Comments on Itinerary

Jun 30th, 2012, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 521
Comments on Itinerary

We leave in 6 short days for Dublin. We will be in Ireland for a total of 17 days (15 full days on the ground). For me, this is the least planned trip I've ever done....usually I spend a year planning things and this was only organized starting back in April/May.

I'm just looking for some advice on extra things to see in areas or interesting routes to take. Our accommodations are all set, so I won't be messing with that.

We are flying in and out of DUB and are renting via Hertz (using Easy Tour Ireland's website - but we have a backup reservation).

We are NOT nature people (i.e., no hiking) and don't really drink. I'm a big history buff.

My current budget (which may need revisions because I based on a stronger euro and so I'm about 15% over) is:

hotels - $2000

food - $100 USD per day for 2 people (keeping in mind that all breakfasts are free) = $1500

car rental - $600

gas - $550 (I'm figuring about 3000 kms)

sightseeing & souvenirs - $800

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Day 1: Dublin overnight at The Merrion hotel

HOHO bus: Must sees are Trinity College, National Museum, Christ Church, and St. Patricks. Wander down Grafton and hit Temple Bar area for dinner.

Extras - National Gallery, Kilmainham Gaol.

Day 2: Pick up car and drive to Belfast. Overnight at Tara Lodge.

Paddy Campbell tour booked for 4 PM. Must sees are Falls Rd & Shankhill Road. Exterior of city hall (not open Sundays).

No interest in Titanic stuff.

Day 3: Belfast to Derry. Rose Park House.

Carrickfergus, Cushendall/Cushendun, Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Derry.

City walls walk (Rick Steves), Bogside murals walk (Rick Steves), guildhall, St. Columb's cathedral.

Day 4: Derry to Sligo. Iona B&B.

Grianan ring fort, Glenveagh castle, Donegal, Sligo. Possible stop at Belleek. Visit Carrowmore, Sligo Abbery, St. Johns Cathedral.

Day 5: Sligo to Clifden. Dun Ri Guesthouse (2 nights).

Foxford Woollen mills, Westport House, down R335 for scenic views and into Clifden. Clifden castle.

Day 6: Explore Connemara. Sky Road, Kylemore Abbey, Renvyle Castle. Travel along R341.

Day 7: Clifden to Ennis. Grey Gables (2 nights).

N59 to Galway: Oughterard (Maam Cross), Aughnanure Castle, Moycullen. Lunch and a few hours in Galway (Eyre Square, Claddagh, Latin Quarter).

Kinvara - Dunguaire castle.

Possible stop at Cliffs if time permits. Otherwise save for tomorrow.

Day 8: Explore Burren/Clare. Aimless driving day.

Day 9: Ennis to Dingle. Pax House (2 nights).

Knappogue castle, Bunratty Castle, Adare (thatch roof houses, priories).

Day 10: Dingle exploration. Dingle peninsula loop and explore Dingle town. Minard castle?

Day 11: Dingle to Kenmare. Abbey Court (2 nights).

Killarney - Aghadoe, Muckross house/friary, Ross castle.

Stone circle in Kenmare.

Day 12: Ring of Kerry drive - Staigue ring fort, Derrynane house, waterview, Skellig ring.

Day 13: Kenmare to Kinsale. Cloisters B&B.

Beara peninsula drive (cutting it short by taking R574).

Day 14: Kinsale to Kilkenny. Rosquil House.

Blarney castle, Cashel, Cahir. In Kilkenny: Black abbey, Kilkenny castle, St. Canice's cathedral.

Day 15: Kilkenny to Ardee. Smarmore Castle.

Wicklow (friary & black castle), Glendalough, Roundwood. In Ardee see Ardee castle & Hatch's castle.

Day 16: Tour Boyne Valley. Holiday Inn airport.

Newgrange, Monasterboice, Trim castle, Mellifont Abbey (some can be done on previous day if time permits).

Car rental needs to be returned by 7 PM.
twiggers is offline  
Jul 1st, 2012, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
I have said on TA just relax and enjoy yourselves. You have a plan, places to stay and places to see. If you don't actually see every one of them there will be others you will stumble on. Have a great trip.
Tony2phones is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2012, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2
twiggers- Could you please let us know asap if the rental thru Easy Tour Ireland is legit? I have a car booked thru them starting on Aug 1 and cant find anyone online who has actually used them. As I am sure you are aware, they are significantly lower than any other site and supposedly include SuperCDW in their base price. (Low enough to arouse suspicion!) Good idea to have backup car reservation. I might do the same. Your itinerary sounds fine,as long as you will be ok with not seeing all that you have planned at each stop. I suggest not rushing, as Ireland is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
maureenE is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
You seem to have a thing about castles. That's okay: there are few such old buildings in America.

But there are castles and there are castles. Clifden Castle: never heard of it, unless you mean the hotel with crenellations; Renvyle Castle: I was in Renvyle this week, and even though I could see it, I couldn't summon up enough enthusiasm to visit it; Minard: not very interesting; Ardee Castle: not much to see; Hatch's Castle: now, there's something else - it was offered for sale a score of years ago with the description "built c. 1200, modernised 1940" (it's now essentially a four-bedroom town house). There is more to say in favour of the other castles you mention, so I'm not trying to cast a damper on your entire programme. Donegal Castle is better than those I have expressed reservations about. I presume you will also target Cahir Castle.

Overall, I think you are targeting too many visits. You might be cheating yourself by trying to fit into an hour a visit than merits 2-3 hours.
Padraig is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2012, 04:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 521
Padraig - Any castle suggestions? Because yes, I do like castles and ruins/old buildings! Cahir is definitely on the list.

The things I have listed are more "if I make it there, great. If not, no biggie."

maureen - I will definitely post about the Easy Tour rental!
twiggers is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2012, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
Thanks, Tony. It looks to me like a late Georgian or early Victorian country pile.
Padraig is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2012, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 530
Hi - We just returned from a 10 day trip to Ireland. I didn't see you mention the Glendalough area. The monastic ruins there were great! We did that as a day trip from Dublin. You have a LOT of castles listed. We did a lot as well, but you have even more. And to tell you the truth - I got a tiny bit tired of the castle ruins toward the end of our trip. I enjoyed Trim Castle. We just looked at Dunguire from the road and took photos. We saw Dublin Castle, Cloncony Castle - this one was interesting as Ann Bolyn's cousins are buried there and it is privately owned. Got a private tour. You should try and see the Poulnabrone Dolmen if you are in the Burren. We went to Knowth instead of New Grange. In my opinion no need to go to both - a word of warning, our GPS took us right to the New Grange site but you have to go to a visitors center and be transported there via bus. We saw Monasterboice to see the ruins and high crosses there. Coming back across the midlands we went to Clonmacnoise - that is a cool monastic ruin that has a museum with the high crosses inside and a video explaining the story of the area. That was very informative and brought it to life.

I wore a long sleeved t shirt, a sweater, a fleece and raincoat most days - layering was the way to go! Good luck - I hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did ours.
yellowrose477 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 521
Thank you so much Yellow!!!
twiggers is offline  

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