Ireland-Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare

Jul 25th, 2012, 03:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20
Ireland-Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare

We need help either paring down our wish list (prioritising) OR figuring out how to do things on our own, without tours (just to save time, not money). August trip. We don't have any accommodations booked yet but I am not at all concerned about that. I will just book what ever is available, where ever we happen to be for that night. Don't mind switching hotels every night. We are doing castles, history and cities on other parts of our trip.

For this portion of our trip we start our in either Youghal or Cobh. Right now the plan is to start in Youghal and the only reason for that is we want to give the kids (8 and 11) some time on the beaches. We can skip Youghal and start in Cobh if there are good sandy beaches somewhere else along our route (western side of Ring of Kerry, Kilrush vicinity or Galway?). We have our own car and have 3 days to fit in the following: I realise that we have a full day's worth of just driving from place to place (including the Ring). We're not 9-to-5ers, we will keep on touring till 8 or 9pm if the itinerary allows it.

1. beach time for the children (sandy beach please); an hour or two
2. Cobh - Titantic Experience, just enjoying the village and, maybe a short harbour boat ride (4-5 hours in Cobh?)
3. the Gap of Dunloe - just for the scenery, we want to do the jaunting cart and the boat but don't really care about touring castles, etc. I know we can hire the jaunting cart on our own, but what about the boat? Years ago there was a kiosk at the place where the tour-operated boats start so people could hire them separately. Is that still there? What are the hours of operation? What is the total time we would spend if we drive to Kate Kearney's, do jaunting cart, then boat, then taxi(?) back to our car?
4. driving the Ring of Kerry - what are the absolute must sees along the way and how long do we allow for each stop that you mention? Can we do half one day and the other half the next?
5. on to Kilrush to do a dolphin watching expedition
6. Galway - would like to end up in Galway in the evening because of pubs/restaurants; alternatively, if available, we might spend the night at Dromoland or Ballyseede Castle and skip Galway
7. some sort of fishing for the kids (their first time, not an all day or half day boat trip - it doesn't have to involve a boat at all). The question is where?

I've read lots of posts and still find it confusing. Some of the info I have looked at is old so I don't feel like I can rely on it. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Thanks so much.
smallfrye is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 04:34 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 19
Hello smallfrye!

Your plan sounds already great: beautiful itinerary and fantastic activities to do with all the family!

Let's see if we can help with these little details:


Sandy beaches

Speaking about amazing Irish sandy beaches, not far from Kilrush, there are Kilkee and Doonbeg; in Co. Galway you cannot miss Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay. Thinking about the little ones, a good option could be Rossbeigh (Blue Flag) located 2 miles from the village of Glenbeigh on the ring of Kerry (South West) and directly south of the Inch sandpit. There is a beautiful children’s playground here, ideal for the kids.



Cobh harbour trips & Fishing

Harbour Boat trips and sea angling excursions are available in Cobh.
http://www.corkharbourcruises.com/ Check out the family fares!


Gap of Dunloe

You can explore the Gap of Dunloe by boat tour ( http://killarneydaytour.com/ ) or by renting a boat on your own – No worries, there are always locals there offering this service to the tourists.



“Must do & see” on the Ring of Kerry for all the family

Skellig Ring Coastal Drive: an unmissable coastal drive at the very end of the Iveragh Peninsula.

The highlights include:

•Dramatic cliffs,
•Stunning beaches,
•A quirky Chocolate Factory and an unforgettable boat trip to Skellig Michael.



Muckross House and Gardens

This famous country house and gardens is perched right on the edge of the Lakes of Killarney and was made famous after Queen Victoria came to stay in 1861. Much of the house has been painstakingly restored and the beautifully maintained gardens are a popular attraction in their own right. If you have time take a drive up to "the Ladies' View" and continue up to the fantastic Avoca Shop and Cafe at Moll's Gap.


Distances & Times

This website will help you calculate distances and travel times between your stops on the route.

http://www.theaa.com/




Our last advice...

We do recommend to book the accommodation in August, especially considering that you are visiting with the entire family. Our website may help: http://goo.gl/MSD1n



Wish you the best holiday ever in Ireland!
Tourismireland is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 05:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Hi there,

Can I ask where you are starting your journey in Ireland... from the Rosslare Ferry??

If so, then Youghal is the perfect stop - distance and time wise for the kids..

1. beach time for the children (sandy beach please); an hour or two
I can definately recomend Youghal for you.. 7km of long sandy beaches.. and there is the Aura Youghal Leisure Centre and the Quality Hotel right on the beach there too if you are looking for accommodation or a leisure centre just in case.. You can also take a walk in town to see the old cannons by the origional town walls.. and give them the story about Sir Walter Raleigh bringing the Potatoe into Ireland through this towns port. A lot of the history of the country started here.. and it's nice to be able to say that they stood where Sir Walter Raleigh stood!!
If boats are your thing.. you can take a river boat ride up the blackwater.. or take a fishing trip out the harbour ( can be only a few hours if you like) or indeed give the family a taste of sailing on some sailboats in the harbour in the middle of the town..
See www.Youghal.ie for more information on what is available in the town..


2. Cobh - Titantic Experience, just enjoying the village and, maybe a short harbour boat ride (4-5 hours in Cobh?)
The Titanic Experience is definately worth a trip.. if you have time - maybe Fota Wildlife Park?? - or before you turn off for Cobh on the N25 there is the Jameson Midleton distillary tour also.. worldwide in it's fame..
You could look up www.ringofcork.ie for more information.. !

3. the Gap of Dunloe - just for the scenery, we want to do the jaunting cart and the boat but don't really care about touring castles, etc. I know we can hire the jaunting cart on our own, but what about the boat? Years ago there was a kiosk at the place where the tour-operated boats start so people could hire them separately. Is that still there? What are the hours of operation? What is the total time we would spend if we drive to Kate Kearney's, do jaunting cart, then boat, then taxi(?) back to our car?
- take a look at http://killarneydaytour.com/ -
or
http://www.killarney-online.com/activities.html
if you want to do it yourself!

4. driving the Ring of Kerry - what are the absolute must sees along the way and how long do we allow for each stop that you mention? Can we do half one day and the other half the next?

If you are passing by Sneem and Derrynane - you have to stop at Carrol's Cove - it's a little beach ( you'll almost pass the turn off on the road) there is a bar/restaurant on the beach there.. but if the weather is nice.. it's like the Carribean Summer waters..( not warm water.. but beautiful!!)Might be a nice place to have lunch or dinner - especially for the kids gives them time to go on the beach again if you in the car a lot.. of course Kenmare etc are all lovely.. but that is my little secret gem of a spot.. there are camping and caravan sites just around the corner from there if that is an option for you on some of the nights?

Dingle is lovely.. and the drive is amazing.. but it's a lot of time out of your way to go out the headland to Dingle - If a trip to see Fungi the Dolphin is of interest.. then it's a must..

5. on to Kilrush to do a dolphin watching expedition - ( this might count Dingle in or out depending on your level of interest in Dolphins!)

6. Galway - would like to end up in Galway in the evening because of pubs/restaurants; alternatively, if available, we might spend the night at Dromoland or Ballyseede Castle and skip Galway
OH GOSH... You are skipping the Cliffs of Moher? - A fantastic vista.. and visitor experience.. also the little village of doolin - from Doolin Pier you can see the cliffs of Moher, take a trip to the Aran Islands.. or you can play Pitch n'Putt with the cliffs behind you.. 3 brilliant pubs - O'Connors, McDermots or McGanns all have food and live irish music.. or spend the night in Galway.. it's an experience to walk shop street and take in the atmosphere.. I love it there too !!!

7. some sort of fishing for the kids (their first time, not an all day or half day boat trip - it doesn't have to involve a boat at all). The question is where? I'd reccommend Youghal
http://www.charterangling.ie/seaangling.shtml
This is a very steady boat ( wheelchair accessible also) - it's a double hull (if it's the kids first time.. might be something to consider??
http://www.seahunter.ie/ - another very popular and respectible charter boat.. both highly reccomended..

I really hope you enjoy your holiday.. I hope I have been of some help..
Tracy_Kenneally is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 08:18 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 204
Take the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer across the mouth of the Shannon to Clare - saves driving all around through Limerick
Padhraicin is offline  
Jul 26th, 2012, 08:20 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 204
I should have said you can take your car on it - just 20 minutes - http://www.shannonferries.com/
Padhraicin is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 02:02 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8
Hi mallfrye,
My wife and I recently did a trip in Kerry and Clare, hiring a car in Cork. I can honestly say that a week spent just in SW Ireland was well worth is rather than the mad dash around most of Ireland that people we met were doing.

I posted a trip report about is, which starts here:
http://pedro-in-spain.blogspot.com.e...n-ireland.html
Pedroinspain is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 02:08 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
Nobody has had to drive through Limerick since the opening of the tunnel a couple of years ago...

There is no difference at all in the drive time from Killarney to Doolin (or the cliffs) whichever route either the ferry or the tunnel. There is a difference in cost, 18euro ferry or 1.80 euro tunnel and the scenery. It makes sense to take the ferry if you want to see the Clare coast bellow Lahinch, which includes Kilkee, otherwise take the tunnel.

Should you drive all the way round dingle on the way???
http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-...a-Ireland.html
Tony2phones is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 07:12 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
The Ring of Kerry is a long drive but we loved visiting Valentia Island. I think your children would really enjoy the island. Paul, the innkeeper at Loch Lein Country House, outside of Killarney, recommended that we stop there on our drive. You take a ferry to Valentia--it is a lovely little town. Then you can drive to the top of the cliffs, hike around, see the slate quarry, the grotto, the tetrapod tracks and enjoy wonderful views out over the bay. We took the bridge off the island and stopped in Portmagee for a lunch outside on the picnic tables ata O'Keefe's Fisherman's Bar. It was a really fun day.

I would check and see if Loch Lein has any availability if you need lodging near Killarney. The inn is beautiful has huge rooms, wonderful bathrooms and is a fabulous place to stay. We got a deal that was offered on www.irelandyes.com. It would be a great place to stay with children. The innkeepers Annette and Paul are very helpful and gave us some great suggestions for sightseeing--we loved it there.
LindainOhio is offline  

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