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Ireland in November

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Mar 14th, 2012, 11:20 AM
  #1
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Ireland in November

We are planning a two weeker in mid to late November in Ireland. I am interested in the weather, especially on the West Coast. Visibility, access to the Aaron Islands, etc.
Are there any special events that late in the year that we should be aware of?
Driving - do we need the GPS at 9 Euros a day?
Dublin sights and shows?
I am going to visit my ancestral (1890's) place in Sligo. Anything special about that area we should know in advance?

Grateful for input.
JohnOB
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Mar 14th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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I've been to Ireland twice and never felt the need for GPS. A good map (and a willingness to ask for directions) is all you need. We used the Rough Guide map and the OSI maps are supposed to be excellent.

I have no idea of the weather conditions on the Aran Islands in November, but your only access will be via Rossaveel. The Doolin ferries do not run that time of year.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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In November, the days are getting pretty short--8:30 sunrise and 4:30 sunset. (These are not precise--just recall from living there that it seemed as if we got up in the dark and it was getting close to dark when school ended for the day.)

The ferry to the Aran islands runs from Rosseveal near Galway. There will be fewer runs in November than in summer. (i think the website is www.aranferries.ie)

Near Sligo if where Yeats was buried. BenBulbin, a huge outcrop that stands out from the plain is nearby.

By November, a lot of places will be closed.

In Dublin you won't want a car. Parking is limited and expensive and driving is a nightmare. So put Dublin at the beginning of your trip and pick up your car as you head out of town. Or at the end of the trip and ditch the car before you settle into the city. Many put Dublin at the beginning of the trip so they can get over jetlag by walking and so they won't fall asleep or make fatal mistakes on the road.

As to what to see in Dublin, there are a ton of trip reports on this forum that could give you some first hand advice. I have some personal favorites, but don't know what you like to do. The national museums, while not among the "biggies" of Europe, have quite good collections or art and artifacts. They are closed on Mondays so plan accordingly if you decide to take them in. There are churches such as Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patricks. Trinity College is worth a look around. The street market on Moore St. (off Henry St. which is a left off O'Connell ST. as you walk away from the Liffey.) The GPO. Kilmainham Gaol. Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green. The Book of Kells is now housed in its own exhibition at Trinity College. It is in a glass enclosed case which is climate controlled for preservation. It is amazing and in November, maybe there will be fewer crowds to contend with. When I lived just outside of Dublin, I used to be in town regularly and the book was in the library at Trinity, just in a regular case, and the page was turned once a week or so. I would pop in just to see the changes and admire this wonderful piece of work.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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You asked about GPS. I have never used it here or in many trips to Ireland. But I have a decent sense of direction and have had the use of good maps. I use the Ordinance Survey Maps (OSI mentioned by longhorn) which cover small areas in great detail. I also pick up the latest road atlas as I come through the airport.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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We went to the Aran Islands in August. The water was very rough on the trip over from Doolin. I can't say how it would be from Rossaveel. When we reached the first island everyone wanted off the boat. Next time I would think about the short flight instead of the boat.

I have mixed feelings about the GPS. Its nice to have but the fee os too high. Last time we rented in Munich from Autoeurope the GPS was free. When we went to Ireland I downloaded the maps onto my Garmin and used my own. It was useful the first day but after that we really didn't need it.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:08 PM
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Just checked my OSI map from my last trip. I believe the ones you want for Sligo are #25 and 16. For the area close by you would probably want #24, 26, 32, 33. Perhaps someone closer to the area could be more precise.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Just get a good road map,or bring your own gps and download or purchase a map card on Ebay. Be careful with the Aran islands in November, I had a girl backpacker this year and she was stranded out there for 4 days due to bad weather, she loved it.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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A regular map is generally fine. I think the only place a GPS might be helpful is in a city like Dublin or Cork.

It's going to be beautiful no matter when you go - have a great time.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 09:11 PM
  #9
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Thank you, everyone, for the really helpful, concrete suggestions. Since I can read maps, we are going to save money on the GPS fees.
After I do a little more reading and watching this page, Ireland, I will be back for more advice.
BTW, I never thought about the early darkness. I should have, living as we do in Montana.
John OB
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 05:55 PM
  #10
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After doing some research, we decided that so many opportunities to visit important places are limited, or not available fro November through March that we are putting off the trip until the spring.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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I think you have made a wise choice. Days will be longer and there will be flowers everywhere.
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