Ireland help - Please

Jul 18th, 2010, 05:41 PM
  #1  
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Ireland help - Please

Hi All,

I am surprising my wife with a trip to Ireland for her 40th bday and our 8th anniversary. I need some advice!

Can someone give me a starting point for an itinerary based on what I would like to do? I want to take her to some charming Irish places, and see the great scenery you see in pictures and books. We are foodies, and would like to hit some great restaurants as well as see the local pub life and experience some great live Irish music. I would like to stay at some charming and romantic places, as well as perhaps stay in a castle at some point.

I booked the airline tickets, and arrive in Dublin on August 27 at 9:30AM and leave Sept 4 at 11AM. I can already tell I made a major mistake coming and going from Dublin. I should have arrived in Dublin and left through Shannon .... oh well....live and learn. I didn't want to wait too long b/c one day the tickets were 2500 (for 2), and the next day they were 850 (I should have done a little more research before booking).

Any help would be appreciated. This is a great community, and I have gotten great help and given help over the years.

Thanks in advance!
redneck6497 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 05:23 AM
  #2  
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Update:
Okay, so I haven't gotten any replies yet, but I have been working on figuring something out using other threads.

Here is what I am thinking so far

Fri - Depart USA for DUB
Sat - Arrive DUB 9AM .. Check into Westin Dublin (points), and Explore Dublin
Sun - Leave Dublin around noon for whatever place we stay in Mon and Tues.

Mon -

Tues -

Wed - (Special BDay and Anniversary Day ... want it to be special).

Thurs -

Fri - Leave wherever we are Wed and Thurs and drive back to Dublin around noon maybe doing a little sightseeing along the way ... Arrive Dublin around 5:30 and stay at Clontarf castle.
Sat - 11AM departure to USA through DUB.

There are basically 3 major "chunks" of time
1) Sat and part of Sun -
2) Sun Mon Tues
3) Wed thurs

or

1) Sat and part of Sun - Dublin
2) Sun Mon
3) Tues Wed Thurs

I'm not sure which of the above makes the most sense based on travel (and doing something/staying somewhere special on Wed).

I am leaning towards chunks 2 and 3 being Dingle, and something else close to the cliffs of Moher.

Another thing. Everybody LOVES Dingle so much ... Why?
redneck6497 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 06:06 AM
  #3  
 
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I really liked Northern IReland. If it were me, I would rent a car at the Dublin Airport, drive to Newgrange and visit it. Drive to Giant's Causeway, Bushmill distillery tour, go see the rope bridge (although it is a very strenuous walk back up the hill) drive through the Antrim Mountains.

http://www.travelsinireland.com/ireland/newgrang.htm

Then drive to the west coast of Ireland to Cliffs of Moher etc and work my way back to Dublin.

With only 7 days, I would skip southern Ireland - the Ring of Kerry. If you decide to stay in Ireland, I would skip the Ring of Kerry and go to Dingle Penninsula instead. You won't be able to see everything in 7 days so pick out what you want most to see. When planning your route,remember driving is slower in Ireland.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 06:18 AM
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7 days really wouldn't have been enough to do the full ring any justice any way so don't kick yourself too hard for booking in and out of Dublin. when I went a few years back, I did the ring and it was wonderful, but certainly there are areas not too far away from Dublin that are wonderful and Dingle is one of them. I didn't get to go to Northern Ireland, but perhaps you can follow bratsandbeer advice and do a short jaunt up that way and save the Shannon-Dublin ring for your next trip. I really want to get back there myself.
chadnycity is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:03 AM
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<< Another thing. Everybody LOVES Dingle so much ... Why?>>

Admittedly, I was there in the early 1990s...but at that time, Dingle was a charming, small town with an authentically Irish feel. It was quiet and restful. The peninsula itself is very pretty and a little wild. We weren't there long enough to explore it, though, so I can't offer any specific insights.

It's been so long that I don't even remember the exact location -- but when we were there, the tiny town of Doolin was known as the best place to go for traditional Irish music in the pubs. Of course, that may have changed by now. I'm a traditional Irish music buff, and I found far less trad music in Ireland than I had imagined. But I loved Doolin.
beeswing is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:40 AM
  #6  
 
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I'm off to the gym but will try to post with a bit of information this afternoon. You mentioned a special place to celebrate your anniverary. Did you have a budget in mind? There are several wonderful castle hotels as well as some less expensive but probably more charming places to stay too.
historytraveler is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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And there is a bus ferrying folk to and from the rope bridge if you don't mind sparing a euro or two. We walked down and bused back.

Check this out: http://www.irelandyes.com/specials.html . I haven't stayed at Loch Lein but the gossoons and I stayed at Smarmore Castle Hotel last year so I can recommend it.
jaja is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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jaja -- We did walk down and take the bus back up at the Giants Causeway. At the rope bridge there was only a narrow sidewalk to walk back and forth on. I did not see a bus or I would have taken it and paid any amount for the ride. It was a steep climb back up. Perhaps they added a bus now as we were there about 4 years ago.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 06:51 PM
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I'm not sure why my last post didn't go out. I really want concentrate on the West. One of the things I want to experience is the beautiful scenery of the Western Coast.

BratsandBeer - I would love to see all of Ireland including the North, but would like to focus on the West on our first trip.

jaja - It looks like Loch Lein is a nice hotel! I'm just wondering if its too out of the way. I think the ideal thing might be to stay somewhere in Dingle, and then close to Moher for the other 2 day location.

historytraveler - We don't really have a budget when it comes to accommodations. Under 300Euro per night would be great. I don't mind a splurge for the big day. Although, most everything I am seeing is under 200 Euro (most even less).

I am thinking of driving from Dublin to Dingle, and also hitting Cashel. Is it worth it?
redneck6497 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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redneck,

I had another itinerary in mind but with only five nights and your wanting to head directly west, I'll suggest something else. Your idea of staying in Cashel enroute (to/from) Dublin is fine. I suggest you go to www.aaroadwatch.ie and click on their route planner for the best routes and for travel times. Remember that you will need to add some time to those suggested as they don't allow for any unexpected traffic delays, comfort stops etc.

Here are a few ideas for places to stay near The Ring of Kerry and Dingle.

Kenmare:
Riverdales House Hotel www.kenmare.com/riversdale
The Park Hotel www.parkkenmare.com
Sheen Falls Lodge www.sheenfallslodge.ie
Rosegarden Guesthouse www.euroka.com/rosegarden

Sneem:
Parknasilla www.gshotels.com

Killorglin:
Carrig House www.carrighouse.co

Dingle:
Emlaugh House www.elaughhouse.com
Gorman's Clifftop House & Restaurant www.gormans-clifftophouse.com

I hope this provodes a start at least.

Cashel: Cashel Palace Hotel www.cashel-palace.ie
Baileys of Cashel www.baileys-ireland.com
historytraveler is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 06:37 PM
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We went to Ireland for the first time last month and I can tell you that Dingle is now my favorite place in the world. And I travel a lot.

It is really beautiful, small enough that you can feel at home after only a few days staying there, and interesting enough that you can spend many days exploring and never get bored. The people in Dingle were especially interesting and open, as well.

We spent four nights there and I can now say that I would have been happy spending all eight of our nights in Ireland in Dingle.

We stayed at Greenmount House, which was wonderful. Nicest B&B I've ever visited. If you're in Dingle during your anniversary, and if you like seafood, go to Out of the Blue for your special dinner. It's delicious. It's a seafood only restaurant, so you must like seafood to enjoy it, of course. They booked quickly when we were there, so make a reservation.

Enjoy your trip! Happy early anniversary!
Haven17 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:27 AM
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redneck

history traveler has good suggestions for accommodations. The Parknasilla hotel under gshotels USED to be Great Southern. I haven't visited since new owners but location is stunning... perfect for any anniversary.
tenaya is offline  
Jul 27th, 2010, 06:47 PM
  #13  
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After looking at this, I think what I might want to do is the following.
DUB - Westin [1night]
DUB to Cashel (stay at Cashel Palace Hotel) [one night]
Cashel to Dingle - Stay at Emlagh House [3 nights]
Dingle to Doolin - Stay at Atlantic House [1 night] ... Not sure if this is close enough to the pub scene. Any other recommendations for Doolin? I liked the fact you can see the Cliffs of Moher from the B&B.
Doolin - DUB - Clontarf Castle [1 night] Then depart to USA

I am still sort of apprehensive of burning a night in Cashel. Should I instead spend another night in Doolin or Dingle?
redneck6497 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 08:49 AM
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bookmarking
amamax2 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 08:54 AM
  #15  
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Here is how its shaping up. Still looking for a fabulous place to stay in Doolin. Here is how its shaping up

ITEINERARY
================================================== ============================
Fri - Depart USA for DUB

Sat - Arrive DUB 9AM .. Check into Westin Dublin (points), and Explore Dublin

Sun - Leave Dublin around 10:30AM for Cashel Stay in Cashel Palace.

Mon - Leave Cashel after breakfast head to Dingle ... check in at Emlagh House

Tues - Dingle

Wed - Dingle .... (Special BDay and Anniversary Day ... want it to be special).

Thurs - Leave Dingle around 10:00 ... head to Doolin. Check in at

Fri - Leave Doolin by 11AM and explore just a little bit more ... Arrive Dublin around 4:30 and stay at Clontarf castle.

Sat - Depart Clontarf Castle by 8AM for an 11AM departure to USA through DUB.
redneck6497 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Have a wonderful trip! Be sure to enjoy some Murphy's ice cream in Dingle. We ate it every single day, it was so good.

The Westin Dublin is very nice. I was bummed that we didn't stay there when we went in June. My best friend works for Westin so I always check out their hotels and man oh man, did we regret passing up her hot rates to stay in a B&B instead!

We skipped Cashel on our trip, so I'm interested to hear what you think of it.
Haven17 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2010, 07:56 PM
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I'll have to look for a file (hard copies- not on my computer) of places in Doolin -- but others may have good suggestions.

But just one little comment - do leave Clontarf Castle before 8AM. You are about 30 minutes from the airport w/o morning traffic and then you have to deal w/ returning the car. That isn't always as straight forward as we'd like.
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2010, 10:51 AM
  #18  
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Haven17 Thanks for the info. on the ice cream. We'll have one for you!

JanisJ , Thanks for the info. on the car. As much as I hate to say it, you're right. That will be a rough day. Hopefully we can get some bfast at Contarf before we depart!

HistoryTraveler - Thanks for the accomodations recommendations. I am using 2 of yours.

I made the last 2 reservations. This is the final itinerary.

Fri - Depart USA for DUB

Sat - Arrive DUB 9AM .. Check into Westin Dublin (points), and Explore Dublin

Sun - Leave Dublin around 10:30AM for Cashel Stay in Cashel Palace.

Mon - Leave Cashel after breakfast head to Dingle ... check in at Emlagh House

Tues - Dingle

Wed - Dingle .... (Special BDay and Anniversary Day ... want it to be special).

Thurs - Leave Dingle around 10:00 ... head to Doolin. Check in at Daly House

Fri - Leave Doolin by 11AM and explore just a little bit more ... Arrive Dublin around 4:30 and stay at Clontarf castle.

Sat - Depart Clontarf Castle by 8AM for an 11AM departure to USA through DUB.

All reservations are confirmed. Now I just need to rent a car (with super CDW)...any ideas??

Then, on to figuring out what to do and see! What does everyone recommend for Dublin for a day? What are the must see / must eats? Also, is there light rail or something to get us to the Westin, or do we just get a cab? I am going to wait until Sun. to get the car.
redneck6497 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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you leave soon! I have not rented a car yet either, but we are going to pick up in Killarney and it looks like the only place right there is Budget. AutoEurope's rates are much lower but the CDW/Super CDW stuff is not clear to me if I book thru either place. I need to make some calls on that this week!
fossbomb is offline  
Aug 11th, 2010, 10:39 AM
  #20  
alg
 
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I am surprising my husband with a birthday trip as well, but he's turning 38 so only gets Dublin on this trip

We obviously have more than a day, but after quite a bit of research I'm looking forward to the following in Dublin:

1916 rebellion walking tour
Guiness Storehouse (husband is a HUGE guinness fan)
Kilmainham Gaol museum

We're also booked on the Fabulous Food Trails walking tour but it departs at 10 am so a little tight considering you land at 9 am.

Alternatively, there's s Dublin historical walking tour that departs at 1 pm I believe. After checking in, you could grab lunch, do the tour, then check out Trinity College or Dublin Castle.

Finally, I've read wonderful things about the Art Tea at the Merrion Hotel. If it was my birthday, I'd go in a heartbeat (husband is not much of an afternoon tea kind of guy).
alg is offline  

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