first time ireland

Old Jan 18th, 2003, 06:09 PM
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first time ireland

experienced travelers going to ireland for the first time in late february..yes february, thank you $99. fares..

plan on 10 days to circle the southeast and southwest from shannon

very tight budget on this trip for eating and lodging. have a rental car..

looking for suggestions for both..planning on B&B's... any itinery suggestions would be appreciated...: shannon-dingle-iveragh-beara-south coast-cork-waterford-wexford-back to this too mcuh for 10 days even if we move fast???
where would you suggest for overnitting if we wanted to do 2 or 3 central places with day-trips out from there?? is that even possible....

i am used to the roads/lanes of southwest england, ireland can't be that much different as it relates to narrowness of roads and maximum speeds....also in febuary many things will be closed still so we will move all that much faster....we don't do too many museums and cultural centers so save time there...

any suggestions will be appreciated...criticisms too...
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Roads may not be worse than England, but almost ALL the roads are the small type. Except for around Dublin, there are no freeways. It is very slow going. I wouldn't count on averaging more than 35 mph.

I stayed at b&b's that were part of the Town and Country association. All were nice and resonably priced.
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 07:08 PM
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I did Ireland at T'giving in the mid 90's. Landed in Shannon and had a rent-a-car and no place to stay. We just drove south and spent our first night in Tralee. We liked the look of the B&B and stopped in. We then asked each innkeeper for a recommendation for the next night and we just kept getting better each time. Loved Dingle! The Dingle pass is VERY narrow and you do need to be careful of sheep in the roads around blind corners. Driving is slow, but the country is not too big. Don't move to fast...but rather, be flexible to skip a location if you stumble upon something interesting. Enjoy!
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 07:12 PM
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My husband and I toured 10 days, we plan on going back for 3 weeks. Went in May, will spend more time in the Dingle Pennisula (absolutely breathtaking there) talk about the narrowness of the roads, bring your antacid along you will need it. We arrived Dublin, staying two nights at hotel, then onto the B&B's people are truly friendly and very helpful just make sure that you stay at the one with the shamrock on the signpost. Galway,Killarney, Kilkenny, are lovely towns to visit. Killarney has the Muckross Gardens, Ross castle, and Tore waterfall all worth a visit. You can do so much in ten days, a little tired but the green will invigorate you. Enjoy.
Old Jan 19th, 2003, 07:39 AM
David D.
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Ireland for $99? Talk about great, can't-turn-down deals!

Given the fact you'll be traveling in February, allow me to recommend that you get hold of some top-quality hotel, B & B, and farmhouse accommodation guides so that you might learn about availability (Many places don't open until spring)\. These are:

*The Bridgestone Guide to the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland (2002 edition). See

*The Hidden Ireland, Accomodation in Private Heritage Houses (2002 edition). See

*Friendly Homes of Ireland (2002/03 edition). See

As for sights to see and regions to use as a base, I offer the following (going from Shannon and circling back):

Days 1 & 2: West Clare, exploring the Burren, visiting Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher

Days 3 & 4: Dingle, exploring the town and Slea Head

Days 5 & 6: Kenmare, perhaps a day in Killarney National Park, and a day for either the Ring of Kerry or Beara Peninsula

Days 7 & 8: Head for Kinsale (an admittedly lengthy drive), spending at least a full day exploring the West Cork countryside.

Day 9: A very long drive to Cashel, exploring the must-see Rock of Cashel.

Day 10: Consider staying not far from Limerick City, perhaps at the friendly and most relaxing Ballyteigue House (if open). See

Final notes: You might consider staying an extra day in Dingle, particularly if the weather gods are on your side.

Also, this itinerary neglects the southeast, which is chock-a-block with wonderful sights. But that should be done on another trip, as the above plan does entail a fair amount of driving.

Best of luck.

Old Jan 19th, 2003, 08:48 AM
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Hi Bob,

Bob has given you good advice for places to base your stays in the various areas.

You may want to consider taking the ferry across the Shannon to get to Dingle - it cuts out a lot of driving.

Old Jan 19th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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I will second the vote that the Rock of Cashel (the Irish pronounce it CASH-el rather than cash-EL) is a must see... incredibly impressive. Also lovely is the Ring of Kerry, we saw it last April.

Kilkenny is a nice castle/town, and an excellent restaurant to eat there is Breathnachs (its on the web, and yes, that's spelled correctly)

If you make it to Dublin, I would recommend doing Phoenix Park/Zoo, largest in-city park (I think in the world, bigger than Central Park and much safer) and the Guinness Factory.

Old Jan 19th, 2003, 02:00 PM
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thank you all for your encouragement and ideas.....they will come all be helpful...i seem to be having trouble putting this trip together in my mind...i just finished a trip of one month to thailand, cambodia and myanmar and put that together with no trouble, but ireland seems to be bogging me down...maybe because it is easy and english is the rule and it is a western place which is so familiar
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 12:44 PM
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I would second david's plan although I would suggest Clonakilty as a base for the southwest. Try and visit Mizenhead and Baltimore if you get the chance. You may enjoy Blarney as I found it surprisely beautiful even for a tourist spot. Killaloe is just above Limerick and forty minutes from Shannon. It is located at the bottom of Lough Derg and is very nice. Enjoy your trip as the price is right.
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 02:01 PM
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David's suggestions hit all the major spots. I like k.shea's suggestion of Mizen Head. The drive from Kinsale to Cashel is not particularly long unless you stop at Blarney. Otherwise, once you reach Cork, the roads are as good as the get in the Irish countryside. A non-stop trip would probably take just a bit over two hours.

I would suggest though, that you stop in Cahir (on the way to Cashel) and visit the castle there. It gets ignored buy most of the major tour groups and it is a relatively well preserved site.

The days will be comparatively short and you will likely get quite a bit of what the Irish call "soft" weather (I love that term). Misty with some rain. It will still be great fun though.

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