Another dude asks about Ireland

Old Apr 17th, 2006, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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Another dude asks about Ireland

OK, here I am joining the Q&A session, sitting at the Q site.

I am flying into Shannon in May, will have 7 nights, came up with the following itinerary. Please let me know if the drive sounds reasonable, or if any of the sites should be replaces by others. (Do want to visit Antrim though.)

Day 1: Drive to Galway from Shannon.
Day 2: Connemara National Park, back to Galway for the night.
Day 3: Drive to Antrim, see Giant's Causeway. Spend the night in Bushmill.
Day 4: Rope Bridge, Distillery. Spend the night in Bushmill.
Day 5: Drive to Sligo, see Lough Grill, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery (worth a stop?). Spend the night in Sligo.
Day 6: See Cliff of Moher & the Burren. Spend the night in Doolin.
Day 7: Not sure about what to see. Spend the night close to Shannon.

Can someone recommend a Town & Country B&B in Galway? Thanks

Where would be a better place to spend the last day/night?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 07:49 PM
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Actually where would be a better area to stay in Galway? Thanks.
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Spend your last nightin Ennis. Finde tradtional music sessions in several pubs. If you're there the last part of May, you can get in on the Fleadh Nua, Ireland's annual music and dance festival. Visit www.fleadhnua.com for more information.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 02:39 AM
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2fly,
Your trip involves loads of driving and some back tracking. A more logical route would be to catch an onward flight from Shannon to Belfast or Dublin, crash out for the night and continue on the next day. Rent a car and then go to Antrim, Sligo, Galway, Clare and fly out of Shannon. Even doing it this way you should be prepared for quite few days behind the wheel at least you will be travelling in one direction.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Hi 2fly,

I agree with mayfly.

The journey from Galway to Bushmills will take about 5 hours on slow travelling roads. From Dublin Airport to Bushmills will take about 3 hours inland and 3.5 hours if you take the more scenic coast road from Belfast. The road is either motorway or dual carriage for most of the way (the new motorway from Dublin to Dundalk has halved travel time).

Can you Fly into Dublin and out of Shannon?

If you can it would greatly reduce your driving time.

Have a good trip

Helen
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 12:14 AM
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I booked the flights in-n-out of SNN. So have to ditch Antrim...

I have to say it is not the easiest thing to come up with a short-vacation plan. Different books recommend different sites. I shortend the drive to the areas around SNN up to Sligo. Please let me know if any adjustment is needed in order to maximize the fun of a relaxing vacation. Boy, am I expecting too much .

- 3 nights in Lisdoonvarna - Cliff of Moher, the Burren, Aran Islands
- 2 nights in Galway - Galway city, Connenara
- 1 night in Sligo - Lough Gill, Carrowmore
- 1 night close to SNN (Limerick?) - the Hunt Museum or King John's Castle

For a fun dinner, some books recommend Bunratty, others disagree and recommend Dunguaire because Bunratty is "too commercialized for American tourists"... Mayfly_1, what do the locals think?

How big is Galway? I have choices in Galway City, Dangan, Grattan Park, Glenina Heights, Merlin Park, Whitestrand, Salthill, Lower Salthill, Upper Salthill, Upper Salthill - Gentian Hill, Salthill Threadneedle Rd. (That's all...) Any recommendation?

Thanks!

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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 02:50 AM
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Your revised plan is much better. 3 days in Clare is a good pace for the area and the things you wnat to see. I would suggest getting up early on day 4 and heading to Galway City. Day 5 somewhere on the road from Galway/ Clifden/ Westport/ Ballina/ Sligo. Night 6 Sligo, night 7 somewhere close to Shannon. This would leave your last day with the only really significant driving, although Sligo to Shannon, with an early start would leave you with time to get up to something in the afternoon. As far as Bunratty is concerned I can't really comment; from what i can gather it seems to be some sort of pea-green soup served with a slice of riverdance, followed by the Corrs with a portion of sham rock on the side - I think it is alien to most locals and Irish people.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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Whatever your views on the meals ("banqets") & the folk park, Bunratty does have a genuine old castle in reasonably good repair. A few years back my 2 adventurous boys thoroughly enjoyed climbing all around the towers, but they have now been closed off for safety reasons.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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We just came back from Ireland the end of March. We went to Limerick but were very disappointed. Drove through but didn't even stop as very Industrial, no charm.

We did stay in Bunratty and loved it! Tiny little area, Dirty Nellies and the Creamery were great. We stayed at Bunratty Castle hotel, very nice. Did the castle banquet and had a great time.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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Limerick City is OK! See the Treaty Stone, King John's Castle, the Hunt Museum. Shop at Arthur's Quay Mall.

Lisdoonvarna has a nice hotel (Falls) and probably some nice B&B's. Its fame is the September MatchMaking Festival. Ennis has more Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, Shopping & entertainment. 22-29 May is Ennis' Spring Music & Dance Festival (Fleadh Nua); and Ennis is just about the same distance from Shannon as is Limerick City. I had to stay in Abbey Tourist Hostal during my '04 visit to Ennis for the Fleadh Nua. Everything else was fully booked.

Doolin is probably better for the Aran Islands than Lisdoonvarna.

I would go with Salthill: Lower Salthill is closest to Eyre Square, you can walk from there. Or you can take public transit to/from there or Upper Salthill. Otherwise the City is pretty spread out.

Stop in Ballina (Co. Mayo) on your way to Sligo. A lot of Sligo People come to Ballina for weekend entertainment.

Or you may want to stop at Knock Shrine on your way back to Shannon
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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Rick Steve prefers Lisdoonvarna than Doolin, despite the extra distance to Cliff of Moher/Aran Islands. I do find he has the most different suggestions from other guides. Sometimes I wonder if he doesn't mind spending a lot of vacation time driving...

Mayfly_1, when you said "Galway/ Clifden/ Westport/ Ballina/ Sligo," did you mean Galway instead of Galway City + Sligo intead of Sligo Town? What are the differences? If possible, I'd rather not change B&B every day.

How long does the drive from Connemara to Ballina take? I found a Town & Country B&B that is recommended by a travel book.

I am going to spend the last night in Ennis. If a lot of the last day will be behind the wheel, I'd prefer to relax in a pub, and enjoy some good Irish music on the last night.

Thanks for all your input!
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 01:07 AM
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My input there was to try to maximise your time in the area. Rather than stay 2 nights in Galway city and one night in Sligo town, I feel you could spend one night in Galway city, the next somewhere in Connemara, and the next in Sligo town. This would break up the driving even though you would be b&b hopping. Some rough distances, without stops, are as follows: Clifden to Leenane: 45 minutes, Leenane to Westport: 45 minutes, Westport to Ballina: 1 hour, Ballina to Sligo: 45 minutes.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:08 AM
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2fly writes: "I am going to spend the last night in Ennis. If a lot of the last day will be behind the wheel, I'd prefer to relax in a pub, and enjoy some good Irish music on the last night." Good choice! Unless you coincide with the Fleadh Nua: lodging in Ennis will be difficult 22-29 May. Cruise's Restaurant & Pub has Trad Irish music every night - best on weekends. Sunday afternoons they often have impromptu sessions, especially at that time of year. It's on Abbey Street adjacent to the Queens Hotel.

If you overnight in Balliná, Croket's on the Quay has Trad Irish music in their front bar Monday evenings. I have stayed there twice (they still send me a Christmas Card). I have also stayed at BrigOwn B&B about 50m (toward the bridge) from Crocket's. It was about '04 and Marjorie had the place 'on the market,' so I don't know if it's operating as a B&B anymore.

Both are on the riverfront (Moy river).
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:52 AM
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NEDSIRELAND said he stayed in the Abbey Tourist Hostel (www.abbeytouristhostel.com) during the 2004 Fleadh Nua. I did the same last year. The hostel was renovated this past winter (which it needed). Now it could be a good choice for inexpensive lodging any time of the year.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Mayfly_1, thanks very much for the drive time breakdown!

TimS and Nedsireland, I will leave Ireland before Fleadh Nua. Still need to find accommondation in Ennis and Sligo. As I understood, Ennis town is enough that I just need to get a room somewhere. Is Strandhill Road the road between Sligo and Strandhill? Is it a better place to stay than Rosses Point, if I cannot find anything in Sligo town?

Where is Knock Shrine? What do they have there?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Knock Shrine is the site of a Marian Apparition (sanctioned by the Catholic Church). I think it was 1879 or thereabouts. It's in east Co. Mayo (on the Roscommon border): like Lourdes & Fatima, it has a huge 'Runway' (for Pilgrims) & Sanctuary. If you're coming down from Balliná toward Gort or Galway, you will probably pass very close.

Ennis has several Hotels: the Temple Gate (where I stayed on two visits), the Old Ground, the Queens (noisy) and two or three I would classify as Motels. I don't drive in Ireland, so I can't comment on those; but I've read some positive comments about them. Ennis has many B&B's. Wife & I stayed at Rose Cottage B&B our most recent visit (Feb-Mar '05).

I stayed at the Queens once when I got bumped from a Newark-bound flight (traveling Non Rev). They gave me a 2nd floor room near Cruise's: there was some street noise when Cruise's closed (1:00 AM) but it didn't last long.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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I finally got all B&B's confirmed. Thanks for everyone's input!

Have fun!
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