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Ireland: 1 week with Kids & In Laws - Need Itinerary Help

Ireland: 1 week with Kids & In Laws - Need Itinerary Help

Feb 18th, 2007, 06:50 AM
  #1  
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Ireland: 1 week with Kids & In Laws - Need Itinerary Help

Hi... sorry for another "need itinerary help" post... but you all seem so good at advice!

I'll be in Ireland for @ 1 week in Early April of this year. (I'm American... but currently live in Switzerland... so I won't be dealing with jet lag.) Will be travelling with 2 kids (7 & 10) and meeting my inlaws for the trip.

We're meeting the inlaws near Shannon... (they're flying in ahead of us, to catch up on sleep)I've got them booked at the Dromoland Castle for 2 nights.

We're flying into Dublin from Zurich... and will rent a car and drive toward SHannon/ Dromoland. We won't arrive until later in the evening... so I don't want to spend the $$ for us at the Dromoland... any suggestions on where to stay for the night? I've been looking at the Kells Guest House or the Bunratty Castle Hotel for one night.

So here are my thoughts on itinerary:

Day 1: Spend night near Dromoland Castle (arrive in evening)

Day 2: Visit Bunratty Caslte and Cliffs of Moher. Stay near Cliffs of Moher... I've looked at the Atlantic View B&B so far... looks good.

Day 3: In AM... drive down toward Kerry... visit Dingle area... and surrounding area. look to stay in Kilarney or Kenmare area. Could use some advice here.

Day 4: Visit more of Kerry area. Spend one more night in same place as Day 3.

Day 5: Head toward Dublin... but stop by Waterford for quick factory visit... continue on to Dublin. Visit Guiness Storehouse and other things. Stay the night in Dublin.

Day 6: Visit a bit more of Dublin... then on to London...

I really need help with lodging for Day 1... again, we arrive late that night... we're just looking for a place to rest our heads somewhere not too far from Dromoland Castle.

Also... should we stay near Cliffs of Moher? Or should we just see the Cliffs and head down toward Kerry that day???

Thanks for the help.

JB
jackieb is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #2  
 
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Unless you really want to visit Bunratty castle you could skip it and go right on up to Cliffs of Moher....Then back to the Dingle/Kenmare area. You'd have to work out whether you wanted to stop along the way.
In Dingle there is a wonderful Greenmount Guest House, on a hill, with a VERY comprehensive breakfast.
The Slea Head drive out of Dingle is spectacular ...shorter and much less "bus crowded' than the Ring of Kerry. BEAUTIFUL!
Kenmare would be a nice place to stay, lots of B&B's,,,,as well as Kinsale. In Kinsale: the "Old Presbytery" is a wonderful, well run B&B . Close to town with it's own parking.
For one night and comfortable lodgings we stayed at a nice Best WEstern "down the road" and east of Bunratty. There is a nice restaurant and a large courtyard for the kids to run around. (we stayed there to get a good nights rest AFTER arriving from U.S.) (the two queen/full (?) beds in the room would be good for your family. It's not far from Dromoland, but I'm sure you can find something even closer!
mari5 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the tip... I just looked up Slea Head... that looks very interesting... I'm thinking of not going up to Cliffs of Moher... so we'll have more time around Dingle/Kerry, etc... What do you think of that? After looking at Slea Head... it looks like we'll see cliffs and beaches... so maybe we don't need to go to Cliffs of Moher. The Clifss are a bit out of our way right now. ANy thoughts?
jackieb is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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If you are going to skip the Cliffs I would try and spend a night in Dingle. I think the Slea Head drive is just fantastic and it would be a shame to rush. I have stayed at both Dromoland Castle and The Bunratty Castle Hotel and neither one is cheap but both give very good service. There are a ton of B&B's around Bunratty and its very easy to jump on the N-18. The Folk Park will be fun for the kids but a bit campy I think for adults. I would pick Kenmare over Killarney because its smaller but Killarney has alot to offer. TYhe Gap of Dunloe is a full day but if the Wx. is nice its a lovely ride through the Mts. and then a boat ride through the lakes at the end. Shame you have to waste a day driving from Dublin the Shannon. Have fun
JOHNOD is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #5  
 
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jackieb,

With children I'd stay at Bunratty Castle Hotel as you could get a late snack after you arrive, plus they'd get a kick out of seeing the castle across the road.

I agree with heading on down to Dingle your second day. You will see outstanding scenery. I love the Burren but for a short trip, I'd get to Kerry. I'll second Greenmount House in Dingle. The suites are very large and I think you and your children would be comfortable in one. Also your inlaws would enjoy them. The views from Greenmount House are beautiful and the family is so friendly and nice. In April of 2005 I stayed 6 nights at Greenmount and 7 nights in Kenmare at The Lodge. With children Killarney might be a better base. I really can't say. I've stayed in both places and I liked the small town of Kenmare better.

You are going at a perfect time of year. Have a wonderful trip.
Joan

chatham is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 04:06 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the tips. To JOHNOD... great info... but one thing -- we won't be wasting the day driving from Dublin to Shannon... our flight doesn't arrive into Dublin from Zurich until 5:30pm... it's about a 2 1/2 drive from Dublin to Shannon... so we'll get to Shannon pretty late. So, the main problem, is our flight from Zurich. That's all. But thanks again!
jackieb is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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No way will you drive from Dublin Airport to Shannon in two and a half hours!

Allowing time to get through the airport arrivals stuff, pick up the car, skirt two cities en route (Dublin and Limerick), and possibly have a coffee/bathroom stop, I don't see you getting to your destination before 10.00 p.m.

If the children have the stamina, that's fine. If not, you might consider overnighting along the route, and meeting the in-laws early the following day.

Personally, I would omit the Cliffs of Moher from the programme, but others might think differently. Bunratty Folk village does not involve a driving burden, and might interest the children as well as the adult members of the group.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Thanks Padraig... I think we will skip the Cliffs of Moher. I will also give the Bunratty village a good look -- the kids will probably like that.

Also... I didn't expect the entire trip from Dublin - Shannon to be 2 1/2 hours... just the driving part. I'm well too aware of how long it takes to get through airports, stop for breaks, etc... I figured we'd arrive in Shannon around 10pm.... that is why I don't want to spend alot of $$ on a hotel in/near Shannon for one night with a very late arrival.

WIth all of that said... thanks again for the good tips.

Right now... I'm working on finalizing lodging for 1 night in/near Shannon (not too far from Dromoland Castle)... and for lodging in Kenmare or Killarney. Right now... I'm leaning toward Kenmare... but nothing is certain.

Will it be easy enough to tour Dingle and Kerry area from Kenmare??? Or should we spend a night in Dingle?

THanks again,

JackieB
jackieb is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Even though it involves packing and moving for the whole crew, I'd vote for an overnight in Dingle.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Thanks Padraig,

I think I'm taking more of your advice... and we'll spend a night in Dingle... it sounds like a good idea.

JB

jackieb is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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10:00 is probably a pretty good estimate, but I would figure the driving time to be at least 3 hours if you don't get lost going through Limerick which can be confusing. Even viamichelin projects it at 2:45 and they are usually a bit, to a lot conservative. Getting out of Dublin is pretty easy and most of it is motorway to Naas, so that moves quickly. I presume that you are used to driving on the left. By the way, I've made that trip from Zurich eventually into Dublin at 5:30. The traffic on the M1 was a nightmare. It took us an hour to get from the on ramp to the M1 to the M50. That was on a Saturday.

I agree with one night on the Dingle peninsula and then head over to Kenmare or Killarney. I like to stay at The Shores in Castlegregory on the north side of the peninsula. It's a beautiful area with beautiful views. I would tour Dingle from Dingle.

Though I much prefer Kenmare, Killarney might have more going on for kids as previously mentioned. Still, I really like Kenmare.

I think Kenmare to Waterford to Dublin including a stop at the Waterford Crystal factory is more than I would want to do in a day. Add the Guinness Storehouse and well, you won't get it in. Traveling with 5 people just adds time. The rule of thumb that I have read is that each person on a trip adds 15 minutes to the time that you leave. When staying at a B&B, breakfast is rarely before 8 and sometimes starts as late as 8:30 so it is highly unlikely you will get out before 9 and probably later.

You want or need the car in Dublin. It's not much fun to drive in and the city center is quite small and easy to walk around. The only advantage of a car in Dublin is that you get to contribute to the Irish economy a bit more by paying for parking.

Hope this helps.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Heaton's Guesthouse in Dingle is very nice- great family - mrs. heaton got up early to cook breakfast so we could make an early teetime.

Kenamre is a great town to and a great hopping off point for Ring of Kerry.

That said I would do Dingle over kerry/Kenmare if it is one or the other. The drive over Conner Pass out of Dingle is spectacular
jkbakes is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 12:43 AM
  #13  
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Thanks WOJAZZ3... if you're still checking posts... one more question... You mentioned Kenmare - Waterford - Dublin... I went checked viamichelin and realized that you are right -- this might be too much in 1 day.

Maybe I'll add one more day in Ireland. Maybe we'll stay 1 night in Dingle, 2 nights in Kenmare, 1 night near Wateford then head on to Dublin for a night or so.

Any thoughts? Any recommendations on staying in/near Waterford before we head to Dublin?

THanks Jackie
jackieb is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 01:57 AM
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I don't think Waterford is a particularly attractive city. It does have Reginald's Tower and a moderately good small museum.

There are some very attractive places near Waterford that you might enjoy: Lismore is fairly nice, and has a good castle and a cute small cathedral; Ardmore is a fairly pretty coastal village; Dungarvan is an interesting old fishing port and a lively small town. Tramore has a good beach and not much else.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 03:04 AM
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How about Ardmor, south of Waterford and Dungarvan. It has a great cliff walk, a round tower, a nice beach and a couple of Pubs. Have fun
JOHNOD is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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I'd vote for 2 nights in Dingle and 2 in Kenmare. This is IF you plan to drive the Slea Head drive and I know your parents and children would enjoy it---as well as driving/walking around the lovely town.
Kenmare is lovely also....decisions, decisions!
Your trip sounds fun and being an expat in Switzerland sounds fun.
Our children were ages 8,9, 10 when we moved overseas for 5 years and a great time to travel with them. They are like little sponges and absorb a LOT of good travel experiences.
mari5 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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OOPS! JUst reread my post....I meant to say 2 nights Dingle, ONE (1) in Kenmare.....
(but EITHER/OR, visa verse would be good)
mari5 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Hi Jackieb, I absolutely agree you definitely don't want to rush the drive around Slea Head, it is so gorgeous and you'll want to allow for plenty of time for picture taking. We stayed at the Dingle Marina Inn and it had a great location and was fairly inexpensive. As far as a place to stay near the Shannon Airport for around 60 Euro a night we stayed at Shannon Court Hotel last year and it was only 5 minutes from the airport and was clean, but nothing fancy. If you were interested from there to the Cliffs of Moher it's only about 40 minutes away from here and honestly it would be a shame to miss it if you were that close in my opinion. As far as the drive to Dublin I definitely agree, driving in Dublin is horrendous I wouldn't take the rental car. I've made the drive from Dublin to Shannon a couple of times and it typically takes between 3 1/2 to 4 hours with all the stops so I would definitely allow for more time. I always find driving in Ireland is always longer then what you initially expect. Hope you have a great time!!
Kepen is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 01:28 AM
  #19  
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Hi All,

Many thanks for the advice. Getting closer to a final plan. Here is how it is shaping up:

Arrive in Shannon (must spend 2 days here waiting for the 2 groups to come together). Tour Shannon area... Bunratty, Limerick, etc...

May stop up and see Cliffs of Moher (undecided)

On day 3 - head down toward County Kerry.

need to decide where to spend next 3 nights: Here are the 2 options Im considering:

1: Drive from Shannon to Dingle... spend night in Dingle at Heatons Guesthouse. Spend next day touring around Dingle Peninsula. Spend 2nd night in Dingle again at Heatons. Next day... head toward ROK and spend night in Killarney at Earls Court or in Kenmare at The Lodge.

or

2: From Shannon, head to Killarney & stay at Earls Court. Use this as base to tour Dingle, ROK and more for the next 3 days.

From County Kerry... well head toward Waterford. Well do the factory tour, spend one night in or near Waterford. (Mother in Law dying to see Waterford... so this is a must see for us)

Next day, head to Dublin. Spend 1 night in Dublin.

Then off to France.

Any thoughts?

JB
jackieb is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 01:53 AM
  #20  
 
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I'm not a huge fan of the Ring of Kerry, but the road between Kenmare and Killarney is beautiful -- probably best enjoyed going towards Killarney. So if you go with option 1, be sure not to omit that bit of the road.

I think Kenmare is a far nicer town than Killarney.
Padraig is offline  

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