first wo nights in SW Ireland

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Mar 31st, 2003, 05:33 PM
  #1
mkd
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first wo nights in SW Ireland

Currently we are thinking of arriving at Shannon and heading south to the Killarney area forthe first two nights. We are booked for the rest of trip, counterclockwise back to Shannon, two nights in Dingle, two in Kinsale, two outside Waterford and three in Doolin. Any suggestions which would accommodate seeing the Lakes of Killarney, staying at a B&B in Killarney or somewhere else for the first two nights? One of our touring plans is to stay each place two daysto give us one night to "relax' such as one kind on a traveling vacation.
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Mar 31st, 2003, 07:15 PM
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mkd,

It has been said, "The best view of Killarney is from your rearview mirror."

That's a bit harsh, but there is a bit of truth in it. Killarney town has sold its soul to tourism, and it's a place to be avoided. Still, the nearby national park is well worth a visit, and there's a good deal to see and do both on and off the lakes.

Rather than staying in Killarney, consider nearby Kenmare. Like Killarney, it too is touristy, yet it's more compact and, best of all, retains a certain color and style. In addition, Kenmare has a good many quality restaurants and accommodations, one of which is Shelburne Lodge. This very attractive B & B is located a short walk from downtown Kenmare and offers what must be one of the best breakfasts in the entire Republic. Rooms are super tidy, and the prices are reasonable, euro 110 - 130 per room.

In closing, I wonder if it wouldn't be better, if at all possible, to book your first three nights in Dingle. The drive from Shannon to Dingle is fairly lengthy, especially after a long flight. With that in mind, you'll want your first night and two full days in Dingle and nearby Slea Head. Anything less would be a mistake.

Following your stay in Dingle, perhaps you could then head south to Kenmare, where you could spend a full day in Killarney's National Park, and then a day along the nearby Ring of Kerry. As a "back door" alternative to the Ring, head further south for a day's drive along the Beara Peninsula.

From there it's on the Kinsale and the splendors of the West Cork countryside.
Once you've settled in here, you may cast aside your Waterford plans and stay put for at least a few days. Whatever you do, try to make plans to see the Rock of Cashel, in County Tipperary, on your way back to Clare.

Best of luck.
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Apr 1st, 2003, 03:17 PM
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I'm curious about why you've chosen to spend three nights in Doolin, but only two in places like Dingle and Kinsale. Doolin is a charming place, but it's very small. Three nights would be a little more than I'd like.
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Apr 1st, 2003, 04:02 PM
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How long is the drive from Shannon airport to Dingle?
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Apr 1st, 2003, 04:49 PM
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mkd
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Mary Z and David D, I am planning around the disparate, and perhaps less informed interests of the group, which, oh boy, includes " I want to see Waterford, Killarney and Blarney" So I should substitue the Cashel or Kilkenny area for the two nights after Kinsale and before Doolin, and let those who insist on Waterford, drive over while others follow other interests, likewise, let the Blarney folk travel out of Kinsale. As to the last three days, I can pare down to two in Doolin but want to give the drivers a rest and a chance to vegetate (get over the vacation) within stumbling distance of pubs with an ocean view. We are booked for Seaview House in Doolin, which should answer that goal. As to the first two nights, perhaps Kenmare in lieu of Killarney will meet the bill, any suggestions for a welcoming, roomy place to stay. The trick with this group is that I and my husband are happy with a clean B&B bed and a happy host, but the others are accustomed to planned corporate tours. Having said that, they are willing to be informed of the world of travel beyond McTourist. I should add this is MY first traveling to Ireland, I am so much more familiar with the land of my 9 aunts and uncles in England and Belgium
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Apr 1st, 2003, 07:26 PM
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Assuming you're comfortable with driving on the left, while jetlagged, I'd suggest going directly to Dingle. Spend three nights there, then go to Kenmare for two nights (hit Killarney on the way, or drive the Ring of Kerry). Spend a day on the Beara Peninsula. cut a night in Doolin.
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Apr 1st, 2003, 08:07 PM
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I agree to a certain extent w/the prev. postings (e.g., Dingle,Beara,West Cork). I believe that 3 nites is too much for the tiny Dingle peninsula (Tralee to Slea Head = 40 miles). Unless you have strong interests to spend a great amt of time hiking and counting the exact number of bee-hive huts in the area , I would suggest 2 days tops!
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Apr 1st, 2003, 09:39 PM
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Brooke:

Shannon to Dingle should be about 3.5 - 4 hrs. Longer if you stop along the way or just take your time. Some might suggest that you take the ferry at Killimer, but from Shannon, that won't make the trip shorter and you have to time it just right.

MKD:

You do have a bit of a dilemna. The order of the trip doesn't make complete sense to me though. I would go to Dingle first and then Killarny (Kenmare or Sneem I would agree is nicer, though there are a few fans of Killarney). There is much to do in the Ring of Kerry area which doesn't always involve the Ring and doesn't have to involve Killarny at all. Gap of Dunloe, Skellig Islands, Ring of Beara, Gougane Barra to name a few.

I do agree that 3 days just in Doolin could be a bit much, but if anyone found themselves bored, they could make a quick trip to one of the Aran Islands for the day.

David is quite right about becoming enamored of the west Cork countryside. I personally wouldn't race to get to Waterford. It sounds like you will have more than 1 vehicle so, by all means, let people split up.

Bill
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Apr 2nd, 2003, 04:54 AM
  #9
mkd
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Thanks for the many suggestions, currently I am booked at Greenmount for the 3rd and 4th nights of our trip, if I can switch to 1st and 2nd I will flip flop the initial days and have made enqueries at Shelburn Lodge, Kenmare and Sallyport. My initial thought to head first to Kenmare/Killarney was to ease the drivers into only a 2+ hour drive, while Dingle is 3-4 hour drive from Shannon. All of which falls on the heals of the overnight flight. Hey we are middle agers here and our reaction times are slowing down! A little bit of back tracking on day 3-4 might be the trade off- for the rest and recoup time of day 1-2...so goes my convoluted thinking. As to the rest I am bagging Waterford for Cashel and with relief, I was a disgruntled planner over that bit.
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