Further Ireland itinerary help!

Old Nov 18th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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Further Ireland itinerary help!

I posted a question about an Ireland itinerary last week and received a lot of helpful suggestions. We are leaving in less than a week, but have no hotel reservations yet-- only plane tickets. At the suggestions of posters on here, I changed our flights from in/out of Dublin. We now are going to fly into Shannon and arrive on Sunday morning, and out of Dublin a week later.

We've also cut out Cork and Waterford, and some other things, and decided to focus on the West with a few days in Dublin. Several people suggested cutting out Dublin. However, we would like to be in Dublin by Thursday evening to spend Thanksgiving with a friend there, and stay until we leave on Sunday morning.

Now, I'm hoping for a bit more specific itinerary help, in terms of what to see and when, and accommodations recommendations. Here is the rough plan thus far:

Fly into Shannon, arriving Sun morning. My DH has his heart set on staying in a castle at some point, and I read in one of my books that there are several within driving distance of the Shannon Airport (Dromoland and Ashford castles, I think). Would Sunday night be a good time to do that? Do you have any suggestions?

Then on Monday we were going to drive to Killarney and see the national park. I read in a book that it is nicer to stay in Kenmare than in Killarney, but Killarney is more centrally located. Any thoughts? We will stay Monday night in one of those places-- any suggestions?

On Tuesday, I thought we might drive at least part of the Ring of Kerry, but do you think that would be too much?

On Tuesday night, I was debating between staying in the same area, or staying in the Dingle peninsula area-- thoughts?

On Wednesday, I thought we would see the Cliffs of Moher, and stay the night in Galway.

My DH thinks we can fit seeing the Aran islands in there, but I think he's crazy! Is this something that is possible? Is there a short ferry ride or something?

And then we thought we'd drive to Dublin on Thursday and stay until we leave on Sunday morning. We were considering the Merrion Hotel, which has good rates then.

I'm trying to nail down an itinerary and hotel reservations at the last second, and would love any input! In terms of hotels, we like luxury hotels, but we also like charming local hotels/inns as well and even once stayed in a budget place above a pub in Scotland that we thoroughly enjoyed. A mixture of luxury and comfortable local charming spots (not necessarily luxury), would be fine. I wouldn't mind staying someplace really nice a few nights, and some charming B&B or less expensive local inn mixed in or something. We're pretty open!

Also, about us-- we're 33, and pretty energetic/adventurous. We like restaurants, natural scenery, and local charm. We'd like to experience typical Irish pubs and music, and generally relax. (Also, I'm going to be 14 weeks pregnant then, just FYI.)

Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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If you look at a map, you will see that you are doing a lot og zigzagging pre Dublin.

Might I suggest:

Sundayrive to Dingle. Walk around town and explore the Dingle peninsula by car.

Monday: night in Dingle (lots of pubs, etc.)During the day drive the Ring of Kerry (we did it from Dingle and were glad we didn't have to move. It was not an unreasonable day of driving. We stopped lots of places for lunch and pictures and poking around in shops and prehistoric places.) However, the day will be shorter this time of year; I think sunset comes by 4:30 or so.

Tuesday, drive to Ashford or Dromoland Castle. Stop and visit the cliffs of Moher on the way. Explore the Burren of Galway.

Wednesday, if you are set on going to the Aran Islands, I would check out a flight from the airport near Galway; it's a short flight of 10 minutes or so. Weather might be against you. If it is too rainy or blustery for the islands, just drive around the Connemara area west of Galway. Lots of marvelous scenery and interesting shops and things to see.

Thursday dump the car at Shannon and take a bus or train to Dublin for the rest of the time. (You won't want a car in Dublin.)

Perhaps some of the others will have some better suggestions. Have fun!
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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You are pregnant. At this time of year it will be getting dark by about 4:30. You still want to do too much. You are correct about one thing. Killarney is more central than Kenmare for day trips. It is also more lively in Nov (pubs, restaurants, music).

Spend your first night at Dromoland or Glin Castle. Ashford is going off in the wrong direction. As irishface said too much zig zagging around in too short a time. You can see the cliffs on your first day (on drive to Glin) or on second day (on drive to Killarney). Either way take the ferry across the Shannon river.

Make Killarney your center for three days and day trip from there. Then go to Dublin.

Problem solved.

P.S. Aran Islands not possible. No time for devoting a whole day to that.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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I don't think we're set on the Aran islands. I don't want to zigzag. Here is what I thought we should do/see, so your suggestions in terms of order would be helpful: Staying in a castle (required), Killarney National Park (required), Ring of Kerry or at least some part of it. Dingle/Cliffs/Moher-- All of these sound great, so long as we can fit them in with the other places. I did not think it sounded like it made sense to see these while staying further afield in Killarney or somewhere else, but perhaps I am wrong? Can you see Dingle from Killarney? I thought it would save us the drive back to move hotels?
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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We have done both Kerry and Dingle as day trips from Killarney (on separate days of course). We prefer staying in one place for a few days and driving out rather than re-locating each day. However, you will have to get a fairly early start as the days are short in November. Since Killarney National Park is "required," you might consider staying in a nice B&B directly across from the park. Carriglea House, www.carrigleahouse.com, sits on a hill and a front room provides a view of the lake. It's not a luxury house but the location can't be beat. Just walk across the road and you're in the park.
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Old Nov 18th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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I give up if you can not follow what I posted. Do you even have a map of Ireland? Just go where the wind blows you. I think you and DH have a lot in common. Good luck.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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Onetwo, seriously, what is your problem? I'm just here asking for some help on a trip I'm planning at the last minute, with very little time to plan in each day (DH and I work extremely long hours). If you don't feel like responding, don't. Yes, I have a map. But I've never been there before, and it's sometimes hard to understand what works or doesn't work in the abstract. Really, if you're as negative and rude in real life as you are in your last post, you must be miserable to travel with.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Fodorites play nice now. There are many things to take into consideration here.

Raging pregnancy hormones.

Stress of working long hours.

Stress of DH working long hours.

Stress of DH not helping with trip (except to offer crazy suggestions).

Stress of leaving in a few days.

Stress of no one giving her a pleasing itinerary with complete details.

Someone please help this poor woman. She is a pregnant sweetie pie. I will break down her requirements in terms of order to help you fill in the blanks.

THESE ARE HER REQUIREMENTS:

* specific itinerary help

* what to see and when

* accommodations recommendations

* we like luxury hotels

* we also like charming local hotels/inns

* castle hotel

* A mixture of luxury and comfortable

* local charming spots

* staying someplace really nice a few nights

* charming B&B or less expensive local inn

* restaurants

* natural scenery

* local charm

* Irish pubs and music

Fodorites unite and help this poor woman. Fill in the blanks and be quick about it!
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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This is a July programme which you hope to conduct in November.

The days are short at this time of year, and the weather might be wet and a bit miserable (as it is today). Yet you are proposing relatively long drives in scenic areas. You might drive the RoK and not see the mountains, or around Slea Head and not see the sea below you, or visit the Cliffs of Moher and peer into a mist. You risk wasting much of your time (or you might get lucky).

You need to be flexible, and make your programme day-by-day to take account of the conditions, and you need bad-weather options. It is not unreasonable to decide many things when you are on the ground, including where to stay. Carry general targets in your head, but be prepared to improvise. There is no great urgency about booking ahead at this time of year: the hotels will be glad to get any business.

There is some zig-zagging in your proposal, going south from Shannon to Killarney and then back north past Shannon to get to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. That could be cleaned up by staying the first day at Drumoland Castle (a place I don't care for, myself), visiting the cliffs from there, and eliminating Galway from the programme.

Personally, I would think that visiting the Dingle Peninsula from Killarney at this time of year is too much for the restricted number of daylight hours available.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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Padraig has said it best - you are planning a summer trip in late November. You simply cannot go zipping around the countryside ticking off major scenic areas like might be possible in the looooooong days of summer.

You are pregnant, the days are short, the roads are narrow, and the weather is iffy at very best.

The roads where you can maybe average 35+ mph in June, will be 25-30 mph or less on a rainy Nov. AM.

So plan your first 1 or 2 nights at Dromoland or Glin Castles and then plan the WHOLE rest of your journey by ear. For instance - it makes no sense whatsoever to drive the RoK in a driving rain or in fog.

So relax - and just go. You do not need to pre-book anything except your castle stay. Many B&Bs will be closed but those that are open will have plenty of rooms available.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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I think onetwo's advice was spot on. the OP just did not like the tone. Raging hormones and lack of sleep probably. Get a grip deary.

As you see the Fodorites are a lovely group. But come on everyone the OP wants it all laid out for her properly with accommodation recommendations. Come on! You can do it. It will not take that many days to accomplish. Sit down and start typing.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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If it were me I would go from Shannon to the west and then to the north into Northern Ireland and the north coast and then drive down to Dublin.

There is much to see in that route.

Loved the Giant's Causeway and Newgrange, Belleek to the Belleek China factory, Enniskillen.

I thought the Ring of Kerry was rather boring. Didn't go to Dingle.

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