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wanderer1 Jul 12th, 2009 04:07 PM

Dublin Day Trip
My husband and I leave Sat for Dublin - we can't wait!

We want to take one day trip, and had our minds set on Giant's Causeway.

My husband, however, is nervous about traveling within Northern Ireland, due to recent troubles and a shooting death among other things. He says he'd rather be safe than sorry.

Our other 2 choices are Ring of Kerry or Cliffs of Moher. Should we be safe and just choose one of these?

This will be our only day trip. We are in Dublin for a week.

bratsandbeer Jul 12th, 2009 05:23 PM

You should be able to drive from Dublin to Giants Causeway with no problem. The motorway goes west of Belfast so you don't drive into Belfast. My sister and I drove from Dublin Airport to Newgrange and then to Northern Ireland for a few days without any problems. Giants Causeway is awesome. Newgrange is well worth a visit.

wanderer1 Jul 12th, 2009 07:11 PM

The day trip is through a company called Viator.

We travel by train Dublin to Belfast, then we pick up a bus in Belfast to continue the tour.

jent103 Jul 12th, 2009 08:06 PM

I haven't heard anything in the news recently that would make me reconsider a trip to Northern Ireland. I have some friends who were there several weeks ago and they haven't said a word about any issues.

Honestly, my bigger concern is that the ROK and Cliffs of Moher day trips sound like very, very long days from Dublin (and the Cliffs are a long way to go to see one thing). One other option to throw out there would be County Wicklow, particularly Glendalough, and Powerscourt if you're interested. Glendalough in particular I really enjoyed.

wanderer1 Jul 13th, 2009 08:05 AM

The Giant's Causeway Tour is actually as long in duration as Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher.

Alternatives we are considering...

Newgrange and Monasterboice (I hear Newgrange is not for clautrophobics?), Wicklow, Gendalough and Avoca, Wild Wicklow including Glendalough (includes Sally Gap), Wicklow including Powerscourt, Glendalough and Laragh, Dalkey, Howth, or Kilkenny.

Can anyone comment on any of these? (Other than Kilkenny, Dalkey and Howth, these trips are 7ish hours vs the 14-15 hours of the others we were considering).

CAPH52 Jul 13th, 2009 08:33 AM

My brother did one of the day tours through the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough last fall. He enjoyed it but was somewhat frustrated that they spent so much time on stops for coffee and lunch. He would have preferred being able to spend more time in the Wicklow Mountains. But, of course, that's the downside of doing a day tour rather than going on your own. However, believe me, having done a day tour in Scotland last month, I understand the upside! There are definite advantages to letting someone else do the driving! (And having them tell you what you're seeing!)

We did the same trip by car last month and loved it. Considering that the Wicklow Mountains are really just outside of Dublin, they certainly give you a chance to experience a much different type of scenery. And Glendalough is beautiful and very moving. If it were me, I think I'd choose a Wicklow/Glendalough tour.

I'm also a fan of Newgrange. I was worried that going in would bother me as I'm somewhat claustrophic. It didn't at all. We didn't go to Monasterboice but my impression from my son-in-law, who grew up in County Meath, is that it doesn't compare to Glendalough. However, I have to add that he's never been to Glendalough! :-D

jent103 Jul 13th, 2009 08:40 AM

Ah. I haven't been to NI and couldn't get the company web site to come up in a reasonable amount of time last night, so I wasn't sure of the time difference (or lack thereof).

I think you're the best judge of what you want to see. I can only say that Glendalough is one of my favorite spots that I've seen in Ireland (not that I have a huge sample size, but still), and that I would really, really not want to be on a day trip for 15 hours when a very large chunk of that is transport time. You'd be on the tour from 7am to 10pm, or something along those lines, and on a train or bus for a lot of that time. So if you're set on using this tour company, I would do one of the shorter ones. You could also take a few days out of this trip to see part of the west (not sure how long you're staying). But personally, I wouldn't try to see the west as a day trip from Dublin.

Padraig Jul 13th, 2009 08:48 AM

I like all the alternatives you list, and seven hours is much more appealing than fourteen.

Personally, I'd choose Wild Wicklow because I love the scenery of the Wicklow Mountains. But Newgrange & Monasterboice might give you something a bit more distinctively Irish. I am mildly claustrophobic, but can handle the passage in Newgrange (last in is best if you don't trust your psyche). Even if you don't enter the tumulus, it's a memorable visit.

spaarne Jul 13th, 2009 09:03 AM

I was in Belfast a couple of months ago. No troubles. The silly Ulster marchers took over part of downtown for a couple of hours. Plenty of police looking over the scene.

How about Cork? It's 3 hours by train, RT appx €100. It is a very good train. Visit Blarney Castle, a 25 minute bus ride from Cork at €6.20. Blarney is an experience, but a difficult climb to the top of the castle to kiss the stone.

tod Jul 13th, 2009 10:07 AM

Hi Wanderer1 - We have just returned from Northern & Southern Ireland. There is no need whatsoever, to be nervous about going to Northern Ireland! We stayed in Ballymoney and it is a short trip to the Giants Causeway ( which we incidentally missed)! I have a trip reoprt if you have time to read it:

wanderer1 Jul 13th, 2009 01:17 PM

I didn't consdier Cork. I didn't know it was only 3 hours.

What has more to offer - Cork or Kilkenny? How far is Kilkenny from Dublin? Are they both fairly easy to figure out to get to? (We won't be driving).

How do these 2 compare to Howth, Dalkey or Malahide?

We like architecture, natural beauty, shopping, eating and just hanging out.

The more I think about it, I don't know if I want to do a 14 hour tour. The one I REALLY wanted to do was Aran Islands (that's the kind of natural beauty I love) but maybe we'll save that and Galway for another trip when we stay on the West Coast.

spaarne Jul 13th, 2009 02:08 PM

I can't answer your comparison questions but I did have a good time in Cork. If you go there I recommend the chowder at Scotts. Best I've ever had. Also the burger at Hotel Jury is good. I stayed there two nights at €55, without breakfast. I keep OJ and yogurt in the room and that is enough for me.

Waterford is 1h35m from Cork by bus at €19. But you can buy loads of that crystal at the huge Blarney tourist shop.

CAPH52 Jul 13th, 2009 03:26 PM

If you only have one day to spare, I would definitely save the Aran Islands for another trip.

If it's beauty you want, I'd recommend Wicklow/Glendalough over Cork. But you're not going to find architecture or shopping there.

tod Jul 13th, 2009 06:31 PM

We were informed that there is only one port taking passengers to Aran Islands, and that was from Rossaveal near Galway: - My map shows other routes but none were in service.
Of course you can always fly - up to 25 flights a day in high season.
What put us off was the weather, otherwise that was high on my list of 'must sees'. Hope you have better luck!

jaja Jul 14th, 2009 05:01 AM

tod Jul 15th, 2009 04:42 AM

jaja - That news flash is so terrible and I can't imagine this is the same country we have just been through only a short few weeks ago. I think if this where happening just before we were planning to go to Northern Ireland, I would still go. Yes, I would still go.

jaja Jul 15th, 2009 01:20 PM

On the advice of someone who lives there and travels back and forth across the border on business, we changed our plans and traveled east and south before turning north to Donegal, instead of heading straight to NI as we had planned. We missed the Causeway and the Rope Bridge but I was not about to take my grandchildren into harm's way.

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