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Maggie1017 Aug 31st, 2010 01:42 PM

First Day in Ireland - Cliffs of Moher area
We're beginning to plan our first trip to Ireland for next September and are planning to fly into Shannon. We would be arriving around 7 a.m. on a Saturday, possibly a bit earlier.

We're looking to keep the first day low key and relaxed so we're considering staying in Doolin to visit the Cliffs and just have a slow paced day, maybe some good food, hear some music or something along these lines while we get over the jet lag.

Would Doolin be the best place for this or can someone recommed a better alternative that's near by? Basically we don't want to do too much driving the first day. We'd considered going to the cliffs in the morning, resting/doing minimal sightseeing during the day and then returning to the cliffs in the evening as we'd heard the sunsets were great. Would love to hear if there's any thing else of interest in the immediate area...even if its just a nice view or fun place to drink away an evening!

Any thoughts on that plan or suggested alternatives are much appreciated!

catherinehaas Aug 31st, 2010 04:16 PM

I have been to Ireland several times. I have always stayed in Galway and cannot offer any lodging information in Doolin. I can tell you that the Cliffs should be seen at sunset. They are spectacular.

HappyTrvlr Aug 31st, 2010 04:19 PM

We stayed in Ennis after landing at Shannon and visited the Cliffs of Mohrer.

Ozarksbill Aug 31st, 2010 04:30 PM

I'm no Ireland expert but will jump in with a first response. You haven't said anything (yet) about where you will be headed or interests. Anyway around Limerick there is of course the Cliffs of Moher and don't overlook the Burren which is an unusual botanical place and also the Lemeneugh Castle of O'Briens. There is in that area Bunratty Castle and nearby Folk Park. Of course you have Durty Nellies for food and drink. I would recommend Craggaunowen which is a recreated park with historic displays.

Further north is County Galway Might stop at Kilmacduagh near Gort which was a monastgery complex with an ancient church. And we enjoyed Coole Park where Lady Gregory had an estate. Close by is Thoor Ballylee, summer home of her poet friend W. B. Yeats. Of course we loved Killarney and much more to the East.

Bill in Boston

latedaytraveler Aug 31st, 2010 06:59 PM

Maggie 1017, another great way to see the Cliffs is from a boat. There is one that leaves from nearby Liscannor. Also longer "cruises" from Doolin. Looking straight upward, people walking on the cliffs look like ants from below. Very dramatic. Enjoy Ireland...

floridapugmom Aug 31st, 2010 07:12 PM

Last September we also stayed in Ennis our first day in Ireland. We stayed at Newpark House b & b checking in after leaving Shannon Airport, took a quick nap (at the insistence of the owner) and drove to the Cliffs of Mohr which is only a little over a 30 minute drive. You will love your trip!

jefe Aug 31st, 2010 08:19 PM

Bunratty, Ennis or Doolin can all make fine first days, depending on your preferences.
- Bunratty is probably the least ideal if you are trying to minimize driving, as that is the longest drive back at the end of the day. There is the castle, the folk park, the banquet and a few pubs.
- Ennis gives you lots more options for things to do once you are done with your visit. More pubs, restaurants, shops and places to wander. A happy medium for travel distances and activities.
- Doolin is right there, and the shortest trip back to your B&B. But beyond that, and a few pubs, there isn't much else. Ideal if you really want to chill out and not do much else. If you like music, some people says it's great here.

Someone also mentioned the Cliffs cruises - if weather is nice, I'd recommend this:

maurorudelli Sep 1st, 2010 12:03 AM

IMO Doolin is the best place to stay in the area;Moher and Burren are at a stone throw and food and pub music are excellent.
Also it is a very convenient starting point case you are planning to visit Inishmore/Aran (very efficient ferry connection) and/or the Loop Head peninsula which IMO are a must-see for anybody visiting western Ireland.

Maggie1017 Sep 1st, 2010 09:21 AM

Thanks all! Sounds like a toss up between Ennis and Doolin.

Love the idea of the cruise along the bottom of the cliffs and maybe a short driving tour of the Burren.

Had heard someone recommend Lahinch as another option... Thoughts on that? We liked the idea of staying along the coast but we're headed for 3 nights in Dingle immediatley after, so maybe just get our sea view there?

colduphere Sep 1st, 2010 09:30 AM

Lahinch has one of the world's great golf courses right in town and a nice beach. But we stay in Doolin when we play Lahinch as some of the guys are fans of the music scene in Doolin.

tuam Sep 1st, 2010 01:50 PM

Doolin is a great choice for the 1st night. Try the Sea View B&B. It is located just a short walk from O'Connors Pub where you will hear great traditional music as well as enjoy a fine dinner. A trip to the cliffs is only a few minutes away and be sure to spend time exploring the Burren, whether on your own or through a scheduled walking tour. Ypu are right to limit your driving on the 1st day and by staying in Doolin you are close enough to the cliffs, burren, and pubs to catch a bit of a nap if need be.

Ozarksbill Sep 2nd, 2010 10:18 AM

Yes, you must hear some trad pub music. Nobody has mentioned Durtie Nellies which is a fun place for food and drink. Nearby is the Buratty Castle and Folk Park with a banquet available. Again would recommend Craggaunowen which recreates the past. Also would recommend taking time walking around The Burren to get a feel for this unusual landscape.

Here are some websites:, (might check festivals & events) also (this year last of August),, (Medieval banquets, park, Craggaunowen) (mansion-like building in Limerick), (for heritage sites card),,,, (incl. O'Connor's Pub), also, (for music),,,, at airport (for lodging), (watch dolphins)

Bill in Boston

Ozarksbill Sep 2nd, 2010 11:05 AM

Been digging into my files. The renowned expert on The Burren is Maryangela Keane. There is a thin booklet she published mentioned in a Lisdoonvarna hotel website:
Also I found that you can access pretty much of the material as released for a library: on The Burren.
Also an article article 8 Oct 2002 on The Burren and Maryangela.

Bill in Boston

kylemore Sep 2nd, 2010 02:36 PM

Agree with Tuam - did that in June - if you arriving early in the morning - take an hour to adjust to the driving (if first time driving in the left) and could easily see the Burren land and sea. B&B 's definitely superior to the hotels. (did both).

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