Ireland Itinerary

Jan 15th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #1  
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Ireland Itinerary

I have come up with a tentative itinerary for my trip at the end of May and from all I've heard of lengthy travel times I would appreciate any help.
Fly into Dublin
3 nights near Bray/Enniskerry
(Tour Dublin/Kilmainham Gaol/ Trinity/ Guinness/Grafton St on Days 1&2, Powerscourt/St. Kevins on Day 3)
1 night in Kilkenny (Kilkenny castle and Rock of Cashel the next morning)
1 night in Kinsale (Charles Fort, stop in Cobh either on way to Kinsale or when leaving and Blarney Castle)
3 nights in Killarney (ROK, Dingle)
2 nights in Co. Galway (Cliffs of Moher on the way to Co. Galway)
1 night in Bunratty (last night before flight home from Shannon)

In Co. Galway I was thinking of staying either two nights at Ashford Castle or Ballynahinch Castle. How long of a drive would it be for either of these from Killarney? Is it reasonable to leave Killarney, drive to Cliffs of Moher and get to either castle by 3 or 4pm that day?
Chloe2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 11:44 AM
  #2  
 
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Have you considered staying in Dingle Town 2 nights instead of Killarney.Dingle is a neat town and the Dingle Peninsula is a nice all day drive.best regards
tune is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 04:11 PM
  #3  
 
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Chloe,

I would suggest that you stay in Dublin your first two nights and pick up your rental car on the third day as you drive to Kilkenny. Driving in Dublin is insane. If you've a morning flight in, you can take ground transportation to your lodgings, most will hold your luggage until check-in time, then catch one of the Hop-on/off open top bus tours and visit all of the high points of Dublin, getting on and off at your leisure. This will allow you day two to take a bus tour to Newgrange or to visit the sites you didn't get to see on the first day. Your ticket for the bus is good for a full 24 hours from time of purchase.

Try an Itinerary like this:

Day 1&2 Dublin
Day 3 & 4 Kilkenny, stopping at Powerscourt, which will be gorgeous then, enroute to Kilkenny; Day 2 in Kilkenny, take a walking tour to explore the town
Day 5, 6 & 7 Tralee, stop to see Rock of Cashel enroute; Tralee will allow you to explore the Dingle Peninsula on day 6, Killarney area on Day 7 & exploring Tralee on the afternoon of Day 5
Day 8, 9 & 10 Galway take the Kilimer/Tarbert ferry, www.shannonferries.com, which will save you 85 miles of driving heading North, then take the coast road, stopping at the Cliiffs of Moher, lunch in Doolin and then a drive through the Burren. Day 9, take a Bus tour of the Connemaras, www.lallytours.com; Day 10 explore Galway on a hop-on/off tour that will take you to all of the main attractions of Galway.
Day 11 Bunratty

Day 12 Home

If you have an exceptionally early flight out, you might consider staying at the great shannon hotel which is a short walk from the departure terminal, instead of in Bunratty.

AAireland has an excellent route planner, http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/.

Enjoy your adventure!

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
www.cowboycraic.com
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:00 PM
  #4  
 
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I like your itinerary. I do agree with tune about spending the night in Dingle. I can only tell you about Ballynahinch Castle. It's very nice, beautiful walks, you're well cared for and I'd say a little casual. My son didn't have a jacket and he was fine in black slacks and black turtleneck. As I understand, Ashford Castle is very posh. I can't tell you about staying there. Have a wonderful trip. Joan
chatham is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:10 PM
  #5  
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Tune...I picked Killarney for 3 nights because I was trying to minimize switching rooms/B&Bs and Killarney seemed to give me a good central location between Kenmare and Dingle. Dingle sounds wonderful to me but I'm traveling with my adult kids who want towns with more nightlife and I was guessing Killarney has plenty of pubs to please them.
CowboyCraic...
I had been debating back and forth about whether we should stay in Dublin for 2 or 3 days. I like your 2 day suggestion, does that still apply if I tend to have horrible jetlag?
We really want to see Kinsale and Cobh, although going from Kilkenny to Tralee probably makes more sense time wise. One of my biggest concerns is ending up spending too much time driving between overnights. If I cut out one night in Dublin where would it be better spent?
Thanks to both of you for the advice.
This is my first trip to Ireland and I'm upset with myself for not booking more time there. BUT...I already know it won't be my last trip there!
Chloe2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 05:46 PM
  #6  
 
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Cobh is a diversion from your main route. Do you have a strong motive for going there? it is moderately picturesque, but somewhat run-down. I can see it a having a special significance for people whose ancestors emigrated through there. If you do go, you have the option of the ferry across Cork Harbour to avoid Cork City and its traffic jams, and head out to Kinsale (a minor diversion to Crosshaven might appeal to you).

The trip from Killarney to somewhere in Co. Galway via the Cliffs of Moher is a long haul, especially as much (most) of the route is not on roads suited to fast driving. Budget 4 hours actual driving as a minimum time to get to Ashford, or 4.5 to get to Ballynahinch, and possibly an hour more than that, depending on traffic and road conditions. Add stops, and it's a long day.

Blarney Castle is a tourist trap. You might not need it.
Padraig is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 06:14 PM
  #7  
 
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Chloe,

By staying only two nights in Dublin, it will give you the extra night in Kilkenny that you really need there. Your kids will love Kyteler's Inn, http://www.kytelersinn.com/, a pub with a fascinating history in Kilkenny. By staying in Tralee, you will have access to the picturesque countryside and they willl have access to a pub. Here is a great link for them to browse, http://www.discoverkerry.com/nitelife.htm.
I would stay in Galway proper, as close to Eyre Square as possible, so that they can enjoy the night life and then walk back. Most of the castle stays are overrated, in my opinion. I much prefer staying in B&Bs and getting to know the locals.

Tralee to Galway along the coast road is a long drive but you will be breaking it up. If you take the ferry, that will give you twenty minutes out if the car and on the water. By stopping at the Cliffs of Moher, you will again break up the drive. Lunch in Doolin, I suggest McGann's Pub and their Irish Stew, provides another break. You will stop for pictures as you drive through the Burren.

You can save Kinsale for the next visit over. There will be plenty of breathtaking scenery and small towns for this first feast. Just remember to take it slow, savor each moment and relax. You don't have to see everything. What you don't see this time will be waiting the next.

Slan Go Foill,

Bit Devine
www.cowboycraic.com
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 07:30 PM
  #8  
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Cobh was my daughters request because of the Titanic. She was also the one who wants to stay in a castle (I understand that some 'castles' are actually manor houses but close enough for me!)

I'm concerned about rushing and know if I eliminate either Kinsale or Ballynahinch/Ashford that it would make my itinerary more manageable but never having been there its hard to decide which to skip.
I didn't realize McGanns had food, I was thinking strictly pub. Lunch there sounds perfect.
Chloe2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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Chloe,

You could replace night 7 in Tralee with a night's stay at Carrigeen's in Cahir, http://www.tipp.ie/butlerca.htm, which would satisfy the castle request. Then you could continue on to Galway from there. The price is reasonable. There is plenty of history and even a spirit or two.

McGann's has delicious food and large portions. My brother and I were able to split a bowl of their stew, large chunks of meat, rich gravy, carrots and mashed potatoes in the center. The price is reasonable. You should also take a bit of time to explore Fisher street. There are some great shops there. One, a bookstore and local crafts, is my favorite, as she sells books of poetry written & illustrated by a local lady. The cover & inside pages are all handmade.

You have contracted "Irish Fever". Fix yourself a cuppa, relax and watch the quiet man and repeat "I don't have to see everything on my first trip" until you start to feel yourself relax. It is normal to overplan and want to see and do too much. Take good sturdy walking shoes, an attitude of flexibility and nonchalance, and remember that what you don't see won't matter because of what you will see.

Enjoy your adventure in Ireland, the first of many!

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
www.cowboycraic.com
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 15th, 2007, 09:36 PM
  #10  
 
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Chloe2, Carrigeen has gotten some really poor reviews. It's not in the same class as the other castles. I believe it is more of a B&B. Also, I think your family might like Killarney more than Tralee. I wish IrishEyes would chime in here. I've only been 8 times and I think she's been more often. Joan
chatham is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 12:56 AM
  #11  
 
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Is there any particular reason you want to stay in Bray? I think if you want to see Dublin you are better to stay in the city for your first two nights, and then on Day 3 rent your car and travel to Powerscourt and Glendalough, stay in county Wicklow somewhere and then travel on to Kilkenny the following day.
cailin is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 08:58 AM
  #12  
 
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Chloe2,

I should have made that fact a bit more clear. Carrigeen is indeed a B&B. Its outward appearance is that of a castle, which is why I suggested it as a substitute for the higher priced actual castles. I have stayed there twice, the rooms were comfortable & clean, though not luxurious. The breakfast was delicious. Peig, the owner, can come off as a bit starched, but she is a very lovely lady when she warms up to you. Punctuality is the key to getting on her good side, LOL.

Were it that you were heading north from Dublin, I would have suggested Smarmore Castle in County Louth.

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
www.cowboycraic.com
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 16th, 2007, 05:52 PM
  #13  
 
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Joan: I think I have a few dozen trips on you!

Chloe2: I agree with everyone else that you should budget 2 days for Dublin and stay in Dublin not Bray or Enniskerry. Since your kids want nightlife consider the 2 days in Kilkenny that CowboyCraic suggested. You can see Powerscourt & Glendalough on the way. Be sure to download the free Kilkenny walking tour: http://tinyurl.com/w9dl9

When you drive from Kilkenny to Cashel to Kinsale it will be a long day. You will most likely go through Cahir. I love Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage but probably not enough time for both. You see how much there is to see along the way? If you wanted to avoid Cork traffic you could do the Vee Drive down to Lismore and go to Cobh. There is a ferry across the river that cuts out Cork City. Blarney can be seen on the way to Killarney.

Instead of going all the way to the Galway area for your castle stay I suggest Glin Castle (not far from the Shannon car ferry). Next day you could take the ferry and see the cliffs and Clare coast. That would give you another day to add somewhere else.
IrishEyes is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:45 AM
  #14  
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I most definitely have Irish Fever and would love to see everything! But there is next time.

I'm going to talk with my daughter and see about maybe skipping Cobh since there doesn't seem to be very much concerning the Titanic to actually see there and although I'm sure it's lovely, it doesn't seem to be a must see town right now.

I hadn't heard of Swiss Cottage before but I'll have to check it out. I'll definitely consider Glin Castle and Carrigeens to fulfill the castle requirement. I now have 12 nights to work with. I ended up finding a cheaper airfare than my tickets were and will fly to Dublin a day earlier (and in return I'm also getting $120 vouchers back per ticket).

The reason I am planning to stay near Bray/Enniskerry is because the parents of some people I know here in Chicago have a B&B there.

I need to start making reservations for rooms soon since I know rooms get pretty full towards summer but I also don't want to make them before I'm set on an itinerary and end up losing deposit money.
I'll have to sit down with the kids and see it they mind eliminating Cobh or even Kinsale and spending more days in the other locations...so we can relax and enjoy our days vs driving.
Chloe2 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 10:57 AM
  #15  
 
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Carrigeen is actually an old jail. It's certainly an interesting building and yes, there have been a variety of comments on this board ranging from good to bad, but I still think it's a fun place to stay for the price. Once anyway.

There was also the time that a person started posting rave reviews about the place on all of the Ireland message boards. I believe it was Peig's son.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 06:49 AM
  #16  
 
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Dingle Town has a lot of Pubs and nightlife.I didnt stay in Killarny so I cant compare but Dingle has a good deal.have a great trip.Ireland is a great place to visit.
tune is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #17  
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I've been debating a lot about staying in only Killarney versus splitting it between Kenmare and Dingle. All I need is one good pub for a pint or two, so Dingle would surely fit the bill. Not sure how the whole itinerary will shape up but I think 2 nights in Kenmare and 2 nights in Dingle with horseback riding in Dingle is the way for me. Especially after seeing some images of the view from some of the B&Bs in Dingle, I know I'm going to love that town. Killarney is good for shopping but I think I want to wake up in the morning with a beautiful water view to start the day.
Chloe2 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #18  
 
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I stayed a few days in Kinsale and could have skipped it. It is a lovely little town but I like the wilder scenery over in Kerry. Now, Cork countryside is lovely. Those green,green hills. I loved staying in Kenmare and spend my last 2 days there just relaxing, walking the little park by the river and just sitting and looking at the scenery. Dingle has some of the very best scenic drives and the town has a more lived in feel than Kinsale. Both Kenmare and Dingle I liked better than Killarney. When you are ready for lodging you'll get plenty of advice. Be sure and tell us your price range and if you want to be in town or out. By the way Glin Castle would be great. Wish I could stay sometime.
chatham is offline  
Jan 31st, 2007, 06:28 PM
  #19  
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I've spent the last few weeks reading all the posts here (everyone has great ideas!) and I think I've finally got my itinerary set. I still have to find accomodations for Killarney, Dingle and Galway. There seem to be a lot of posts on Dingle. Does anyone have suggestions for Galway?

I tried to make this so my trip won't be rushed...how does it look?

Day 1: Arrive Dublin, Tour Dublin. overnight Enniskerry
Day 2: Kilmainham Gaol/Guinness etc. Overnight Enniskerry
Day 3: Powerscourt/ Glendalough overnight Enniskerry
Day 4: Kilkenny Castle & town Overnight Kilkenny
Day 5: Rock of Cashel/ Cahir Castle (and Blarney if time) Overnight Killarney
Day 6: ROK/Kenmare/ Muckross house Overnight Killarney
Days 7-8: Ross Castle/Dingle Penn Overnight Dingle
Day 9: Cliffs of Moher/Dunguaire Castle Overnight Galway
Day 10: Galway area overnight Galway
Day 11: Ashford Castle overnight
Day 12: Bunratty
Day 13: Airport and home
Chloe2 is offline  

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