Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Ireland, Honeymoon, early June 2015, active couple

Ireland, Honeymoon, early June 2015, active couple

Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 09:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 24
Ireland, Honeymoon, early June 2015, active couple

Hi Fodorites,

I am getting married in May 2015, and my fiancee and I have selected Ireland as our honeymoon destination (YAY!!). Apart from watching movies set in Ireland I have spent a good amount of time reading other posts, and creating an Excel spreadsheet...and feel like it's time for me to write in and solicit some opinions. I expect we will go June 1st, 2015 for 14+ days. I'm flexible on length. Likely flying into Dublin.

Background - We want to explore and see the most breathtaking natural sights. We don't care if the hiking is long or arduous. That is most important. And anything romantic.

We want to also see the major touristy things - Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Croke Park, and Trinity College in Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Blarney Stone, Rock of Cashel, the Ring of Kerry (going through Kenmare first, and then counterclockwise?), Slieve League.

I would love to summit Carrantouhill one of the days. We want to stay at a couple of castles (Bunratty Castle? Is the buffet worth it? Ashford Castle - is it too fancy for my tastes, I don't know. Obviously we don't want to be in major debt, we are a young couple wanting to start a family soon).

We won't enjoy anything related to ghosts or supernatural things. We are also not really the nightlife/pub type; I don't see us listening to live music every night (although we do want to do this a bit, and I'd love to dance some!).

I'd like to go to Connemara National Park - are the hikes through solid elevation gain, or are they much more leisurely (and where should a person stay overnight near the Park?).

I would also love The Burren, where we can rock climb the Ailladie sea cliffs and possibly go caving (I guess we would stay in Doolin for these adventures). I know I can also rock climb in Glendalough in County Wicklow - not sure which spot is better.

I am thinking we should forego the Northeastern portion of the Emerald Isle (Giant's Causeway, Belfast, etc.) and just focus on the Southwestern area. We can do the former on another visit, I imagine.

Links/stories I have found most helpful:

Tony posted this map of a 16 day jaunt: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...k.kltm7QneB7fo

I learned a lot from this interesting post of Ireland trip lessons learned: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTop...d-Ireland.html

I go back and forth as it relates to this post on whether to plan or not to plan (I have never NOT planned day by day, stop by stop - maybe this time I'd like to wing it a good deal!) http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...g-vacation.cfm

I guess overall, I would please ask you for help with:

1) the order of doing these in the most efficient manner

2) any other natural wonders or iconic cultural places I need to experience.

3) suggested stops along the way - that can serve as the starting point for a daytrip here or there - so I can think about where to stay.

Again, I am flexible on trip duration.

Thank you so much, all. Really grateful. I will follow up, of course.
Papsicle is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 09:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 24
Quick note, I just realized Slieve League is too far North and probably wise to save for the North/Northeast trip to Ireland i'll hope to do in the future.
Papsicle is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
You must visit Newgrange - can be done as a day trip from Dublin. It's a 5,000 year old passage tomb you can actually enter and set the effect at the winter solstice. You must go with a guide from the site - and at busy times of year there can be a wait due to crowds.

And you can't do it if you have nay problems with small spaces or darkness.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
We plan to travel to Ireland (and London) for our delayed honeymoon (just got married 2 weeks ago) in June as well!

You are way ahead of us in terms of research. I'd love to see your itinerary once you have it more developed. I think we have similar interests. Thanks and best of luck with wedding planning.
nonweirdname is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
Long time since I did that map. Have done many more since, only to have google butcher them into their new system.

You want logistics that's the easy part, the hard part is deciding on where to go. Its your holiday, no one else's and only you should decide where and how to spend your Honeymoon (congratulations).

Two weeks is enough time to go round the Island of Ireland, have done that a few times over many years. Lots of hiking in my younger fitter years. Achill would be a must as would Beara. never had much interest in Carrautoohil but if that's a must do then go for it http://www.kerryclimbing.ie/carrauntoohil_ascents.html As to Connemara then the Devils Mother used to be one of my wanderings to look down Killary Harbour http://mountainviews.ie/summit/202/?...evki4nnop1ft51 Consider Abbeyglen Castle or Ballynahinch for a stay in Connemara rather than Ashford.see this map for some other points in the area (even if google has turned them all into ferries) https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...k.ktfCqfP94onE

Have a look on Amazon for Mike Hardings book, Footloose in the West of Ireland some good walks in there mixed with some humour.
Tony2phones is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2014, 02:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 24
Hello all,

Merry Christmas! Thank you for your replies and advice. I am indebted to you. I have made more progress. Tony inspired me and I made a map (Thanks, Tony!):


Resultant thoughts:

I seem to have four major landing spots (or launching pads!) from which I can make day trips to the immediate surrounding areas.

1. Dublin (recommendation on where to stay?) - I fly in here. From here, I will go to Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Croke Park, Newgrange, and Trinity College

(then I will swing by the Rock of Cashel, and Cork for Blarney Castle)

2. Killarney (recommendation on where to stay?) - from here, I will go to everything I need to see on or around the Ring of Kerry. I will also try to summit Carrautoohil from here.

3. Doolin (recommendation on where to stay?) - from here, I will visit the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, The Burren

(then I will swing through Limerick and Galway)

4. The Burren/Kylemore area (recommendation on where to stay?) - from here I will visit Connemara National Park, and Kylemore Abbey.

Other questions - please help:

Should I stop by Dingle?

If you had to recommend *one* castle overnight stay, which would it be? Dromoland...Abbeyglen...another?

What exactly is worth not missing in Kinsale and in Kenmare? Do you recommend stopping? For a day? For a night?

I really feel I should save Slieve League and Northern Ireland for another visit. I don't really see the point of hustling and bustling all over the country on this two-week jaunt.

If staying at Dromoland castle is out of the budget - can I still swing by and see the premises and walk about the castle? Perhaps not. Please advise...

Is there a wiser and cooler and more awesome thing to do - after I finish exploring Connemara National Park, and Kylemore Abbey - than just driving straight East to get back to Dublin to fly out? That seems a little lame. But perhaps that's the best and easiest thing to do rather than try to see something else.

Is there something else I am missing - seeing as how I am coming to Ireland? I don't want to miss any obvious things I simply don't know about.

I am happy about how this trip plan is coming along! Thank you all again so much.
Papsicle is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2014, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
On your way to Dublin from the West, dip a bit south and visit Clonmacnoise. You might also visit Trim Castle on the way.

Or if tickets are not purchased, do open jaw and fly out of Shannon. This opens up many more possibilities.

In Dublin, consider doing a B&B stay at Trinity College.

You can't stay at Bunratty Castle and by buffet I will assume you meant the medieval banquet? We enjoyed it but liked the Irish Night in the Corn Barn more. The banquet packs 'em in like sardines and at least in the corn barn everyone gets his/her own chair!
jaja is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2014, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
Hikes/walks in Killarney --
Hikes to the top above Torc Falls and the Gap of Dunloe are very worthwhile.

If night life isn't an issue, we love this B&B located 1/2 way between Ross Castle and Muckross House. Great views from the rooms upstairs in the Carriage House:
Dingle is an easy daytrip from Killarney.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2014, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 124
If you have an extra day in Dublin, its easy to take a day trip to Belfast/Giants Causeway. It was 80 euros for a 12 hour semi-guided tour. We had 2 hours free time in Belfast and 1 1/2 hours each at Giants Causeway and Rope bridge. The travel thru the countryside was beautiful too.
bean11 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Nov 11th, 2009 01:25 PM
Jun 18th, 2009 07:51 AM
May 11th, 2009 03:11 PM
Dec 7th, 2003 04:42 PM
Jun 25th, 2002 08:50 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information