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First Trip to Ireland and we have 2 weeks

First Trip to Ireland and we have 2 weeks

Old Apr 8th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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First Trip to Ireland and we have 2 weeks

I have just begun the planning for a late August early September trip to Ireland.
Just to get me going in the right direction - these are the areas of interest. If you wonderful people could just give me some advice on where to go first and how much time to spend.

Dingle Penisula
Galway
Arran Islands
Kilarney
Doolin
County Cork
County Kerry
Atrim Coast
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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We spent two weeks in Ireland and saw nearly all these places and we didn't feel rushed. You can see my trip review if you click on my profile. Here's a potential itinerary:

Day 1- Arrive at Shannon airport, drive to Galway
Day 2- Galway sights
Day 3- Aran Islands
Day 4- Drive to Doolin, sunset at Cliffs of Moher
Day 5- Explore The Burren
Day 6- Drive from Doolin to Killarney, taking the ferry across the Shannon
Day 7- Killarney
Day 8- Day trip to Dingle Peninsula
Day 9- Drive to Kinsale
Day 10- Kinsale
Day 11- Drive to Dublin
Day 12- Explore Dublin in AM, drive to Belfast in the afternoon, overnight Belfast
Day 13- Day trip along Antrim Coast, return to Dublin
Day 14- Depart

3 nights Galway
2 nights Doolin
3 nights Killarney
2 nights Kinsale
2 nights Dublin
1 night Belfast

It's a bit rushed at the tail end, but still doable. Personally, I'd stay less time in Doolin and add a little more time in Dublin or Belfast, but that's just me. Also, you can day trip up to the Antrim Coast from Dublin, but it's a very long day of driving. I think it's better to start from Belfast and then either stay the night in Belfast or return to Dublin in the evening.
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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I think there's a lot of travel time to Belfast/Antrim Coast - that time could more easily be spent staying in the west/southwest on this trip. You'll be back for another one, trust me!
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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As we are just now planning our trip and any input you all might have would be appreciated.

We are thinking fly into London, train from London to Holyhead and board ship for Dublin October 10, 2010 and fly home from Dublin on October 25th
2 night Dublin
3 nights near Connemara
1 nights Galway near Doolin
4 nights Dingle
2 night Wicklow Mountains
2 nights near Belfast
1 night Airport Dublin


Are there any places we are missing? We want to see rural Ireland. Not too interested in big cities, love scenery,pubs, castles, people. Since we have only begun, nothing is set in stone. So, those of you wise travelers that have been there can really help us get an itinerary down while still in the early stages. Thank you all as ususal you are great help!
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Old Apr 20th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Is there a specific reason for flying into London and then taking the train(s)/ferry to Dublin?
With your limited time, wouldn't you want to start in Shannon/return from Dublin (or vice versa), and focus on the south/west as GreenDragon suggests?
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 12:56 PM
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I agree... the best way to plan a trip to Ireland is to assume you'll be back someday. There is no way to see it all on one trip, especially just a couple weeks. October days are short, and you'll not have as much sightseeing time as you would if you were traveling in, say, June.

If you love scenery, pubs, castles and people and aren't as interested in big cities, I'll reiterate the suggestion to concentrate on the west/southwest. How about this:

Fly into Dublin, 2 nights in Dublin to rest up and explore the capital, filled with history and architecture.

Drive out to Galway, stay in Westport 3 nights. From here you can explore Connemara, the Aran Islands, etc.

Then head down to Doolin for a night or two (good music in the pubs there, great area in The Burren for exploring)

Head down to Dingle for several nights.

Instead of heading towards the Wicklow Mountains and Belfast, why not explore the rest of the southwest? Ring of Kerry, usually top on a first-time traveler's list, isn't on yours. The Ring of Beara is even less travelled, and more wild. Kenmare is a lovely town with great food. Killarney National Park, Cork, Cobh, all are great places to explore in the southwest. Staying in a central spot - say, Kenmare - would allow you to do daytrips to all of those.

Fly out of Shannon, and on your way home.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Hi Everyone,

There are no direct flights to Ireland from Los Angeles. Therefore, my husband being a train buff wants to fly to London spend one night there and then train to Wales to catch the 3 hour ferry to Dublin (go figure). Green Dragon your advise sounds good. You mention Westport as a base. Also, Doolin, Dingle and Kenmare. Are those towns, villages the best place to base?
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 04:04 PM
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Westport is a village that has lots of tourist experience, yet it's much smaller than the City of Galway, and cosier. I'll be staying there myself next year Doolin is tiny - about 4 pubs on the waterfront, and a shop or two. Really, that's it - but it has a good reputation for music sessions in those pubs (doesn't start until 9pm or later, but the seats fill up before then). Dingle is a nice, relaxed town on a harbor, with plenty of choices for food, pubs, or walks along the water, and nicely situated to explore the peninsula. Kenmare is my choice over Killarney, as Killarney is larger, and definitely a bit over-touristed. Kenmare has a great reputation for good food, is charming, and better situated for exploring non-Ring of Kerry sites, like Cork, Ring of Beara, etc.

Sure, others may have other opinions. It all depends on what you prefer. I prefer smaller villages where you can walk around and explore without your car, stroll from the pub to your B&B, and yet find some good food when you want it.

If Doolin is too small for you to stay at (it might be), try Ennis - it's a bit larger, yet still has lots of charm. It's not far from Doolin, but more central. More B&B choices, as well.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 09:20 PM
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Coming back to the "train issue":
If your husband really likes trains, you could shave off another day from your Ireland itinerary and:
Fly to London (or Manchester, if possible from L.A.), train to York, and:
Visit the National Railway, which IMO is at least one of the world's "meccas" for train lovers if not THE epicentre, and:
Fly to Dublin or Knock from Leeds/Bradford.
Not an easy decision since your overall time is limited, but I thought I should at least mention the option when you are already going via GB.

http://www.nrm.org.uk/
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 10:41 PM
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Kpilling - Have a read through my trip report from last year 2009. We spent exactly 2 weeks in Ireland and navigated around the entire island, north & south.
You will see how easy it is to get to Dublin if you take a train from London to Manchester and fly into Dublin. Airfares are cheap. We flew Aerlingus and booked on the internet before leaving home - also booked our train seats online and got a good discount rate.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...experience.cfm
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Old Apr 26th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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How many days on a 15 day trip would you all advise for Dingle? I am thinking 2 days Dublin, 3 days Westport, 2 days Doolin or Ennis, 4 days Dingle, 3 days Kenmare and 1 night Shannon near Airport. Is there any area that we should spend less in or more in? Your advise is invaluable.

Thank you
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Personally I think 4 nights in Dingle is a lot. I would add time to Kenmare, as there is lots more to do there, ie. Beara, ROK, Killarny Nat. Park, etc.

Dingle is great, but a little isolated to do other things, IMHO. But maybe that is what you want!

All in all, it doesn't really matter. Ireland is wonderful no matter where you are. You have planned a nice and relaxed trip, which will allow you to better experience the areas you have picked.

Happy travels!
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Old Apr 27th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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I agree - 2 or three would do DIngle fine, and there are lots more day trip options from Kenmare. You are doing a very similar route to what I'll be doing in 2011, though I am planning on three weeks, and will go via the northern route with that much time. But the last two weeks looks just like yours
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:12 AM
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We are progressing further in our itinerary had to put it on hold for a bit.

We need some help on one aspect in particular.

We have decided to fly into Shannon and will be arriving early evening.

night one - Ennis
night 2,3,4 - Westport
night 5,6,7,8 - Dingle area cottage (already committed)
night 9,10,11, - Kenmare
night 12,13 - Cobh, Kinsale
night 14 - Shannon Airport area

Our problem is that we would like to see Doolin and we are not sure where this can be added with one extra day. We are committed for Dingle area. Where would be the best place to insert Doolin and is one night enough want to see Aran Islands (1).
Thank you all.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:24 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...e-169804-2.cfm

After much help from the Fodorites, this is our booked itinerary for this Sept. It hits some of the places you are looking at, so it might help.

For your situation, I guess we would take one day off of Westport and add a night in Doolin on the way to Dingle. As a matter of fact, we had considered this when we were planning
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 09:39 AM
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Does our itinerary make sense as far as direction.

Is it best to start out in Cobh and Kinsale on to Kenmare then Dingle, Doolin and Westport and back to Shannon or Shannon to Westport, Doolin, Dingle, Kenmare, Cobh/Kinsale and back to Shannon?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 04:53 PM
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I think your plan is fine. The drive from Kinsale to Shannon is a pretty straight shot with most of it on the N20. Plus you can go through Mallow which is a lovely town with a big, beautiful castle in the center.
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