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Ireland Itinerary: Shannon to Clifden to Dingle to Kenmare to Shannon reasonable with 10 nights?

Ireland Itinerary: Shannon to Clifden to Dingle to Kenmare to Shannon reasonable with 10 nights?

Aug 1st, 2006, 05:28 PM
  #1  
dcd
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Ireland Itinerary: Shannon to Clifden to Dingle to Kenmare to Shannon reasonable with 10 nights?

I've been reading a lot of Irish trip reports here as I start to put together our trip to Ireland next May. Right now I'm thinking (hoping) to leave St Louis on May 16 (Wed) and return May 27 (Sun of Memorial Day weekend). That would be 10 nights in Ireland. We've never been before. We enjoy beautiful scenery, hiking, castles, small town meandering, gardens, etc. I'm thinking of flying in and out of Shannon. Looks like the flights into Shannon tend to arrive pretty early in the morning (6:00am-8:30am). Despite DW's concerns, we'll rent a car. We love friendly and charming B&Bs, which appear to be an Irish specialty.

On the day of arrival, I'm thinking about heading to Clifden and staying 2 nights. Any B&B recommendations? Then heading for the Dingle Peninsula. Would that be too much driving for one day? If so, any suggestions on a city and B&B for the night? Then spend 3 nights in Dingle and it sounds like The Shores would be an excellent B&B there. Then to Kenmare for 3 nights, possibly staying at the Sallyport House. Then head back to Shannon with a night in Bunratty before leaving the next day.

Any comments and suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks!!

Dave
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 08:32 AM
  #2  
dcd
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Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 09:27 AM
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It is doable. How about this?

1st night- Doolin (less driving first day and fun trad music). Stop at the Cliffs of Moher first.
2nd- Clifden, through Cong and by Lough Corrib
3rd- Clifden, spend day driving through Doo Lough valley, stopping at Kylemore Abbey.
4th- drive to Dingle, taking the Tarbert ferry. Spend one night at the Shores in Castlegregory.
5th- take Connor Pass to Dingle, spend night there.
6th- Dingle. Do Slea Head Drive. Fabulous!
7th- drive to Kenmar, spend the day in Killarney Park
8th- Kenmare, Mizen peninsula is wonderful
9th- Kenmare
10th- Bunratty.

I have been all the places you mentioned. Click on my username and look for 2 trip reports, "How Ireland was Wet Sept 04" and "Ireland Trip Report Sept 03".
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 04:30 PM
  #4  
dcd
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edhodge, thanks for the suggestions. And thanks for the 2 trip reports. Very helpful and informative. Knowing what you know now, would you visit the Cong or just head to the SW part of Ireland with 10 nights?
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 07:27 AM
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DH loved the Connemara. I loved Dingle. Neither of us loved Kinsale but we both enjoyed Kenmare. I am glad that we went south but I will go farther north next time, on to Donegal. I don't have to stop at Cong again but would definitely spend more time in that area. Does that help?
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 10:21 AM
  #6  
dcd
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Sure does. I guess I'm looking to mix up the sightseeing and it sounds like the Connemara area would offer a nice contrast to the parts futher south and west.

What do you think about spending the 9th night in Killarney instead of Kenmare? Also for the Dingle nights, any downside to spending all the nights at the Shores, since everyone raves about it, versus staying in Dingle itself for a couple of nights?

Thanx again!
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
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I'm one of the original ravers having stumbled across The Shores back in 2000. The downside is the drive over Connor Pass. If you drink heavily, that would be a mistake, otherwise, not so bad. Most of the Connor Pass road has been widened substantially though there still is a narrow spot. From the top of that narrow spot you can easily see the entire road so you know if you have to wait for others to come through.

Personally, I would stay at The Shores. I never drink enough that I have an issue, usually I nurse it when I know I have to drive. By the way, Guinness is very low alcohol, very similar to 3.2 ABW in the States. It is 4.0 ABV which is about the same I believe.

Bill
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Oh, another suggestion. Instead of staying in Clifden, consider staying on Lough Corrib. I stayed in Oughterard and enjoyed my stay quite a bit. We stayed on the lake and a tour of Connemara from there is quite easy. You could still see Clifden and Kylemore from there. The tour of the Abbey is not particularly interesting IMO. Only four room. The chapel down the walking trail is quite lovely. If you're into trip reports, here are three more.

http://www.geocities.com/obeirne_ireland_2002/index.htm

http://www.geocities.com/obeirne_ireland_2003/

http://www.geocities.com/obeirne_ireland_2005_1/


Bill
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Aug 3rd, 2006, 04:28 PM
  #9  
dcd
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Bill, thanks for chiming in. Great trip reports!!!! Any other thoughts on the itinerary? And would you recommend one night in Killarney on the way back to Shannon instead of 3 nights in Kenmare? Dave
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Aug 6th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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I am not a huge fan of Killarney- crowded but there is good shopping there. There is a lot to see in that area.
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Aug 8th, 2006, 11:20 AM
  #11  
dcd
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edhodge, thanks.
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