Dublin to the southwest/west?

Mar 25th, 2008, 10:20 AM
  #1  
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Dublin to the southwest/west?

Ok, I have been reading and reading and know it is not recommended, but my husband and I have to fly in and out of Dublin and the majority of the things I want to see are in the southwest and west. How long of a drive is it from Dublin to say, Doolin or Limerick? Would either of those cities be good bases for exploring the southwest and west? I don't want to move around too much. I was thinking of doing 2 or 3 nights in the southwest and another 2 or 3 in the Galway area, then we head back to Dublin for our last night before we fly home. Don't scold me, it is what it is Help me make it work

Jack's mom
jacksmom72 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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No scolding necessary! Dublin is really not that far from anywhere in Ireland, although Shannon is certainly more convenient for the area you prefer to visit.

Although Limerick is pretty central, it is not all that interesting. If you want to see the West and Southwest, Doolin, or that general area of Co. Clare is a better choice. I also like Lahinch. Dingle, of course, is a wonderful destination, perhaps for a night's stay, with two or three back in Clare, before venturing to Galway.
colbeck is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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As long as you don't try to make the trip to the west coast on the 1st day, you'll be fine. You need to spend the 1st and last night in or around Dublin.

If you are new to driving in Ireland, probably 5-6ish hours to Doolin, 4-5 to Limerick. There are many more bypasses than there were a few years ago so driving is a bit quicker than it used to be. Limerick would not be my favorite choice for a jumping off point though. It's a rather industrial city.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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We're driving from Dublin to Dingle Peninsula in July (although we live in Edinburgh so it's easier). The B&B owner said it was around 3 hrs to Limerick and another 3 hours to Dingle Peninsula. We're planning on doing it in 1 day as we arrive at 9am. We're going to Doolin on our 3rd day and then driving back to Dublin - the B&B owner said it would be about 5/6 hours to get back.

Long days driving but my DH loves to drive and we didn't have many options of direct flights from Scotland to Ireland. I think it would be a really difficult drive on your first day if you'll be dealing with jetlag though so I would recommend staying near Dublin for your first night.

pittpurple is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Thanks guys! We arrive in Dublin on a Thursday night and will stay there until Satruday morning. So that gives us all day Friday to explore Dublin. Then we have a hotel booked near the Dublin airport for our last night.
jacksmom72 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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3 hours is possible to Limerick I guess. I never drive straight through to anywhere, so I've never timed it. I consider it about the same mileage to Galway which used to be about 4 hours with traffic, maybe less now with the bypasses.

I think Limerick to Dingle is closer to 2 hours if you stick to the main roads and don't get lost in Tralee, It's easier to get around than it used to be, although maybe I'm just more used to it. Locals can make the drive from Dingle to Dublin in about 4 hours they tell me, but that may be at night and of course, they know the roads.

Bill
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Mar 26th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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I was thinking of starting the trip with Dublin to Galway. Then campout in the Galway area for 2 or 3 nights. Anywhere worth stopping along the way? Do I have to book a B & B in that area in advance or should we just wing it? This will be the first week of April. We actually leave a week from today! Yikes!
jacksmom72 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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On (well, just off) the road between Dublin and Galway you have Clonmacnoise, an important and interesting monastic site on the banks of the Shannon. Look for signposting indicating that it is on the left between Moate and Athlone.

It should not be necessary to book B&Bs in advance at this time of year.
Padraig is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Not sure how close to Galway City you want to be, but Clifden is a nice Connemara town, about 45 miles west.

Also, most flights from the US arrive in the early morning. We have never had a problem picking up a car in Dublin, or Shannon, and driving a few hours to our destination. Many B&B's are difficult to check into anyway in the early AM.
colbeck is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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hmmm, things to do on the way:

In 9-10 trips I've only made this drive once. That said:

Kilbeggan has the original Locke's distillery which, until recently was a museum to it's past but is now distilling whiskey though the 1st batch won't be ready for distribution until 2014.

If you haven't had enough whiskey yet, Tullamore is just south of Killbeggan and there is a heritage museum in town that speaks to the whiskey history.

Athlone has a cute city center and a castle that is worth a peek if you decide to finde your way into town. I've only approached Athlone by water so I can't help much with that. May not be worth of the trouble of finding your way in.

More interesting, south of Athlone is Clonmacnoise, the remains of an early Christian settlement on the banks of the Shannon. It sees a lot of tourism but is worth the side trip.

Closer to Galway is Athenry which has a fairly nicely refurbished castle. People seem to want to vist the town thanks to Pete St John's "Fields of Athenry" which seems touching the 1st couple 100 times you hear it. The Fields of Athenry gift shop is a monument to tourism hell in this little village.

Birr Castle is further off the path and probably a bit out of the way for this trip. Access to the castle itself is not permitted, but the grounds are interesting and it's telescope was the largest in the world for over 50 years.

I don't know this route real well, but I hope this helps.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 04:56 PM
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Hey, Bill, I still love "The Fields of Athenry". I have an older version by Paddy Reilly and it's just lovely. Of course, I am very sentimental.
LCBoniti is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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lol, you may still have about 50 listenings to go. Actually, it's the country two step version that I despise complete with the audience screaming "hey baby let the free birds fly". It makes me cringe to even type it.

Bill
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Mar 27th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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LC:

This should make your day (save the synthesized strings):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vIPz...eature=related

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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You could take a CityLink bus from Dublin airport to Galway Tourist Office on Forster Street. It is about 4-hours and buaea run hourly. From the Galway 'hub' you can take BusEireann to Doolin or Ennis or Limerick City. BusEireann & Irish Rail station is about 200m from where the CityLink dus drops you off.

I'm a great believer in getting to where you're going on your arrival day. You'll probably be less than 100% from the jetlag so CityLink or BusEireann are the way to go
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Mar 27th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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OMG, Bill! Thanks for that link - it did indeed make my day. Plus now I have lots more Paddy Reilly clips to watch.

It's amazing what you can find on YouTube . . .
LCBoniti is offline  

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