Help with Ireland itinerary

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Feb 14th, 2012, 07:00 PM
  #1
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Help with Ireland itinerary

My husband and I want to travel either north or south of Dublin via rail or bus for a few days. We will have 7-10 days to explore the areas around Dublin before our friends arrive. Can you make a suggestion or two? Once they arrive, we'll spend 3 nights together in Dublin, then head to the west coast. So, if you had that block of time, what would you do?
Remember, we won't have a car, so our travel is restricted to train or bus. Thanks!
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Feb 15th, 2012, 04:23 AM
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Up to Belfast and explore the North from there for a few days
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Feb 15th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Thanks, Tony2phones...I have a son named Tony, so I'll strongly consider your advice! Would you want to elaborate a bit? How many nights would you give to Belfast itself and/or would you use Belfast as a hub for other places of interest. Remember, we're limited to public transportation.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 06:13 AM
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What time of year will you be traveling? That dictates how much sunlight you have, and possibly what's open/closed and train schedules.

The Antrim Coast is an easy long day tour, you should be able to get one from Belfast. I'd give a day in Belfast itself, and a day tour up the coast (Torr Head, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery, Giant's Causeway). Another day tour could be the Glens of Antrim. That would be a nice, rounded 3 days, and then back to Dublin. If you check out my last trip report (May 2011) the first three days we spent along the Antrim Coast, though we had a car to explore. It might give you some ideas and pics.

Alternatively, you could head west out to, say, Galway or Killarney. Either one has a host of things available, again in bus tours around the area. For Galway, you can do day tours in Connemara, Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, the Burren. For Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Ring of Beara are all great options. I don't think the large busses do the Ring of Beara - roads are too small. But there might be small tours that do it.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Thanks, GreenDragon...we will be there in early June. Our friends arrive in Dublin on June 9th, and we intend to meet them there. They will have been on a cruise out of Venice. We've been to Ireland once, and "have done Dublin, Galway, Connemara, Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, etc." We're most willing to repeat Dublin with them and then we'll all head to either Killarney or Galway via train and begin an adventure around the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry before flying out of Shannon. So, while the friends are on the cruise, the hubby and I thought we'd head to Ireland a week or so early and see some spots more along the eastern coast. Tony2phones suggested going north and doing Belfast. I like your added suggestions for that area. Will check out your trip report. I haven't used Fodors for a while and not quite sure how to retrieve it...just search your name?? Thanks, again for your help. Ashcanannie
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Feb 15th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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I think GD has covered what I had intended to imply. Day trips are available from the city eliminating the need for a car. It is also the Titanic centenary with the new visitors centre opening the end of March.

ponaire who answers questions on the TA Northern Ireland forum give some of the best advice I have read anywhere for the area.
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowForum-...n_Ireland.html

I always have concerns when people mention Dingle. Public transport in the area is a bit sparce. Even Killarney to Shannon can be a trek without your own transport. Just take this into consideration and allow time for this.
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Feb 15th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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Tony2phones...is it possible to do Dingle by hiring a driver for the day? There will be two couples splitting the fare. Maybe it would be worth the cost.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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Being honest without a car you really need bases with transport links. Yes you can Hire a car for the day and tour Dingle yourself, I would though consider one of the tours going out from Killarney. Have you considered a couple/few days with Killarney as a base (train from Dublin) then down to Cork for a couple of days where you can get a bus up to Shannon for the night before your flight.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Tony...how much trouble will it be making Killarney the home base for seeing the Dingle and the Ring? I'm open to that idea as long as we aren't spending tons of time just commuting. My hesitation with doing an organized tour for either loop is being held hostage to their schedule of places to stop along the way for eating, shopping, and of course, sightseeing. The couple we are travelling with prefer to stay in a spot for at least 2 nights, preferrably 3 or more. I totally understand that but I don't want to find myself anchored to a spot that is inconvenient for exploring. I do wish we weren't afraid to rent a car. The hubby and I have done that once and swore we'd never do it again. WAY too much stress!!

Do you have an email address you'd share with me? I'd much prefer to go back and forth that way. I do think your experiences can be very helpful and would love it if you would continue to share them with me.

Mine is [email protected]. My name is Kathy, although my official name is Mary Kathleen and the email I use has me as Mary Diebold. I'm a 64 year old woman living in Louisville, KY. My dad used to call me Ashcannie Annie as a child...ergo, my sign in name for fodors. Thanks!
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Feb 16th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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ashcanannie wrote: "Do you have an email address you'd share with me? I'd much prefer to go back and forth that way."

That's quite at odds with the sharing tradition of this forum.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 09:16 AM
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A couple of the other forums I share information on have the facility to send private messages which is not depriving the masses of general information and finer points that are not just tattle goes onto public pages anyway.

An edit button is another helpful addition on other forums.

I was once stranded in Killarney having arrived with a day out of date credit card. limited funds and no car hire but still had a great time.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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ashcanannie: Do you really want to share as much personal info as you did in your last post? I might re-think that and maybe even ask the monitors to delete that one post w/ your name/email/other details. (You can click the little triangle next to that post - gets you a direct link to the forum monitors)

Then you can re-post that one entry sans the personal stuff.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 05:18 PM
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Interesting that you mentioned being scared of driving, as I was going to ask why you would go to the difficulty of public transport when you could enjoy so much more freedom with a car. Was your prior experience in Ireland?

DH has driven many miles in Ireland. On the first day there is a liitle gasping on my part, but by day two it's smooth sailing!
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Feb 21st, 2012, 05:47 AM
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Good suggestions from Green Dragon. There is a great busride that leaves Belfast at around 9.30am and heads up the Antrim Coast road to Portrush etc. It's a beautiful 60-mile trip. I'm sure thereare excursions from Ballycastle or Portrush to the Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Dunluce Castle etc. You could spend 3-4days up there. It really is breathtaking. One of the best spots in Ireland. Youn could spend a night in Belfast before heading up. Belfastis worth seeing. It's two hours on the train from Dublin. Good luck
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