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Ireland base towns (and timing) - Connemara/W. Cork?

Ireland base towns (and timing) - Connemara/W. Cork?

May 24th, 2017, 08:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 14
Ireland base towns (and timing) - Connemara/W. Cork?

Hello! Can you help with suggestions for two bases to explore West Cork and Connemara during my late August Ireland trip ?

I'll be in Dublin for a 2 week stretch to start (work reasons), but I should have a sufficiently flexible schedule to make a number of day trips from there (eg, Brú na Bóinne and so on).

I'll depart Dublin with my rental car mid- to late afternoon (depending on work) on Fri. August 25. I fly back to the U.S. from Shannon around noon the following Saturday, Sept. 2.

Personal preferences: huge appreciator of good food, but it needn't be the precious sort (served with foam & emulsifications, heh). I definitely will forego an otherwise cool attraction that's truly overrun with tourists. So, hazarding thru the the Ring of Kerry, for instance, sounds rather awful. Conversely, Beara sounds rather awesome (but not sure that's a doable drive to include for this trip - just using it here to illustrate.)

I'm envisioning taking some lovely walks and drives, marinating in pub atmosphere and some trad, and wandering a cute town (or city) in the evening.

So - would Kinsale be a good W. Cork base?
How about Galway for both its own sake and exploring Connemara?
What would be a good way to divide my time?
Is going DUB -> Kinsale on a Friday afternoon a reasonable plan? I guess this'd mean blowing right past Cashel, though. :/
How about leaving Galway (if that will be the base) for Shannon airport early Saturday morning to make a noon flight - reasonable?

Thanks in advance for any insights and opinions!
tastytreks is offline  
May 25th, 2017, 03:11 AM
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Kinsale is Not west cork in the true sense it is south central and a suburb of the city these days, more Yacht, Golf and Overhyped picturesque rather than sustenance food. Depends what you want. For Beara and the SW peninsulas then Bantry or that sort of area, even Kenmare works.

Clifden is the best base for Connemara Galway is 15 miles to far east for even the edge of the region but it is a happy vibrant city with a lot going on.

As to Shannon. I always give Ennis as the best base for a flight late morning to Lunch. Galway is over an hour from the airport so one of the regular motorway hold ups and you could miss your flight or have a rush. Ennis is the best base for County Clare which has a lot going for it. Not just 1/2 mile of Cliff and a bit of moonscape. There is the west coast from Kinvara to Loop Head and all the way across to here where the Burren Lowlands meet the Lough Derg Lakelands
Tony2phones is offline  
May 26th, 2017, 11:02 AM
Join Date: May 2017
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While Kinsale is not West Cork, and yes basically a suburb- We loved using it as our "base" to explore the nearby area.Very walkable, lots of pubs and places to dine. We enjoyed the Spaniard and fine dining at Man Friday, both about 15 steps from our rental.

Since we are from Alaska, driving around Ireland for 3-4 hours to nearby towns like Dingle, or Kilkenny and up to the Cliffs and Burren wasn't bad. We enjoyed the pretty drive and made stops along the way!

Get your OPW card while in Dublin and use it on your small road trips!
sydcopley is offline  
May 27th, 2017, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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I will read your responses with interest. My husband & I will be in Ireland Aug 16 - Sep 2 = we'll be on your flight home??? Because of the early flight, we have given up staying anywhere but the airport. There are good choices in Limerick, but it is 30 min away, and worry about traffic; and the real reason is I hate to get up early! We're staying at the Radisson with trepidation.
P.S. WHY do so-called gourmets like foam???
stilltravelingat62 is offline  
May 27th, 2017, 04:21 PM
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Don't forget East Cork. Midleton for all the tastings, Ballycotton, Ballymaloe. http://www.ballymaloe.ie/ It is pricey to stay there but would eat and look at the gardens, shop for some relish and other goodies. Cobh is also very interesting and historical.
Macross is offline  
May 28th, 2017, 01:09 AM
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# stilltravelingat62 #
The Fledh Cheoil is on in Ennis during your stay, accommodation is likely unavailable at this late date but if you get the chance its a great Irish for the Irish rather than for tourists festival. http://www.fleadhcheoil.ie/
Tony2phones is offline  
May 30th, 2017, 07:44 PM
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Thanks muchly, everyone! Have been wrangling an unexpected work obligation since my posting, but when I hit my trip-planning drawing board again later this week, it'll be with these suggestions tucked under my arm!

Tony, I had Ennis written down from prior postings I'd seen from you, but wanted to affirm first whether I was truly being chancy if I stayed farther away from Shannon airport the final eve. These 'frequent jams' on the motorway you refer to sound chancy enough for me! :/

A few of my real life associates have questioned why I'm freaking out about not having accommodations nailed down yet. "It's not 'til August!" they say. Pfft. Small towns, high tourist season, high *festival* season... As far as I'm concerned, this is practically last minute!!

On the plus side though - W. Cork and Connemara were random suggestions from my colleague when I asked where *she'd* recommend I go. (We'd recently commiserated over how Playa del Carmen in Mexico was a good example of 'too touristy' on our respective personal barometers.) But if I start running into things being too booked out, I'll just adjust my plan accordingly - after all, how many corners of Ireland could I stumble into and say, "well, THIS is terrible" ??

I'll report back to close the loop on this - and stilltraveling: I don't know what the foam deal is. I don't even think it belongs on coffee!
tastytreks is offline  
May 31st, 2017, 06:24 AM
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Had a close shave myself picking up at SNN the other morning. On the approach road with some bod coming at me on my side of the road! Hopefully the near miss didn't have the driver or his Mrs wishing they were back in Boston for too long.

To be fair the biggest problem with the M18 is at the Shannon end with mad rush locals off to start work and must make the airport tourists forgetting their road sense. The longest wait around apart from when my timing belt went once! was below Galway but above the motorway, waiting around for 20 minutes whilst a herd of cows decided which field to go in.
Tony2phones is offline  
Jun 5th, 2017, 04:24 PM
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Eek Tony, you're giving me grey hair just thinking about all the things that can go amiss en route to the airport! Snapped timing belt indeed, sheesh. Happily, between New Zealand travel and Scotland, I am accustomed to waiting patiently on dithering roadway livestock!

I am all booked in at Kenmare for the first half of my week, and Clifden for the second; only the pre-flight eve remains to be nailed down, but Tony has definitely scared me into booking at one of the smack at the airport options.
tastytreks is offline  
Jun 6th, 2017, 02:21 AM
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You are fine within an hour of the airport. at least if things go pear shaped with the car you can get a taxi. not much you can do about livestock but fences are a lot better these days.

The other consideration is the time of the flight? I have to be up at 4 am on Friday because Chris has a god o'clock flight to Stansted and insists on being an hour early.

Shannon is an easy customer friendly airport to get to and through so unless preclearing US customs a couple of hours before a flight is plenty of time.

If you need any help on Clare and Connemara just ask.
Tony2phones is offline  
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