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First Trip to Ireland

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Mar 23rd, 2017, 10:11 AM
  #1
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First Trip to Ireland

I have been reading all of the advice on here & it is wonderful! We booked flights for August 8th-23rd
for my husband, our 11 yr old & myself. Unfortunately, we didn't research first & we are arriving (8:20am)and departing (3:40pm)from Shannon. We'd like to rent a car for part of the time (not Dublin or Galway -city driving) - any ideas how to begin our itinerary? I thought going over to Dublin 1st -Is there a bus? Then spending time in Dublin & then rent a car - but we were going to pretty much stay on the West. Do we drive back to the West coast at that point? Does that make sense? Or should we go the other way & leave Dublin for last & get public transportation to Shannon Airport? We'll start planning this weekend-- we're so excited!
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Mar 23rd, 2017, 12:49 PM
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It depends entirely on what your plans are for your time here. Dublin in the middle of a Shannon in/out itinerary can be a car hire problem, you only have 7 days on the ground which is the other problem.

The only bus between SNN & DUB/Dublin is JJ Kavanagh and checking their timetables not sure about that just now? There are bus's/trains from Galway or Limerick. (bus's are in turmoil at the moment so check back later)
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Mar 24th, 2017, 05:52 AM
  #3
 
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They have more than a week on the ground. Look at trains also.

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Shannon-Airport-SNN/Dublin
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Mar 24th, 2017, 07:12 AM
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Ireland how exciting! I would save Dublin for the backend of your visit personally. The really scenic stuff will be on the west coast which is within easy reach of Shannon. I'm assuming you're coming from the US so keep your first day of driving as light as possible. When I say that I mean don't try to drive 200+ miles. It takes a while to get acclimated to driving on Ireland's narrow and winding roads and accounting for things like being stuck behind tour buses and dealing with sheep in the road. I found that even short distances can take triple the time they normally take in the US. Anyway here is a laidback and easy sample itinerary:

1: Drive east to the Rock of Cashel which will take you through some beautiful scenery in Co. Tipperary. After lunch in town visit the hauntingly beautiful Rock of Cashel and surrounding grounds. Next head south on the M8 to Cahir. It's a very vibrant Irish village with a compact city center which features a castle. Take in a little shopping, a traditional pub for dinner, and stay here for the night.

2: If you want to see Ireland's 2nd city, Cork, head south. I like to think of it as Dublin "lite". You can see quite a bit in a day or two. If natural beauty is what you want then head west instead towards Killarney. This will put you within striking distance of the Ring of Kerry. The Gap of Dunloe, Ladies view, Killarney National Park, and the Torc Waterfall are all here. The city center of Killarney can get a little wild at night with the nightlife but there are great places to eat and plenty of hotels.

3. You have a ton of options from this point. You can head north for the Cliffs of Moher or head west along the Dingle Peninsula for breaktaking views along mountain roads. The 3 sisters, cliffs at Dun Chaoin, and the town of Dingle are all fairly close to one another. Do note that driving along these winding coastal roads, can be extremely time consuming. If you've made it to this point you would have seen plenty of enormous rolling hills dotted with sheep that Ireland is so famous for.
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Mar 24th, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Sorry yes 14 days on the ground before departure day.
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Apr 2nd, 2017, 05:55 PM
  #6
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Thank you tailsock Boy this is a lot of work! I have been reading all the travel books, blogs & posts here - I have a skeleton of a trip now - I still need to add sights - I am afraid of trying to pack in too much.
Day 1 Arrive Shannon- Pick up Car B&B visit family & lunch in Sixmile bridge- Cliffs of Moher
Stay in Limerick B&B
Day 2 Drive to Dublin- Kilmainham Gaol tour, Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse
Day 3 Dublin-drive to Kilkenny
Glendalough, Powerscout,Sally Gap, Glenmacnass Waterfall,(Tony2phones route from another post)
Day 4 Kilkenny- Rock of cashel, Cahir, Kinsale-
Stay at Kenmare
Day 5 Kenmare-Fair day, Killarney,Muckross
Day 6 Kenmare -Ring Kerry or Beara Peninsula?
Day 7 Leave Kenmare-drive to Swinford,Mayo
Day 8 Swinford (visit family in Ballaghaderreen,Roscommon)
Westport, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey
Day 9 Clifden -Croaghpatrick
Day 10 Galway
Day 11 Galway
Day 12 Doolin
Day 13 Bunratty
Day 14 Shannon Airport- drop off car & return to US
Any ideas? I unfortunately booked a few of these & didn't read the fine print so I would lose $ if I cancel the Kilkenny & Kenmare places. Since this is in August do I need to book tours ahead of time? (Dublin & Killarney)
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 03:15 AM
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I've been writing itineraries for 15 years and it still takes up to a couple of weeks to sort a 10/14 day individual plan.

Day 7 is a straight 5 hours drive.. I would really look at the back week again.

7, Kenmare to Adare taking in the Dingle figure of eight
8, Adare to Rosscommon (Or Athlone) via Lough Derg (west) & Portumna or Nenagh and Birr. then Clonmacnoise
9, To Swinford
10,To Clifden
11, Clifden
12, To Ennis
13, Ennis.
14 depart.

Doolin and Bunratty could become Ennis which has more to offer (pubs restaurants entertainment) than either option apart from mass accommodation.
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 06:11 AM
  #8
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Thanks Tony - I will look at that again - so you suggest cutting out Galway altogether? We are coming from NYC area - we've seen plenty of cities - but I was told not to miss Galway.
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 06:49 AM
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Galway is a good Touring base for the surrounding area. Its also good for a night out. I generally have a couple of hours there for lunch with visitors on the way between Connemara and Clare (vice versa)

I have spotted a problem though.. it might be difficult to get rooms in Ennis on the 21st as its the last night of the Fledh, great if can but might have to book now if you see one?
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 06:54 AM
  #10
 
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pressed the wrong Button. if you prefer only one night in Clifden and again IF you can get accommodation the Cruinniu na mBad Festival is on in Kinvara just south of Galway with the last night being the 20th August.

Heritage week is the 19th to 27th so there will be local events all over the place and I think there will be a couple of Pony/Agracultural/Country shows on about the same time.
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Apr 3rd, 2017, 09:59 AM
  #11
 
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Dare I say it.....I would skip Dublin. There is so much to see on the west coast I would devote all my time there.
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Apr 10th, 2017, 05:58 AM
  #12
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I'm still tweaking the itinerary - we can stop off at either Cobh or Kinsale?(daytrip) Since we have an 11yr old I thought Cobh - Titanic would be interesting. Some have said Kinsale will be packed in August & others said don't miss Kinsale.
Hmm, whats your thoughts?
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Apr 10th, 2017, 07:11 AM
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Kinsale used to be a working Fishing port but with the decline of the fishing industry it was pushed Dingle like into tourism. It is a nice place to visit but is heavy with tourist tags tours and hype. Having been declared the "foodie" capital at one point, become home to yacht types and the bankrupt golf course now an executive haven. sorry, nice views but mostly smoke and mirrors with a price tag.

Cobh can get busy, especially if cruise ships are in but with more interactive type options and Fota wildlife park, better suited to the younger end
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Apr 20th, 2017, 04:43 PM
  #14
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Ok - My 23 yr old son decided to surprise us & booked flights to join us for the first week - so all my planning needed to be tweaked again! How does my itinerary look - Im worried its too much - & still not sure if we need to book tours & such ahead of time since its in August

Tues. Aug 8th- Leave 8:25pm (NY)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wed. Aug 9th-Arrive @8:25am Shannon- Pick up Car , Walk Cliffs Moher, Adare Adare Heritage walking Tours -Aunty Lena's for lunch
Stay in Limerick @ working Pig Farm B&B
~Drive to Dublin-
Thurs. Aug 10th- Dublin- Hop on Hop Off- 1916 Walking Tour, Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse
Fri Aug 11th- Dublin Kilmainham Gaol tour then
~drive to Kilkenny
Glendalough, St Kevin’s Kitchen, Powerscout, Sally Gap, Glenmacnass Waterfall
Sat. Aug 12th- Kilkenny- Norman Castle, St Canice Cathedral, Smithwicks Brewery, Sullivans~SUMMER NIGHT CYCLING TOUR?
~ Rock of Cashel, Blarney
Sun. Aug 13th- Kinsale- Charles Fort - Ghost Tour (9pm- Tap Tavern)
~Michael Collins Centre-Sheep Farm
Mon. Aug14th- Killarney - Muckross, Gap of Dunloe,
Tues. Aug 15th- Killarney-Beara Peninsula-Fair [email protected] Kenmare
~drive to Doolin
Wed. Aug 16th- Doolin -Inis Oirr and the Cliffs combi Cruise
Thurs. Aug 17th- Galway- Heritage Week
~Drive N59 - OUGHTERARD by 11:45am sail on the Corrib Cruise - Ashford Castle
http://www.corribcruises.com/daily-s...-castle-3-2-2/
Fri. Aug 18th- Clifden -Connemara Pony Festival - Kylemore Abbey-
Sat. Aug 19th- Clifden-Morning Horseback riding-Cleggan Beach Riding Center (visit family in Roscommon)** LONG DAY-- drive to Ennis
Sun. Aug 20th- Ennis- Fleadh Festival -
Mon. Aug 21st- Ennis- Fleadh Festival
Tues. Aug 22nd- Bunratty-
Wed. Aug 23rd - Shannon Airport

I thought about spending a night in Westport - before going to Roscommon - but didn't wan to miss the Ennis festival
Also I have rented a Ford Focus-- is that too small now? 3 adults & one child & 3 carryons & one checked bag -- hmm
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Apr 20th, 2017, 11:08 PM
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Is the Ford Focus a hatchback ? If so all that will fit in the boot. Even with a car seat I think you'll be fine
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Apr 21st, 2017, 09:12 AM
  #16
 
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You have some busy days in there But. my main concern would be the Accommodation, mainly in Ennis for the Fledh. but also Clifden for the pony show. (message me, elsewhere if you are struggling)

The focus is a mid sized car and should be perfectly adequate for your listings.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 09:32 AM
  #17
 
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So if I read this correctly you plan to visit the Cliffs of Moher on Aug 9th and then on Aug 16th you plan to do the combo cruise from Doolin? Why wouldn't visit the Cliffs when you return from the cruise? Seems like you are in this area twice.
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Apr 21st, 2017, 10:38 AM
  #18
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Great I will keep the Ford Focus - Tony as soon as you said Ennis - I got the Temple Gate Hotel - was the last one ! I'e already got a self catering apt in Clifden too.
Bette - my son is going to be leaving on the 16th - so he won't be able to come on the cruise - I figured we could add that the 1st day so he gets to see them.

Thanks for the input
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Apr 21st, 2017, 01:16 PM
  #19
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BTW - Is there a bus or train from Doolin to Shannon? Or should he get a cab?
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 09:17 AM
  #20
 
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Depends what time his flight is? You can get from Doolin to Shannon by bus but assuming its an early morning he would be better getting there the night before, I hate to think the price of a taxi probably €80 to €100
http://www.buseireann.ie/timetables/1477574876-350.pdf to Ennis and then either http://www.buseireann.ie/timetables/1475575377-51.pdf Or http://www.buseireann.ie/timetables/1463587655-343.pdf
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