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Ireland - Thoughts? Kerry, Waterford, Belfast?

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Ireland - Thoughts? Kerry, Waterford, Belfast?

Old Jul 18th, 2015, 09:20 AM
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Ireland - Thoughts? Kerry, Waterford, Belfast?

My wife has to go to Cork for work and I'm going to head over and meet her in Ireland for a week or so. To that end, we have some days to fill. First, the fixed part of our schedule:

- My wife arrives in Dublin (from India) around 2:30 on Friday 21 August; I will arrange my flights (coming from Switzerland) to arrive before her
- We need to be in Cork by Monday the 24th - we can show up as late as 10:30 or so in Cork
- My wife will free up after work on the 26th.
- I have a flight out of Cork on Sunday the 30th, early in the morning so we will spend the night in Cork on the 29th; my wife will stay in Cork for work the first couple of days in September.
- We are currently thinking we will rent a car in Dublin and return it to Cork on the 30th.

So, we have some decisions to make for a couple of weekends bookending the time in Cork, and was hoping for some thoughts.

We were definitely thinking heading up to the Ring of Kerry area for the second weekend, but I was hoping for some thoughts:
- Should we head up after work on the 26th from Cork or just go up Thursday morning? We were leaning toward just heading up Thursday morning since we aren't certain exactly when my wife will finish work. Either way, it should give us pretty much 3 full days as it is
- Should we stay in one place (likely Killarney) or stay somewhere out on the peninsula like Portmagee for one night and maybe Killarney the other?
- Best route from Cork to the area? Should we just go with the most direct route from the GPS or is there a more scenic route worth taking?
- Any other thoughts or recommendations for the area?

That leaves open the first weekend. Dublin is out - we've been there and want to do something else this time.
- We have always wanted to go to Belfast and that was one thought. It should be an easy drive from Dublin, but it means at least 4 hours drive to get from Belfast to Cork on Sunday. Any thoughts?
- Otherwise, we were thinking somewhere "on the way" to Cork. Kilkenny, Waterford, or Wexford maybe? Any thoughts on any of these areas being preferable to the other or to Belfast?

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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I loved Belfast and the north coast. Can you put off the car rental till Sunday? There are two buses that leave from Dublin airport and will take you to Belfast quickly. Friday night in Belfast, could do a black cab tour. Sunday I would do a McCombs tour of the coast. Sunday, take the bus back to Dublin, pick up your car or take a train to Cork and rent one there.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 10:07 AM
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http://journeyplanner.irishrail.ie/b...xe/en?OK#focus

6 hours and no traffic.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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aircoach.ie/timetables/route-705-x-belfast-d…

translink.co.uk/Services/…


we took airlink express because it was first to leave after our arrival in Dublin.


http://www.hastingshotels.com/europa-belfast/

Crown saloon across the street
The black cab tours run all afternoon into evening
http://www.niblacktaxitours.com/

tour we took but am sure most are good.
We did the game of thrones tour with McCombs, smaller bus and loved it.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 02:15 PM
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My recommendation would to be to head for Killarney on the Thursday morning by the direct route. Spend the rest of the day visiting Torc waterfall, Muckross House and farms, Roch Castle. Drive up the Gap of Dunloe in the evening once all the jaunting cars have finished for the day.

Next day drive the ring of Kerry. Make sure you drive up to the stone ring fort of Staigue and also Cahergal and Leacanabuile.

Final day do either the ring of Beara or else explore the Dingle Peninsula. Both are easily done from Killarney.



How comitted are you to Belfast as opposed to seeing more of Ireland. One thing you will need to bear in mind is that the Republic of Ireland uses the euro, Belfast uses pounds sterling.

Have you been to Newgrange? If not this is a well worthwhile visit from Dublin. Spend the Friday night somewhere around the airport. This has the advantage of allowing for your wife's plane to be late and to give her plenty of time to get through cutoms,immigration and pick up her bags. It also means you won't be hitting the road while she is still jet lagged. After breakfast, head for Newgrange. This is one of the best passage tombs in the world, and is over 5000 years old. Entry is by guided tour and numbers are limited. Plan to arrive early to make of a place on the tour so you don't have a long wait. If time allows also plan to visit Knowth too. This is less famous than Newgrnage but just as good with some amazing neolithic stone sculptures.

Afterwards drive to Trim which is a nice Irish town with a splendid castle or else visit Tara, once the ancient seat of power in Ireland.

Next day drive trhough the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough, one of the most magical early Christian monasteries in Ireland with its old buldings and round towers set beside a lake. Allow at least a couple of hours to do the site justice. Then continue to Avoca, a delightful small town next to the river. Then head across to kilkenny for the night. If there is time, visit Kilkenny Castle

Next day visit Rock of Cashel, a stunning castle towering over the town on top of a rock. Again allow a good couple of hours to do this justice. Cahir Castle is also worth a visit and you may also want to have a look at the once walled town of Clonmell. It has a nice old church and one of the old gateways into the town. Then hea for Cork.

If you don't want to visit Newgrange then spend a day exploring round Cork and the bottom corner of Ireland. Blarney Castle is popular with tourists wanting to kiss the Blarney stone. Cobh with its brightly coloured houses is worth a look. Kinsale is often described as the 'food town of Ireland'and is another old fishing port. Then depending on time, head to Clonakilty, described as Ireland's tidiest town. Now a lot depends on time. You could continue to Skibbereen and up to Bantry before heading back to Cork.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 02:59 PM
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Can you put off the car rental till Sunday?

We certainly could, but the options to get back to Cork without it aren't the best. The train adds around 2.5 hours and requires a connection in Dublin where we would have to cross the city. The bus would actually probably be better, but I'm leaning toward the car. Definitely something to consider, though.

I appreciate the vote for Belfast.

How comitted are you to Belfast as opposed to seeing more of Ireland.

Not terribly committed. My wife is maybe more interested than me; I'm a bit put off by the fact that it is about as out of the way as you can get.

One thing you will need to bear in mind is that the Republic of Ireland uses the euro, Belfast uses pounds sterling.

We will be in London the weekend before (not to mention, I will be coming from Switzerland and she from India), so we will have to deal with the multiple currency hassles no matter what. We typically don't keep a lot of cash on hand and rely on cards as much as we can.

The rest of your post is filled with a lot of fantastic ideas. I appreciate the thoughtful response.
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Old Jul 18th, 2015, 03:12 PM
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If you go from Cahir to Cobh, instead of taking the N8 head toward Lismore and this will take you on the gorgeous Vee Drive with several photo stops.

Cobh also has a lovely cathedral as well as the Titanic Experience and the Cobh Experience.

In County Wexford, New Ross is home to the Dunbrody, a replica famine ship.

Between Bantry and Kenmare, at Glengarriff a ferry will take you to Garinish (or Garnish) Island. Lovely gardens.
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