Chilled out trip to Ireland

Feb 15th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Chilled out trip to Ireland

Here is more or less what I have planned. My 13yr old daughter and I are visiting Ireland in March for about a week. I HATE rushing around all over the place day afterday. So here is the plan. We land in Ireland the last day of the St Patick's day celebrations in Dublin. I have a room not far from the airport with an early check in. First we will go there and get rested up then we will find our way into town with a bus or taxi. Enjoy the last of the celebrations and see trinity and the book of kells.

The next morning I will pick up a rental car and head to Portrush with a stop over at Newgrange to see the tombs. Then on to Portrush. We have the next five nights at the same B and B and from there plan to see giants causeway, walls of derry, drive around and see the stuff on inishowen peninsula, go to bush mills, maybe check out the glens of antrim and or Rathlin island. Oh yeah and a castle wouldn't be bad and the rope bridge carric a rede rope bridge. We like to hike and explore will this keep us busy seeing good stuff. I don't mind some of the driving back and forth I just don't want to have to pack up every day and go somewhere else. On the morning of our last day in portrush we head back to Dublin to stay at Clontarf Castle Hotel the next morning we fly out a 9 am

The time change is going to be killer and I really want to enjoy it not be exhausted.

So what do you think
conniejobob is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 10:15 PM
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Hi conniejobob,
I think it sounds like a very good plan. It's such a smart idea to settle in one place and focus on an area. And Northern Ireland is so wonderful and gets fewer visitors. We found many great hikes - the top of the Causeway has a trail that you can hike for miles.

We travel to Ireland from the west coast so we have quite a time change. We handle it by taking a 2 hour nap (no longer than 2 hours!) at about 2 in the afternoon the day we arrive. Get up and try to be normal, then have dinner and go to bed at 10. I have no jet lag after that if I follow that plan.

rosetravels is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Having a homebase will have a great impact on your experience. Depending on where you end up staying, you might not get to see much of Inishowen as doing the entire peninsula is really a day trip...with the best scenery along the north and northwest area (the whole peninsula is beautiful though). If you're close to Derry, it won't be a problem.

You can view some pictures from my trip to Inishowen and the Causeway Coast at:
yesiree100 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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We will be at portrush. So I hope that even though it will be a Looooong day I hope that we can get over there drive the peninsula.

Will driving to port rush from dublin be ok in one day...with a short stop over at new grange.

BTW why does it cost extra to drive a car into northern ireland?

Thanks for the nap trick for dealing with the time change.

conniejobob is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 10:42 PM
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I have never paid extra to drive a car into Northern Ireland. If your car rental company is charging extra get a new car company!
IrishEyes is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for the input....Anyone else have any thoughts on all of this or suggestions on how to carry it out. Someone outside the forum suggested that we just have to see Belfast. I don't know what I would do there any suggestions for a day in Belfast?
conniejobob is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Take a black cab taxi tour if you decide to go to Belfast and see the Murals.
crazychick is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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I don't think the book of Kells is open on St Patricks day but check on the web. The trinity gates are closed off for a few hours when the parade is on.
SiobhanP is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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As I understand it, St. Patrick's Day is a very popular time to visit Ireland so there may be a lot of people at Newgrange. We went in June and stayed in Dublin for a few days, drove to the Dublin airport to pick up our car by 9:00 a.m., got to Newgrange by 13:00 a.m. and spent 3 1/2 hours there doing both the Newgrange and Knowth tours (if you just want to do Newgrange, it will probably only take you 1 1/2 hours). We also enjoyed seeing Trim Castle, which is one of the largest castles in Ireland. Hill of Tara is right there too. All in all, we started in the morning around 7:30 from the B&B and didn't get back to our B&B in Navan until around 5:00 and we were exhausted. Plus, I don't know if you have driven on the left before, but the first day of driving is quite difficult as you are trying to get used to it --- luckily, the Dublin to Newgrange trip is quite easy so I think it's a nice way to get into the Ireland driving experience. If I were you, I would spend the night somewhere near Newgrange and then head up to Portrush on the next day.
akila is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Sorry for the typo --- we got to Newgrange by 10:30 a.m.
akila is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Yes, you need to get to Newgrange early or you could wait quite a while.

I have to disagree on the nap thing. It works for some people but most claim (and I agree) that you should do everything you can to stay awake the first day all day and the get a full night's sleep. If you take a nap, you will feel just as tired the next day at about the same time. I saw a news story on one of the morning shows that had some doctor suggesting the same ... not sure if that adds any validity.

wojazz3 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 07:10 AM
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QUOTE "I don't think the book of Kells is open on St Patricks day but check on the web."

We won't be there on St Patricks day but from what I understand the celebrations go on to the 19th and from what I could find on the internet the book of Kells is open...Please let me know if I am missing something!

The Black Cab thing sounds great.

I would love to see Knowth also but I think it is closed that early in March.
More info on the Trim Castle or Hill of Tara would be great.

As far as time adjustment. My Dr. has suggested that 10 days before the trip I shift my bed time to one hour earlier each night and use some melotonian(trying to trick my body into thinking the sun is going down at a different time I suppose) and hour before I go to bed. By the time we leave I will have adjusted my sleep time to Ireland's time. The flight over is through the night so I am supposed to sleep as soon as possible on the flight and the plan is that when we land it will feel alot closer to the 7 am Ireland time than it does my 2am east coast time. Then 3 days befor the return I start to stay up an hour later every night. I have NO IDEA how this will work but I will give it a try and try to avoid naps. I don't nap well.
conniejobob is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Trim Castle is a castle like any other in Ireland --- it is, however, one of the largest in Ireland and you can walk up to the very top of the castle (which is somewhat unusual). They haven't remodeled the inside so it isn't quite as touristy as Bunratty, but you get a very good feel for the castle since most of the walls are standing.

It sounds like you aren't going to see any other castles on your trip, so I would take the time to stop at Trim --- I especially think your daughter would enjoy seeing the ruined castle. It's also where part of Braveheart was filmed. The only thing you may have to check is opening hours for the castle because I am not sure if they are open every day in the winter months.

The Hill of Tara is the famous hill with the celtic symbols on it. It's really just a hill and you can drive through it pretty quickly.

akila is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for the info on trim. I looked and it seems to be open only on Sat and Sunday in March...We can try to catch it on the way back to Dublin.
I looked for some other castles in the north and found a few but we will see if we get to them

conniejobob is offline  

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