Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Family trip to Ireland over US Thanksgiving Week

Notices

Family trip to Ireland over US Thanksgiving Week

Old Jul 31st, 2005, 04:43 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Family trip to Ireland over US Thanksgiving Week

I am in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Ireland for the week of Thanksgiving, late November. My family includes my husband, my children, daughter (11) and son (10) and me. We love scenery, history, theater, art museums, and food. I was waiting until my 50th birthday to do a 2 week trip to Ireland (four years away!), but decided there is much to see there so let's go for Thanksgiving, and again to celebrate my 50th. Yes, I have Irish blood coursing through 50% of my veins, and 100% of my personality! At this point, we do not have any preference to where we fly in or out of, Shannon versus Dublin. We are from Minnesota so we will not mind the cold since that really isn't cold to us, and we can handle the rain. We love going to places in off season, avoiding tourists and meeting the locals. We prefer to stay a 2 night minimum which means we probably won't go too far. We went to Boston last year over Tday, had a fabulous time, and just did day trips. Moving kids every night is not good. My children are experienced travelers and love to learn about new areas and the history of the area. We would love to stay overnight (or 2) in a castle which would give a real castle experience.

So, my question to you Fodor experts is where should we go based on the fact that we definitely will be returning, it is the end of November so we need to have some things open to do, there is beautiful scenery (yes, I know that's not tough in Ireland!), and our time limit which will probably be flying in the Saturday before Thanksgiving and leaving the Saturday after (I want to give us at least one night at home to somewhat deal with jet lag, etc.)? My husband and I have been to (either together or with others pre-marriage) to London, Scotland, Germany, Paris, and Greece. Our children have never been to Europe.

Thank you for your suggestions!
mosey is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 05:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well - first of all Ireland isn;t cold in the winter - and November isn;t even winter yet - at least in comparison to northern parts of the US. It can be quite damp - but it should be warmer than Minnesota. (Ireland doesn't typically get snow even in the middle of winter.) And the rain is more often mist or drizzle - rather than heavy rain. So you will need to have clothes for layering - and waterproof shoes - but don't plan on weather like you have at home.

I know a lot of people will disagree with this - but I think you should be sure to spend at least 3 days in Dublin (I would fly in there and back out of Shannon). To me - its a beautiful city with a host of historical associations (esp for someone with Irish heritage) that often gets ignored in the search for the green and friendliness of the people.

Be sure to hit Trinity College (the Book of Kells, etc), Dublin Castle, a couple of the major museums - and do take in some theater exemplifying the local authors (we saw Wilde the last time we were there - but Shaw etc will do just as well.) (I'm never sure why everyone always says do theater in London - but not in Dublin - where it;s often brilliant).
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2005, 05:43 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Nytraveler. I've been in the west of Ireland Nov.,once Killarney and another Connemara and parts of Clare. They close down for the season. I'd stay in Dublin and do day trips I think it'd be a great trip for the holidays. Or stay a few days Dublin and travel to Kilkenny. I just feel there is enough to do in and around Dublin. Hopefully the prices are better. Good Luck.
chatham is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 03:17 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you nytraveler and chatham for your advice. My husband is a commercial architect and he enjoys visiting the cities. I; however, am probably one of those tourists you referred to, nytraveler, who wish to get out to the green and the people. So how could I split this between city and coastal scenery with my time limit?

Do you know of any castles where we could stay since I know that would be memorable for my children?

Is there a website that gives information on what is open/not open during the different times of year? I really wanted to go to the Cliffs of Moher, and I had read that their tourist center stays open year round now? Are more places doing this? Thanks!

mosey is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 04:12 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As typical, I have been spending hours reading postings regarding Ireland. I have read a lot about people visiting the west in November-March and there isn't any mention about issues seeing the main sights and finding lodging. I haven't gotten our tickets yet which I assume is a big issue whether you fly into/out of Shannon versus Dublin. While I know my husband would love Dublin, I also know that the rest of us want to see castles, ruins, and coastal scenery which I have read is in the west. What to do? If we have only 6 true travel days (I am assuming two days travel to and fro) what is my best bet? nytraveler is probably saying I already told you so!!!

Also, staying in a castle would be a big plus for the kids. Any in Ireland that are more like castles and less like hotels?

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
mosey is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 06:19 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 961
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was just reading today on another post/or website about what looks to be a lovely self catering cottage in the WEst of Ireland...County Kerry. You could do lots of day trips from there and also get the feel of a local small village. The great website is:

www.cottagemaryrose.com (including music!!!)

....might be hard to book around Thanksgiving however (with other Americans getting the same idea)

I am NOT connected with this cottage in ANY way, but just thought it would be a neat place to think about going.
mari5 is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2005, 06:43 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not sure exactly how you're counting the days - but you could easily spend a couple of days in Dublin - then rent a car and head into the countryside and return from Shannon. Naturally you'll only be able to see a few things - rather then everything you want (like any other vacation) but do remember that Ireland is a very small country and distances are not great.

As for staying in castles - I'm not aware of any but the couple of standard deluxe ones - but I'm certainly not an expert on the countryside.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:12 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mosey -

posted this link before for others -

www.irelands-blue-book.ie/

Castles, Manor Homes on usually big rolling private estates. Are def more expensive than B&B and usual hotel, but a huge jump in comfort and experience.

As stated by another poster I am in no way connected with this site, I've just had a few very memorable stays in their properties. Is expensive but then one or two nights might not be too bad!!!

Have a great trip
pastyp is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bertobi
Europe
7
Oct 18th, 2016 01:47 PM
P67742
Europe
7
Nov 18th, 2012 03:48 PM
crckwc1
Europe
22
Apr 29th, 2008 03:11 AM
gharrell
Europe
22
Mar 9th, 2005 12:10 PM
Samsaf
Europe
12
Jun 3rd, 2004 10:27 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO