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Dublin & Environs Itinerary Advice Please

Dublin & Environs Itinerary Advice Please

Old May 10th, 2017, 05:17 PM
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Dublin & Environs Itinerary Advice Please

In June, our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids aged 12 and 14) are going to London and Dublin. We will be in London first, going at a frenetic pace and will be recovered from jet lag etc. We like history and museums and hiking. Kids will not be hot on house/garden tours or literary walks and we can't really take them on a pub crawl We love beer and whiskey but aren't interested in the ultra touristy Guiness and Jamison (sp??) properties in Dublin.

Here is what I have so far, with questions. I appreciate any and all comments-Thanks!!

Sunday-fly from London to Dublin, land at 12:30pm. Need to clear customs. Stop at the tourist booth in the airport to get maps and info. Maybe buy bus pass (see question at end).
*Renting a car from the Irish company that everybody recommends here--but I can't remember the name right now. Drive to our flat.
*We are staying near Clanbrassil Street/Lombard St--or Leonards Corner. We have a reserved parking spot. There are a number of reasons why I chose this spot/property--it should work very well for our family. I was going to pop into the Tesco Express at Leonard's Corner to get breakfast items and snacks. We check into the property at 4 pm I believe.
*Can I get wine in the grocery store?? We need wine to make this work for the parents.
*That evening, we will go to dinner and maybe take the bus or walk to St. Stephen's Green or the Ivenagh (sp?) gardens. We will need this time just as a travel day and to relax a bit.
*Any restaurant recommendations in that Leonard's Corner area?
*One issue with my family--we start early--out of the flat by 8ish every day. By 4:00 or 5 at the latest, we are TOAST. We do best with take out food that we eat in the flat. We are in bed, conked out by 10:00. So we are not going to be doing much nightlife or theater. It's ok, we have curtains, it will be dark enough to sleep inside
*Also-for eating. I assume we are ok taking our kids into most pubs at lunch-yes?? (e.g. more like a gastropub or any pub that serves a lunch) Mommy is going to need a Black and Tan or life is not going to be good

Monday--Driving tour of Valley of the Boyne
We will have been mostly in the city of London for a week so we are looking forward to some countryside!
First stop--New Grange. Can we buy tix in advance?? We will just see the New Grange tomb and the museum/visitors center. My goal is to leave at 8:30 and get there around 9:30. Rick Steves says it takes about 2.5 hours to do this tour--yes?? So that's 9:30-12:00
Lunch--the New Grange Cafeteria?? Certainly there has to be another option?? But we are looking for low key sandwiches and salads so maybe that's ok.
Travel 30 mins to Hill of Tara--spend an hour there--yes?? So let's say 1:30-2:30 pm
Travel 30 mins to Trim Castle, so get there by 3:00 ish. What are my odds of getting all of us onto a tour at that point in the day so we can see the Keep? Can we get tix online? Do we need to?
Drive back to Dublin at 4:30 or 5. How horrible is rush hour???

Tuesday--Dublin's main sights
1. Book of Kells: Take the bus to Trinity College. The bus stops every 30 mins. I used the "Dublin Bus" route planner. Is there a better one? It doesn't give you an idea of how long it takes to go from stop A to Stop B. I realize it can vary, but I assume there are some sorts of time tables??? I couldn't quite tell.
*I was going to get tix online for the 9:00 slot. I am *thinking* that it should not take more than 30 minutes to get to Trinity College but I can't quite tell.
*We plan on doing "the whole thing"--the Exhibit, the History info, The Old Library with the Harp and the Proclamation of Irish Independence etc. Would this take about 2 hours?? So 9-11??
2. Walk along Grafton Street--get lunch, shop. Is there a fun lunch spot closer to the Museum of Archeology since that is where we are going. I have to admit, I saw a good review of "The Hairy Lemon" and the name alone might make it worth it!
3. Museum of Archeology--1:30-4:30 Advance tix??
We will want to see: Hill of Tara Archeology, Ireland's Gold, Bog Bodies, Treasury, Viking Ireland
Not sure that takes 3 hours, but we can really get bogged down in these types of museums
4. Walk around Merion Square??? Some other option for an hour or so??
5. Bus back to the flat

Wednesday--Wicklow Mountains
1. Drive to Glendalough--leave at 8:30. Drive should take about an hour??
* Start with visitors center for 30-40 mins (timing?)
*1 hour walk through grounds--lower lake. The upper lake ruins sound like they are really "ruined"--are they worth it to walk there? (we are all in decent shape_
* So that would be 9:30-11:30
2. Lunch somewhere??
3. I am not sure what to do next. (see also my conundrum on what to do Friday afternoon)
*Powerscourt Gardens for teens??
*A hike/walk in the Wicklow Mountains or something else (we live at 5,500 feet/1,700 meters altitude so we are fine with uphill--but we like flat trails too!!) A friend said there is a website "Great Walks and a Good Pub"--all walks that end at a pub. But I couldn't find it. Any ideas here would be great.
*Maybe go up to Castletown House--I know, I said we didn't want to do house tours but this sounds like a Castle!! (or save this for Friday)
4. Drive back to Dublin

Thursday--another day in Dublin
1. Take bus to Kilmainham Gaol--sounds like I should get tix online. I will shoot for a 9 or 9:30 opening time.
*This will be a 2 hour visit?? 9:30-11:30
2. Take bus to St. Patricks Cathedral (30 mins), Visit for an hour 12-1?? (my kids go to Catholic schools so the last thing they want to do is "spend more time in a church". I am trying to explain to them how awesome this will be and I am telling them we are going. But I am under no delusions that we will spend a lot of time there)
3. Lunch nearby--ideas?? Or somewhere that is near the next destination?
4. I don't know what is next?
* Easter Uprising Museum
*National Gallery (a short 1-2 hour visit)
*GAA Museum (I played rugby in college)
*Dublinia seems too young for them?

Friday
At the end of the day, we have a 7:40 flight out of Dublin to Heathrow on British Airways. I assume we need to be at the airport by 5:30 to return the rental car and clear security. Is this enough time on a Friday evening???
Today, we will tour County Kildare
1. Leave by 10 am, checking out of the flat
2. Drive an hour (?) to the Irish National Stud (I am a big equestrian, not missing this) DH will probably want to see the Japanese Gardens--worth it? So maybe 2 hours here??? 11-1
3. Lunch in Kildare--recommendations? 1-2
4. In Kildare--St Brigids Cathedral and Round Tower 2-3 (???)
*That leaves us with an hour and change to kill before we drive back to the airport
*Or--we could leave the flat by 9 and be done with this by 2. Could we then get to Castletown House by 3? and view that in 1.5 hours? And then get back to the airport?
*Or--is there a place we could take a fun walk?
*Any horseback riding tours? (I would easily give up St. Brigids for a riding tour)

So that leaves me to my last question--bus pass?? We will ride the bus, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday for sure. I assume passes are good for 72 continuous hours vs. any 3 days? So I am thinking of just playing it safe and buying 5 day passes. WE could take the bus to dinner (or a cab) on the other nights....

Thanks for all of your help with this itinerary!!!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 07:09 PM
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Definitely get tickets in advance for Kilmainham Gaol. Only a certain number of tours are given each day, and only a certain number of people allowed per tour. Once these sell out for a particular day, that's it. The tour is excellent and guides very knowledgeable.

Hopefully you'll allow yourself some time to smell the roses on your trip. It seems pretty timed to the minute, but if that's what works for you, why not!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 07:13 PM
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Debs--it is timed out, but that's just to make sure we have time to see sights. We also have 3-4 hours every night to just chill, eat in the flat, and relax. There has been many a trip where a stop got thrown out the window. In San Francisco, instead of looking at ships in the National Maritime Park, my kids spent a good hour watching the sea lions squabble and sun bathe on a pier. They loved it!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 09:54 PM
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"*We plan on doing "the whole thing"--the Exhibit, the History info, The Old Library with the Harp and the Proclamation of Irish Independence etc. Would this take about 2 hours?? So 9-11??"

We (2 adults (one of whom is Irish) and our 15 year old) saw the entire exhibit (read every information placard, etc. and even spent a few minutes watching a worker vacuum an old volume) and debated in the gift store over a piece of jewelry, and only spent about 90 minutes.

The Easter Uprising Museum takes a lot of time (and interest). Maybe on Thursday afternoon if the weather is nice, take the DART to Howth. Hike about the cliffs, beachcomb if the tide is low, have delicious fish and chips for lunch?
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Old May 10th, 2017, 11:19 PM
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You might want to avoid asking for a Black and Tan. Type that and Ireland into Google..

Why are you renting a car for Wicklow. there is a perfectly good tour runs from Dublin covering Powerscourt and Wicklow.

If you want a DIY hike then consider Bray Head https://fatstevewalks.wordpress.com/...ray-head-walk/ Or Howth (good Sunday Market)

Also consider taking a Viking Splash tour http://vikingsplash.com/

On a side note. Ireland doesn't run like an interstate train it ambles along taking time to stop and talk. Any good General will tell you that a military plan falls at its first engagement so take 5 and see what you can, enjoy what you can and perhaps when Dublin slows down after 6pm you can actually have enough left in your batteries to enjoy the evening.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 11:27 PM
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Having re read your question. You have a Car all the time you are in Dublin!! WHY??? oh that's right, St Rick of Steves the bloke that makes us Culchies look intelligent.

Get a good guide book or a Marvel comic for more factual information.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 05:44 AM
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Tony--I thought of you when I typed in the words "Rick Steves" I have relied heavily on the Fodors Ireland book as I always use Fodors guides. I use the Steves guy for tips on cheaper eats and some ideas on how long it actually takes to see a site. What other guidebooks would you recommend?

We are renting a car because we are not tour people. I should have put that in my original post-forgot. I do not expect an interstate or a military campaign. I time things out and plan things or my family stands around trying to figure out what to do for an hour or more and it drives me batty. A plan is key, in my mind. If it all blows up or somebody has a melt down, we go for plan B. Thanks for the tip on the black and tan--I am too scared to google it!

I saw the Viking Splash tour--now that is a tour I would want to do. I think we would all really like it.

Fourfortravel--thanks for the info on the Book of Kells and Easter Uprising Museum. I read your trip report as part of my researches--sound like your family had a lovely time.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 06:41 AM
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I have non guide books guide books. My book of the month for May is McCarthy's Bar, I was going to have the Road to Roaring Water but that's got lost into a box in the barn so another time. Next month I might go for Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks, keep the humour and imagination going.

Wogan's Ireland, Footloose in the West of Ireland, Burren~Journey West and Country Living~ Guide to Rural Ireland are sat on my desk as I type, the latter is the only actual Ireland guide book within reach on a regular basis.

I would only rent a car the two middle days and do your two that would be tours: Newgrange/Boyne and Wicklow/Glendalogh. those days. a car is a hindrance in Dublin, I certainly wouldn't be driving in Rush hour traffic. Book your time slot for Kilmainhan. and remember Newgrange is first come first served and latecomers don't get a look in.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 06:44 AM
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http://www.changesinlongitude.com/or...reland-dublin/
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Old May 11th, 2017, 02:14 PM
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Quick recommendation for a restaurant close to your accommodation: Bastible is a very popular spot, always busy so best to drop in and reserve a table. Likely to be a young hipster crowd but the food gets majorly good reviews.
Noshington, just up South Circular Rd (heading west) has a good Brunch menu.
Bibi's on Emorville Avenue is another good spot for breakfast.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:13 AM
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So many questions! A few answers/comments:

You should be able to acquire wine in the Leonard's Corner neighbourhood, but whether at the Tesco Express or some other outlet, I can't say. If they don't sell wine in Tesco, the staff there can advise you where to find it.

If you dig deeper into the Dublin Bus Planner, you will find timetables. Don't bother. From Leonard's Corner to the city centre at rush hour will take anything between 20 and 45 minutes. You could walk it in about 30 minutes.

To get to Glendalough, head south from Leonard's Corner through the suburbs of Harold's Cross, Terenure, and Rathfarnham. Shortly after you pass Rathfarnham Castle, the road bears left. Follow the road, but position yourself in the right-hand lane, and turn right at "The Yellow House" pub. You will be on the R115. tick on that road, and it will take you to Laragh by a truly beautiful route over the mountains. Laragh is the jumping-off point for Glendalough. The appeal of the Upper Lake for most people is not the monastic remains: it's simply that it is very beautiful. More of a stroll than a hike.

I haven't been to Newgrange recently. It can be difficult to get into the main tomb, but that should not deter you from visiting. Knowth, the second important tomb on the site, is also worth visiting. The cafeteria was good, but I don't have recent experience. Tara is tricky. Yes, it is a major site; yes, there is a lot there; but it is actually quite difficult to get your head around what the various lumps and bumps on the hill mean.

Castletown House is not a castle. It was one perhaps the finest country house in Ireland, became somewhat run down over the years, and is partially restored. It does have stables (but no horses).

More later, when I think of it.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 07:06 PM
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I do have a recommendation for horse back riding in Wicklow. I think we will do that! (it's 2 hours, so we could do it after lunch--depends on what they offer). I think we are going to skip Castletown House--thanks for Padraig! And thanks for the scenic route info!!
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Old May 14th, 2017, 12:58 AM
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Another couple of comments:

You can't book tickets for the National Museum it's a walk-in venue, no admission charge. I have never found it too crowded - and I am easily irked by mindless crowds.

You can find The Irish Jewish Museum very close to Leonard's Corner. I don't know if that might interest you. It's on my list of things I must get around to sometime. http://jewishmuseum.ie/

If your kids are anything like the large majority in that age group, then they probably won't get much out of Powerscourt.

Whereabouts in Wicklow do you propose to go horseback riding?
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Old May 15th, 2017, 12:26 PM
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Padraig--Brennanstown Riding School came highly recommended. I have to see if they trek from there though. There is green space around, but there is also a business park closeby too!
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Old May 15th, 2017, 01:33 PM
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I know next to nothing about equestrian matters. What I was thinking about was how you might tie it is with your visit to Glendalough. You have probably figured out that it is not impossibly far away.

I had been thinking of recommending that you continue southwards after Glendalough, through the wooded Vale of Laragh, through Rathdrum, Avoca, and Woodenbridge, then cutting across to join the M11 back towards Dublin. Depending on how you drive, that might add between 75 and 90 minutes journey time to your schedule (stops at your discretion). You probably could fit it all in if your horseback riding was at 3.00 p.m. or later.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 05:28 PM
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Padraig--we are going to do Glendalough in the morning and then spend an hour at Powerscourt and then drive less than 15 mins to the stable to be there by 2pm.

Any recommendations for an early dinner in Enneskerry (sp??)--thought we might eat there to avoid rush hour to Dublin. But we "should" be driving the opposite way (e.g. into the city) so I am hoping it won't be too daunting.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 02:42 AM
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it's many years since I have eaten anything in Enniskerry (or that neighbourhood) so I cannot offer any recommendations.

You are largely right about the rush hour: heading into the city should be a lot easier that heading out. Do you plan to use GPS, or do you have a very good human navigator?
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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:31 PM
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GPS for sure!! I am a very good navigator but that means lots of maps etc. I am assuming that all of the roads are paved and passable. (unlike many of the rural/wildnerness roads in my neck of the woods)
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Old May 17th, 2017, 05:16 PM
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I wanted to put my 2 cents in . I loved loved loved Dublin. The energy is great. The Archaeology museum was excellent and get ready for a very intense Bog body exhibit. I have kids around the same age and I thought they would be intrigued by it (I was travelling alone). The Viking tour is a great idea. Of course, it is a bit corny but who cares! Fun is fun! I thought the Guiness was grewt (the beer and the tour). I bought my older ternagers an engraved Guinness glass and suddenly became mother of the year. I went to see Riverdance and there were lots of kids too (depends on the he kids). There is a fun tour of Trinity College given by young students. They are very animated. I booked this tour before the Book of Kells. Writing about this just makes me want to go back.

I also want to add that it is a very small city and I walked everywhere. There was a lot of construction in places so I was glad I did. I am not sure if it is still going on.
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