Ireland---beginning research

Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:36 PM
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Ireland---beginning research

We have loved Europe (Italy and France) but many well traveled friends tell us to try Ireland. We do not like changing properties every few days, but prefer to "settle in" for 5-7 days at a time. With that in mind, where would you suggest that we stay and do day trips?

I have read many trip reviews, etc. but just can't come up with a good location. Any comments would be welcomed. Fodorites seem to have a real "knack" for tellling you the truth----not try to sell you something.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 03:02 AM
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Ireland is a small island, but it is DENSE with possibilities. Because of that, no ONE location is adequate to "See It All". There is the NORTH -- Northern Ireland and Donegal, the WEST -- Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo, the East -- Dublin, Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenney and Kildare and the SOUTH WEST - cork, Kerry, Waterford and Limerick.

Depending upon where you are settled in, areas like Clare, Tipperary and Westmeath are also accessible, but a 5-7 day stay that includes Donegal, Killarney, Galway, Clare, Dublin, Kilkenney and Wicklow isn't practical. For that duration of stay, you would be best served to pick a single area. If you can manage two weeks, then pick two, etc....

What SITES in Ireland most picque your interest??? If you make a list and then locate them on a map, it should give you a pretty good idea of which area is most suited to YOUR needs.

After THAT, it should be pretty easy to find recommendations for specific lodgings ...

Bob
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 03:54 AM
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I'm not an Ireland expert, only been once. But after starting in Dublin, going to the south coast and then the west, it was only once we got to the west coast that I said to myself "now I see what everyone's talking about". So if you are only picking one area then pick the west (Dingle, Killarney, etc). But I agree that maybe you should stay in at least two places. Otherwise you will spend an awful lot of time driving back and forth. The distances are small but you can only go so fast (and that is much slower than most places). Also, part of the fun of Ireland is staying at B&Bs and meeting the owners so moving every couple of days is not a bad thing. I assume you will have a car (otherwise I say forget it and do a package tour) so moving frequently is not as much trouble as when you are doing it by train.

Have a look at my photos and see which areas appeal to you more (and then there are thousands more if you google Ireland images) www.pbase.com/annforcier/ireland
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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Thank you for your lovely replies, and sharing your grand photos. Driving in Ireland looks like a real challange, but what the heck you can't live forever.
As for locations, how would staying in say, Dingle and Kinsale, for three or four days each sound? This being our first trip to Ireland, we don't expect to "see it all" we just want to get a feel for the place, to perhaps plan a return visit. I bellieve it takes several trips to somewhere to get to know it.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 09:15 AM
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Dingle and Kinsale are both in the south-west...both are beautiful places and will allow you perfect access to the two counties they are in, Kerry and Cork respectively, which are superbly beautiful places. But if you want two bases in two different places, I would say stay in either Dingle or Kinsale and then, for the other half of your stay, base yourself in Co Clare or in Galway City, then you have access to the West of Ireland - counties Clare and Galway and Mayo, which, as someone mentioned above, boast stunning scenery.

Another idea, check out what festivals are on (eg traditional music, arts) where when you are going, eg Willie Clancy week in Co Clare in the Summer, as they may influence your decision a little: seeing small-town Ireland during a festival is good fun.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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isabel---your photos are beautiful. After your comment on B& B's I started looking at them on Trip Advisor. That does look like the way to go. Yes we will have a car.

NorthLondoner---Your comments were also quite helpful.

We are now thinking 1 night in Adare (not too far from Shannon airport after a long travel time from the Midwest), Dingle Penninsula for 5 nights, then either somewhere near Galway or somewhere in County Clare for 4 nights,
then maybe 1 night right at Shannon before an early morning flight home.

Again, this is a very preliminary itinerary----we have to start somewhere, take in all of your suggestions and then fine tune our trip.

The photos with the B & B's on Trip Advisor make so many of them look good. Any further suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 12:42 PM
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Bob (Italian_Chauffer)----Thank you also for the tips. We like to drive the small towns and countryside. MDH will take many, many photos(his hobby).

What do you think of our initial plan?
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 04:20 PM
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I think you would be better served by staying around Killarney, rather than Dingle. Dingle is a GREAT place, but Dingle town is about an hour drive out the penninsula, which means that to see any of Killarney's charms, you would need to drive about 1.5 hours INTO Killarney and then, 1.5 hours BACK, to Dingle. That seems rather counter-productive to me, unless you have NO interest in the Killarney area.

That SEEMS unlikely. Killarney has been a MAJOR tourist destination for over 300 years -- with GOOD reason -- the Lakes, the National Park, Ross Castle, Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms, Ladies View, Torc falls and the Gap of Dunloe. That doesn't even include the 5-8 hour 'Ring of Kerry' drive ...

Some people find Killarney too much and prefer Kenmare, to the south. We rented a house in Killorglin (about 1/2 hour NW of Killarney and 1 hour SW of Dingle town0 for a week, in June of 2005. It was a handy destination for visiting both Dingle AND the Killarney area attractions and a nice, small town, as well. We caught a lively Trad Session at the Bridge bar one night as well. Fans of Kenmare will say the same, about it. Plus, from Kenmare, the Bearra 'Ring' is EASILY reachable and, barring the ROK stretch from Kenmare to Killorglin, Bearra is much more impressive -- to me, at least -- than the ROK.

The Killarney and Dingle Pubs will have LOADS of options, but if you don't stay there, they won't be much fun -- knowing you have a long drive home, in the dark!!!

Not many street lights, the Irish have become FIERCE about combating Drink Driving and those little, narrow roads seem to SHRINK -- CONSIDERABLY -- once the sunlight flees

Kinsale is nice, for a night or two and there is LOTS to due, either nearbly, or enroute to there -- Blarney, Cohb, Drombeg Stone Circle, mizen and Sheep's Head, etcetera, ....

Bob
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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Also:

here's a link to a Trip Report from 2007, complete with a link to pictures from Ireland trips in 2006, 07, 08 and 2009.

If some of the sights interest the photographer in you, that may help in narrowing down your destination choices.

Bob
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Ooops!

Dunno WHY I KEEP doing THAT!!!!!!

LINK: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ix-june-07.cfm

Bob
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