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From Kerry Airport to Shannon Airport in four days

From Kerry Airport to Shannon Airport in four days

Nov 11th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Posts: n/a
From Kerry Airport to Shannon Airport in four days

We will be taking a first trip to Ireland starting April 30 in Dublin. I'm really comfortable planning this part because we enjoy cities, history, cathedrals. On Saturday May 5, we fly from Dublin to Kerry arriving at 8:30 a.m. We've reserved a rental car which we'll drop off at Shannon airport early on May 9 (much agony over this because of left side driving and some dyslexia). Anyway, I'm the planner and feeling some mental paralysis because I don't care one whit about long scenic drives and I'm tone deaf, which leaves me at a disadvantage in planning the itinerary. DH does like beautiful scenery and music and I want this to be a good trip. Looks to me like we should exit Kerry airport and do the Ring of Kerry, winding up in Kenmare at the Lansdowne Arms Hotel for a couple of nights. Check out Muckross House and Abbey, and Dingle Peninsula? Then drive to Old Ground Hotel in Ennis for two nights, spending one day at Bunratty including the medieval night. Fly out early the fifth day from Shannon for home. We both are energetic and healthy and like full days, and I feel I'm doing an inadequate job. What I need is someone to just tell me what to do in this part of Ireland and in what order and I'll obey. Thank you in advance. I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge of this group and their willingness to help out.
Nov 11th, 2006, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
You'll need a detailed map for driving in Ireland. The Michelin fold-out Ireland map #712 is detailed enough (1:400,000). For even more detail buy the Ireland South Ordnance Survey map (1:250:000). If you prefer a spiral-bound map that you can lay flat, then buy the fairy hefty Michelin Great Britain & Ireland Road Atlas (1:300,000). Whichever one you choose, buy it now and use it to help with your planning. All of these maps are available at http://tinyurl.com/yx9lxh.

Use www.aaroadwatch.ie or www.viamichelin.com to plan routes and get estimated driving times. Driving in Ireland is slow. Increase the viamichelin.com estimates by 50%.

After you pick up your car at the Kerry airport, I recommend that you drive to Dingle. If the weather is clear, drive over Conor Pass. You may not get another chance. Tour Slea Head and as much of the rest of the Dingle Peninsula as time allows. Sit in on a traditional music session at one or two pubs and spend the night in Dingle.

Drive to Killarney. Visit Muckross House and anything else that interests you in the national park. Drive to Kenmare (scenic views enroute) and spend the night there.

Now comes the hard part. Do you spend two nights in Kenmare so you have plenty of time to (1) drive the Ring of Kerry or (2) drive the Beara Peninsula (including Healy Pass if the weather is clear)? Or do you skip both of them in favor of driving to Ennis and spending two nights there as planned?

Ennis is a nice town and several pubs host traditional music sessions. Cruise's has nightly sessions and good pub grub. Two nights in Ennis allows to to spend one evening in Bunratty at the medieval banquet and the other in an Ennis pub or two. One night in Ennis still allows you to take in the medieval banquet in Bunratty and gives you the ROK or Beara option too.

It's your call.

TimS is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you are going to do the Medieval Banquet and plan to imbibe, I would stay somewhere in the Bunratty area.
Budman is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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There is an excellent alternative to the hefty Great Britain & Ireland Road Atlas mentioned by TimS. It is Ordnance Survey's The Complete Road Atlas of Ireland. Scale 1:210 000. It covers the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland only.
IrishEyes is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 569
We just returned this week from Ireland. We drove Dingle and Beara using Killarney as a base for two nights. Kenmare would have worked just as well and I see you have lodging picked out there already.

Dingle Penninsula was by far our favorite. The Beara Penninsula is, as promised, much more rugged. The coastal road (different from the road shown on maps) along the top side of Beara is quite rugged and will take some time to drive. In both cases we opted for the coastal routes and skipped both the Connor Pass and Healy Pass.

In retrospect, we'd have skipped Bunratty. The castle itself is quite small and we weren't terribly interested in the Folk Park. Unless it is your only chance to see a castle, I wouldn't make it a priority. We were glad to not have reservations for lodging or the banquet--we felt we'd have wasted the better part of a day after seeing the castle and park, just waiting for the eveing activities.
xxxx is offline  
Nov 11th, 2006, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Thanks, IrishEyes, for mentioning the Ordnance Survey Road Atlas. For some reason, although the source for maps that I gave carries all the regional Ordnance Survey maps, it doesn't carry the atlas so I didn't know there was one.
TimS is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,216
TimS, I use that road atlas all the time and it is excellent. You can pick it up on arrival in Ireland at the tourist office at the airport. I have seen it for purchase online.

Another map I use a lot is called HandyMap and is a small laminated accordian style map that is great in the car when not a lot of detail is needed.

IrishEyes is offline  

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