! Have a wonderful trip!
MarilynT1435 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Personally, I was not crazy about the overnight we did in Doolin. It's really small--basically 3 pubs and a couple shops and the pubs are crowded with tourists in the evening. You might want to look elsewhere for a more interesting overnight stay.

If you enjoy hiking, that would be a good way to see the Burren (and would help with the jet lag). Here's a link to a fabulous hike we did through the Burren last year: http://www.shannonregiontrails.ie/Fi...e,7510,en.html
longhorn55 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Yes, Doolin is very small. We enjoyed our nights in Ballyvaughan, on the north end of the Burren - but again, not very big (a bit bigger than Doolin, though). Ennis is larger, and centrally located for exploring the region. A nice, walkable city.
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 13th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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I realize Doolin is small, but if you wanted to arrive in Shannon and see the Cliffs on day 1, where would you suggest? Should we drive up to the Cliffs, and then drive down to Ennis to spend the night?

I appreciate all the suggestions, especially since I'm flying blind as I plan! You've already been so helpful!
cdscully is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 06:12 AM
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Ennis isn't all that far from the Cliffs, and the Cliffs will likely take you no more than an hour or so.
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 01:02 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help! I've done some searching on the forums to find recommended places to stay, but I'm wondernig if you can help me think of a place to stay in Dublin? My husband and I would like to easily be able to go out on Saturday night (or Friday night) but also be able to see some of the key sights (with as much walking as possible).

As for other places we're staying, I'm planning on:

Ennis: Temple Gate
Dingle: Emlagh Lodge
Kinsale: Desmond House
Kilkenny: Avila Kilkenny

Do these seem like good places? We're mainly interested in a comfortable place to stay, where we can walk into town in the evenings for dinner/drinks.

Thanks again so much for all your assistance!
cdscully is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 01:27 AM
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Temple gate is one of the two main Hotels in Ennis and is a good option. Not sure what might be going on in town with the 8th being a Monday but lots of options for places to eat. Apart from food in the Temple gate you can get good Pub grub in Brogans to full restaurant spots like the Town Hall (part of the Old Ground Hotel)
Tony2phones is offline  
Aug 17th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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We had a decent stay (at a good price) at O'Neill's Victorian Pub B&B in Dublin. Noisy, yes - right above a pub and on a busy street. However, if you take an inside room and use earplugs, not so bad. It's cheap, it's clean, the rooms are big, and it's right across from Trinity college. Easy walk to the Hop/on/off bus, not far from Grafton Street, etc.

Emlagh Lodge has great reviews from Michele at www.irelandyes.com. She might have other suggestions, I know she likes Kinsale.
GreenDragon is offline  
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