Ireland in May

Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
Ireland in May

Have never been to Ireland but have wanted to go. Playing around online and got ff tickets for May 15-June1,2006. Is this a good time to go weatherwise and are all places open? We would fly into Shannon and out of Dublin and have 16 days in country. Would it be better to try to go in September?

What are the top 10 don't miss places?

Thanks much
mpkp is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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It is hard to know about 10 top don't miss places without more information. What made you decide on Ireland? What type of travel do you enjoy?

You are going after the tourist season has gotten up and going so you shouldn't have problems with anything being closed.
edhodge is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:21 AM
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I've gone in the third week of April and found nothing closed, temps around 65F during the day, 50F at night.

The light lasts forever at the time you are going - September days will be shorter, therefore less sightseeing time.

I went this summer starting June 23-July 9 (trip report HERE:

The sky wasn't fully dark until after midnight, and was light again around 4:30am.

We did what you are planning - into SNN out of DUB, 16 days.
GreenDragon is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:47 AM
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May is a great time of year to visit Ireland. The weather is getting warmer (you can sometimes be lucky and get sunshine!) and the days are long. September is also good but it wouldn't make a huge amount of difference whether you visit in May or September - the weather here is never guaranteed!
cailin is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 09:07 AM
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May is a fine time to go. There should be lots in bloom at that time of year. In 16 days, you won't be able to see everything so let us know which way you want to loop around to Dublin, north or south. My 10 don't miss places would probably include sextions from both.

wojazz3 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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Thanks. Well I did it. We have tickets for next May -- the 15th to June 1. This gives us 16 days including the day we land. We are flying business class so we do hope to sleep some on the plane and be able to do some things the first day. We fly into Shannon and out of Dublin.

I would like to see Northern Ireland but also Dingle and Sligo the Ring of Kerry and the Cliffs of Mohrer. Generally I prefer to spend 2-3 nights in each place which means 5-7 stops. I also prefer not to spend more than 3 hours or so driving in a day. So we may not be able to do it all. I want to see some ruins but not all of them -- what I mean is if we tour castles, pick maybe 3 that were build in different centuries rather tahn trying to get to all of them.

Thanks for your help!
mpkp is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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mpkp, I'm excited for you, and I love your plan. We too prefer to spend 2 or 3 nights per stop. Wise of you not to plan to drive too long in Ireland...the driving isn't easy, with a lot of very narrow roads and sometimes tour buses or trucks coming at you.

Good idea to start in Shannon and end in Dublin. That's what we did.

You will have the same problem we is difficult to go as far south as Dingle and as far north as the top of Northern Ireland without going too fast. We had 15 nights in Ireland, similar to your plans.

I suggest you either go north or south from Shannon airport to start with, and choose to either skip Dingle area or to skip Northern Ireland on this trip. We saw both in 15 nights, and most of the trip was well-paced for us. But the part where we only had 2-night stays in Northern Ireland, with some very long drives, was regrettably stressful (one was listed as 5 1/2 hours not counting stops).

This is the itinerary we used:
Fly into Shannon.
1 night: Bunratty
3 nights: Dingle Peninsula
3 nights: Ballyvaughan, County Clare
3 nights: Westport, County Mayo
2 nights: near Bushmills, County Antrim
2 nights: Hillsborough, County Down
1 night: Malahide (fly out of Dublin.)

In our case, we "had" to see Northern Ireland because that is where my beloved Irish grandmother grew up. In your case, it makes more sense to cover the whole southern half of Ireland, south of Galway and south of Dublin, because that fits in nicely with your time and your flights.

Hope this helps you a bit. I read 10 guidebooks and loved the planning phase! Now I'm loving the trip report phase...

These were our highlights:

--Cliffs of Moher (County Clare)
--The Burren (County Clare)
--Dunguaire castle medieval banquet (Kinvara, County Galway)
--Getting stuck in a cow jam between County Clare and County Galway!
--Trad music in pubs: our 2 favorites: Matt Malloys in Westport, County Mayo and Greene's Pub in Ballyvaughan, County Clare
--Dingle Peninsula and Connor Pass, County Kerry
--visiting Belfast where my Irish grandmother grew up

I think it's a good idea to choose something that represents each kind of site you want to see. Such as, I wanted to see the Ring of Dingle, Ring of Kerry, and Ring of Beara. But I decided the Ring of Dingle would represent that part of the country for me on this first trip. I hope to do the other rings on other trips.

Good luck! Check for drive times, but you need to add about 30% to their times. We found we practically doubled the drive times, by the time you add your stops and your lunch! I suggest you NOT plan to drive more than 4 hours in one day (that's 4 hours on the aaroadwatch site, which in reality could take all day!)

Melissa5 is offline  

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