Ireland Help!

Sep 17th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2
Ireland Help!

My wife and I will have the rare chance to celebrate a wedding anniversary without kids. Unfortunately, our trip is short -- 5 nights in Ireland.

We arrive in Shannon mid October in the morning. The plan is to drive to Doolin and stay there one night. Hopefully, we will be able to must enough energy to spend the day exploring the Cliffs of Mohr and the Burren for the remainder of the day.

The last day we are planning on driving from wherever we are to the Rock of Cashel and stay in Adare.

The other three nights are the dilemma. We want to see the Dingle Peninsula, at least some of the Ring of Kerry and perhaps Kinsale.

My wife prefers not to continually change the place we are staying and we both like the idea of staying in Kenmare so I am tempted to stay there for 3 nights. I am concerned however as to whether we can really see much of the Dingle Peninsula that way.

We could try to hit it on the second day when we come down the coast from Doolin (taking the ferry), but that is a pretty full day to see the Dingle Peninsula and drive to Kenmare. If instead we drive from Kenmare on our third or fourth day, that looks like about a 2 and a half hour drive each way to Slea Head.

I would especially love to hear from the women on this one -- it is our 10th wedding anniversary.

As far as Kinsale, I think I am just going to leave that one open and see how the trip goes.

Thank you in advance to everyone for their thoughts and comments.
DaveIreland is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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We liked Kinsale and can recommend the Priory as a place to stay. Not sure how that works for distances though -- that's a ways from your other points of interest isn't it?

One idea is Connemara, Doolin, maybe Galway, stay in that area; BTW Ennis is a nice town not far from Shannon; we preferred it to Adare which is a bit on the "cutesy" side.

I much preferred Dingle peninsula to Ring of Kerry; Dingle town can be a bit jaded from all their tourist traffic but I found it more "romantic" scenery on the peninsula than ROK; nice little shops too; you can also consider a boat trip to the Blasket Islands for a couple hours/half day.

You can't go wrong with your general plans I think, but I'd urge you not to overdo the driving/distance; we found that it always took longer than we expecdted and the left drive requires maximum attention. The Captain's House is a nice b&b in Dingle town.
annw is online now  
Sep 18th, 2005, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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People are going to disagree with me but if I was you with only five nights to spend I would skip Doolin and Adare. I have been to Doolin twice and in my opinion it is one of the most overrated places in Ireland and Adare has a strip of very touristy Cottages, other than that it is just a large town. Dingle is about a two and one half hour drive from Shannon. If you spend your first night there you can take a nap, walk around the harbor have a romantic dinner and get a good nights sleep. Get up the next morning and have a lovely drive around the peninsula icluding the Connor pass. Day three do the ROK and overnight in Kenmare. From there you can do the Ring of Beara (spectacular) and Killarney National park. The last night you have to be within driving distance of the airport so the choice is limited. I hate to say this but if the choice is Adare or Bunratty I would choose Bunratty. The park is either loved or hated but to kill a couple of hours in the afternoon its not bad once. There are good restaraunts and a nice shopping area right there and two good pubs. Have a drink in Durty Nellies but do not eat there. Kinsale is one of my favorite towns but it would be a reach on your short schedule. This is all just my opinion and feel free to disregard it all. Have fun and congrats on you 10 year anniversary
JOHNOD is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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I agree with Johnod, go to Dingle for a couple of days, they have very nice guesthouses and b&b's. I'd stay in lovely Kenmare for a few nights. Again there are very good accommodations in that darling little town. From Kenmare you can go to Killarney Nat'l Park, Beara, ROK and over to Glencarriff. Kinsale to me was over rated. If you had ton's of time it would be different. As Johnod said stay in Bunratty your last night. When I was in Kenmare, a couple left around 5 am and drove to Shannon. It's doable. I saw Doolin for the 1st. time on my 7th trip. It was pretty and I enjoyed a cup of tea there. Stayed in Adare on my 1st trip and drove thru on my last. Again it was OK. Dingle and Kenmare and the area around them are out-standing. Just my 2 cents. You'll have a great time where ever you go. Best Wishes, Joan
chatham is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 08:41 AM
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I also agree with John, I'm Irish and live in Dublin, and I would highly recommend giving Adare a miss, its touristy and a bit fake, and if you dont mind me saying so, geared towards americans. Dingle is really beautiful and especially in October, all the summer madness will be gone. There is a beautiful hotel just as you come into dingle, its a bit pricy but would be a nice treat, its called the Dingle Skellig. Drive up around the connor pass, you wont be disappointed, as far as kinsale is concerned, i wouldnt bother myself to push that drive there, its nice, but it wouldnt be my favourite place in Ireland, its very pricey and not that much to see , west cork is beautiful, around Glengarrif the scenery is breathtaking. Stay in the Kerry area and just enjoy it, if you drive too much you will be tired and wont appreciate the places you visit, and also remember october and be foggy and sometimes misty and frosty in Ireland, so take it easy on the roads, enjoy you time here.
lucielou is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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You're getting great advice from JOHNOD and Joan--Kenmare & Dingle.

JOHNOD, I would have agreed with you about a pint (or three) but no food at Durty Nellie's. However, desparate hunger and a rainstorm dictated a meal there for my better half and me this past August on our last night in Bunratty. Surprisingly, we had some of the best oysters in a great cream sauce there . . . And we lived to tell the tale.
beach_dweller is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Doolin's greatest value is it's proximity to the Cliffs of Moher and the Clare Coast. There is nothing to actually do in Doolin other than having some pints and listening to some usually fairly average traditional musicians although you can get lucky there too (with music I mean). The coastline south of Doolin all the way to Loop Head is one of the nicer drives and certainly in that area. I also find there to be a strange romance to west Clare, I'm not sure why.

Now, if you want to talk tourist trap, it's tough between Bunratty and Adare. Personally, I think the Cliffs of Moher are worth a drive if the weather is good. I would think it a shame not to see them especially being in Shannon.

Kinsale would be out, I agree. There have been suggestions of seeing Beara, Killarney National Park and the RoK. You probably wouldn't get to see it all with a couple of days in Dingle. Each ring pretty much takes a full day which makes for a lot of driving which doesn't sound real relaxing on an anniversary trip. Just me though.

I'm not a big fan of Durty Nellie's. It's really just another pub with food that gave me food poisoning once. There are other pubs in the area including the fake one inb the park that is open at night and is apparently the 1st choice for locals. The real pub, (Durty Nellie's) is visited mainly by tourists. The Cremery across the street isn't bad either and the food is palatable.

wojazz3 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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I can't vouch from first-hand experience, but I have read the same thing as Bill about about Durty Nellie's versus the pub in the folk park.

Apparently Nellie's was so overrun with tourists that the locals moved their party to the tourist park! (My scientific citation is "Round Ireland With a Fridge," an 1990s-era book by a British comedian who did it - hitchhiked the circumference of Ireland with a dorm-sized fridge. Yes, it was a bet. Yes, he was drunk when he made the bet. And yes, he was drunk for most of the trip. Funny book - you might want to give it a read.)
Worktowander is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Thank you to everyone for their comments! I'm crossing Kinsale off my list.

It doesn't sound like there are fantastic options for staying near the airport our last night. The Rock of Cashel sounds like it is one of those "must see" places so we will probably be spending our time doing that travel rather than needing to kill time somewhere.

The place I thought we might stay at on our last night is the Mustard Seed in Ballingarry (I thought it was Adare). It is a bit more expensive, but it sounded like a good way to end the trip.
DaveIreland is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Durty Nellies.... I have to disagree with the testimonials about bad food. On Sep 28th 2005, around 6:30 PM, my wife and I dined in the upstairs restaurant. The food and service were excellent. You may have experienced the lower floor 'Bar Food' section. This didn't look that appealing, given the amount of people crammed in there, but then again, a lot of people can't be wrong... RFJ/ Great Falls, VA
jonroq is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 08:10 AM
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jonroq, you logged on and your first post is in defense of Durty Nellies? We had drinks there once -- it didn't seem like the type of place that I would want to eat.

I have found Kathleen's in the Bunratty Castle Hotel to have very good food and great Guinness at a reasonable price. Mac's Pub in the Park had nice Pub food for lunch. The locals enter thru the chain-link gate/fence down the street from the main entrance. Just hit the buzzer and they will let you drive in. I was questioned the last time I went there if I had a reservation -- I said Yes, for lunch.
Budman is offline  

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