Ireland: SW coast itinerary help

Old Aug 15th, 2003, 10:37 AM
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Ireland: SW coast itinerary help

Hello everyone! I'd love your help with planning three days on the SW coast (from Tuesday Sept 2 - Thursday 4). I'll have spent the weekend in Dublin, and Sunday night and Monday at Kinnitty Castle in County Offaly. Then, I've got a Friday morning flight out of Dublin.

In between I'd like to visit Dingle and the Ring of Kerry if possible. I've read several of the other posts which suggest that driving is slow-going, and I'd much prefer to have a wonderful time at one or two spots, rather than flying through many towns.

I'd like your help with a driving route from County Offaly (two hours west of Dublin), to Dingle, and back to Dublin. Suggstions on how to spend time, and favorite B&Bs would be much appreciated!

Also, if I've got a noon flight out of Dublin (to Paris), should I stay close to the airport on Thursday night, or would it be fine to stay in Dublin?

Thank you very much for all your help!
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Old Aug 15th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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I don't think you really have enough time to see both Dingle and the Ring of Kerry.
If you leave Birr on Tuesday morning, it will take about 4 hours to get to Dingle. (Birr to Limerick to Tralee to Dingle.) Conceivably, you could drive around the peninsula that afternoon and then leave on Wednesday morning to drive the Ring of Kerry before heading back to Dublin on Thursday. If you do this, though, you'll be driving for most of your three days.
Hard as it is...I'd pick just one. For me, it would be Dingle.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 09:39 PM
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Thanks MaryZ! You're right--my enthusiasm was getting the better of me. How does this sound: leave Birr Tuesday morning, spend Tuesday night in Dingle (maybe stop in Adare for lunch) and then make our way to Kilkenny for Wednesday night, and then head back to Dublin on Thursday? I hoped to stop in Cashel sometime on Wednesday, and take in Kilkenny Castle on Thursday before heading to Dubin. Is that reasonable? Any thoughts on how long it will take from Dingle to Cashel, and from Kilkenny to Dublin? Thanks to all the experts for making trip-planning much more fun!
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 10:05 PM
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The road from Kilkenny to Dublin airport, north of the city is probably around 2.5 hours as the road is a good main road. That's barring traffic on the main M50 motorway around the city, which can be heavy in the morning and evening rush hours.

Dingle to Cashel though, that route is going to use some smaller roads. I'm betting around 4 hrs of actual windshield time would be realistic.

Definitely if you have to pick, Dingle penninsula is a good scenic choice with interesting things to see. You can't go wrong there and Cashel is fascinating too, especially with a brief read of Irish history. Cool place. Have fun Firecracker.

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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 10:20 PM
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Clifton, thanks for your helpful advice! At the risk of boring you with driving details, would you let me know if this works, or if its too much:

leave Birr Tuesday morning, arrive in Dingle mid-afternoon and spend the night;

leave for Cashel on Wednesday morning...hopefully reach Cashel by early afternoon and take in the Rock. Do you know how long the drive is from Cashel to Kilkenny? (and any suggestions on a good route, its not particularly obivous from the maps)

Spend Wednesday night in Kilkenny. Thursday morning see the Castle, and then drive back to Dublin.

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Overall, I think it's pretty do-able. Sure you have a couple of longer drives to and from Dingle, but not horrible at all. It's hard not to have a couple of those if you're on the short schedule.

Cashel to Kilkenny is pretty easy. 1.5 hours on a bad day, probably closer to an hour. If I had to chose where to add or subtract time, I'd choose Cashel and Cahir over Kilkenny, to be honest. Just depends on what you like. Kilkenny is a nice castle and a larger town. The castle was updated along the way so that it has windows and a victorian interior. Very impressive and historic.

The Rock of Cashel is a huge ruin that's a pile of history on top of history. The seat of kings and religion for a number of generations.

Also though, just 10 miles due south of Cashel is Cahir. Cahir Castle was owned by the Butler family as was Kilkenny Castle. The difference is that Cahir's is the battlement type castle, not a manor home and it's not in ruins. You can climb over the walls and up into the towers with little restrictions. I enjoyed the heck out of this! If you ever saw the movie Excaliber, you saw Cahir Castle. Not to derail your plans, but I highly recommend the swing by! Cahir's a nice little town too.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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You've converted me, Clifton--we'll scrap Kilkenny and stay in Cashel. I've seen your others posts that speak very enthusiastically of Cahir, so we'll do that too!

Any suggestions on lodging in Cashel or Cahir? I've seen some of Debbie's posts on tour times at the Rock--so maybe we'll try the Rock on Wednesday evening, and then head down to Cahir on Thursday morning and then make for Dublin.

As always, thanks for all the help!
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 11:39 AM
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Hey there Firecracker.

This is doable, but be ready for some long mornings in the car. Both Birr -> Dingle and Dingle -> Cashel are going to be in the 4+ hr range. This means that if you get a quick start after breakfast, you probably still won't get there until after 2 in the afternoon.

I loved Dualla House just outside of Cashel.

All that said - If it was me - I wouldn't try for Dingle at all ( I know -Gasp! blasphemy)
I would spend the day in Killarney. See the park, MAYBE go to Moll's gap, see Muckross house etc. ( Just about 3 hrs from Birr to Killarney)

Then head on to Cashel the next day - only 2 1/2 or so hours to Cashel from Killarney. Should give you plenty of time to see both Cashel & Cahir. and if you really felt ambitious, possibly head on to Kilkenny (1 hr or so).

Be sure to book your last night in Dublin right away.

Good luck -
Debbie
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Firecracker,
We stayed at Rockside House in Cashel a few weeks ago. Big, bright, airy rooms. The best thing, though, was its location at the foot of the Rock. We did the tour late in the day after the buses left. The next morning, before the gates opened, we took our coffee over, sat on a bench, and just spent time gazing up at it. No people around, just us and the birds. Also gorgeous when it's lit up after dark.
Debbie's suggestion that you skip Dingle DID make me gasp, I'll admit.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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I know , I know - but I was just trying to balance the amount of time in the car, vs time to enjoy the area.

Dingle seems to me something that shouldn't be rushed , or crammed into a short 18hr visit, especially if if will take 4 hrs each way to get there.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 01:10 PM
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But, isn't a little Dingle better than no Dingle at all!
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 01:56 PM
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Thanks everyone, for the great advice and tips! Debbie, oof-its going to be VERY hard for me to skip Dingle...! For now, I'm going to plow on, and if gets tiring, we'll take your suggestion of Killarney.

Thanks to all for their time in helping plan a great trip!
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Looks like you got some choices when it comes to a place to stay in Cashel. We like Legends Guesthouse (www.legendsguesthouse.com) because of the view and because of the owners. I will say though that we may have to try Dualla House next time. Debbie has always spoke of it and has left me intrigued.

I think you're going to have a great trip from the sound of it and I'd still try to keep Dingle in that route. Awe inspiring!
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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I'm sure they will be times during the drive when I'll wish I'd gone with Debbie's recco--but for now, we're going to forge on to Dingle!
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