9 Day Trip

Apr 25th, 2004, 10:01 AM
  #1  
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9 Day Trip

At the end of June my mother, grandmother, sister, and I are all taking our first trip Ireland. Unfortunately we all have different ideas on what we want to do. I was hoping someone could tell me if our already shortened version of our itinerary needed to be condensed even more. We already have reservations for lodging but am hoping someone could offer advice on what to cut if we are trying to do to much. Or any sites that are must see that we have missed. Thanks for any help in advance!


Friday: Arrive in Shannon at 7 am, see the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren on our way to Clifden.
Saturday: Kylemore Abbey, Knock, Rock of Cashel, stay in Cashel
Sunday: Kilkenney Castle, Japanese Gardens and Horse Farm near the Gardens, stay in Cashel
Monday: Waterford Factor and Saltee Island, stay in Cashel
Tuesday: Jameson Distillery, Fota Park, Blarney Castle, stay in Castleisland
Wednesday: Dingle Peninsula, stay in Castleisland
Thursday: Ring of Kerry, Lakes of Killarney, and Torc Waterfall, stay in Castleisland
Friday: Mizen Head, Drombeg Stone, Bantry House, in Castleisland
Saturday, Visit sites in Shannon if there is time before our flight

jjaring is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 06:25 AM
  #2  
 
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Here's my thoughts on your plan:

<<Friday: Arrive in Shannon at 7 am, see the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren on our way to Clifden.>>

This is one long drive. I realize that you will get in early but you'll also probably have had to fly overnight. Make sure the one who got the most sleep on the plane is the one to drive. You can't miss the Burren as you must drive right through it to get from Clare to Galway.

<<Saturday: Kylemore Abbey, Knock, Rock of Cashel, stay in Cashel>>

This is another long drive. Not sure that you will want to stay so far west for one night only to head back into the middle of the country the next. I'd spend at least one more day in Clifden. And you absolutely will not be able to visit Knock on this day as well as the other places you have listed.

<<Sunday: Kilkenney Castle, Japanese Gardens and Horse Farm near the Gardens, stay in Cashel>>

Kilkenny Castle is tour only and if it's busy on a Sunday then you may be waiting you turn for a tour. If that happens you will be limiting yourself to the amount of time you have to drive up to the National Stud and Japanese Gardens; which is a half day walking about in itself at least. I would one or the other but not both.

<<Monday: Waterford Factory and Saltee Island, stay in Cashel>>

This is a lot of driving. You may want to hit the Saltee Islands first and try to catch the Factory tour on you way back. You may be able to do them both is you catch the first boat out to the Saltee's.

<<Tuesday: Jameson Distillery, Fota Park, Blarney Castle, stay in Castleisland>>

This, too seems like a lot but I don't know this area or these sights as well so perhaps someone who does can weigh in?

<<Wednesday: Dingle Peninsula, stay in Castleisland>>
Perfect.

<<Thursday: Ring of Kerry, Lakes of Killarney, and Torc Waterfall, stay in Castleisland>>

Put these in order of importance and see them all, if you can.

<<Friday: Mizen Head, Drombeg Stone Circle, Bantry House, in Castleisland>>

This is a lot of driving and staying in the car more than anything.

<<Saturday, Visit sites in Shannon if there is time.>>

If you are leaving on this day then there won't be much if any time for sightseeing. Dropping off the rental car, getting through security, checking in, duty free shopping, dropping off VAT slips, etc all take a good while plus you need to be there so many hours before the flight. I honestly do not think you'll be able to do any sight seeing this day.

I'm concerned that you have too much packed in each day. It will be a lot even if it were only yourself and your sister, not to mention two more people, one at least who is probably older. (How young is grandmother?) You will have long days in June to drive about and see stuff but you can only take in so much at one time.

Here's how I'd change your schedule:

Friday: arrive, Cliffs of Moher, stay in Clifden

Sat: Kylemore Abbey, Knock, stay in Clifden

Sun: Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, stay in
Cashel.

Mon: Waterford tour, Kilkenny, stay in Cashel

Tues: Fota Wildlife Park, Blarney, stay in Castleisland.

Wed: Dingle, stay in Castleisland

Thurs: Ring of Kerry, any other sights I could fit in along the way, stay in Castleisland.

Fri: Bantry House, Mizen Head, Drombeg Stone Circle if time, stay in Castleisland.

Sat: head for Shannon and home.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Wendy
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waffle18 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 07:00 AM
  #3  
 
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Driving in Ireland is not like driving on a highway in America. It is not a realistic plan. I would cut it in half to only the things you really want to see or you will not enjoy spending your whole holiday in a car.
SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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P.S. Skip Blarney it's a tourist trap.
SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 08:01 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the help. Everyone is telling us the same thing that we are overly ambitious, so I have pared down our itinerary and am hoping this is a more realistic schedule? Especially considering the one I previously posted already had been scaled back. Unfortunately we have our reservations for lodging so we have to work within those areas.

The one thing that was a problem and I left the same is Mizen Head, my mom really wants to see it and since most of her places are the ones getting cut I don?t want to cut it out to. What would be a more feasible choice for Friday if we decided to go elsewhere? My grandmother is 73 and a pretty good traveler but you are right I don?t want to overwhelm her, especially the day before we have the long trip back.


Friday: Arrive in Shannon at 7 am, see the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren on our way to Clifden.
Saturday: Kylemore Abbey, stay in Cashel
Sunday: Kilkenney Castle, Rock of Cashel, stay in Cashel
Monday: Waterford Factor, stay in Cashel
Tuesday: Jameson Distillery, Fota Park, stay in Castleisland
Wednesday: Dingle Peninsula, stay in Castleisland
Thursday: Ring of Kerry, and Torc Waterfall, stay in Castleisland
Friday: Mizen Head, Bantry House, stay in Castleisland
Saturday: Try to hit Blarney Woolen Mills in Bunratty if there is time before our flight out of Shannon

Thanks again for all the advice!!!!
jjaring is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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The only reason you're traveling north of Shannon is to see Kylemore Abbey and stay in Clifden for one night? For such a sort time, I wouldn't do it. That leg of your trip alone adds hours of driving time. Kylemore is lovely and so is Connemara, but I'd skip it if I were you.

Mizen Head is wonderful, but don't do it unless you have good weather. On a rainy or misty day, you just aren't able to see much. Gougane Barra could be an alternative for that Friday.
MaryZ is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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I'm going to try to make a different suggestion, aware that you have already made reservations, but trust me, reservations can be cancelled this far out in most places in Ireland. I've done it a number of times.

I like the idea that you are staying multiple nights in most places, but as little fun as it is packing up and moving, it might make sense to be just a bit more mobile.

The first day is a lot of driving. Michelin calls it 4:45 minutes and it is unlikely that you will go that fast. You'll probably want to add at least an hour, so call it almost 6 hours. That's pretty difficult to do after a long overnight flight. I like to keep it to two hours, but four would be max. You may need two drivers, which adds some expense. You can probably make it to Clifden, but the excursion to the Cliffs may be to much. I agree with Mary that it's an awful lot of driving to see those two sights. I'm guessing though, that it is on someone's MUST SEE list. Kylemore is pretty from the outside and not very interesting on the inside. There is a beautiful chapel down the walk, but Ireland is loaded with beautiful chapels. In any case, at least one of you will probably nod off at least once during the drive.

The big change I would make otherwise, since you have to go to Mizen Head (and I salute you for that) is to not stay in Castleisland on your day that includes Fota Island and (ugh) Blarney Castle. Instead, stay somewhere in the SW. Kinsale is a popular spot, or you could stay somewhere closer to Mizen like Glandore which is just up the road from the Drombeg Stone circle. Then you could take a nice leisurely ride through to Mizen and then up through Bantry on your way to Castleisland. Again, I understand the desire to pick a central location and do day trips, but in Ireland, where the traveling is slow, it sometimes makes sense to break that rule a bit. It's a lot easier to spend 30 minutes repacking than it is to spend three hours driving IMHO. Again, chiming in with others, if you can skip Blarney, you won't have missed anything. You'll have seen Cashel and Cahir and Blarney will prove to be a big disappointment.

Finally, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to catch your flight on Saturday. It's probably about 2 hours to the airport from Castleisland. Also, the rental car drop off requires a bus ride back to the terminal, so make sure the logistics involved in that are included in your timing.

Hope this helps.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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Are you unable to change any of your reservations? June would seem plenty of time to incur no penalty for cancellation. While I've not yet been to Ireland (just over 2 weeks to go now ), I do know from my research that 2 months would be plenty of notice for most B&B's.
This is assuming you are staying in B&B's, of course. If not, are the hotels or guesthouses in Ireland significantly different on cancellations?
jef_e is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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I don't think you can do all that stuff in 9-days; but I am a Septuagenarian who likes to stop and smell the roses.

I travel to Ireland quite often (most recently 26 Feb to 2 Mar, 2004) and I usually base myself in one place for a few days and do daytrips from there. I like Ballina (for Mayo, including Knock Shrine), Ennis (for west Clare incl. the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren) and Galway (or Salthill) for Connemara. You could even get to Cong (where the Quiet Man was filmed) from Galway. There's a great museum in Corofin (Clare) and the Irish Tourist Bureau shop in Lahinch had 30% off everything when we were there on 1 Mar.

Sorry to see you took Knock out of your itinerary. Croagh Patrick is another religious site in Mayo that you might have wanted to visit.

What is the significance (historical or scenic) of the Jameson distillery?
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 04:20 AM
  #10  
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Our first night we are staying at Abbeyglen. When we made the reservations a month ago they told us we would lose our deposit if we had to cancel. Plus we really want to see Sky Road and Kylemore Abbey so I guess we'll just have to make it work the first two days.

As far as staying elsewhere before we head to Mizen Head we have booked a cottage for the last four nights. The owner already gave us a discount for a partial week even though it will be July so it doesn't feel right to ask him to accommodate us even more because we didn't ask enough questions before we booked our lodging.

As for the Jameson Distillery there is no significance, we just thought it would be a fun thing to do. Maybe we are wrong there, has anyone ever toured the Distillery?

Thanks again for all the help!!!
jjaring is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 12:03 PM
  #11  
 
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jjaring:

OK, I see where you stand now. You may miss some of what you do and again, I believe the trip to Mizen will be a long day, but that's what many travelers love. Ireland is a wonderful country to visit, but it's pretty difficult to, for instance, see a large portion of the SW from one point. Driving is very slow.

That said, Mizen is one of my favorite areas in the SW. It's remote and quiet unlike much of the rest of the SW. If it were me, and I was worried about not getting everything in, I would delete other parts to see Mizen, but that's me. I've never visited the Middleton distillery and I believe that they now distill about 5 different brands of whiskey. If you all have a great interest in whiskey, you'll probably have a good time.

My guess is that, as the trip goes on, you'll determine what you want to leave out. It's always difficult planning a trip for a group of people with divergent interests and I'm sure you are already seeing the struggles. Good luck with the planning and just be ready to improvise when you are there.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
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