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Initial planning need some insight please

Initial planning need some insight please

Old Feb 12th, 2011, 04:24 PM
  #1  
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Initial planning need some insight please

Hi all,

So I am in the very early stages of planning my Ireland trip. I have done some research but need help with how many days in each place. I have flights arriving in Shannon at 5:40 am on Tuesday and leaving at 5pm on Monday from Dublin. I am interested in seeing breath taking views, castles, blarney stone (i know...tourist...but others in my group insist!!) and enjoying the pubs and music and general good fun of the irish. We don't mind driving, but do not want to live in the car every day.

Here are my initial thoughts:

Tuesday: arrive in shannon and get rental car and go to Cliffs of Moher (1 hr 6 min drive so I am figuring on 1 1/2 hrs) spend time there and then make the drive to Killarney (3 hr drive so figure 4 1/2). check in to hotel and relax, catch up on sleep or see sights.

Wednesday - not quite sure - Ring of Kerry? drive to cork and spend time there? spend night in cork area?

Thursday - see cork area and spend night there?

Friday - drive to kilkenny and spend night there?

saturday - finish kilkenny area and drive to dublin. Really think it woudl be great fun to spend a saturday night in a dublin pub.....no?

Sunday and monday explore dublin until flight 5pm on monday.

So it's the middle of trip I am struggling with. Not sure where to be and what to do in each area. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
ladybug98 is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2011, 06:57 PM
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you're going to take an overnight flight, then drive 5-6 hours on the different side of the road? I would so not do that.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Well, I understand your concern - however I certainly would not be able to check into a hotel at 7am so what would you suggest I do? It seesm foolish to spend an entire day just sitting around and not enjoying the sights. Which is why I posted here to look for suggestions. Is there something I am missing in the Shannon area that I should stick around for the day? I am an experienced traveler and do not like to spend a day "getting over jetlag". I want to take advantage of every minute I have.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Well, I understand your concern - however I certainly would not be able to check into a hotel at 7am so what would you suggest I do? It seesm foolish to spend an entire day just sitting around and not enjoying the sights. Which is why I posted here to look for suggestions. Is there something I am missing in the Shannon area that I should stick around for the day? I am an experienced traveler and do not like to spend a day "getting over jetlag". I want to take advantage of every minute I have.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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sorry for the double reply - my computer crashed in the middle of submitting and I guess it went through twice!
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Ok so i spent some more time today researching and here is what I came up with - your thought???

day 1 - cliffs and general sightseeing on way down to Kilarny spend night in Killarny

day 2 - ROK and skellig michael and stay in kilarny

day 3 - drive to cork, blarney stone etc and spend night there

day 5 - drive to kilkenny area maybe stay in Cashel?

day 6 - sightsee in kilkenny area on way up to Dublin, getting to dublin around dinner and spending night there

day 7 - dublin sights

day 8 - dublin sights before leaving on 5pm flight

Thanks everyone
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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In the Shannon area are Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen, Knappogue Castle, and Lough Gur, just to get you started.
However, I agree that not everyone has to "get over jetlag" as I have made 5 trips to Ireland from the States, driven many kilos on arrival, and had no problems at all. Not everyone suffers from jetlag, and some suffer from it only after traveling the other direction.
I have certainly driven from Shannon to Killarney on the different side of the road and I'm still around.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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On our first day we drove to Ennis, not far from Shannon airport. We chose a B & B right in town so we parked the car, dropped off our luggage and walked to explore Ennis, had lunch. Back to the B & B for a 2 hr. nap. Off to explore some more. Had dinner at Poets Corner at the Old Ground Hotel.

This worked out perfect for us. We were ready to tackle the roads the next day.

I do have one suggestion---stay in Kenmare instead of Killarney. Killarney was a tour bus, traffic nightmare. Just myopinion, some people like that sort of thing, we try to avoid the tour buses.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Okay, we crossed in the ether.

On day 2 you might consider the Gap of Dunloe tour through Deros Tours... bus to the Gap, jaunting cars or hike the 6 miles and then boats to Ross Castle where the bus picks you up for the trip back to Killarney. But nothing wrong with the ROK, either.

Cork never has impressed me (maybe because I'm always lost when driving there). You could skip Cork and check out Blarney Castle (if you don't want to kiss the stone...ewwww!....the grounds are just lovely and there is shopping nearby). Then head on to Cahir and Cashel.

I haven't spent much time in Kilkenny but many people love it and I can get you a link to a walking tour if that appeals.

Sounds good for a brief trip.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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TPAYT is right. Stay in Kenmare or even Bantry. We stayed at Salmon Leap B&B on the N22 toward Cork and I would recommend it.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 07:20 PM
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Thank you everyone. Those are very helpful. jaja glad to see you are still around after the drive from shannon to killarny - lol A link for that walking tour would be great thanks!! I will also check out the Deros tours you mentioned.

I'm going to start on hotels tomorrow so I will check out what you all mentioned.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Here you go, lady:
http://www.knockahopple.com/downloadkilkenny.html .

Actually, I'm still around after 5 trips, 3 of which I was the only driver and the other 2 I shared that privilege with my daughter. Just making plans for #6 in June, and once again, you guessed it, the old lady is the only one brave enough to do the driving!
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Old Feb 14th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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Cashel is a very small town.
You might find Kilkenny more interesting as a place to spend the night.

If possible, you can visit Cahir castle and Swiss Cottage on your way.
You find this and other sights listed at:
http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/

From Cashel to Kilkenny, you can make a slight detour via Fethard, a small town in South Tipp which has the most complete medieval town walls still standing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fethard,_South_Tipperary


Kinsale is a small harbor town, very close to Cork city, but a more..hum.. quainter alternative.


The drive time from the Cliffs of Moher to Killarney can vary somewhat as most routing websites want you to use the Shannon ferry at Tarbert (where you may have to wait).


When you use Google streetview you can get a first impression of the type of highways you will encounter in Ireland.
You can think about GPS. Some people say it's great, some say you don't need it. Whatever...

Speed limits are often posted more as a reminder of the general limit on a certain type of road and not an indicator that the following stretch of highway can be safely driven at that speed. So you will find tiny winding 1-lane roads on which you can barely make 60kph with a 80kph limit posted.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Old Feb 14th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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I also prefer to stay in Kenmare over Killarney. Good places to eat, many nice places to stay and not crazy busy like Killarney can be.

As far as GPS, we have never felt the need for it in our visits. We have been using a Michelin map (a huge map, but we fold it to a manageable size for the area we are in) without mishap. Since so many new roads are being built in the last few years, we had to order a new map for our April trip.

Once you figure out where you will be staying, post back for suggestions for B&Bs or hotels.
allisonm is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Cowboy thank you! Both of those links you sent me sound and look perfect - exactly the "Ireland" I was looking for.

So now for the silly question - how do I possibly figure out a route to take to see all the places? It's obvious not a direct shot from any one town to the next. I guess I have to whittle it down to which castles etc and then plot them on a map and take it from there, no?

I barely had time today to look into hotels. I did check out salmon leap and that seems great. Any suggestions along the route would be great. I do not need anything crazy fancy - just someplace clean and reasonably priced. If I can keep it to under $150 each night that would be great. Except maybe one night - does anyone have an idea for staying in a castle that is not $500 a night? If I can save on the other 5 nights it woull make this trip really special to have one night in a castle. It can be anywhere - thoughts?
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 05:41 AM
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For some parts of your trip, the "perfect route" is easier to find than for others.

For example: Day 5, Cork to Kilkenny. Most you want to see is along the M8 Cork-Dublin motorway.

From Cork, follow signs to N8 or M8 (Dublin)
Take M8 to exit #11 for Cahir (castle and/or Swiss Cottage)
after your visit, follow signs for M8 (Dublin) again
Take M8 to exit #9 for Cashel
visit town and Rock
after your visit:
> direct route
follow signs for M8 (Dublin) again
Take M8 to exit #4 for Urlingford/ Kilkenny/ R693
follow R693 to Kilkenny
(Some GPS will want you to take R691 and N76 from Cashel to Kilkenny. It's the shorter route but takes longer to drive)
> Fethard variation (will take longer)
From Cashel, take R692 to Fethard and further till you hit N76,
follow N76 to Kilkenny
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Old Feb 16th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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Cowboy 1968----thanks for the explicit directions from Cork to Kilkenny. In Sept.'10 we used your directions to avoid going through Limerick from Adare to Shannon airport.
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