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Could someone please look at my Northwest Ireland itinerary?

Could someone please look at my Northwest Ireland itinerary?

Mar 30th, 2009, 09:13 AM
  #1  
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Could someone please look at my Northwest Ireland itinerary?

Hi guys, DH and I are going to Ireland in late May for a week. I've already been there, twice, and DH has never been there. I have never been to Sligo or Donegal, so that's what we're going to focus on for this trip. I've already booked some parts of this trip, but I would love it if someone could take a look and tell me if we're taking on too much for each day or not.

We are looking for an easy trip where we can stop & smell the roses a bit, so we'll be driving, stopping a lot to walk or hike and take pictures, etc. We want to visit some pubs and hopefully catch some great music. I don't want us to be in much of a hurry to get from town to town, but I also don't want us to be bored.

May 30 - arrive in Shannon, take the bus to Galway. Spend night in Galway.
May 31 - pick up rental car, drive to Sligo. Spend next two nights in Sligo, exploring town and region.

June 2 - Donegal town
June 3 - Dungloe town
June 4 - Letterkenney
June 5 - drive to Galway, 4 hours? spend night in Galway
June 6 - take bus to Shannon airport & depart

I've already booked lodging for both Galway legs and Sligo, as well as transportation to & from the airport and the car rental. I just need to secure the middle three nights. Thanks in advance for any help!
sunny16 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 03:43 PM
  #2  
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Anyone?
sunny16 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 03:12 AM
  #3  
 
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Sounds good to me, but I've not been to the area yet myself. However, we're planning a trip there in 2010, so I've been doing research.

One source you might try is www.irelandyes.com - Michele runs the site, and has been to Ireland over 40 times! She has a nice little forum.

Don't miss the Slieve League cliffs, I hear they are spectacular!
GreenDragon is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 07:50 AM
  #4  
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Thanks, GreenDragon! That looks like a great site. The Slieve League cliffs are definitely on our list!
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 11:56 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi Sunny 16,

This darn new forum. I composed a long reply and then lost it. I will try to recreate it.

We did the northwest in 2006. We absolutely loved it!

I am by no means a expert on the topic, but here is my two cents.

We vistited Sligo, but did it in a day. I am not sure why you want to spend two nights there, perhaps relatives or something in particular you want to see. We saw Sligo Abbey, Glencar Falls, Yeats Grave and drove all around the area, all in one day. We were staying in Leitrim so it wasn't far, but I don't know if we could fill up two days [unless we golfed].

We also went to Donegal. We stayed two nights in Ardara and could have stayed much longer. Donegal is beautiful. We went to Glenveigh National Park, Slieve League and did quite a bit of driving around. We went through Letterkenny, but bypassed Donegal town. I don't know anything about Dungloe.

From Donegal we headed south to Westport for a few days, then continued on to Galway. I'm not sure that we could have made it in one day from Donegal to Galway. Have you checked aa.ie? Everyone says to expect you will only average about 35 mph.

Galway is as far south as we went, so I can't comment on whether you have enough time to get to Shannon from Galway on the day of your flight.

With all that said, I would probably do 1 night in Sligo and 3 nights in Donegal at one place instead of three. Then I would pick a place in between Donegal and Galway/Shannon for one night.

Others may have better suggestions.

Have a great trip.
reillygee is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 01:47 PM
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reillygee, if you had three full weeks for the north/northwest, how would you do it? Would you spend longer in Sligo? Galway? Donegal? Just curious
GreenDragon is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 02:26 PM
  #7  
 
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Greendragon,

Funny you should ask. My husband and I are planning a return trip and are deciding whether to return to the Northwest or do the south. We probably will do the South since we have never been, but boy do we dream of the northwest!

My family comes from Leitrim, so putting aside time I would like to spend there, I would spend at least a week in Donegal. We also loved the scenery in No. Ireland, so perhaps a week there also. That would leave another week, which we would opt for Connemara.

We went to Galway City and we just weren't fans. Too busy for us, but perhaps we didn't give it a real chance. My husband prefers the countryside to cities as a rule, unless there is a great golf course nearby.

Now if we only had three weeks...
reillygee is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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A few suggestions for accommodation in County Donegal, although your price range is not hinted at.

On the cheap and cheerful end of things, the Courthouse in Kinlough (near Bundoran) has simple rooms but a nice restaurant - it's actually just across the county border in Leitrim, in case it doesn't show up in your searches for Donegal. On the other end of the scale, near Donegal town, Lough Eske claims to be the NW first five star - with prices to match.

Something in between, Castlemurray House Hotel is in a lovely situation overlooking the sea and a decent restaurant too, www.castlemurray.com

Further north, Rathmullan House is a place that offers the country house experience, check www.irelands-blue-book.com

No worries about getting to Donegal to Galway in a day - unless you start trying out the pubs en route.....
SeeDee is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 08:50 PM
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Hi everyone. Thanks for all the input! Just today I received the confirmation from my final B&B, so here is how the plan goes:

May 30 - arrive in Shannon, stay in Galway
May 31 - June 1 - Sligo
June 2 - Glenties
June 3 - Gweedore
June 4 - Letterkenney
June 5 - Galway
June 6 - depart via Shannon airport

Reillygee, we don't have relatives in Sligo, but I figured we could take it easy for a couple of nights and shake off the last of the jet lag before we hit the road hard on June 2. (We wore ourselves out a bit with huge days of driving on our second and third days in Iceland.) It looks to me like we can drive to Gweedore via the Slieve League and Glen Gesh Pass.

I guess Glenties and Gweedore are kind of close together, but again, I want to give us plenty of time to stop and explore, and I want to check out Leo's Tavern. Also hoping to see the Bloody Foreland, Horn Head and maybe take in some music in Gortahork or Falcarragh.

I'm hoping that on our last day in Donegal, we can drive up to Malin Head, but if we're tired of driving all that way, maybe we can venture into Norther Ireland or something.

SeeDee, thanks for all the great lodging suggestions! I was trying to keep the budget at around € 70 per night, and I managed it except at a couple of places.

I'm not a big fan of Galway myself. I'm from NYC and I like cities, but I've been there twice already and it didn't leave much of an impression. Kind of annoying that I have to go there two more times on this trip, but there are a couple of places there that I won't mind visiting again, so I'll make the best of it.

By the way, reillygee, I can't compare Donegal to the Dingle peninsula in the south, since I haven't been to Donegal yet, but Dingle is wonderful and I'd recommend it to anyone if you're considering heading down that way.
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 03:30 AM
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Well, reillygee, if you want suggestions on the southwest, check out my trip reports - we spent a 16 day trip there in 2006. We spent 3 or 4 nights each in Ennis, Rathmore (near Killarney), Kilkenny and then Dublin.
GreenDragon is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Sounds like you are all set Sunny16. Have a wonderful trip. You will love Donegal. When we were there in 2006, we didn't make it to Leo's Pub, but you probably can't miss it. There are signs everywhere directing you to the pub and notifying you that it is owned by Enya's dad.

Thanks for the suggestions Sunny16 and GreenDragon. We plan on spending at least a few days in Dingle. I'll check out the trip report and probably posting some questions when we get a better idea of what we want to see.
reillygee is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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Hi! We will be there the week before you and I am still trying to find somewhere to stay

Curious where you are staying in Sligo?
SandratheGardener is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Hi Sandra! We are staying at Tree Tops B&B:
http://www.sligobandb.com/

They got great reviews on Tripadvisor and responded to email very quickly. We are paying € 38 per person per night there for a double ensuite room.

Have a great time! Where else are you going besides Sligo?
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Sandrathegardener,
I don't know what price range you are thinking for your accomodations, but Cromleach Lodge and Coopershill House are two lovely manor houses in Co. Sligo. Check them out on Tripadvisor.
colbeck is offline  
Apr 5th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Thanks Sunny! We checked with Tree Tops but they are booked for our dates. Just heard from a B&B in Grange (20ish min north of Sligo) today though so we are set for our Yeats country lodgings

Thank you for the recommendation Colbeck!

We are spending 3 nights in Dublin, with a day trip to Newgrange & Hill of Tara, then to Sligo/Grange for a dcouple of days. Aiming for some hiking there, hopefully the weather will cooperate. Also hoping to do a day trip from there to Belleek, NI. Then we're off to Ashford Castle for 2 nights, then Galway to stay with family friends, and then back to Dublin for our last night. May try for a trip to the Aran islands while we are staying in Galway, though I am a little anxious about the boatr ride with a toddler.
SandratheGardener is offline  
Apr 6th, 2009, 05:23 AM
  #16  
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Sandra, glad you found something good in Yeats country! Your trip sounds great. Why are you anxious about a boat ride with a toddler? Are you worried he'll run around a lot?
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Instead of Gweedore you should consider the Rosapenna Hotel. The service, food and just-enjoy-your-time-here is 4 star. It is a lovely, relaxing spot. I think you'll enjoy it if you want to splurge a bit.
JeffTWA is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Thanks, JeffTWA! Rosepenna looks beautiful, but that's more than we wanted to spend, plus it's not even worth it for us - we plan to spend most of our time out and about. I'm hoping to be out exploring the Rosses and Horn Head that day and then catch some good music at a pub somewhere that night.
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 01:22 PM
  #19  
 
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I was in Leo's Tavern in Crolly,l Co. Donegal at the weekend - great bar food at reasonable price.
Padhraicin is offline  
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