Help with Ireland itinerary!

Old Jun 15th, 2013, 07:18 PM
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Help with Ireland itinerary!

My husband and I will be traveling to Ireland in 2 weeks. We booked a package that included the hotels in these places:

Day 1: Drogheda
Day 2 & 3: Galway
Day 4 & 5: Kinsale
Day 6 & 7: Kilkenny
Day 8 & 9: Wicklow

On Day 2, we plan on touring Galway City. On Day 3, we would like to visit one of the Aran Islands (we are between Inis Mor and Inis Oirr, any suggestions here?). We are having trouble planning Day 4 and 5 due to the long distance between Galway and Kinsale. We are trying to figure out if and when it would be possible to drive either the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula. We are considering renting a hotel separately (closer to ROK or DP - possibly Killarney?) instead of staying our first night in Kinsale. This will break up the drive and possibly make it easier to fit in the ROK or DP, but we would prefer not to add the extra expense if visiting one of these is possible in one day.

Please share your thoughts on how we should best plan this part of our trip. We would hate to miss out on the ROK or DP since we will probably not be visiting Ireland again for a long while.

Thanks!
JanetteC
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Have you looked at any of the other Ireland forum posts in the last 30 days or so? tony2phones has some excellent advice.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 05:25 AM
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I have answered a similar (same?)question elsewhere. could be that this is some company flogging off spare beds from tour bookings.. Is there any way the "Agent" would reverse the whole thing so you end in Drogheda and start in Wicklow??

Dingle and Invaragh (Ring of Kerry) are the tour guide staples, the Invaragh since the mid 1800's and Dingle since 1983/85. They are not essential and Beara which is the best (In my view and that of many who have actually been there)of the south west peninsulas (no tour bus's no tour bus occupants to entice money from so value in promoting the place, yet!!).

That said the journey from Galway to Ireland's newest Tourist haven Kinsale is a long one and apart from Kerry there is the whole of Clare and Limerick plus a lump of Cork in that 3+ hour main drag drive.
-------------------------------------

Start at the beginning and you have http://goo.gl/maps/XQVKY

Drogheda. Co.Louth 40 minutes or so North of the Airport. You could have a look at Howth and the coastal route up but the M1 toll road might be a more comfortable introduction to driving here. Newgrange is Handy just down the road a ways. not sure which Hotel you have planned? but there is a Tesco branch if you want to buy a mobile phone.

Drogheda to Galway. Start with Kells perhaps for the High crosses (Although Navan would be a straight run), then Lockes Distillery and Clonmacnoise before Shannonbridge (the Old Fort is open for Sunday Lunch if its a Sunday? but at least call into Lukers or Killeens Bar) You then rejoin the M6 or take the old road R446 via Loughrea which avoids the toll and is slightly more scenic if taking 30 minutes longer. Any Equestrian interest and the Dartfield Horse Museum is worth a look. Ready for Galway check in(Hotel?)and night one http://www.galwaycitypubguide.com/

Galway and Connemara should be enough in http://goo.gl/maps/L5ihu and http://ireland.activeboard.com/t5005...-galway-route/ to keep the day full. Night two Galway.

Galway to Kinsale
Which numpty came up with this run! Fine for UPS but as part of a vacation?

To be Honest Dingle does not rock my boat and its a heck of a detour even if you go Galway to Killarney you miss points of interest like the Burren (including the 10% that makes the guide books) the Cliffs of Moher (Ireland's 2nd biggest tourist trap)so split this night either Ennis (Gray Gables) or Adare (Woodlands Hotel)on a budget and see some of Clare (SG Go List from TA on the Burren area has some good points http://www.tripadvisor.ie/GoListDeta...ighlights.html plus possibly Dysart O'Dae Castle.) If you are interested in a Hike as well as the Cliffs then the "New" (old but cleared up) coastal path between Doolin and Lisconnor was officially opened yesterday. If you decide to split this haul in Ennis or Adare let me know and I will point you towards the evenings.

South of the Shannon to Kinsale. If you had opted for Ennis or Adare Bunratty is between the two. the two villages in one are not a place I recommend unless you are type cast Bunratty medieval feast early flight stateside visitor.

I know I hate new Dingle far better when it stank of fish and the locals were all friendly obliging folk born around there but the scenery on the peninsula is worth a look just so you have some of the same photos as everyone else.

Drive in over the Connor Pass (300 yards of this is narrow the rest was revamped when tourism became the major industry)and then Drive Slea Head back into town and aim for Killarney for a spot of late lunch. Kinsale is a fairly straight run from there. Its a full day but your hotel is booked so a late check in wont matter.

Now you have a choice.. I don't know your accommodation so will ignore that guide point. You have used a night from the second part of your holiday and it has to come from Somewhere. I suggest Wicklow, Love the place my grandfather spent time in Wicklow Gaol (well worth a look at these days) but not the most inspiring town on our island.

Kinsale Middle Day. Beara. Maybe the Fort first or after but don't give the Cork coast too much of a miss. Mizen and Sheeps Head's are worth some time but more than you have in a day so quick visits photo shoots (your friends won't have those pictures)and explore Beara http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-...unty_Cork.html Another night in Kinsale, Oh well there are some decent spots to keep you entertained, avoid the imaginatively(un) named place that sells fish and watch the budget.

Decision time again Blarney which is a nice castle with great grounds and a snogging rock then up the M8 to Cahir and Cashel. Or visit Cobh (Cove) and the Titanic interests (great Cathedral too)? and Middleton (Jamesons Distillery) and dive to Listmore before the "V" Cahir Cashel and then Kilkenny. Trad trail pub crawl if the night fits?

Kilkenny and the rest will come later...
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Kilkenny. There's a fair bit out and about, Not sure if the Smithwicks Brewery tour still runs (not sure if they know either). The castle of course and St Canices Cathedral (maybe climb the round tower) and St Mary's. As a day trip you could head down to Waterford via Thomastown for Jerpoint Abbey and New Ross for the SS Dumbrody Famine Ship. then a straight road back up and pub grub in Matt The Millers or Kytelers

On to Wicklow which I might only give one night including a visit to The Bridge Tavern which has recently been revived from the ashes like a precious phoenix. But getting there over the Wicklow Mountains with a call into Glendalough and if time Wicklow Gaol.

Now I hope you have a last night sorted by the Airport because heading up the N11 and over the Bridge then up to the Airport is a bit of a way (getting on towards an hour then car drop)for an early flight

Anyway I apologise for running out of steam, your map now looks something like these 2 pages http://goo.gl/maps/ZGoYB

Hope you have a safe journey, good weather and an enjoyable stay.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Thank you tony2phones! We really appreciate your time and input.

We had considered a different route from the airport to Drogheda, however, we like your suggestions better.

In Galway, are you suggesting we skip the Aran Islands altogether? We are beginning to think the Aran Islands are not worth it? I followed the link you included about taking the N59 route to Clifden, and the Connemara area seems very beautiful.

Another change we are planning to make on our itinerary is adding a night between Galway and Kinsale. As you mentioned, I'm not sure which numpty came up with that run! Thanks for all the great tips on what to see and do on these days. Normally we would be interested in a hike and some horse-back riding, however, I will be 5 months pregnant when we arrive to Ireland so it's not ideal.

Your suggestions for the rest of our trip is right on point with what we have in our plans. We thought about visiting the Altamont Gardens near Carlow, is this stop worth it? I've read a lot of good things about this beautiful garden.

I will be replying to your posts some more after I spend more time looking through your links and digesting all the great information. THANKS AGAIN! You have really helped us out.

JanetteC
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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Don't know Altmount Gardens? If gardens are our thing then there are lots of options. The Arans are time consuming and a good option if you have the time, It could be an option to go from Galway down to the split point (Ennis?) via Doolin, you could take the 10 am crossing to Inis Oirr and the cliffs Cruise with O'Brien Line. landing back in Doolin about 2.15 pm Or Sail out at 1pm return to land 4.45pm http://www.obrienline.com/timetable.html gives a couple of hours to explore.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:49 PM
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T2P thanks again for your suggestions, they have been extremely helpful.

If we choose to stay a night in Ennis or Adare, it would have to come out of our 2 nights in Kinsale (the package we have purchased does not give us an option of switching around days in the trip and also when we stay in Powerscourt, Wicklow it will be our base for seeing Dublin).

That being the case, we would have to make a decision between stopping between Galway and Kinsale in Ennis/Adare and driving Dingle on way to Kinsale or to make the drive directly from Galway to Kinsale and driving Barea the 2nd day.

That being the case, what do you suggest for the portion of the trip from the time we leave Galway (Day3) to the time we get to Kilkenny (Day 6). This is the portion of the trip that we are having the hardest time deciding on.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 02:23 AM
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The scenic option is probably to drive round Dingle on the way down from Ennis or Adare to Kinsale. Much as I love Beara it would make little sense to add that into the tightness of this.

How you get from Kinsale to Killarney might depend on the weather and your taste. Easiest might be Cahir/Cashel route but see how comfortable you are with driving, how the weather is and any other factors.

I have probably put in too much information/options above but if you consider it a menu then just decide what will end on your plate. There will be other menu's and different chefs no one says you have to take what I have put forward.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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We have pretty much narrowed down our route around the Connemara loop. We have two possible options, but we are having a hard time deciding which is feasible in one day.

The first route begins in Galway to Clifden, up to Westport, around to Cong and back down to Galway. This route seems lengthy for one day.

The second route cuts out Westport and Cong altogether (so we would not be visiting Ashford Castle or Cong Abbey). This makes the route much shorter. Here is the map: http://goo.gl/maps/Br5xI

Which route would you recommend to complete in a day? Obviously, we do not want to rush through our day, and we would like to be back in Galway in time for dinner. At the same time, we want to make the most of our visit in Connemara.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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We did the first, which was a long day. It wasn't helped by the continual rain though. We had actually planned on a walk the Nat'l Park but gave up.

http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/ireland.html
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 01:48 PM
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You could head up to westport and drop back down the N84. DoonLough from Leenane to Loisburgh is one of the better drives http://www.thinplace.net/2012/10/mee...connemara.html You don't miss much missing Cong and Ashford.
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