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MAS16 Dec 18th, 2003 10:55 AM

Anniversary trip to Ireland - need location suggestions?
I'm thinking we might want to go to Ireland for our anniversary (first week of Sept.) - is this a good time to go? I've just begun my research, but I'd like ideas from those of you who have been!

We want to go somewhere relaxing/laid back and breathtakingly beautiful. We like to explore on foot or bike, so walking distance to a town would be great. I'm guessing we'd go for about 10 days. I don't want to hop around too much. I've checked out Lynott Tours web site and it looks like they have great deals - I thought renting a cottage (and a car) might be cool. One of their cottages that caught my eye is located in Killarney - is this a good place to base our selves? Any other suggestions/ideas/thoughts are appreciated - thanks! :)

Budman Dec 18th, 2003 11:16 AM

Here's a site you might want to look at to get started:


Powell Dec 19th, 2003 10:38 AM

We visited Dingle in September 2003. It is simply magnificent as to scenery, food, ambience. It is about three hours drive from SShannon Airport. We stayed at Heaton's Guesthouse--a great place.

In 1989 we spent our honeymoon in the west of Ireland but not in Dingle. We wish we had on reflection. If you go do not miss Slea Head, a place on many travellers Top 10 in the world lists.

I would spend 1/3 of time in Dingle, 1/3 in Kinsale and the balance in timeless Dublin.


travelbunny Dec 19th, 2003 11:21 AM wonderful to be celebrating an anniversary and even more wonderful to be considering Ireland as a place to spend it. I would suggest going to an Irish Tourist Board Office(if one close)or their site ( some idea where you would like to go..I agree the Dingle Penninsula is lovely (and you can spend a day or so on one of the Aran Islands)...Co. Kerry is lovely (but very touristy in parts).. Connaught wild and wonderful but quite hilly for riding bikes..Co. Donnagal spectacular but quite a drive to get there..once you have some ideas look at the accommadation listed on the Irish Tourist Board have to decide self catered, hotel, band b, or wonderful country house/farmhouse accommadation..(this would be my choice for a special celebration)..pick lodging in a great daytrips..just remember when planing that much of your wanderings will be on back for the sheep lying on warm pavement late in the evening in Dingle!! hope this helps.

wojazz3 Dec 19th, 2003 04:09 PM

Hi MAS16

Congratulation on the trip. It will be fun. September is a fantastic time to travel to Ireland and it marks the beginning of the "shoulder" season. It sounds from your note that you will be there for a week which wouldn't give you enough time to do both west and east coast touring.

Killarney is nice in the off season, but is pretty crowded at other times. The park itself is spectacular and a trip through the Gap of Dunloe by various means of conveyance is great fun. As mentioned, Dingle is wonderful (and in Co Kerry) though you wouldn't want to reach the Aran Islands from there as travelbunny may have been suggesting. They can be reached from either Doolin or the Galway area.

You can usually get better prices booking on your own rather than with a tour company, but that battle will rage forever.

I just realized I'm late for an appointment. I'll look in later.


travelbunny Dec 19th, 2003 04:15 PM

..Bill is right..the Aran Islands are reached from Galway..but I was thinking that they are so interesting that it is worth a quick trip...couldnt agree more about Killarney..very pretty but very touristy except in the very off season.

waffle18 Dec 20th, 2003 09:00 AM

As everyone mentioned, September IS a good month to go to Ireland, especially if you plan on basing yourself in the Killarney area. Co Kerry is overrun with tourists in the summer but September is definately slowing down in that respect.

As for a "breathtakingly beautiful place to relax" - THAT decision may be a bit harder since Ireland is packed full of just such places. As mentioned, Kerry including Dingle would be good as would the Galway/Connemara area. I have to add though that Donegal is out of the way and has less tourists and certainly falls under "breathtaking" so you may want to consider somewhere further North as well. But then Co. Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wicklow are also great! See? So many choices that I seriously do not think you can go wrong. Your best bet would be to figure out what and where you want to see in Ireland (ie. is kissing the Blarney Stone a "must" for you?) then ask for suggestions here from the many helpful people and look in your guide books.

Congrats on your upcoming celebrations and we all look forward to hearing about your trip.



MaryZ Dec 20th, 2003 01:32 PM


MaryZ Dec 20th, 2003 01:37 PM

Dingle comes immediately to mind when I think of somewhere 'relaxing, laid back, and breathtakingly beautiful'. The town itself is such fun and the scenery of the Dingle Peninsula is really incredible. It has some good hiking and biking possibilities, too.
Killarney is a great base with lots of options for day trips. I like the town, but it is pretty strongly tourist-oriented.
We rented a house for a week during our last trip and really enjoyed it. It's nice to settle into a place for awhile instead of moving every few days.

MAS16 Dec 20th, 2003 01:57 PM

Thank you all for your responses - you have given me so much great information! I have been doing some more research, and I've found a cottage that I have my heart set on - it's just beautiful and it's located in Cliddun, Kerry. This is not through a tour company, which I think is the route we are now leaning towards.

Typically cottages can only be rented for 7 days (Sat.-Sat.), although the owner said he would allow us to stay for 10. But, since it is very nice and a little pricey, and I would like to see another area, I'm thinking we might want to fly into Shannon (midweek) and spend two nights in a B&B somewhere either nearby Shannon or between Shannon and Dingle...perhaps Doolin to see the Cliffs?

Any recommendations on a town/b&b to stay in before we head to the cottage for 7 nights?

waffle18 Dec 20th, 2003 11:58 PM

I personally did not find Doolin to be "all that" though many people who post here feel just the opposite. Don't get me wrong, Doolin is nice but I found it packed with tourists and not much else. However, The Burren would be a great place to spend a day or 2 while seeing the local sights. If you get a good day you could easily make to the Aran Islands. Lovely place and worth the seasickness, if you get. I risked it and was well rewarded. I would also recommend Galway and the Connemara area - I can (and have!) spend a week or more there and we visit everytime we go back. Beautiful!

Have a great trip!


MaryZ Dec 21st, 2003 04:57 AM

Doolin's a good base to see the cliffs and the Burren, but there's not much to the town, except for 3 good pubs. I like Kilkee, further south along the coast, in the off-season. (Much too crowded for me in the summer.) It's an interesting town and has spectacular cliff scenery that doesn't draw the crowds the Cliffs of Moher do.

sss Dec 21st, 2003 01:11 PM

MAS16, This is a fab forum but may I suggest two that are Ireland only forums? & YOu may find other answers there to help you to.

MAS16 Dec 22nd, 2003 05:27 AM

Do you have any B&B recommendations in Kilkee?

MaryZ Dec 22nd, 2003 06:30 AM

In Kilkee, I like The Strand Guesthouse.
(You know, I don't have that site bookmarked and it could be

wojazz3 Dec 22nd, 2003 12:47 PM

Doolin is not a village to visit if you want to spend your day shopping in the village. It's a pretty good jumping off point for some touring though. The music pubs are great in the off season, but way to crowded, even in the shoulder season.

If you stay in Kilkee (which I haven't), the scenic drive south of there is fantastic. As you are leaving town, there is a sign that says scenic route. Follow it, though you won't believe you are on the right road at first. The main road ends up at the pier which has some nice views BTW.

There are all sorts of options for getting back to the main road to Loop Head from there. This is certainly a worthwile drive and another one that doesn't get visits from all the main tour bus companies. Give it a try.


edhodge Jan 18th, 2004 02:42 PM

First let me say that I am jealous! We did Ireland last September for our 25th anniversary and absolutely cannot wait to go back. (I have a trip report out there somewhere.) My DH loved the Connemara and wants to spend lots more time there next time. We both loved Dingle- beautiful scenery, the town was big enough but not too big, lots of shopping and great restaurants, great live trad music.

September was a fantastic time to be in Ireland. We layered clothes, ended up in shirt sleeves almost every day. The one day we did have lots of rain was also the day we saw lots of rainbows. (they do kinda go hand-in-hand :) ) We did some research on self catering cottages but decided that we just had to see more of Ireland than we could from a stationary location. We did take everyone's advice and tried to spend two nights per B&B.

Killarney was a busy town- lots of horse drawn cottages, shops and restaurants. We did enjoy the time we spent at Muckross House and would love to spend more time there.

sss Jan 18th, 2004 03:00 PM

Horse drawn cottages? I missed that. LOL!!! Must schedule a new trip to see them.

edhodge Jan 21st, 2004 10:54 AM

Oh yes, horse drawn cottages, not to be confused with gypsy caravans or horse drawn carriages. :) sorry for the typo- must have had too much of a good thing the day I typed that!

sss Jan 21st, 2004 03:55 PM

edhodge, Loved that typo. It made my day.

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