Ireland 'must do's'?

Feb 20th, 2012, 07:45 PM
Original Poster
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Ireland 'must do's'?

My family and I will be in Ireland for a week - 6 days in Enniskerry, south of Dublin. ' Kids' are 22 & 25. With such a short time, what are some ideas for making the most of our time and seeing the most of the Emerald Isle? We have a rental car, but are a little hesitant to drive. Thanks!
Faloola is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 01:14 AM
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Enniskerry is a nice spot in the Wicklow Hills close to Glendalough. If you don't want to be too adventurous then walks in the Wicklow Hills (you are close to the beautiful Glendalough and Powers Court gardens and stately home) and excursions to nearby Dublin,would be a great way to spend your time. Whatever you do don't try to cram too much in. There are a good few attractions in Dublin city centre (Guinness centre, Kilmainham prison (where the 1916 leaders were executed) and the old Georgian streets. If you want to be more adventurous try Kerry or Galway for a couple of days. They are about 4-6hours drive away so they would take up a fair slice of your time. A day trip to belfast is worthwhile (2 hours from Dublin in the train). You don't say what time of year though. Also Dublin Bay is spectacular. You will be close to Dalkey village which is by the sea and pretty. You could catch a DART train from there to Howth, which is on the other side of the bay and is a lovely fishing port with nice restaurants (journey time 1 hour). Hope this is of help. As I say, don't try too much. Connemara near Galway is incredible but really worth 4 or 5 days on its own.
Good luck.
stemplar1 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 02:19 AM
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road tripping around Ireland is a tonne of fun. beautiful historic for me Ring of
Kerry drive rugged scenic.Easy driving in rural areas
as long as you remeberto stay on the left. Avis cheap for me there. has some nice videos
of family road trips there.
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 02:20 AM
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A visitors guide to the Ring of Kerry Ireland - includes the towns of Rossbeigh - Glenbeigh - Killorglin - Milltown - Castlemaine - Cahersiveen - Waterville - Kenmare ...
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 05:26 AM
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It looks as if all of your time is in Enniskerry so won't suggest placces in SE or on west coast.

Powerscourt Waterfall is within a short drive of Enniskerry. Nice walks there.

From Enniskerry there is a bus to the station in Bray and frequent trips from there into Dublin.

Glendalough has already been mentioned. A bit farther but easily doable in a day, is Avoca. Avoca is the Ballykissangel of the PBS show. Also handweaving mill, the oldest handweaving mill in continuous operation in Ireland.

The Eyewitness Guide to Ireland (library or bookstore) has good directions for a drive which begins and ends in Enniskerry.

Please take advantage of your car. Up in the Wicklow Hills, heavy traffic is not an issue. Wonderful views and plenty of sights to see.
irishface is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 09:40 AM
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We are actually staying in Powerscourt and have seen reference to the falls. I haven't read a lot of positive comments about driving in Ireland, in all due respect, so I'm thinking of driving south to Bray/surrounding areas and taking public transporation, if needed. We might be adventurous and drive south, but Dublin sounds like the place to avoid if you're new to Ireland.
Faloola is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 03:21 PM
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You are so right to avoid driving in Dublin itself! Narrow streets, streets that change names all of a sudden, tons of traffic, parking very expensive. But once out of the city not so bad.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
irishface is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2012, 10:52 AM
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I'll second both Powerscourt Falls and the Gardens. And Glendalough is one of my favorite places on earth. Bray is a nice village by the seaside. Yes, avoid driving in Dublin. When in the Wicklow mountains, though, just choose a road and drive, and enjoy the views!
GreenDragon is offline  
Feb 24th, 2012, 12:05 PM
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I've just sorted out some new photos of Glendalough if you'd like to see what a beautiful place it is.
JeremyinFrance is offline  
Feb 24th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Go to Johnnie Fox's pub close to Enniskerry- the highest pub in Ireland. They have a "hooley" room where there is often a traditional music session. Think they have music in the bar most nights too. They do nice pub grub so you could maybe head there after a day out touring and take in a meal and a bit of music! Their chowder is really nice! I'm Irish and I have to say I have spent a few sundays at a session there and didn't find it too touristy or twee. Though there are of course quite a few tourists there. Definitely a must do.
CailinDeas is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 01:24 AM
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Since you will be based in a very nice area, I see no reason to waste hours on the road to get to far away places on the island just for a day trip.
There will be more than enough to keep you entertained within an hour's drive from your home base.

When exploring the Wicklow Mtns, I'd strongly suggest to make use of the many trails and get away from the folks who just walk 100 yards from the parking lot to the "Kodak view point at the lake" and back.

Furthermore, you will find a wealth of suggestions on the counties' regional tourist websites. Just google tourist information + Wicklow or Carlow or Kildare.
In Carlow, just as an example, they got a nice "House and Gardens scenic drive" than takes you to places like Altamont. Not that you would not have one of the finest examples already on your door step with Powerscourt.

Dublin would make an easy day trip. You will find all the options to get from Enniskerry to Dublin by public transport here:

Newgrange/ Bru na Boinne is easily accessible by car as you bypass Dublin on the M50 motorway and then head North a bit on M1. So you won't have to deal with inner city traffic.

For more potential sights, also the official website of offers a wealth of suggestions.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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Some suggestions:

Kilruddery House and Gardens, Bray/Greystones

Walk from Bray to Greystones on coastal path and get DART back to Bray.

Further south:

Avondale House and grounds in Vale of Avoca.

Wexford town


A bit further south, but worth visiting: Kilmore Quay - nice fishing village, pubs, seafood, etc.

Avoca village.
Padhraicin is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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Make sure you see the memorials to the 15 Irish patriots who were brutally murdered by General John Maxwell of the British army without a fair trial after the 1916 Easter uprising and the reverence with which the Irish people hold these patriots. It will give you some idea of why the passions of the Irish people rose up so high to throw the British out when most of them did not support the aims of the rebels and booed them as they were led off but after the inhumane manner in which the British treated them, it will help you better understand the origins of the troubles in Ireland.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Hi Faloola,

My suggestion: THE IRISH NATIONAL STUD – lovely farm where the most beautiful horses in the world are bred and raised, about a 45 minute drive from Dublin in County Kildare.

The site also includes thoroughbred museum, Japanese Garden, and Irish garden dedicated to St. Fiachras, patron saint of gardens. If I recall, there is also a restaurant/ gift shop – something for all ages.

To see those beautiful thoroughbreds and their colts cavorting about in this setting remains one of my most treasured memories of Eire…
latedaytraveler is offline  
Feb 27th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Posts: 158
Jeremy - lovely photos! Thanks for posting.
Spivonious is offline  

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