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Ireland: Dublin to Giant's Causeway to Donegal and back - 6 days?

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Jan 12th, 2013, 11:56 AM
  #1
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Ireland: Dublin to Giant's Causeway to Donegal and back - 6 days?

Hi! Would love to have some information/advice on a good itinerary
for our drive from Dublin to the north and west.
We have flown into Shannon twice and seen most of the west,
and would like to try Dublin this time. However, we do like the
ease of driving the Shannon area, etc. and avoiding the city, so if
this route would work from Shannon, we are open to that!
We only have 6 or 7 days of touring.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 12:49 PM
  #2
 
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My wife and I are going in August.

What I have plotted so far, with an arrival in Dublin in the morning....

Belfast, Ballygally (or Larne) in NI, Londonderry and just wandering South towards Galway, Limerick,Killarney and Blarney.

I picked Larne because of its access to the Giant's Causeway.

Beyond Londonderry, it's all kind of mushy at this point.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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Thanks! Mushy is fine at this point LOL. We would love to go in the summer but our schedules don't permit it. I'll check out your suggstions, perhaps we can help each other through the mush. Have you been to Ireland before?
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Jan 12th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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Aprilaw - nope.

We are combining this with a ferry to the UK and over to York and then north to Edinburgh. We fly out of Edinburgh.

My wife is what you would call black Irish. She had pitch black hair and very fair, almost pale skin.

I 'liberated' the route from an ad for a tour company in one of my magazines, but I'll be darned if I know which one.

Here's the online ad. http://www.getours.com/tours/Country...eland/cri.html

Hope that helps. Also, note that there are a lot of videos on youtube about various parts of Ireland's country roads.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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You can get to Belfast direct from Dublin Airport day one have a couple of days in Portrush for the Glens and Coast of Antrim into Donegal via Derry then back to Dublin having got as far south as North Mayo. Any more in 7 days would be a rush, 10 days would get you to Galway and back on the M6 to Dublin. Maybe to Shannon for a flight if Dublin was not on the Agenda.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 03:57 PM
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Got the route from a Tour...Tours spend 8 hours a day on the road point to point with a pair of professional driver stopping at a couple of key spots or gift shops along a route they drive every week. Do Not try and copy this type of thing if you want to enjoy yourself. You have no idea of the roads you might want to stop at more than 3 places along the way and maybe just maybe you might want to mix with a few locals and not be tucked up knackered in your bed at 9pm like the tour bus brigade.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 10:17 PM
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Rasta, you sound like me..a planner, I love to look all this up and it gets confusing sometimes, finding all my notes...you surely are staying longer than we are? I wish we had more time...I have been to Ireland twice, but only to the west both times,(WE LOVE IT) and like Tony2phones says, it takes a lot longer to get anywhere on those wonderful Irish roads. I admit I used some tour ideas as well but had to cut them down to fit our time frames. I do like your suggestions.
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Jan 12th, 2013, 10:20 PM
  #8
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Tony2phones, thank you! Yes we are not wanting to rush, and I wish we had more time. We might be able to stretch this a little bit; our friends who are travelling to Ireland for their first visit are teachers and don't have the time off like we do, right now this is tentative. What is the main highway we can take from the Mayo area back to Dublin?
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Jan 12th, 2013, 11:13 PM
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The Antrim Coast is stunning--and it's far more than just the Giant's Causeway (which is fantastic!). I love Dunluce Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge; and Ballintoy Harbour that are all close to the Causeway.

The Glens of Antrim are beautiful, too. I'll be returning next month for the fifth time, and will revisit all of those places. I guess what I'm saying is that you need more than one day to see this marvelous area.
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Jan 13th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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We traveled a similar route, back in the summer of 2007, but we worked it, in reverse -- ending in Dublin.

Spent two nights in Ballycastle, one, in Greencastle, two in Largy, Co. Donegal (1/2 way between Killybegs and Glencullombcille), 1 in Ballyshannon. Didn't see 1/2 of what Antrim has to offer (or County Derry, for that matter!
Our trip actually started in Edinburgh, too.
Link to my LONG Trip Report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...overy-tour.cfm
Also includes a link to photos ...

Bob
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Jan 13th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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The N/M4 will get you from Sligo to Dublin in a couple of hours Maybe a little over an hour extra if you get down to Westport N5/M4 Clifden to Dublin a touch over 3 hours N59/M6/M4
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Jan 13th, 2013, 06:39 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'm getting excited reading your suggestions and comments. We will probably try and spend more time in the Glens and coast instead of going on too far. I wish we could go at a warmer time of year, and I'd love to see the heather in bloom, we have been once in April and once in September, and the heather was beautiful then. I know March will be cold and damp, but it is still going to be beautiful.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 10:12 PM
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Please take care this year re Belfast. Things are very disturbed again in the North
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Jan 15th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Marirose, We will probably drive through or around Belfast, direct from Dublin airport, as our main focus is the Glens/Causeway. We're looking at B&B's north of Belfast. If anyone can suggest a nice stop in this area, I'd so appreciate it. We've toured the west twice but are unfamiliar with the east and north. Thanks again.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Less than 1/2 sq mile (couple of Blocks)of East Belfast a long way from the nearest tourist has a few idiots who with the help of sensationalist world press are giving rise to miss informed statements like marirose example and costing the city a fortune.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Rant over.. Try http://www.lyndenheights.com/ Ballygally although that might be too far after a redeye flight.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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marirose, Have you ever been to Belfast?
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Jan 15th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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We stayed in Ballycastle, for two nights in 2007 at:
http://www.crockatinneyguesthouse.com/

Thought it was a great location, but a bit of a hike for Dublin for a first day's drive , after a Red Eye flight!

Stayed in Carlingford for two nights, this past October at:
http://www.beauforthouse.net/

Was extremely pleased with both accommodations. They were and/or are picks by Michele Erdvig, at: http://www.irelandyes.com/

Bob
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Jan 15th, 2013, 09:26 PM
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Less than 1/2 sq mile (couple of Blocks)of East Belfast a long way from the nearest tourist has a few idiots who with the help of sensationalist world press are giving rise to miss informed statements like marirose example and costing the city a fortune.

LOUD raspberry and I totally expected this kind of head in sand reply which is explained of course by the last sentence. Money is all to some...

These dissidents are not idiots; they are determined, well armed and will stop at nothing to kill and maim. Car bombs, attacking and almost killing police,... And this is not confined to any one area. if only....

I do not read any press but get facts here in Ireland; I care deeply about the safety and happiness of those who come here. So i advise accordingly not from any financial gain or loss.

I diverted away from the North some years back; same reaction from some of course.

Clearly you have friends working in the tourist industry in Belfast. Vested interest is never safe.

And yes I have been to Belfast many times but will not go there again; no need. The North has nothing the South has not better and far more Irish!

I also lived many years very near the border in Donegal and saw so much of the tensions and unrest. It was not until I came south a few years ago that I saw Ireland in reality; the difference is palpable. And the utter beauty wins hands down over Donegal. It really does.

At the end of the day you make your own choices as I said earlier so the verbal attack on my words is inappropriate and unacceptable and irrational. I expected it of course as I have heard similar many times. Yaaaaaawwn.... always that vested interest in making money.

My choice is for those I care about and far better err on the side of peace and safety.

And the beauty here beats anything the North has; it really does.

Overseas gets little of the usual news from here; but it is the Irish here who wear blinkers sadly .. the trouble has never really stopped; even yesterday a viable device defused in Limerick.

Over and out from me.. off to see more of Kerry today. By all means go to Belfast but do so with eyes wide open please.

Have a nice day!!!!
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Jan 15th, 2013, 11:10 PM
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I thought Tony2phones was calling marirose an idiot. Now I see he is actually calling the rioters idiots and marirose "miss informed".

Thank you marirose for the info. I will avoid Limerick as well as Belfast on my trip. Are there any more hot spots we tourist should avoid?

Here is the US State Departments list for countries on the Current Travel Warnings list: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_1764.html

I did hear that Northern Ireland has some beauty spots to rival Kerry. Maybe I am misinformed?
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