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Ireland in September - Dublin and other bases

Ireland in September - Dublin and other bases

Feb 11th, 2019, 08:49 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Ireland in September - Dublin and other bases

We will be spending 15 nights in Ireland, roughly the second half of September 2019. Though open jaw may have saved us some backtracking, we snapped up round trip PHL – DUB tickets for $400 per person. There will be four of us in our mid-60’s who travel together every year. My wife and I went to Ireland about 10 years ago, when our youngest daughter was studying there, and spent a week in and around Dublin. Our friends have never been.

We will leave Dublin immediately after landing and head to our first base, wherever that may be. We’ll spend the last few nights back in Dublin before departing. Over the next few months, we will be doing extensive research on the bases where we will stay, main sights to see, daytrips, etc. So I’m looking for insights and suggestions on where we could spend the 12 nights aside from Dublin.

But I can see a challenge ahead … we do not like short stays, and typically spend 4 nights or more anywhere before moving on. If pressed, we will cut back to 3 nights if necessary. So, if we assume the final 3 nights will be spent in Dublin, and looking at a map and the various activities available, some possible ideas for the other 12 nights could be:
  1. 3 - 4 nights in the south, basing in either Waterford or Cork.
  2. 3 – 4 nights in or near Killarney, Dingle, etc.
  3. 3 – 4 nights in or near Galway.
  4. 3 - 4 nights in Northern Ireland; maybe sleep in Belfast.
  5. Anywhere else to consider for a few days … maybe further up the west coast?
Outside of large cities, we will have a car. As we get older, our pace has slowed a bit, but we like to visit one or two points of interest per day … museum, castle, garden, small town, etc., and have some time left over for relaxing late afternoon, and then a nice dinner. We want to sleep within a town so we do not have to drive to dinner, as wine and/or beer are typically prominent components of the meal.

Thanks for your help.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 09:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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My husband and I are going in early to mid October. We are mid 50s and self driving and have 10 nights. We are heading straight out of Dublin and staying in Wicklow for night one. It is about 45 min from the airport and has some nice parks and scenery in the area.
We are basing the next 4 nights in Killarney and will do the Ring a little each day, then one night in Ennis to see the Cliffs of Moher and then driving back to Dublin for 4 nights.
We also do not want to pack and unpack every day or every other day. So, two sections of the trip are 4 nights in Killarney and 4 nights in Dublin. We have never been to Ireland. In Killarney, we are staying at the Killarney Park Hotel. It is said to be withing walking distance of town, the pubs and restaurants. I thought this would be especially good at night for us too, to be able to park the car and walk to our dinners.
girlonthego is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 07:47 PM
  #3  
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girlonthego - Thanks. We are set on Dublin, and most likely something around Killarney.

Any other thoughts or ideas?
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 08:10 AM
  #4  
 
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You got a great price on the flights!!
Well since we are flying from US, our first night is just about a 45 minute drive from Dublin, Wicklow. Wicklow's area has Glendalough, a national park, Ireland's largest waterfall and I figure is a good first night since we will be tired. Staying at the Powerscourt resort (Marriott brand)
I wavered on whether or not to go to Cork and we still might do a day trip there. I chose Killarney area for my stay because I hear it is nice town with shopping and pubs and would be a good place to sleep every night while doing the Ring of Kerry. I thought about driving from Wicklow to Cork, through Cashel, but am worried about leaving our luggage in the car.
I definitely want to see the Cliffs of Moher , (staying at the Old Ground Hotel) so we are spending a night on the west coast. Then because of time, we are heading to Dublin for the four nights. While in Dublin, I have contemplated taking a day trip to the north and perhaps doing the black taxi tour in Belfast?
I am still researching all things I want to do in each area. If you have recommendations, please share!
Did you ever do a high tea anywhere?
Hopefully you will get more answers. I am following your thread for my own trip!
girlonthego is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 09:08 AM
  #5  
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When we were in Dublin, I think it was 2007, we took a day trip to the countryside - Wicklow, Glendalough, St. Kevin's Church, and one or two other stops. It was a very enjoyable day. Also liked the tour at Guinness very much.

I like your idea of taking a day trip from Dublin to the North - found one on-line that includes the black taxi tour of Belfast, then a bus to Giant's Causeway and the famous rope bridge. A long day, but will consider it. Thanks.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 03:37 PM
  #6  
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OK, I will take one last shot at getting some more feedback on this so-far-feeble thread. … Buehler …. Buehler … Buehler ...

Oh, and girlonthego, I have not done high tea anywhere … ever. Not denigrating it, just not appealing to me. I'm more like a low beer kind of guy.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 04:52 PM
  #7  
 
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I don't know much about the SE part of the country for your first 4 nights. We did love Kinsale though, plus Blarney Castle, Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle which all could be accessed during that stay.

I'd consider Kenmare or Killarney. Killarney is much bigger and felt much more touristy, though we were there in early July and all the pubs seemed to be filled with Americans. From either base you could drive the Beara Peninsula, Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. All beautiful. Each drive would take a half day or so. If you had to pick just two, I'd pick Dingle and then one of the others. Beara is less trafficked than Ring of Kerry. Killarney National Park is gorgeous and the Gap of Dunloe is breathtaking. We chose to awake early and drive the Gap before all the horse and carriages got out on the route because we didn't want to spend all day doing it but people enjoy doing the slow ride through it with driver banter and taking the boats over to Ross Castle.

From Galway you could drive to the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Connemara, Clifden Sky Road and visit one of the Aran Islands.

For the north, I'd consider staying in Derry which would be easy access to Donegal and the Inishowen 100 (Malin Head peninsula), Fanad Head lighthouse, Glenveagh National Park as well as the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland. If any of you are Irish, you could visit the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh. Belfast could be done from there or from Dublin.
lolfn is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 06:42 PM
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We are going for two weeks in May but didn't get your flight deal. Good price. I like flying in and out of Dublin because Shannon would be a change of planes in Boston for us.

We are landing, taking the gobus to Galway directly after landing. Four nights there with a trip to the Aran islands one day and some other day trips. We did five nights in Westport a couple of years ago. Really enjoyed that with a trip to Claire Island. We picked Galway because there are so many good places to eat and drink at night with music. Four of us so we found a two bedroom, two bath apartment. We are then heading to Cork because we wanted to stay in Ballycotton. Five nights, hiking, four good pubs. We can do day trips, Jameson is in Midleton, Ballymaloe is on my must-do list. Eating lunch at the cooking school and inn. Cork and Cobh also. We are then headed back to Dublin four nights. We might take an early am train and head to Belfast for the day. We have been to Dublin many times but enjoy it still.

If you want a fast pace but good tour to Belfast and the coast Wild Rover is good. We are jiust going up for the day for exploring Belfast. I have Ulster bucks from a couple of years ago and need to spend them in case the 6 counties stay with Ireland and leave the UK with this Brexit mess.
Macross is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 06:54 PM
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Sorry, watching the dog show on tv and got sidetracked. If you go to Galway you can visit Inismor. It is easy from there and well worth it. The ferry office is close by the bus station so you can get info and there is a shuttle to take you to ferry in Rosseveal. I do love the area north of Dublin. It will be nice still when you go.
I would pick Cork area over Waterford.
Macross is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 10:59 AM
  #10  
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Lolfn and Macross - thanks for your suggestions. Taking some thoughts from both of you, some areas/sights that we will not miss are Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Galway, Connemara. The Aran Islands are a possibility. Here is a first pass of an itinerary that we are considering:

Leave Dublin just after landing, and head for:
3 nights in the south, basing in or near Cork.
4 nights in or near Killarney, Dingle, etc.
4 nights in or near Galway. Still checking on possibilities for day trips to the northwest, if we find anything of interest there. Suggestions?
4 nights in Dublin, to include a full day trip to Belfast and King's Causeway.

This would give a pretty good opportunity to see most of the points of interest in our time there. The moves between bases are all around 2 - 2 1/2 hours each, which still leaves reasonable time for stops along the way.

Just received Lonely Planet and Rick Steves Ireland books today, preparing to immerse myself. Hopefully these will help us greatly, but still open to any other ideas.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 08:13 PM
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by girlonthego View Post
My husband and I are going in early to mid October. We are mid 50s and self driving and have 10 nights. We are heading straight out of Dublin and staying in Wicklow for night one. It is about 45 min from the airport and has some nice parks and scenery in the area.
We are basing the next 4 nights in Killarney and will do the Ring a little each day, then one night in Ennis to see the Cliffs of Moher and then driving back to Dublin for 4 nights.
We also do not want to pack and unpack every day or every other day. So, two sections of the trip are 4 nights in Killarney and 4 nights in Dublin. We have never been to Ireland. In Killarney, we are staying at the Killarney Park Hotel. It is said to be withing walking distance of town, the pubs and restaurants. I thought this would be especially good at night for us too, to be able to park the car and walk to our dinners.
Stayed at the Killarney Park Hotel in summer 2017 for four nights. Fantastic place with good service. You can walk into the busier parts of town; we also walked from the train station as we were traveling carless. Amazing breakfast spread (can also order) in an awesome dining room. The ceiling is magnificent. If you decide not to drive the Ring of Kerry or the Ring of Dingle on your own (there are some very narrow places), I can recommend Killarney Taxi and Tours or Elegant Ireland for private day tours. Beautiful!!
mocha_dolce is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 06:07 AM
  #12  
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mocha dolce - Checked out the Killarney Park Hotel, looks beautiful, and the reviews are terrific, but way out of our price range. The least expensive rooms offered for our time frame is $350 per night, and that's without breakfast. Our budget is around $200 per night, and we've always been able to get very nice accommodations anywhere within Europe, usually with breakfast, for that range. We are also open to B&Bs, if anyone has any recommendations for those.

Will take a look at the tour companies also, thanks.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 07:08 AM
  #13  
 
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We stayed in Kenmare at the Shelburne Lodge and can not recommend it enough. The couple who run it are great and the food was delish. The town was walkable from the Lodge with pubs and restaurants. Thr location was great for day trips. It did do a trip report if you want to read it. Enjoy your trip.
Paqngo is online now  
Feb 14th, 2019, 08:09 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Thanks Mocha dolce! Trip advisor had many great reviews but some of them of them were one reviewers. There were really no bad reviews. So I am happy to hear from a fellow fodorite that they loved it! I like the idea that it is in walking distance of restaurants and pubs. I will keep the name of the taxi companies in case we are having trouble with the driving. DH is a pretty good driver with a manual, but it is on the "wrong" side of the road for us. So may not be as easy to handle on narrow roads.

Thanks for letting me know!
girlonthego is offline  
Feb 14th, 2019, 09:48 AM
  #15  
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Paqngo - Thanks for the tip on the Shelburne Lodge, it looks like exactly the kind of place we are looking for, and in our price range. Will look at your trip report when I get a chance.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 17th, 2019, 07:55 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Here is what I would do:

3 nights in the south, basing in or near Cork. -- 100% Kinsale, stay at the Old Pres. One of my favorite stays ever. Not usually into B&Bs but this place was great. The breakfasts are out of this world. The historical walking tour in town is also great. You are close to Cobh, Cork if you want to get out and explore but we found plenty to keep us entertained in Kinsale.

4 nights in or near Killarney, Dingle, etc. - We spent the afternoon in Killarney National Park on our way to Dingle and it worked out great. Would recommend unless you are very outdoorsy and want to hike more or kayak. Otherwise spend a lovely afternoon seeing the gardens, house, maybe hiking to Torc waterfall (then taking the horse carriage back!) before continuing onto Dingle. If you are interested in crystal, Dingle Crystal is a great stop while in Dingle. The father was Waterford trained but was laid off when they started using lasers/computers. He has trained his three sons in the classic ways and they have a store front in Dingle. I have two beautiful pieces from here!

4 nights in or near Galway. Still checking on possibilities for day trips to the northwest, if we find anything of interest there. Suggestions? - Lots of day trip options. Connemara, Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Ashford Castle, Kylemore Abbey. When driving from Dingle to Galway be sure to take the ferry across the River Shannon vs looping around Limerick. Lots to keep you busy in Galway City as well. Its a fun town.

4 nights in Dublin, to include a full day trip to Belfast and King's Causeway. - The drive from Dublin to Belfast is very easy, just did it in Oct. We stopped in Monasterboice to see the High Crosses and took the Carlingford ferry. Very nice. Titanic Museum and Black Cab Tour are both great.

Have fun!
tera_denten is online now  
Feb 18th, 2019, 08:45 AM
  #17  
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tera denten - this is great, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks very much for your suggestions and insight.

So, you apparently think my proposed itinerary is reasonable - would you do anything differently if you had 15 nights?
phillyboy is offline  
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