First trip to Ireland

Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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First trip to Ireland

I am so excited! For years I have wanted to go to Ireland. My husband has been not so sure, but finally we are going(!) for our 38th anniversary. It will be only a 5 day trip. So, my question to all of you Ireland travellers is: Should we spend time in Dublin? We are landing in Shannon, and I had been thinking of touring in that area. We have a car. Ireland Forever!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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Hi Emerald:
You are going to love Ireland. This is just my opinion, but if you are going to be in Ireland for only five days I'd give Dublin a miss this time and concentrate on the Shannon area and areas around there. Chances are, five days won't be enough for even that. If you were staying in Ireland longer I'd say that spending some time in Dublin would be worthwhile, but my experience was that I liked the areas outside of Dublin better. Maybe you can go back to Ireland and include Dublin next time?

Whatever you decide, I hope you and your husband have a wonderful trip -- and congrats on your 38 years!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:26 AM
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If you can fly open jaw (into Shannon and out of Dublin), then you could justify driving to Dublin in time to spend an afternoon and evening there before flying home the next day. Otherwise, with only five days, stick to the Southwest. It's glorious and the more time you spend there the more you'll love it! Truly, all of Ireland is wonderful. I guarantee you'll want to go back.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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The charm of Ireland is the countryside and small towns. If you only have five days, I too would skip Dublin and concentrate on either the west or southwest. Once you've been to Ireland, you always return, so you can do Dublin another time!!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Just remember that driving distances take longer than you might expect. The roads can be narrow and you'll be driving on the other side of the road.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Yup, I agree with the above. Plan every trip as if it ISN'T your last, or you end up with 'green blur' tours... not seeing much of anything.

I suggest staying in the Shannon area -- visit Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry, the Burren, and Killarney National Park. That's 4 of your 5 days right there! Plenty of time for driving cross country on your NEXT trip

PS -- assume no more than 35 mph on Irish roads. Less if they are L roads (Local?)
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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have to agree with other posters.
Leave Dublin for another visit.
The west of Ireland is the most beautiful part ( o.k. I'm biased ) but don't spend too much of your precious 5 days travelling long distanced. Have a great trip.
I bet your husband will suggest a return trip before you do!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Welcome.
Have a look at www.shannonregiontourism.com and click on the counties on the top left corner Clare Limerick Kerry.
Enjoy
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 06:14 PM
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We went to Ireland for our 25th anniversary. My DH wasn't so sure at first either but within a few days, we were planning our next trip.

Don't take on too much. Even if you only make it to a few counties, it will be wonderful. Make time to just hang out and see the scenery, talk to the people and enjoy the experience.

If you land in Shannon, go first to the Cliffs of Moher, then stick close to that area that day. You will be tired and driving will be a challenge. (Don't worry- it gets easier!)

Then you can go south to the Killarney/Ring of Kerry/Dingle area or you can go north to the Galway/Connemara area. You will find lots of great info here about both areas.

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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 01:18 AM
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Are you also departing from Shannon? If you decide to visit Dublin it will take you a half day to get there and a half day to drive back. That's one full day out of your total of 5-days. So, the answer to your: "Should we spend time in Dublin?" is 'No!'

There's lots to see & do in the west and southwest and you don't have to venture far from County Clare to spend your five days. You could drive up to Galway & Connemara, across Co. Mayo to Knock Shrine, to Croagh Patrick and to Cong ('Quiet Man' cottage). In Clare you can visit Doolin & the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and Lahinch and my own favorite: Ennis.

Or, if you decide to venture south of the Shannon estuary you can follow edhodge & GreenDragon's advice and see the Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, etc.

Much may depend on the days (dates) of your trip. May 22-29 for example is Ennis' Spring Music Festival and about mid-July is the Willie Clancy memorial Summer school at the Armada Hotel on Spanish Point (i.e., Miltown Malbay).

Enjoy your anniversary trip! Slainte!
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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To all of you who responded to me:

Thank you so much! We are going to focus on the west/southwest, and not do Dublin. I am going to research the west/southwest, and see if I can make some plans. My husband is very flexible, and he is driving, so we may end up wandering--he likes to do that! Anyway, I know I will have a wonderful time. I have wanted to go to Ireland since I was a little girl, and that was, well, a long time ago!

Thanks again!!
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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You've made a wise decision. "Less is more" applies here. The slower you drive and the more spontaneous walks you take along the way, the more you will enjoy it. If you do a search on "Ireland" on this board, you'll find dozens of threads with hundreds of posts, many of them focusing on the southwest and west.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 08:42 AM
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One more thing. You need detailed maps to drive in Ireland. While you can buy Ordnance Survey maps that divide Ireland into sections, I've found the Michelin Ireland map to be detailed enough. It's available at amazon.com. Get one now to help with your planning.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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To TimS:

Thanks! I"m going to Amazon right now!!
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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Hello, emeraldeyes -- I, too, dreamed of going to Ireland all of my life, and we finally got there for our 43rd Anniversary several years ago. It was everything I dreamed it to be, with such wonderful people -- we had a grand time, and you won't want to leave.

Agree totally with advice to stay in SW and soak up the area, without too much driving. You WILL want to come back. We spent 3 weeks, and it was not nearly enough -- we will return.

Happy Anniversary -- have a wondrous time...Ireland is magical!

Cheers!
Sue
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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If you would like to have the experience of dining in a castle go to www.shannonheritage.com. One of the castles is only 15 minutes from Shannon Airport.Well worth the experience.
If you want to have a preview of what is on sale for the folks back home look at www.blarney.ie also based in Bunratty.
And before you fly out remember our duty free shops www.airportshopping.ie
and if you want a taste of the Irish pub www.irishmusicbars.com
That should keep you going for a day or so.
Safe journey and enjoy. Remember if you get stuck anywhere just ask, we are waiting to help.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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We only had 6 days to tour Ireland, and if we had it to do over, we would have skipped Dublin. It is nice, but not nearly as nice as the small towns and other areas mentioned above. We had wonderful weather and we loved it and hope to return again sometime.
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