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First trip to Ireland - Solo - suggestions welcome!

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Apr 14th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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First trip to Ireland - Solo - suggestions welcome!

I will be making a trip to Ireland in September. I will have 9 nights there (arriving Friday AM and departing the following Sunday PM)

I was thinking about flying in to Shannon and Departing from Dublin. I will hire a car at the airport when I arrive and am hoping to drop it off in Dublin a few days before I depart so I do not have it while in Dublin.

I don't have anything super specific that I want to see. I don't want to feel too rushed and I want to take in the culture and the surroundings. I love old buildings, pubs, live music and nature. I was thinking that as I head towards Dublin I might like to stop in Wicklow National Park but honestly, am not set on any one thing in particular.

This will be a solo trip.
Suggestions welcome! Thank you!
Sarah
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Apr 14th, 2014, 01:36 PM
  #2
 
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Hi Sarah,
Landing in Shannon, I would limit the first week to exploring a few western counties - say Clare, Galway and Mayo.
Looking at your range of interests, Co Clare should tick a few boxes; music and pubs in places like Ennis, Doolin and plenty of outdoors in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher.
Galway offers both the buzz of a small compact city and the wild expanses of Connemara further west.
You could complete your western seaboard wander in Westport (more pubs, more live music.....)
There has been a new Atlantic Coast tourist drive created, all the way from Donegal to West Cork, with signs along the route to confirm you have not gotten lost. Perhaps you could pick up the route in somewhere like Lahinch and follow it to Westport.
Rather than making direct to Dublin, you might allow a day to explore some of the lesser visited sites in the midlands..... Leaving Westport - to Strokestown Park House - onwards to Athlone Castle - next stop the monastic site at Clonmacnoise - then to the architecturally interesting town of Birr - and on to the historic Rock of Cashel. If you still have the stamina to drive a bit further, you could lay your weary head in the city of Kilkenny before heading on to Dublin the next day.
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Apr 14th, 2014, 01:36 PM
  #3
 
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by all means go from Limerick to the nearby West Coast, the realm where Gaellic is still in many small village the lingua franca - and if you love old buildings well not much has changed there since say years and years.

Consider driving down to the Dingle Peninsula, via the Cliffs of Mohair and the desolate Burren - hop over to Cork - a city full of old buildings and singing pubs featuring traditional Irish music (kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle a new miles before Cork) - then blast up to Dublin for say your last three days.
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Apr 15th, 2014, 09:41 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Because you are a solo woman traveler AND are arriving via Shannon, you really ought to read the PENULTIMATE 'SOLO WOMAN IN IRELAND' report

It's OLD and LONG, so much of the information is dated, but . . .

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...land-pictu.cfm

. . . It is a CLASSIC!
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Apr 15th, 2014, 11:16 AM
  #5
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SeeDee and PalenQ, thank you so much for your input. Appreciate the suggestions of cities with good pubs and live music. I am really looking forward to meeting the locals and soaking up the scenery.
And Itallian - I just read Mina's post... such a great read! Thank you!! Definitely makes me look forward to the trip even more!
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Apr 24th, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #6
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I have now officially booked my air tickets! Super excited!

I will land in Shannon on a Friday AM and will depart from Dublin the following Sunday afternoon. I have 9 nights.

I'm thinking:
Doolin
Galway
Rock of Cashel
Wicklow Mountains
Dublin

Thoughts? Should I cut one of those out or are those location doable in this time frame?

Thanks!!!
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Apr 24th, 2014, 03:26 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Sounds good and you will find interesting things to do along the way. You will love the Doolin area and if nice weather take the ferry to the Aran Islands for the day.
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