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Ireland in March - Ideas for Time Constrained Visit

Ireland in March - Ideas for Time Constrained Visit

Jan 29th, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Ireland in March - Ideas for Time Constrained Visit

Will be in Ireland 3/10 - 3/20 to attend a wedding in Claremorris on 3/17/11. (Think we have 50 or so family members from US flying in for this wedding.) We have a cottage booked in Mayo from 3/12 - 3/19. My wife and I and my mentally 18 year old disabled son arrive in Dublin on 3/10 and need to pick up my daughter who arrives in Dublin 10 am on 3/12.

The task I need help with, given the weather, is how can we take advantage of our free time of 3/10 and 3/11 and have a reasonable visit of the east coast and still end up in striking distance of Dublin to get the daughter on 3/12? Thought of Wicklow. Or a drive to Cork and then head back up to Dublin. Don't think we'll be doing picnics, so any suggestions for a 2 day cold weather jaunt from the Dublin area and back in 2 days is appreciated..

Then, once we have the daughter, we drive to Derrypark Mayo on 3/12. But we have another 2 day free period of 3/13 and 3/14 where we could take a jaunt before family obligations insist we stay put. So, being in Mayo we have already done Galway and Cliffs of Mohr, so is it a reasonable thought to think of going to Killarney and doing a bit of the Ring of Kerry and be back in Mayo doing family stuff on 3/15? Or maybe Dingle?

If it were summer I'd not ask, because it's hard not to find stuff to and places to go when the weather is good but given the cold and wet of the weather I don't want to just drive and see the place via a windscreen, but find destinations that work for March?

So, if anyone has any suggestions, we're all ears and thanks for the ideas.
John_McGing is offline  
Jan 29th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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If near Dublin you might try Newgrange..ancient Celtic burial tombs and of course they are inside, underground. The wind will be cold where ever you are so layer, layer, layer...Ponchos might be better than umbrellas..National Museum in Dublin is worth a visit also. You don't mention the incabilitiy level on son but I'm sure you know to keep the bites small..
amer_can is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 05:38 AM
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Some more "near" Dublin sights (and also indoors)

-Castletown House
-Killruddery House
-City of Waterford (touring the crystal factory)

(My travel writing blog!)
librarychica85 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Thanks all. My son is a generally good traveler, it's the wife who turns blue even indoors due to Reynaud's syndrome who challenges things more. Just means being aware of everyone's limitations and not pushing anything by selecting options that respect those limitations.

Hadn't thought of Waterford, thought it closed but see it's still open, so that's a good possibility. Spouse wants to kiss the Blarney stone.

Killruddy and Castletown House are both closed in March. That's kind of been my problem; many things worth seeing are not yet open when we are there.
John_McGing is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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I was in Ireland for 3 weeks this past March, and experienced the most beautiful weather! Had maybe one or two days of rain but it was 99% perfect. Hope you have the same luck!
sheri_lp is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Driving to Cork and back in two days would be a little too much, immediately after your arrival in Dublin.
A round trip including County Wicklow (incl Glendalough). Wexford town, Waterford city and returning back to Dublin through Kilkenny city might be more manageable, with an overnight stop en route.

Travelling from Mayo to Killarney and back in the time you have available would be taking on too much driving, as the journey to Kerry alone will consume much of a day in itself.

If you are lucky with weather, the islands off the Galway and Mayo coast provide interesting days out; the Aran Islands are accessible by both air (Aer Arann)and sea ferry. Clare Island and Inishbofin are only served by ferry; you would need to be prepared to walk to explore the islands though.

If scenery is your thing, Sligo and South Donegal might not be up there with Kerry but places like Glencar waterfall, Ben Bulben etc are much closer to your base in Mayo.
SeeDee is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 09:30 PM
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Wouldn't it be easiest and most convenient to spend the first two nights in Dublin proper?
You will have to deal a bit with jetlag on your arrival day anyway, I guess.
And Dublin has enough sights to keep you busy for 2 days, with many of them being indoors activities, like the National Museum(s), the jail, etc. in case the weather is not too sunny.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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@Sheri_lp - hope we can get a repeat!
@SeeDee - Thanks, I concur with the Mayo - Killarney idea and have been looking at Achill. Will research Sligo and South Donegal as you suggest.
@Cowboy1968 - I wish but wife and daughter did Dublin to their hearts content relatively recently and I'm told it's not on the itinerary I think it's because I have a lot of relations there and we'd spend a lot of time visiting with people we'll be seeing at the wedding. Best to just not be in town and avoid them completely.
John_McGing is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Interesting tidbit but in conversing with Heritage Ireland it comes up that most (parks being usual exception) places on their list are closed off season or only have a spring/summer availability.

We have had a number of suggestions that looked fabulous but the fine print said they were not open yet.

And FYI, Achill off season is just about impossible as well; accomodations are pricey and very limited until the season starts.
John_McGing is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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I get your point about not wanting to run into relatives in Dublin.
I'd check SeeDee's post again for a possible Eastern Ireland itinerary.

I don't know how many kms you plan to drive once you landed, but Kilkenny is a nice place to spend your first night. You get there via motorway from the airport, so no driving on narrow winding roads.
Nearby Rock of Cashel should be open all year. You can also check Jerpoint Abbey - I'd expect that to be open as well.
There's the famine ship in Dunmore, and the scenic drive from Kilkenny via Inistioge.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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....famine ship in Dunmore.....
Are you thinking of the Dunbrody in New Ross? Not sure how this project is surviving but would doubt if the ship would be available to visit in March.

There will be many of such attractions closed for the off-season. The National Museum near Castlebar will definitely be open when you are in Mayo though.
SeeDee is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 12:08 PM
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I love my relations but we need family tourist time to enjoy the chance to see Ireland. When I was last there (by myself) I had obligatinos to visit every aunt and cousin and that sucked teh heart out of the visit; all I saw was parlors, ham sandwiches and tea

And so they'd be hurt to know we were a few miles away and didn't call on them. Hence, don't be a few miles away until closer to the wedding

I'll check the Museum in Castlebar and we are starting to focus on the eastern coast as the 2 day jaunt.
John_McGing is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 12:17 PM
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SeeDee.. Dunbrody/New Ross indeed! I better stay away from the keyboard after too much red wine
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Two attractions in County Wexford that are both open all year round:
Johnstone Castle outside Wexford town has large gardens and an agricultural museum.
John F Kennedy Arboretum near New Ross has lots of, like, trees.
SeeDee is offline  
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