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Ireland experts - help me plan our first trip to the Emerald Isle

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Jul 26th, 2018, 06:53 AM
  #21
 
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We were in Dublin recently, and really were not impressed with it. Not sure how to explain it-- Dublin just didn't appeal to me in general. We wished we had time to explore the Irish countryside, but we only had time for a one-day visit to nearby Howth, which also seemed kind of sad, even on a sunny day.
I'd love to take the trip you're planning!
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Jul 26th, 2018, 12:30 PM
  #22
 
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mobro, I am a huge Irish history buff and love Irish writers so appeals to me on so many levels. Howth, did you do the cliff walk, eat seafood, visit Balscadden house, market day on Saturday?
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Jul 27th, 2018, 07:13 AM
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Jul 27th, 2018, 07:14 AM
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Jul 27th, 2018, 07:15 AM
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Jul 27th, 2018, 07:17 AM
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Jul 27th, 2018, 07:19 AM
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Sorry for my clumsy attempt to add photos of Howth! As you can see, it is a cute place, and I can't explain why it didn't appeal much to me. Maybe because no one was there. But, I can highly recommend the restaurant Aqua, where we had a fabulous dinner with a view.
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Jul 27th, 2018, 03:06 PM
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Yes, Aqua is great. You had sun!! How was there no one there? Last trip was market day and it was packed on a cold and windy day in October. I don't like Rome at all but was in a bad funk when there. My mom had died and all I wanted to do was get a flight to Philly which took several days. Maybe I will go back and give it another try.

I am booking Ballycotton. We have decided it is worth the hassle of public transportation. A guy on Trip advisor really helped me out and the owner of the house feels the two cab companies will get us back and forth to Midleton if we miss the bus. Travelling from Galway on a Sunday so will arrange for them to pick us up at the train station in Midleton. Sandwiched between two city stays so will soak up the beach, cliff walks, pubs and seafood fresh off the boat.
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Jul 27th, 2018, 10:30 PM
  #29
 
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Sounds good!
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Jul 28th, 2018, 09:19 AM
  #30
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I think we are leaning toward skipping Dublin and focusing our time on the West and Southern parts. Now to come up with an itinerary.
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Jul 30th, 2018, 09:56 AM
  #31
 
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Are you flying in and out of Shannon? I have booked the last four nights in Dublin, five in Ballycotton and now am thinking maybe flying into Shannon. Galway or Dingle? I found a great apartment in Galway but can't decide if I want that. My husband wants Connemara and Inishmore day trips. Galway has some new places I want to try for dining. We have not been back to Dingle in 20 years. Playing around with flights right now. He only wants three bases.
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Jul 30th, 2018, 12:39 PM
  #32
 
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Some random wonderful memories from our trip several years ago.

Husband did the driving, I read the maps. Roundabouts are common. Just remember, it is not the end of the world if you miss your turn off, just circle round and try again. Would recommend against driving in Dublin

Hotels: The Merrion Hotel in Dublin and its adjoining Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud https://www.merrionhotel.com/
Dromoland Castle https://www.dromoland.ie/

We loved Dingle. I have no idea if this little shop is still there, but I chose the wool, the pattern and the buttons and the proprietor hand knit my fisherman sweater and mailed it to me. My treasure. We also bought a punch bowl at Waterford, had the craftsman who made it engrave it for us.

Touristy, but we WERE tourists, after all: https://www.musicalpubcrawl.com/
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Jul 30th, 2018, 06:40 PM
  #33
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Macross- I won't decide on fllghts until we decide an itinerary. Will likely fly into Shannon if we don't choose to spend time in Dublin.

Mcheryl - we are looking at Dromoland Castle. I love the sweater idea. I got some sandals made in Positano a few years ago and love them. I do love memories of travel at home later. We use our Baccarat flutes every weekend and had Waterford as our toasting glasses at our wedding )I chipped the base of one glass badly a few years ago and this may be the time to get new ones!

I don't mind roundabouts but I do hate the two lane roundabouts! I always seem to be on the inside lane when I need to be on the outside lane and this happens to me in New Jersey every time I drive there....you are right and missing a turn isn't really a problem.
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Jul 30th, 2018, 07:46 PM
  #34
 
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We went to Ireland in May and did the west coast. We flew in and out of Shannon.
Our itenerary was: Blarney-Bantry-Kenmare-Dingle-Ennis. We had great meals everywhere but especially loved The Fish Kitchen in Bantry and The Poet’s Corner in Ennis. We were able to plan our trip to see the music fesival in Ennis - Fleadh Nua - Home. I really enjoyed the B&B’s in Kenmare - The Shelbourne Lodge and the Greenmount House in Dingle.

Driving- not horrible but definitly worse for the passenger than the driver My husband drove and I took over time to time. We took our time meandering and loved every minute. We definitely loved Ireland and want to go back but we are going to Italy next year.

Enjoy your trip. You will love the people of Ireland as well as the country.
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Aug 5th, 2018, 03:38 AM
  #35
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Thanks for sharing your itinerary Paqngo. I have a lot of work to do there.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 11:39 AM
  #36
 
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We took our 11th trip in April. We usually go in shoulder season, so late March or early April, or early October. If you go in May you will see more flowers in bloom. We usually have very little rain on our trips but this last trip we had days and days of heavy rain.

Our visits focus mostly on the southwest and west. I am not sure why, but Dublin doesn’t really appeal to us; we really prefer the smaller cities and towns.

Our itinerary this last time had us flying into Shannon and down to Clonakilty for 3 nights. It made a nice base for some day trips along the West Cork coast and into Kinsale and Cork. From there we headed to Kenmare for 4 nights, where the rain was the steadiest. Kenmare makes a great base for the Beara Peninsula and Ring of Kerry. My BIL stayed in Sheen Falls Lodge and really enjoyed. (Our budget only allows for B&Bs.) Next was 3 nights in Salthill, outside of Galway, which was handy for visiting Connemara and environs. Finally, two nights in Bunratty so we could spend some time in Clare. We would have driven out to Loop Head but for that pesky rain, so we walked along the cliffs in Kilkee.

MoBro, we stayed in Howth for a couple of nights once. It’s nice for a quick visit but I wouldn’t stay there again, especially in the B&B we chose.

Macross, on our day visit to Cork we drove out to Midleton just to go to their Saturday market. A couple of years ago we drove from Cork out to Ballycotton, such a lovely area! I was disappointed that the cliff walk was closed, the views would have been great.
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Aug 7th, 2018, 03:29 PM
  #37
 
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Thanks for the info about Ballycotton. Our house is by the cliff walk from what I have figured out. You are the first person to say they have been there. Seafood fresh off the boat.
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Aug 9th, 2018, 09:08 AM
  #38
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great info allisonm. I do hope we don't get constant rain but that's a risk we have to take. I think Dublin is off the table now in favor of focusing on the West and Southern parts of Ireland.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 09:32 AM
  #39
 
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We have been to Ireland several times (perhaps 13?); here is a list of our favorite places to stay:

Bantry House and Gardens, Bantry, County Cork
Accommodation

Sea Shore Farm Guesthouse, Kenmare, County Kerry
https://www.seashorekenmare.com/

Killarney Lodge, Killarney, County Kerry
https://killarneylodge.ie/

Castlewood House, Dingle
https://www.castlewooddingle.com/

Hazelbrook B & B, Westport, County Mayo
Hazelbrook Bed and Breakfast, Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland

Happy planning!
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Aug 13th, 2018, 01:06 PM
  #40
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Thanks Bette - what a nice list of places to stay.

Based on the places you have listed it looks like you have spent a lot of time in areas we hope to explore...for you or anyone else who has visited have you done any of the whale watching or other marine viewing tours (seals, dolphin, etc...)?
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