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Going to Ireland with the family for 9 Days

Going to Ireland with the family for 9 Days

Jun 1st, 2011, 10:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Going to Ireland with the family for 9 Days

My family and I are going to Ireland for 9 days in August. There are 4 of us and we are all well over 18. We land in Dublin and leave out of Dublin. I am trying to plan an itinerary for us and ensure that everyone sees a little bit of what they would like to see. My mom wants to see castles and gardens, basically pretty scenery, my brother and dad love the outdoors, not rugged outdoors or extreme sports, but enjoy being outside (i.e. hikes, walks, easy bike rides) and they would definitely like to check out a couple of pubs. They definitely do not want to stay in Dublin the entire 9 days. I was thinking of staying in Dublin 1-2 nights in the beginning and another 1-2 in the end. The in between, however, is where I have no idea what to plan or where to go. So If you guys have any ideas or possible itineraries that would be greatly appreciated.
N_Andr3a is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Here's an itinerary based on the interests of your family and what we did with our over-18 year-olds in 2009:

Day 1 and 2: Visit Dublin (no car)--Historical Walking Tour of Dublin (http://www.historicalinsights.ie/), Traditional Musical Pub Crawl (http://www.discoverdublin.ie/musicalpubcrawl.html), Hop on/hop off sightseeing bus (http://www.dublinsightseeing.ie/), Kilmainham Gaol and other Heritage Ireland sites such as gardens and parks (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/)

Day 3, 4 : Visit Northern Ireland Get a car and drive 2 hours to Belfast. (There was no restriction on taking our Hertz rental into Northern Ireland, but you will need to confirm this with your rental company.) Book a snug and eat lunch in the Crown Bar (http://www.crownbar.com/) Take a Hop On/Hop Off Sightseeing Tour (http://www.city-sightseeing.com/?com...ations=Belfast), take a walk through the Botanical Gardens. Overnight Belfast

On your 4th day, take a drive along the Antrim Coast to the Giant's Causeway. Stop for an easy hike amongst the waterfalls at Glenariff Forest Park (http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/inf...orest-park.htm). Continue on to Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. The Bushmills Distillery is also in this area (http://www.bushmills.com/). Overnight in the area or return to Belfast.

Day 5 and 6: Kilkenny, Cashel and Cahir: On your 5th day, get an early start and drive toward Kilkenny, stopping first at Newgrange to see the ancient tombs there. (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/mid...angeandKnowth/) You'll want to get there early because the tours are on a first come basis and they can sell out later in the day. Continue on to Trim to tour Trim Castle (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/mid...st/TrimCastle/), the site of some of the film, "Braveheart". If you get to Kilkenny early enough, tour Kilkinny Castle. If not, walk the grounds and do the tour tomorrow. Enjoy the various pubs in the evening. Overnight Kilkenny.

Day 6: Visit Kilkenny Castle (if you didn't the day before) and then the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle. With an early start, you should be able to fit these all into one day. (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Sou.../RockofCashel/) and (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Sou...t/CahirCastle/). If you have time in Cahir, you can also visit the Swiss Cottage. (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Sou.../SwissCottage/). There's a nice walk through the countryside there from Cahir Castle that begins at the castle carpark. It would be a nice walk even if Swiss Cottage is closed. Overnight Kilkenny.

Day 7: Drive to County Wicklow and visit Glendalough (http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/mid...VisitorCentre/). There are some excellent walking/hiking trails there--we enjoyed the Spinc Short Route and the scenery was fantastic! (http://www.wicklowmountainsnationalp...ingTrails.html) Continue on to Powerscourt House and Gardens (http://www.powerscourt.ie/). We did not visit here, but it sounds like something your mother would enjoy. Overnight in Malahide.

Day 8: Malahide is a good place to base your last 2 nights because you are close to Dublin, neat places near Dublin and the airport. Visit Malahide Castle and walk the grounds. Drive to Howth and do the cliff walk followed by a meal at one of the local seafood restaurants. Overnight Malahide.

Day 9: Take the Dart train to Dublin to do any last minute sightseeing or do another day trip around Dublin.

Finally, as you will see, many of the sites I recommend are part of Heritage Ireland. It may be well worth your while to get a Heritage Card while you are there. http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Inf...ards/#d.en.974
longhorn55 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
Longhorn's plan sounds great! And he has added so many good links. I second the idea of the Irish Heritage card. It really is a money saver.
irishface is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
We are spending a several days in Ireland later this month. (But, traveling with two young kids.)

We're spending a couple of nights in Galway, a few nights at the Castlemartyr resort in Cork, and a few nights near the Dromoland Castle. We will be in Dublin, as well.
Ryan is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 09:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Longhorn, that is a great itinerary. And I will be looking into the heritage card. Thank you very much!

What do you guys suggest regarding accommodations? Should I make reservations ahead of time, or wait until we drive into the town?
N_Andr3a is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2011, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
We stayed at B&Bs on that trip and found them to be affordable accommodations. (We just got back from another trip to Ireland and the B&B rates are still similar to what we paid in 2009--from 30 to 35 euros per person per night.)
Since you are travelling in the high season (August) and will need 2 rooms, I would make your bookings in advance, if possible, in order to avoid having to hunt for accommodations at the last minute and to avoid having to take "whatever".
A good source for information on B&B's is Trip Advisor. I read reviews of B&Bs there that interested me, then looked at their websites for further info and finally contacted them via email or phone to make the reservations.
longhorn55 is offline  

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