Help!! Planning Honeymoon to Ireland

Old Mar 14th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Help!! Planning Honeymoon to Ireland

1st trip to Ireland for our honeymoon. Arriving in Shannon on 7/9 and leaving Shannon 7/18. We will rent a car. We want to see the Mohers and kiss the Blarney stone. Should we book places to stay ahead or fly by the seat of our pants when we get there(which scares me)? I keep trying to plan an itenerary but don't want to be in the car the whole time but would like to see as much as we can. We would also like to go golfing and fishing once. I would also like to stay some place romantic for a night or two. Any help anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 02:28 AM
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Check out the thread below

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2

You can also scroll through some of the latest title threads that catch your eye to start your research there.
Spending a few hours researching past threads will help.

You can also try typing in "Honeymoon", or "first time" or "Shannon" into the search box, highlight Ireland and the latest threads with those words will come up.
(same with golf and fishing as there have been recent posts on this as well).

Doolin is a reachable point from Shannon on a first drive, you could head there and then south west to Dingle, Blarney and end in Bunratty/Ennis perhaps-Dromoland Castle?

July is tourist season and you want to hit some major tourist areas- IMHO I would search out places and make my reservations.

Check www.AAroadwatch.ie for your drive directions, base time on 30mph

good luck!
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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Winging it is an option, but since it's your honeymoon, you really should do some planning...especially if you want some romance.

Wendy LeVine wrote an article last month on adding romance to your Ireland trip no matter what your budget. You can read it at http://www.irishfireside.com/enewsle...mancetips.html.

The Cliffs of Moher aren't too far from Shannon and Blarney is near Cork...so if you focus on Counties Clare, Kerry and Cork you won't get trapped in the car the entire trip and you'll hit a lot of first-timer must-sees...just realize a lot of other visitors will be choosing those areas in July as well.
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for all the great help. what would be some better places in that area to go that are not so busy with tourists?
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Since it is your honeymoon and July (busy tourist season), I would definitely book B&Bs/hotels ahead of time.

Since you want to see the Cliffs of Moher, consider heading from Shannon to Doolin and spending a couple nights there. Doolin is close to the Cliffs, The Burren and has a bunch of pubs famous for traditional music. We're staying at Cullinan's B&B in Doolin in May-- it's much recommended here.

Next, head to a very special place to stay... Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare. It's gorgeous, has a spa, and should be a lovely honeymoon hotel. From here you can explore the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula if you decide to do some driving.

Next, you'll head to County Cork so you can see Blarney Castle. You might stay south of Blarney in Kinsale, which is always recommended here as being one of the most scenic towns in the county. You can day trip up to Blarney easily from there. There is a golf course in Kinsale (I'm not a golfer, so I don't know the quality of that course) and you can also take fishing trips from the harbor.

From there, head back to Shannon.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 15th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Yes, book places to stay well ahead of time. It is high season with tourists vying for rooms. The best places will fill first. You will not be in Ireland that long so why waste your time looking around for accommodations when you can be seeing things instead? Plan your honeymoon now. Don't leave it to chance.
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Old Mar 16th, 2007, 12:36 AM
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I really like Erin74's idea let's see...
7/9 Shannon to Doolin, Cliffs & sleep doolin
7/10 Doolin- tour Aran Islands or the Burren, sleep Doolin (I second Cullinan's B&B)
7/11 Doolin to Dingle via Cliffs, sleep Dingle
7/12 Dingle, Slea Head drive, sleep Dingle
7/13 Dingle to Kenmare possible drive through a small part of the ring of Kerry (Sheen Falls Lodge a great choice!)Sleep Kenmare
7/14 Kenmare- tour Beara or Ring Kerry, sleep Kenmare
7/15 Kenmare- tour to Blarney, sleep Kenmare
7/16 Kenmare- tour Killarney, Gap Dunloe in Nat'l Park, sleep Kenmare
7/17 Kenmare to somewhere near Shannon for last night...perhaps Dromoland Castle?
7/18 drop car-Head home

Yeah- that works although you could break off two of the days in Kenmare for Cork area or elsewhere but Kenmare is so central to alot of things, allowing you to use it as a base for Beara, Killarney, Iveragh, Sheeps Head, Mizen Head and Cork

Good Luck
Dawn

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Old Mar 16th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Thank you all for all the help, it is wonderful. Do you think there is anything worth seeing as far north as Sligo or Westport? Should I try to include that area in my trip or would that be trying to do to much? Thanks for the advice on places to stay. I am getting so excited.
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Old Mar 16th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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YES
YES


and...

YES.

You could spend a week in EITHER Westport or around Sligo and STILL not see everthing that there is to see.

But...
You don't have the time to REALLY see all there is in the areas already discussed. Take it slow and easy and concentrate on ONE area. You'll want to go back, I'm certain.

Same the rest for future visits.

Bob
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Old Mar 17th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Hi sbarry -
Best wishes on your marriage. My 25th wedding anniversary is this year.

I'd go either north to Westport/Connemara or south to Kenmare. In July Kenmare would be far more crowded. Both areas are lovely. We spent a week in Kenmare in April and it was fantastic. We also spent a week in Westport in August and it was even better. We spent a couple of weeks in Donegal. I think nearly everywhere you go it's great. My past trip reports are probably under my last name - McShane.

I think in either area, Westport or Kenmare, you can find a fabulous place for a couple of nights. We saw golfers near Westport on Achill Island and they were golfing amongst the sheep. It was quite picturesque. The Delphi lodge in Connemara has fishing although it's an expensive place.

Also - we never kissed the Blarney stone and have no regrets!


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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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Thank you all for all your help. I finally have my plan ticket and car rental booked. We are going to stay at the Cullinan's in Doolin, Heaton's in Dingle, and 2 days at the Sheen falls in Kenmare. I haven't decided where we are going to stay the other 2 days in Kenmare yet or where close to Shannon the last night. I am so excited about our honeymoon. Thanks again, I wouldn't have been able to get this all set up without all your help.
Sarah
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Catching Blarney Castle from Kenmare in July would probably be a mistake. At that time of year, it will be crazy with tourism and by midday you'll probably be looking at standing in line for a couple of hours to see it. It's OK and the view from the top is nice, but Cahir Castle is nicer and less crowded. The climb up the stairs is very narrow and slow moving. You would want to be there when the gates open to get much enjoyment from it. I've been to the top and walked past the Blarney Stone itself. It really is "just another brick in the wall".

Getting away from the crowds is always nice. In the SW, the Mizen and Sheepshead peninsulas offer the greatest quiet time. Beara is nice also. I could go on and on about things to do in the area.

Bill
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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We are getting so excited for our trip with only 1 month to go before we leave. We decided to stay at the Heaton house for 4 days in Dingle and only 2 days at Sheen falls in Kenmare do to expenses. I am wondering if that was a big mistake. Is there enough stuff to do in Dingle for 4 days?? Does anyone have any ideas?? Or would it be a better idea to canel 1 or 2 of the days in Dingle and spend the extra days in Kenmare or somewhere else? Thanks, Sarah
I will definitly let everyone know how our trip went when we get back.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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Sarah in my opinion there is not enough to do in Dingle for 4 days. Stay 2 in Doolin (Doolin Activity Lodge is a great place) and take a day trip to the Aran Islands and see the Cliffs of Moher. Stay 2 at the most in Dingle and then head for Kenmare,we stayed at Virginia's Guesthouse and it ws wonderful! Then go to Cork/Blarney (via the ferry at Tarbert) to kiss the Blarney Stone. We did this route, only we went from Cork to Doolin in April and there was not much traffic at all. Many people think doing the ROK clockwise (Kenmare to Dingle) is best.
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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bluesmusic wrote: "... in my opinion there is not enough to do in Dingle for 4 days."

That is a true statement -- a true statement of what your opinion is. My opinion is quite different. It's a great place to slow down, do lots of little things as well as a couple of big things, and get a bit closer to Ireland than you would get by moving from Tourist Target A to Tourist Target B to tourist Target C.

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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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I hope you decide to stay 4 days in Dingle. I managed 5 days and could have stayed another 25. Do slow down and enjoy your honeymoon.

Regards, Joan
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of things to do in Dingle. I think we are going to go ahead and stay for the full 4 days. Thanks,
Sarah
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 01:44 AM
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Don't worry about having a programme. This is a honeymoon we are planning, isn't it? You will have each other.

Things to do include
- joining the crowds visiting Fungie in Dingle Harbour
- visit to the Blasket Centre and then a boat trip into the Great Blasket
- exploring a variety of antiquities (the accessible archeology spans thousands of years)
- walking the beach at Ventry or Wine Strand or Couminole (and if you are hardy, swimming in the Atlantic)
- climbing a hill or a mountain (plenty of choice)
- adopt a pub
- restaurants (great seafood options)
- sit on rocks (plenty of choice) and look at the sea and sky (plenty of it, ever-changing)
- if you are the ultimate non-romantic honeymooners, play golf.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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In Dingle-how about a morning horseback ride on the beach

I enjoyed horseback riding on our June trip...used Long's stable. Note-if you want beach experience, schedule early morning.

in dingle you could golf-Dingle Links/Ballyferriter ($$$) or pitch and putt (par 3-$cheap option)

dingle has great pubs (i.e., Murphy's, O'Flaherty's, Small Bridge), lots of music, great food options, great town to stroll around...there is a folk concert at St. James church (only on certain nights)

slea head loop is a wonderful scenic drive (Rick Steves' book has good section on this)

you could also plan a swim with funghi...we enjoyed the boat ride

On way to Kenmare...we enjoyed a day tour of the Gap of Dunloe (jaunting cart thru gap to lord brandon's, suggest Irish coffee there, boat ride thru lakes to ross castle)...or maybe you could plan a fishing tour on the lakes.

alternative would be to tour ross castle and/or muckross house/abbey

the section of ROK between Killarney and Kenmare thru the park past ladies view and molls gap is beautiful

in kenmare...we had a nice dinner at the lime tree, the dinner hot spot last summer was packie's-reservations suggested

walk to the small stone cirlce at edge of kenmare

I would also suggest driving beara pen./Healy pass...we included a trip out to garnish island on the same day we drove beara...very nice day.

doolin, dingle, and kenmare are our 3 favorites...great pubs, music, food, and sights

we stayed at cullinan's in doolin last june...get the honey/lemon pancakes. the food and music were good at mcgann's which is an easy stroll from cullinan's...some here have suggested that the cliffs at sunset are romantic.

I would suggest bunratty for last night (close to airport and folk park/ castle was nice sight and banquet/folk night would be nice last night activity...on our trip...newlyweds were chosen the king and queen for the banquet)

congrats on upcoming wedding!
Slainte!

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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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A not terribly difficult climb with great rewards is to the top of Brandon Point, accessible from the north side of the Peninsula.

Take a long walk along the longest beach in Ireland along Brandon Bay

Hit one of the music pubs in Anascaul or maybe Castlegregory.

As stated before, play either or both the Dingle Links or Castlegregory.

Step in the Dingle Music shop (not the record store though it's a worthy stop) and you may find yourself with a session on your hands.

Take a beginner lesson on either the tin whistle or the bodhran at the Dingle music school. http://www.dinglemusicschool.com/ or if you've played a lot, take a private lesson.

After 4 days you'll probably wish you had more time.

Bill
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