Help with itinerary (6/28/05-7/2/05)

May 30th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Help with itinerary (6/28/05-7/2/05)

We would greatly appreciate feedback on the itinerary and accommodations we've chosen below. A number of specific questions/concerns are in brackets.

Also, if you have alternatives for locations or lodging we'd love to hear them. We need recommendations for restaurants, pubs, delis, markets, etc. as well. Thanks!

DAY 1 (Tuesday June 28th): Arrive Dublin at noon, see Trinity College/Book of Kells, stay overnight at the Merrion Hotel.

DAY 2 (Wednesday June 29th): Fly into Kerry Airport, arrive around 9am, rent car, drive the Ring of Kerry counterclockwise, stay in Kenmore at the Davitts, Killarney National Park [Will we have time for the park or should we push this to day 3?]

DAY 3: (Thursday June 30th): KNP if we canít do it on day 2, drive around Dingle Peninsula, then up to Glin, stay at Glin Castle [Is this too much to do in one day? Should we skip Dingle and go straight to County Clare? See below.]

Day 4: (Friday July 1st): Tarbert Ferry to Cliffs of Moher, stop in Kilkee and Lahinch along the way. [Either stay in Doolin, see the cliffs in the evening, and go to McCanns or see the cliffs in the day and drive to Ballyvaughan and stay at Greganís castleówhich one?]

Day 5: (Saturday July 2nd): In the morning, either Doolin to Galway or Ballyvaughan to Galway. Return the car, take the 3pm train to Dublin [Concerned about making all these connections], arrive 5:40pm for dinner. Stay overnight in Dublin at the Clarence.

Day 6: (Saturday July 3rd): Fly out of Dublin Airport at 11am.

asa4 is offline  
May 30th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Hi asa4, I cannot answer your itinerary question because I have never been to Ireland, unfortunatly. But I just wanted to suggest that you repost this with a new title such as "Help With Ireland Itinerary". I think you will get a lot more responses then with the generic title. Best wishes.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 05:18 AM
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I am taking our first trip the same time as you, so I haven't been yet, but it looks as if you are trying to do too much in too short a time. Driving the Ring of Kerry takes all day, I believe, and you would not have time to do Killarney Park the same day.

I also don't think you could do Dingle Peninsula and Killarney in the same day.

You also might consider spending at least two nights at your stops, otherwise you may be too exhausted to enjoy the touring.
bucky is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 05:40 AM
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In Dublin unless you have some very special reason to see Trinity college and the book of Kells, the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology & History on
Kildare Street (runs parallel to Grafton Street just north of St. Stephens Green) will give you a better overview of Irish culture and history in advance of seeing the rest of the country. I have a great appreciation of all kinds of art, but frankly the Book of Kells was a lot of standing in line for a little bit of looking at a very narrow subject. The museum has guided tours at certain times, ours was excellent. As for your itinerary, part of the charm of Ireland is poking around, driving is not so easy or so fast. I would focus on Dingle (2 nights) and one other place maybe Doolin or Galway (one night). Ring of Kerry isn't nearly as great as Dingle pennisula (we enjoyed on Dingle the museum at the end of the pennisula and a 1/2 day mini van tour of archeological sights, even if you have your own car like we did you would never find some of these little places in the middle of a farmers field and even if you found them you would never understand half as well by yourself) and just the amazing scenery and weather. Two good books to read in advance Ireland and the Irish (by Ardagh) and How the Irish Saved Civilization (by Cahill). (On these may be available as used books cheap or from your public library if you don't want to pay full price.) Both give great background on Ireland history and Ireland today that will make what you see and experience there so much better. Ireland really is fascinating. Enjoy planning your trip!
laurie_ann is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Oops, we'll do the ROK clockwise, so we get better views and aren't blocked behind tour buses!
asa4 is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 08:24 AM
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asa4, I just composed a long message to you and hit a wrong key and lost it. I'll try again. I like all of your accommodations except for Kenmare. There are two outstanding hotels, The Park right at the top of town and Sheen Falls across the river. Also The Lansdowne right in the center has nice reception rooms. I didn't see the bedrooms. Three 4 star guesthouses come to mind, The Lodge( I've stayed and they have nice,comfortable bedrooms), Shelburne Lodge and Sallyport House. The last two have little better reception rooms.
Glin Castle and Gregans Castle sound great. Gregans is right in the middle of The Burren.
I wonder if you skipped ROK and drove from Kerry airport thru Killarney over the mountain to Kenmare, which would take about 2 hours driving time and you could spend time in Killarney and Kenmare. Around Kenmare there is outstanding scenery on The Beara Peninsula. When you left Kenmare, you could go back thru Killarney to Dingle. I think it took us about 3 hours with stops. The Slea Head drive on Dingle is one of the most beautiful spots in the world to me. It was a beautful sunny day. The 1st time we took a taxi so we could all enjoy the scenery and went back in our own car. Dingle town and the Peninsula have some good guesthouses. I'd look for 4 star. My boys enjoyed the mini-suite at Greenmount House, but I know there are others. Have you thought of flying out from Shannon? What ever you do or where you stay, I know you'll have a wonderful trip. Best Wishes, Joan

chatham is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Hi everyone--I realize that I've posted this message twice. I couldn't figure out how to edit the heading (so that it included "Ireland" in it) without re-posting the entire message. Sorry to those who find this annoying.

Thanks for the help. To Respond:

To Chatham--Yes, we looked at the Park Hotel in Kenmore, but didn't feel we needed all the "spa" amenities, etc. We thought it would be fun to try Davitts--it would be different from out other accommodations, it's right in town. Do you not like Davitts?

Also, to those who asked, I wouldn't mind skipping the ROK and doing Dingle instead, but my travelling companion wants to do ROK. My guess is if we have time (are able to get up early) we could try for Dingle)

Anyone know, is it possible to do part of Dingle and get the flavor of it?

Everyone seems to really like Doolin. Are we insane to try to drive to Galway from Doolin on the same day we intend to take the train out to Dublin?

asa4 is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 01:35 PM
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Dear asa4, I had dinner at Davitts and it was fine. It just seems so different from your other places. Let us know when you get back. Good luck, Joan
chatham is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 12:05 PM
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To respond to Joan--Yes, Davitts IS different. We figured we'd try something in town, as we will get our fill of nature as we drive around the countryside. We may not actually eat at Davitts, we'll need to check it out first.

For anyone else out there in cyberspace--

What restaurants/pubs do you recommend in Kenmare (or in the Killarney/ROK area)?

Also, has anyone actually stayed at Glin Castle and/or Gregan's Castle? Can you tell us something about your experiences? What were the atmosphere and staff like?

Lastly, we are in a quandary as to whether to spend our last night in the countryside (before heading to Galway) in Doolin (Aran View House Hotel) or in Ballyvaughan (Gregan's Castle). We are told that the two towns are just 20 minutes away from one another. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Amy
asa4 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Dear Amy, I hope you and your father have a wonderful trip. Please report back to us when you return. Best Wishes, Joan
chatham is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Day 4 - Friday 1 July - I'm for the Cliffs of Moher in the evening and a visit to McGanns. you can walk to the cliffs from Doolin (about 1.5 to 2 hours I think) if you're not too pushed for time. Or you can drive there and walk along the cliffs when you get there. You'll be glad of the exercise when you see the size of the plates of food they put in front of you in McGanns. Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned grub cooked to perfection. I spent several evenings in McGanns and got the impresison that friday was when all the locals came home and headed for the pub. The atmosphere was superb every evening, on Friday evening it was magical.
Craigellachie is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 08:33 AM
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Wow, you've sold us on McCanns. I assume one can go there for lunch, a mid-day drink, dinner, after dinner drinks or all of the above?
asa4 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 04:14 PM
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Probably "all of the above" though maybe not a good idea to try it all on the same day....

If you only go once, save it until evening, go around 8 pm for a meal and plan to stay until they close. The live music often doesn't start until about 9 pm and will be one of the highlights of your holiday.

Two recent developments on the Irish pub scene. They have banned smoking in all pubs (except in designated and separated smoking areas). Either the best or the worst law in history depending on whether or not you are a puffer. Some pubs in more rural areas have been less than enthusiastic in enforcing the new rule; I was in Doolin before the ban so I don't know the story there. I've also heard that some parts of Ireland have started being more strict about age limits in bars. Again, I don't know if this has had much impact in Doolin, but IMHO and even allowing for the problems of underage drinking, it will be a sad, sad day if the young people (at a guess I'd say 14 years old at most) of Doolin are banned from joining their families in the village pub and wowing all the visitors with their skill on the tin whistle.
Craigellachie is offline  

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