Ireland guidebook suggestion?

May 26th, 2007, 10:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Ireland guidebook suggestion?

Hi folks,

Starting research for our trip to Ireland (2 weeks in late August/early Sept).

Any guide book suggestions? We're planning to fly into Dublin and out of Shannon, renting a car, and (generally) driving a "U" along the coast.

Many thanks,

SandratheGardener is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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When I went I took a Lonely Planet guide with me and a good map.
kaneda is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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I used the both the Lonely Planet guidebook and the Rick Steves guidebook. While I found both of them to be helpful, the LP book is far more complete. Definitely get a detailed map. I was happy with the Michelin Ireland map (available from For even more detail, get the Ordnance Survey spiral-bound road atlas.
TimS is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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I have the Rick Steves guidebook to give me general info about the same route and Frommers for more detailed info.
Pegontheroad is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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This really doesn't answer your specific question but earlier this month we flew into Dublin and out of Shannon so maybe some of our experiences will enhance your trip. We are dyed in the wool tourists -- in Dublin the hop on hop off bus was wonderul -- Guinesss brewery and Gaol were highlights for us. I booked Mary Gibbons' tour of Newgrange to make DH happy, and was happily surprised by how spectacular the site was. And I mean spectacular. We do like art, and the National Gallery is well worth a visit. We went on the evening that is late opening and also free. On the Ring of Kerry we stopped at Daniel O'Connell's house (19th century hero of Catholic rights) and enjoyed tour very much. Flying out of Shannon is a joy because you can go through U.S. immigration there, and from the plane go directly through customs. Not sure if this is true for all US entry points but we flew in and out of Newark and it made the trip so much simpler. If you get to Kenmare, book the Lime Tree restaurant. We had a wonderful meal. Can book on line. Very popular.You'll see mixed review of Bunratty (very very close to Shannon) but we enjoyed both the village and the medieval banquet (where we actually had one of the best meals in Ireland.) Enjoy!
May 29th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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I'm not a fan of the Rick Steves Ireland book. It's quite incomplete unless something drastic has change in the last two years. It does have a good tour laid out for the Dingle Peninsula, but I think you can find that online.

I've used the book from Bord Failte simply titled "Ireland Guide" It is pretty good, lots of photos and suggestion for rainy days.

I've heard some good things about the FODORS See It guides, but I've never used them.

Michele Erdvig at puts out a book that she personally updates every year. It is not full of photos but is full of very good information and B&Bs that she has personally spent the night.

DK guides have lots of good pictures butthe info isn't great and is a little hard to follow. I've never used the LOnely Planet, but it always seems to get great reviews.

wojazz3 is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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We are going to be in Ireland also late August and pretty much doing the same trip but in reverse. We are starting in Shannon and ending at Dublin.

I definitly think the Michelan Map has helped out in getting a good picture of what cities are near what and possible driving distances we will have to deal with.

I found that though not as complete as some other travel books out there, the Eyewitness books have helped me in the past and what I borrowed from the library for this trip. I have much better luck with visuals and that is the main premise of those books. Of course this is strictly my opinion. This site is also a good researching tool.

Best Wishes on your planning and trip.
Nuttela is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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I will put in another recommendation for Michele Erdvig's book, as well, her forum is a very useful tool. Also, Pat Preston, has some excellent gudiebooks. She also scouts out her recommendations and has an excellent travel advise forum.

Happy Planning and dreaming. Just remember you won't see it all in one trip and there will be others. Do a minimum of two nights in each area and you will have a relaxing trip.

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine
CowboyCraic is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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I'm a guidebook nut...I get them all. Seem to go back to Frommer's, Fodor's, and Rick Steves' the most. Also like to look at Eyewitness and Frommer's Best Loved Driving Tours (good for routes and some smaller towns/out of the way places). I think these are all pretty easy to follow and have good up to date info (be sure to get latest editions).

Go to the library and check some out and/or go to your local barnes and noble and grab a seat with a stack. then buy one or two of your favorites. I have found some good deals at our local half price book store...actually had newest guides.

I find Lonely Planet and Let's Go to be too wordy and harder to navigate. Don't really care for Michelin (hard to follow)or Michele's or Pat's (not enough info).

I check books then check to see how others feel about sights, towns, food, and lodging on various internet sites. I love reading trip reports.
chip is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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hi, Sandra,

when we went about 10 years ago, we had a copy of the Bridgestone Irish Food guide. I just googled and they still produce it. we got come great recommendations from it.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Lonely Planet and Footprint (Ireland)
historytraveler is online now  
May 30th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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No one guide book is right for everyone. You need to look at many before you narrow down your choices and find some that fit your travel style. I always buy a couple of books about my destination. No one book will cover it all. I also read other books that I get from my local library. The more informed you are the better your trip will be.
IrishEyes is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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My top favorite (I took several on 2 trips) is the Footprint guide to Ireland. It's British, it's funny and super-complete.
rosetravels is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 12:16 AM
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SandratheGardener, I have all the guidebooks for Ireland! Okay maybe not ALL of them but quite a few. I just counted and I have 14 Ireland guidebooks. Yes I got a bit carried away when I planned our first family trip to Ireland for summer 2006.

I highly recommend Michele Erdvig's Best Little Guide To Ireland, as well as her forum on I found it the most helpful and the most accurate and it really suited our travel style.

I always buy the Fodors guidebook as well for all trips because it is so well organized and dependable. If you buy more than 1 guidebook then get the Fodors Ireland too.

I didn't care for Rick Steves Ireland guidebook except that his section on the Dingle Peninsula is excellent. But the rest of his Ireland guidebook tends to be incomplete, leaving chunks of the country out, and also his info on b&bs is very sketchy in the Ireland guidebook and some of the restaurant info is just inaccurate. But as I said his Dingle peninsula info is really great! (By the way if you go to Italy his Italy guidebook is much better than his Ireland guidebook.)

Out of all the other Ireland guidebooks on my shelf...they were a bit of fun but really NOT necessary.

This fodors forum is excellent...there are a lot of experienced travellers here who will generously share with you.

Enjoy! I have my Irish music now at home to remind me of my trip. It brings up a feeling of longing to be back in the little Irish pubs listening to a bit of awesome Irish trad music, and chatting with friendly Irish folks or tourists when the music wasn't playing. Ah, for a half-pint of that bitter Guinness brew, which I got used to...when you get home it isn't the same and you wonder how you got to liking it over there in Ireland.

Melissa5 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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rosetravels, Footprint Ireland is one I do not have. Thank you for the recommendation. I did take a look at it online at Google books. The accommodations seemed on the thin side and I noticed a mistake in it, otherwise it looks good. Maybe the error is corrected in the more recent editon. My opinion that no one book covers it all, still stands. I will have to get it for my collection. Like Melissa5 I have an extensive bookshelf of travel guides. I hope one more does not overload it.
IrishEyes is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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We used LP in Ireland, I had used them for travelling in Asia many years ago, but I wouldn't recommend the Ireland guidebook.

It was OK for Dublin and Cork, but outside of the cities some of the restaurant recommendations were really bad when there were good places in town that weren't in the book. Also there wasn't a strong sense of judgement to help you decide where to go or not to go.
Susan7 is offline  

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