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Ireland Itinerary late Feb. Advice needed.

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Dec 31st, 2004, 07:44 AM
  #1
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Ireland Itinerary late Feb. Advice needed.

First the details. Iím flying into Shannon. Iíll be arriving Fri. 25 Feb. 2005 and departing Tue. 1 Mar and Iíll be traveling alone. After reviewing numerous guide books, I decided my top priority was to tour some castles. Iíve always had an interest in things medieval, and thatís something you definitely canít do in Chicago. Unfortunately, most are closed over the winter, with a few exceptions.

At first I was planning on a couple of nights in Kilkenny, reputed to be the most medieval town in Ireland, and it has an open castle. They I realized that in County Tipperary, there is Castle Cahir, which sounds like one of the best preserved in Ireland. Also, thereís the Rock of Cashel and several other sites. My time is short, so I decided to skip Kilkenny after learning that their castle was lived in until fairly recently and is more modern than medieval. The only room I could find in Co. Tipperary was a farmhouse B&B south of Clomnel.

My itinerary would be as follows.

Arrive Fri. - Check in to hotel
Sat. - Tour County Tipperary
Sun.-Tour Limerick
I would like to see an Irish city, and the Hunt
Museum is supposed to be the best outside of
Dublin. Later Sun. check into Old Ground Hotel,
Ennis. Iím flying out first thing in the morning, so I
want to be near the airport, and would like to spend
at least two nights in one place.
Mon. - Drive up through the Burren and Cliffs of Mohr to
sample some of Irelands natural beauty.
Tue. - Depart

The one problem Iím having is Iím apprehensive about a cross country drive on Friday, after having been up 24 hr. or more on the flight over. So what Iím thinking about doing is spending the first two nights at the Travelodge, Limerick. Itís on the ring road, very close to Shannon with plenty of parking. Then I could do a day trip to County Tipperary on Sat. Itís less than an hour and a half drive, and I was planning to be in Limerick on Sunday anyway. True, it certainly wonít have the charm of a farmhouse B&B, but I might feel a lot better about staying of the roads as much as possible on Friday. I could also spend Saturday night in Clomnel, though I do like to get settled into a place instead of moving around so much.

Please let me know if you think there are any changes I should make to my itinerary.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions you have.
flamingomonkey is offline  
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Dec 31st, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Rather than head to Limerick on arrival why not stop at Bunratty only a few minutes from the airport. There are many good B&Bs in the area and you could wander Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on the afternoon of your arrival.
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Dec 31st, 2004, 11:45 AM
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You'll have a short time there and it's good that you're not trying to do too much. Here are a few suggestions.

I'm not a huge fan of Limerick. It is pretty easy to get lost in it while driving, but if you want to see the Hunt Museum you can go there. I wouldn't devote a whole day to it. I certainly wouldn't spend two days in a Travelodge when there are so many nice B&Bs to stay in. Most B&Bs won't be full and may offer you a discount from the single rate.

You should be able to make it to Cahir or Cashel on the first day, though be sure to get out of the car a number of times. It's about 2-2.5 hours if you don't get lost in Limerick. Just take your time and pull over as many times as you need. There is a pretty drive as you come through Tipperary that takes you through the Glen of Aherlow and then back to the N24. Consider it if you find you have enough energy. There is a wonderful overlook along the way which is a great place to get out of the car, get some fresh air and wake up.

Rooms in Tipperary. Clonmel is a bit further than you need to go. I went to www.townandcountry.ie and looked for rooms in Cahir and Cashel. Each showed five B&Bs open in February. With your interest in castles, you may want to consider staying at Carrigeen Castle, which isn't actually a castle but an old jail. It's an intersting building, quite affordable with a quirky owner. Be kind to her and she will be kind to you. It's certainly worth a stay once.

If you want to spend the 1st night around the airport check out the B&Bs in Bunratty. The Castle and folk park are open year around. Both the Rock and Cahir Castle are open year around also.

With the short period of time that you will be in Ireland, I wouldn't worry about settling in. Obviously you will be able to travel light so in this case, though not my favorite choice, I would stay the night in Tipperary.

I hope this helps.

Bill
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Dec 31st, 2004, 12:15 PM
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..would echo comments re Limerick..Not a very attractive city and if I had such a short time to visit this would not be high on my list.
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Jan 1st, 2005, 02:56 AM
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We did the same weekend Ireland trip last year: arrived Shanon Friday and departed Tuesday - air fares were great! Be sure to visit the Tourist shop in Lahinch (the only ATM we could find was right there at the door). He had 30% off everything.

Have you considered Dromoland Castle (where George W. Bush stayed in June)?

We stayed at an Ennis B&B the whole time: day-tripped Saturday to Galway and Monday to west Clare (Cliffs of Moher, Lahinch, Doolin & the Burren, etc.). Sunday, after 11 AM Mass we had the Carvery lunch at the Queens Hotel, then went next door to Cruise's Restaurant & Pub where we enjoyed an impromptu 'Trad' Irish music session for a couple of hours.

In Limerick City, I recommend the Carvery lunch at the Railway Hotel (right across from the bus station).
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Jan 1st, 2005, 07:03 AM
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Yes, a stay in Bunratty area a good idea including touring the castle and grounds. I'd recommend Rocklands B&B and I know hostess Mary Slattery or daughter Marie will pick you up and/or deliver you to the Castle or Durty Nellies as needed. Then a taxi in a.m. to airport. Is nearby Craggaunowen (reconstructed Bronze Age display incl. St. Brendan-like ship) open I wonder?

Bill [email protected]
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Jan 1st, 2005, 07:41 AM
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I flew into Shannon from Chicago recently. The flight gets in around 9 a.m. It seems a waste to lose that whole first day. I was able to sleep a couple hours on the plane, drove to Clifden and had a good afternoon and evening. Though Clifden may be a bit far for a first timer, one could easily make it to Ennis (we stayed at the Old Ground--very nice), get lunch and a good nap, and enjoy the Friday night traditional music at Cruises or one of the other pubs. If you get a good night's sleep that first night, you're good to go for the rest of the time--which you don't have a lot of!! Have a great trip!!!
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Jan 4th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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It might help to know your profile (i.e., M or F, age, etc.). Limerick can be a fun town: with a prestigious University and a busting port. It used to be called: 'stab city;' but I think that name belongs more to places like Sligo (or maybe even Dublin) now.

In Limerick City The Hunt Museum is definitely worth a visit - you might check to be sure they are open Sundays in wintertime. You should also see the Traety Stone (at King John's Castle?). I enjoyed the Carvery lunch at Locke's Rest. & Pub on George's Quay.

You can even do an 'Angela's Ashes' walk: escorted from the Arthur's Quay ITB during the tourist season; other times they will sell you a map. My people are from west Limerick: on my return I often stay at the Railway Hotel, just across the street from the Bus/Train station. Thus, I catch the 7:45 AM bus to Shannon airport: the people at the hotel get me breakfast at 7 AM.

Sunday nights, there is what I call Irish Country & Western music at the Royal George Hotel on O'Connell St. Other weekend nights, head for Dolan's on Dock Street: Contemporary Music.

The music at Cruise's in Ennis is very good on weekends. It starts at 10:00 PM Fridays & Saturdays BUT, you could run into an impromptu (pick up) session there any Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Have you tried the Riverside B&B in Tipperary Town? I think they offer a single ensuite for 43-Euro. They say they're just a 5-minute walk from the town center: advice from experience is that you should NEVER believe an Irish person when they tell you about distances & walking. Once I was trying to 'hitch' a ride from the Old Glantan Cemetary down to Devon Cross (N-21): a small 50-ish lady strutted past me. As she passed, I asked how far it was to Devon Cross; she replied: "it's just at the bottom of the hill." About 2-miles later I got to the N-21 and was able to 'hitch' a ride back to NewCastleWest.

Are you aware that Cahir Castle is/was a Prison? Think about Joliet & there you have it. So much for Castles ...
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Jan 4th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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Thank you, Nedsireland, I was trying to remember the B&B we stayed in, and it was Riverside, right near Bunratty Castle, in August. It was very nice & clean, a working farm & we awoke to the sound of the milk truck picking up. We were invited to see the milking operation, and it was just awesome. We stayed there for 2 nights, and the hostess was very kind, & served very good breakfast. We drove through Limerick, but never stopped & went on to Kinsale, my favorite place. Try to get a day or two there, it was wonderful.

I'm so jealous, can't wait to go back. Have a great trip.
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Jan 4th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Leona,
Can you recommend a B&B in Kinsale? We'll be there in July and would love to hear from someone who knows the area.

Thanks so much!
Andee
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Jan 4th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Andee:

We stayed at the Cephas House and liked it. It was a short walk to town but still with an incredible view of the harbor. The room with the balcony is quite nice. The only warning is that all of the floors are pine board and it can be just a bit noisy if you are asleep very early and there are late revelers coming in. The way around that is to be a late reveler.

Here is the page where I talk about Kinsale and a bit about Cephas House. There are other pics on the "more pictures" link.
http://www.geocities.com/obeirne_ire...03/kinsale.htm

Bill
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Jan 25th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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flamingomonkey: Like wojazz3, I am also not a huge fan of Limerick. However, the surrounding areas can be quite enjoyable. I would also recommend the castle dinners at Bunratty - they're touristy for sure, but entertaining nevertheless. Ennis is quite nice and quaint, and the Cliffs are absolutely spectacular. Be prepared to dress warmly; it's quite windy, and damp, at the top. If you're staying in Limerick I would recommend the Killmurry Lodge. It's near the university, not in the center of town so it's a good drive or cab ride if you want night life. In my previous Limerick hotel experiences, it's right there at the top. Not fancy, but clean and safe. have fun!
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