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Driving around Ireland

Old Jan 21st, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Driving around Ireland

Hi all

Planning a trip around Europe and hopefully about 5 to 6 days in Ireland and Northern Ireland with my parents at the beginning of September.

We haven't decided where we will fly into and we don't really mind. We were planning to drive around. But we were really hoping to visit Dublin, Belfast, Cliffs of Moher and Giant's Causeway. I've been reading a lot of forums saying it doesn't seem very doable so any advice about what to skip or ideas about where to start would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 08:41 PM
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Unless you're on a motorway, you'll average only about 40 mph in Ireland. That said, you will barely have time to see Dublin, Belfast, and Giant's Causeway in 5 or 6 days. Cliffs of Moher are 'way out of the way, time-wise. Please get a map of Ireland and a guidebook and plan carefully. If Cliffs of Moher are a "must-see" then you might want to fly into Shannon and see them along with many other interesting sites in that general area, but IMO Dublin, Belfast, and Giant's Causeway would be too far afield from Shannon. I'm hoping the Ireland experts will add their recommendations.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:27 PM
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Cannot speak to actual driving times to/between Dublin, Belfast or Giant's Causeway. But yes, driving off the expressway(s) is very different than the U.S. (assuming you are from U.S.)

Part of the beauty of Ireland is getting off the expressway and seeing the countryside. Roads are narrow, and with driving on the left side of road, and on the "passenger" side of the car itself, it's a vastly different experience.

We had very little traffic to deal with when I was there. We were there in December (very much off season), and it was still somewhat slow going.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

From what I read it did seem impossible even though the map doesn't look too far all the forums said driving was a lot slower going then it seems.

So if we don't go to Cliffs of Moher would Dublin, Belfast and Giant's Causeway be possible?

I'd orginally thought possibly just doing Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, Galway and Dublin only instead and that's still an option.

I'm just curious about which would be a better route - my parents tend to like sightseeing. We're from Australia so we're used to driving on the left.

Thanks again for any help
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:48 AM
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You can do the Northern arc in 6 days, Fly into Shannon and drive to Galway past the Cliffs day one. Day Two head for Sligo possibly some of the Connemara on route. Day Three Portrush via Derry, Day Four Belfast via the Antrim Coast. Day 5/6 Dublin.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:39 AM
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According to the driving time map in the back of Rick Steves' Ireland book, Belfast to Dublin would take 3.25 hours, Dublin to Cliffs of Moher 4.5 hours. Of course, that doesn't include stops for meals, gas, or sightseeing.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 06:55 AM
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If you believe anything in that RS book then you believe anything. The times are wrong but on this occasion air on the top side. Be warned that RS advice on turning in wing mirrors and fixing "L" plates will get you in trouble with the Garda
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:35 PM
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Another thought -- even at slow 35-40 mph average speeds, it is possible to drive to all the sites you want to see. However, your 5-6 days will be mostly driving with little time to enjoy what you've driven to see. This kind of trip appeals to some, so if that's your cuppa, go for it.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 10:51 PM
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You will not average 40 on rural roads. 30 is more like it

Others will disagree as always but Belfast is still very out of control and the West and South are totally lovely. crkwc is right.

"I'd orginally thought possibly just doing Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, Galway and Dublin only instead and that's still an option.

I'm just curious about which would be a better route - my parents tend to like sightseeing. We're from Australia so we're used to driving on the left."


This is by far the better option. Sightseeing especially.

Over and OUT!
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 02:29 AM
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Apologies as cannot see how to edit comments; omittd today this.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/p...le-582311.html

Many similar in the last few days. Please, take great care
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 02:45 AM
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Marirose the ambassador for Tourism NI. How many Tourists do you find wandering the streets of East Belfast?? If they flew the British flag every day from now to eternity there would still be mindless idiots wanting their hooded image on National Telly and there are areas of any city anywhere in the world that a tourist would not go, want to go.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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Hi bertobi,
I'm planning on taking my first vacation to Ireland this September as well. I have no idea what I'll be doing yet. I only know that I'll be flying from San Francisco to Dublin. I hope you have a great time and I'm sure I'll be posting my own questions in the near future. In the meantime, I'll just check out the replies you're getting
I'll probably be renting a car too. For those of you mentioning the speed limits, is that 30 and 40 MPH or KMH?
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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I'm guessing its probably MPH, as KMH would be dead slow.. its like carpark speed. Can't imagine going anywhere for long at that pace.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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MPH -- Use www.aaroadwatch.ie, convert to miles and divide by 35 to get fairly accurate time ESTIMATES.

Of course, there are ALWAYS variables ...
Cork to Dublin (M8 motorway)posted numbers will be CLOSE (though still, optimistic)
R and L Roads (and SOME N ) For example, Killarney to Dingle, a divisor of 30 MPH might be closer to truth.

Bob
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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I am planning a trip to the Irish isle myself this year. I will be watching this thread too.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Driving around Ireland is one of my fave things although I've only done it a few times.

I have issued this warning before, but watch for jagged edges on the roads. I got too close and ended up with a flat tire on the Burren. When you see those roadside castles and towers, give yourself the time to stop and check them out.

Rentals can be short on space, so keep in mind your luggage needs.
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 10:06 PM
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The REAL Northern Ireland from people who live in Belfast.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...n_Ireland.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...n_Ireland.html

Marirose gets the Rick Steves Award for accurate reporting on the situation in Belfast. It is a large red "L" to display on her car. Congrats Marirose!
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