Ireland itinerary help needed!

Jul 30th, 2006, 04:08 PM
  #1  
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Ireland itinerary help needed!

**Repost to clarify subject.

I'm planning a trip to Ireland for October. Intend to rent a car and leave Dublin on a Tuesday morning and depart from Shannon airport Sunday morning. I need help planning the stays between then. Below is a tentative itinerary, however I'm afraid we'll be spending too much driving...

Tuesday - Depart Dublin. Stop at Waterford Crystal. Continue on to Cork. Overnight stay in Cork. (This would get a large portion of the driving done early on, but I'm concerned with the actual TIME it will take.)

Wednesday - Blarney Castle, then head to Killarney for 2 nights. Between Wed/Thurs, we'd like to do the Gap of Dunloe and the Ring of Kerry. Would also be staying in close proximity to Muckross House and Gardens.

Thursday - Full day in Killarney area.

Friday - Head to Bunratty for 2 nights. Over the next two days, would like to see Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Folk Park.

Saturday - Full day in Bunratty area.

I wanted to go to Galway on Saturday, but it seems it might be too much to do Cliffs and Bunratty in one day. I realize I'm trying to see too much in too little time, and I don't want to compromise my experience in Ireland with the constant rushing of trying to get from one place to another.

I'm open to itinerary changes or better suggestions. Any must-see places along the way? Also, if someone could provide realistic driving TIMES between the locations above (I've already seen mileage amounts and that's fine, it's the time that concerns me), I'd appreciate it. B&B suggestions are also welcome!! Thanks!
netak is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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rex
 
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ttt...
rex is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:56 AM
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hi netak:

A few things. If you have the milages, divide by 35 MPH and that will give you a pretty good estimate.

Dublin to Cork - Unless you have some overwhelming interest in Waterford Crystal, that's out of the way and will add a lot of time. Also, I wouldn't suggest staying in Cork. It's very confusing to drive in and there are better choices. Don't choose destinations in Ireland by the font size on the map. I would prefer Kinsale though you wouldn't se much of it by the time you got there.

Blarney Castle is Ireland's contribution to tourist traps. Visit Cahir in the town of Cahir instead. It's much more interesting. Cahir wouldn't be a bad choice for a 1st night stay.

You couldn't possibly do the Gap of Dunloe and the RoK in the same day. Both are a full day's adventure. Many prefer Dingle to the RoK. It is quite a bit more compact. I like both for different reasons. A drive through the middle of the RoK is quite nice. I would opt of the Gap of Dunloe over a drive around the RoK if the weather is good.

Perhaps spend a night in Doolin to see the cliffs and Burren and spend your last night in Bunratty. I'm not a huge fan of the folk park and it tends to be fairly crowded on a Saturday, but perhaps a bit less so in October. The castle is nice when it isn't crowded.

There's a start. Hope it helps.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Bill,

This is exactly the type of information I need. I've decided to forgo Waterford Crystal, but I definitely want to stop at the Blarney Castle. Tourist trap, yes...but I know I will feel regret if I don't kiss the stone.

I wasn't anticipating doing RoK and Gap of Dunloe in the same day, but after reading what you and others have said elsewhere, I think we'll go for Dingle instead.

I also wasn't planning on staying directly in Cork, but looking on the outskirts. I will take your recommendation however and look into places near Cahir the 1st night.

I'd like to know more about the Bunratty area. I was only planning on staying there as it seemed a good "base" for the last 2 nights. (and it's close to the airport) How far are the Cliffs and Burren from there?

Thanks for all of your input....I really appreciate it!!
netak is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 04:55 PM
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I just returned last Monday from Ireland. I will start by saying we did a lot of driving. At times it was very slow and tense, but we had a great time. We also started in Dublin. We stopped at Waterford Crystal. Now I must say, I love Waterford crystal and I always have since my grandmother gave me my first piece for my wedding present almost 30 years ago. To my sister and I Waterford was well worth the stop. We then drove to Cashel. Cashel was lovely. We got lost in Cork City for hours. It became a joke. We tried to find our way to Cobh. We gave up and went on to Cashel.We did finally get to Cobh after being in Kinsale a day we back tracked. Then the next day we went to Kinsale. Kinsale was my favorite place I think in Ireland. I love the sea, and the people there were so nice. But the people I must say were nice everywhere.
You also talked about Blarney castle, again we loved it. It was not crowed when we were there. The grounds were beautiful and peaceful.I am not the greatest when it comes to heights and I climbed to the top of the castle and I am glad I did. I also loved Dingle, again I think it was the sea thing. The Cliffs of Mohr were also beautiful but we didn't care for Doolin at all. Just not our cup of tea, in fact I was some what suprised everyone on this board always raves about Doolin. You couldn't pay me to go back. Bunratty castle was interesting. It gives you a very good look of what a castle looked like with all of the rooms with furniture. But boy, it got busy really fast, we got there right when it opened and we got out as fast as possible, as it became very crowded quickly. But I think it was still worth a quick peek. We did not do the ring of Kerry. Our interest was things like ringforts, stone houses, stone circles, bee hives, slea head drive. We just had our guide book out and drove and didn't keep very good track. So I am only going by my picture log, sorry. If any of my places sound good, I can let you know about the B & B's we stayed in. Some were great and some not so great. Ireland was wonderful. I can't wait to go back. This time my husband wants to go. He who does not like to travel, but after he took a look at my pictures he is now hooked!
ps: Rent a small car,ours was automatic and zip tie your hub caps on! (or maybe you've drove in Europe before?)
hester is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Hester. I would be interested in knowing where you stayed in Cashel, Kinsale Dingle and Dublin. Good or Bad.Thanks
lyban is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:33 PM
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Hester,

You seem to have followed a similar route my friend and I are planning. I'd love to hear your opinions on the B&B's you stayed in (and where they were in relation to the sights you saw) I've got the airfare, car rental, and Dublin hotel booked...I just can't seem to get this part finalized. My email is [email protected] (anyone else with suggestions is free to email as well!)

Thanks,
Karen
netak is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Hi Karen:

I'm not sure why Doolin was so bad for Hester though I'm sure it was very crowded in the high season. I don't think I would go there in July or August, but it is a great jumping off point for the cliifs, the burren and a drive down towards loop head. I've stayed there many times. You need to know where to go.

Some people will complain about Kinsale also. Overpriced and sometimes very crowded. Doolin though, attracts a much younger "hostel" type crowd. That could be a big negative. I had a great night in Doolin in November once. You are more likely to find good trad in Doolin, though many towns in Clare will have great trad.

The closest I've stayed to Cork is Kinsale so I don't have a great suggestion in the nearby area. Mallow could be an option and Blarney is teaming with B&Bs. If you are going to the castle, you might as well stay there. It would be a good choice. Yes, by the way, the grounds are lovely at Blarney and in Oct, it will quite likely be pretty quiet.

The Cliffs of Moher are about 1:15 from Bunratty. After rethinking, you could certainly spend both nights in Bunratty and for evening entertainment, also consider Ennis. Lots of good trad there. Cruises pub is famous for that. In addition to the folk park, you might consider Cragganowen which is just east of Quinn. The Quinn Abbey is an interesting site also.

Joy's Rock House in Cashel gets very good reviews. The Shores on the Dingle Peninsula is my favorite. I stayed at the Cephas House in Kinsale and appreciated the slightly longer walk back after an evening of Murphy's. In Dublin I've stayed at the Pembroke Townhouse and the Jury's Christchurch. I liked them both. The Pembroke Townhouse was in a beautiful neighborhood. Jury's was VERY convenient.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Here is where my sister and went and stayed along our journey. By the way we are both in our early 50's, but 20's in hearts and spirit!
Dublin-Fitzwilliam Guest House-recommend by a consult at Rick Steves in Edmonds. BAD CHOICE! Room was shabby, but we can handle that, breakfast was bad we could also handle that and really out of the way. But the corker was an alarm in the building across the street went off for about 45 minutes in the middle of the night. When we asked about it the next morning the receptionist was honest and stated sometimes it goes off almost every night! We were booked to stay there at the end of our trip, so when we explored Dublin we looked for somewhere else to stay.

Night 3 Cashel- Ladyswell House B&B
There had been a bad report of this B&B awhile back. We found it WONDERFUL! It was clean, the room was spacious, the owner was a very nice lady. The breakfast was to die for. From my experience I would highly recommend it. Oh yes, from our room you could see the rock! I loved Cashel. We got there around 6pm and still had plenty of time to walk all around. It didn't get dark untill 10:30.
On the way to Cashel from Dublin we stopped at Jerpoint Abbey. I really enjoyed it. We stopped at Kilkenny. We also stopped at Waterford to buy crystal.

Night 4 & 5 Kinsale- Old Presbytery B&B
We left Cashel and went to Mallow and Buttevant. Our Great-Grandfather is from Buttevant so we spent some time there in the old abbey looking at graves. We visited many Heritage centers along the way.
I have to say Kinsale was my favorite place in ireland. I love to be by the water and the flavor of the town. It was not to crowed for me. We went to a local pub The White House and talked to the people there and they were locals and not tourists. They were all so nice we even exchanged addresses. Our B& B was amazing as others on Fodors have said in the past and they were right.

Night 6 Kenmare-Landsdowne Arms Hotel
Nice hotel. We ate at Prego for dinner which food was very good, service poor. The Jam had great pastry.

Night 7 & 8 Dingle- Bambury's
Great B&B good location, very short walking distance into town. We never ate the breakfast, we were up and out both days! I loved Dingle, again I think it was the water thing. I went out on the boat to see Fungi the dolphin, it was fun.

Night 9 & 10-Seaview House
Doolin or was suppose to be Doolin.
As I stated we did not care for Doolin. It was not over crowded it was dead! To walk anywhere at night would be taking your life in your hands. The store keepers we thought were rude. The one bright spot was the manager of a hostel/B&B where we ate dinner who was nice. Our car was making noise and he checked it out for us. To top it off we felt Seaview House misrepresented itself. I fell alsleep pretty fast but my sister could hear everything and I mean everything that went on in the room next door, bathroom and all. So we went to Dublin the next day. The Cliffs of Mohr were spectacular and I think everyone should try to see them. But I don't ever plan on going back to Doolin.

Night 10,11,12 Dublin
Jury's Inn Christchurch
Great Hotel. We got it for the same price as the Fitzwilliam Guest House. Jury's also came with a wonderful breakfast. The location was perfect, it was clean, the staff was helpful. When I go back to Dublin I will stay there again. We spent a lot of time in Dublin but I am into genealogy so it was heaven to me, to have Ireland's archives and Library and they give free help.

I didn't have time tonight to go into my favorite sights, but tomarrow I can.
My favorite place to stay was Kinsale and Old Presbytery (they have car parking which is great and you can walk anywhere from there in the town).
My best meal was the Lobster I had at Fishy,Fishy in Kinsale.

Ireland was everything I dreamed it would be and so much more. I can't wait to go back. After my husband saw my pictures (ALL 800) he now wants to go! Back to Rome 2007, Ireland 2008!
hester is offline  

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