Ireland itinerary, advice please!

Old Mar 27th, 2002, 08:55 AM
  #1  
Kelly
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Ireland itinerary, advice please!

Hello,

I think I'm finally forming a plan for my Ireland trip, and I was hoping for your thoughts and advice. Here it is:

Fly in to Dublin (the last week in May)and spend two nights. Then take a train to Limerick, where I will rent a car and drive to spend one night in Doolin, stopping at Bunratty Castle and Ennis on the way. Next, drive to the Cliffs of Moher and down to Adare, where I will spend the next night. Finally, drive to Tralee for a transfer to a riding tour on the Dingle Peninsula. (or just drive to Dingle?) Fly out of Shannon after the one week tour.

How does this sound? I have made no reservations yet, so I am still open to change. If the plan sounds good, any advice on where to stay in these places? Last but not least, is driving a bad idea? I'll be by myself and am a little concerned about driving on the opposite side of the road and navigating new places at the same time, but I've heard public transportation around the small towns isn't that great.

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can give me.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 10:06 AM
  #2  
Ken
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We circumnavigated Ireland in 2001 at about the same time of year. We had no reservations but found lots of very nice bed and breakfasts. Before you pick up your car make sure you have a detailed road atlas. Once off the main roads, roads aren't very well signed. Distances sometimes are in kilometres, sometimes in miles.
I'm over 70 but had no trouble with driving on the left side. However, after picking up our car at Dublin airport, we went north to the Newgrange area for a few days to get acclimatized. It and the Hill of Tara are worth seeing.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 10:40 AM
  #3  
suzanne
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Hi Kelly,
That's a good itinerary. You will love it there. I went with a friend about 5 years ago...we rented a car and circumvented the southern half of the country in 7 days. We liked the southwestern part of the country the best, and Dublin was great too.

We went in May also, and only reserved 2 nights ahead of time: one night in Dublin and one night at Adare Manor. The rest of the week we used a B&B guide we got from a travel agent, and we called and booked rooms the day were were arriving. There is a fantastic big old (1500's?) manor house in Ennis just outside of town that I'd recommend, if I only knew the name!

Driving was not *that* big a deal. The roads were narrow and windy but there wasn't much traffic except in the towns. The hardest part was the clockwise roundabouts. Don't worry, you'll survive. It's worth it to have a car out there...you can really explore the beautiful backroads of the country. Oh - one thing - get one with an automatic transmission if possible. Most European rentals are manual.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 11:02 AM
  #4  
John
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Hi Kelly,

You will love Ireland . . . and do not be afraid to drive. If you plan your days drive ahead of time, drive defensively and take it slow you should not have any problems.

You may want to consider a couple of alterations.

From Shannon defer Ennis and Buratty for a day. Instead drive from Limerick to Doolin through the Burren, and add the Cliffs of Moher (very close to Doolin).

On the way back Bunratty Castle, Ennis and (a bit farther away is Adare. You should be able to do this in one day. Would suggest staying at Dromoland Castle (if you care to back track a bit from Adare) or Adare Manor. Both are a bit of a splurge but worth it.

From Adare you may want to consider heading to Killarney for the Lakes drive and Muckross House. The drive is beautiful. You can continue on to Dingle from there for the night(s).

Have fun.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 11:50 AM
  #5  
John
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Hi Kelly,

You will love Ireland . . . and do not be afraid to drive. If you plan your days drive ahead of time, drive defensively and take it slow you should not have any problems.

You may want to consider a couple of alterations.

From Shannon defer Ennis and Buratty for a day. Instead drive from Limerick to Doolin through the Burren, and add the Cliffs of Moher (very close to Doolin).

On the way back Bunratty Castle, Ennis and (a bit farther away is Adare. You should be able to do this in one day. Would suggest staying at Dromoland Castle (if you care to back track a bit from Adare) or Adare Manor. Both are a bit of a splurge but worth it.

From Adare you may want to consider heading to Killarney for the Lakes drive and Muckross House. The drive is beautiful. You can continue on to Dingle from there for the night(s).

Have fun.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 12:19 PM
  #6  
Karen
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We drove through Ireland for about l week 2 years ago and had a great time. Driving is not difficult except in Dublin. We flew into Dublin and then drove to Galway on the western coast. I would not want to miss Galway; really a beautiful little town. We drove next to Dromoland castle and spent the night. The next stopover was in Dingle which was really great. We then drove through Killarney to Cork. I would skip Cork and also Limerick. Bunratty Castle is not much to see either; more of a tourist trap. We drove through Waterford and went through the crystal factory which was really interesting. We stayed the night in Kilkenny which is another magnificent town. We then drove on to Dublin for several nights before flying home. We stayed at the Fitzwilliam which was very nice and conveniently located. I liked ending up in Dublin and relaxing for a few days before flying home.
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 12:51 PM
  #7  
cd
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Hi Kelly
From the above poster RE: "From Shannon defer Ennis and Bunratty for a day. Instead drive from Limerick to Doolin through the Burren, and add the Cliffs of Moher (very close to Doolin)." This is excellent advice. We could see the clifs from our B&B in Doolin, so you are very close. And the Burren is a wonderful drive. Also agree with staying at Dromoland castle if you can splurge on it, it's worth it. The drive around the Dingle Peninsula INCLUDING Conor Pass is not to be missed as is the drive around Slea Head from Dingle town. Beautiful scenery. Make reservations for Dublin accomodations ASAP as they can be hard to come by. When renting a car, take out full coverage insurance as you are responible for any damage, even if someone else does the damaging. Have fun!
 
Old Mar 27th, 2002, 01:22 PM
  #8  
carolyn
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I think your itinerary sound great!

I agree with the others, driving is not bad at all! We flew into Shannon, spent our first night in Doolin, 2nd in Galway and then drove to Dublin. The traffic was a bit hairy in Dublin, but not much more than any major US city. We circled back, heading southwest through Kilkenny--great town to Cork (don't waste your time there) then finished in Dingle.

You should consider driving to the west, enjoy the scenary and small towns along the way and skip Limerick entirely. You could take a drive around the Ring of Kerry, beautiful views, but you'll encounter lots of tour buses.

Out of all the big cities, Galway was my favorite, very historical.

We only made reservations for our first night. When we got to our destination, we went to the Tourist Office, and they made B&B reservations for us... never a problem... even in Dublin.

I'm sure you'll love just about anywhere you go! It's a great country, filled with warm, friendly people.
 
Old Mar 28th, 2002, 03:59 AM
  #9  
mike
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Kelly, you might want to run your itinerary by Pat " the Ireland expert".
( http://irelandexpert.com/ )
 
Old Mar 28th, 2002, 12:11 PM
  #10  
Kelly
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Thanks for all the great advice! I was wondering, since many of you commented that Galway was nice but Limerick wasn't anything special, would it make more sense to take the train from Dublin to Galway instead of Limerick, and start my driving from there?

Also, I found a site on the web selling day long train tours from Dublin to various parts of Ireland. (www.goireland.com) This made me wonder if I'd be better off staying all four nights in Dublin, with a few train tours. I'd cover more ground, but would it be worth it? Any thoughts?

Thanks again!
 
Old Mar 28th, 2002, 01:29 PM
  #11  
Kathleen
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It is a better plan to take the train to Galway, as that puts you north of the Burren, and you're not back tracking. If you take a morning train, then rent a car, drive thru the Burren in the afternoon and stay in Doolin (don't miss the great music). Then in the morning see the Cliffs of Moher, the drive south thru Co. Clare, take the Tarbert Ferry instead of going thru Limerick, and head directly to Dingle. Is your riding tour giving you plenty of free time to explore the Dingle area? And are you keeping your rental car the whole time? If you don't have much free time on the tour, try to plan at least one free day on Dingle on your own. And then plan for a free day at the end so you can visit Adare & Bunratty on your last day.
 

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