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ireland west coast -- best towns & pubs for trad music

ireland west coast -- best towns & pubs for trad music

Sep 23rd, 2010, 06:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
ireland west coast -- best towns & pubs for trad music

hello. my husband and i plan to travel to ireland for a week in the fall to celebrate his 40th birthday. This trip is solely to concentrate on best pubs for trad music, good pub food and picturesque scenery would be nice as well. we plan to drink our fare share of guiness pints so don't want to have a car (i know this will limit us). right now i'm looking at galway (for a larger city) and doolin (for a smaller town) then possibly one more stop. we have been to dublin, belfast and the north-- so we're thinking the west coast, but are open to suggestions. we plan to come back with our 2 children in a couple of years to do the major sight seeing. again this is just a trip for mainly relaxing and enjoying the music! also, suggestions for active pursuits in the day will be nice to burn off all the pints and food.
thanks so much!
mshagler01 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
My vote goes to Dingle. Excellent trad music in several pubs, historic sites, and fantastic scenery. To burn off the Guiness rent bikes and pedal as much of the Slea Head Drive as you can.
TimS is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 10:13 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 192
I still think you can easily pull this off with a car, and some careful planning. I did a similar trip this June. Flew into Shannon, rented a car, drove up to Doolin. Several nice B&B options within reasonable walking distance of the popular pubs. Just park the car at the B&B, then spend the rest of your time on foot (and still have the option for a quick drive over to the Cliffs of Moher, for example).

Then, drive up to Galway, find another B&B that is near a bus line.

this way, you can drive between the major locations, park the car, then party and enjoy yourselves on foot or with public transport.
griz_fan is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks for your suggestions!! griz_fan, did you go anywhere else besides doolin and galway? we'll probably only have 6 nights --so don't want to spend too much time traveling. with your suggestion, renting the car will give us more freedom though. the train and bus routes do seem a bit limited
mshagler01 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
I agree with what others have said - definitely rent a car, but then book b&b's within walking distance or in town - I'm going at the end of October (and did the same last year) and had no problem booking - great time of year to go - weather is still decent, everythings still open and it's not crowded.

If you're flying in and out of Shannon - you're already on the west so things aren't too bad for travel - still 'hairy' on the roads at times and a slow go - but nothing will be too far.

Definitely Dingle - head off the main part of town down to Flaherty's early in the night and you'll think you've stepped back in time - it's an old one room pub with a stone floor and the owner sings every night (truth be told, he's just 'ok' but it's more the experience you'll enjoy here) he finishes early so you can probably catch a lot more music and tie one on at any of the other dozen or so pubs in town ...

from dingle you can take a 'short cut' by taking the shannon ferry (so much nicer than having to drive all the way around through limerick & shannon again) and then head to Kilrush or kilkee - I've heard great things about the pubs in kilrush - one recommended to me is Sean Johnsons, I think - but have never been (planning on it this year)- between there and doolin you will go right past the cliffs of moher too ..

in galway I've had the absolute greatest time each time I went at pub called Tis Coili (think that's the right spelling - was there in February years ago and it was like hanging out in someones living room - last hear on halloween weekend it was a crazy good time party and always with live music(i'm 47 btw, so it was a good mixed aged crowd)- I'd tell you about the after hours pub we went to with the band that night but I don't remember

FYI - I don't remember a lot of the b&b's names - but the "lighthouse" was a nice one in dingle - about a 10 min walk to town - good for clearing your head as you make your way home later too!

as for working off the guinness - join me for the dublin marathon - I do that first, then don't have to worry quite so much the rest of the week!

have a great time!
mlhoffman is offline  
Sep 25th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 15
Here is an idea.

Day 1-Arrive at Shannon. Drive to Doolin. Stay at Sea View B&B, located just across the street from Gus O'Connor's Pub. Great food and great music. The 3 pubs in Doolin O'Connor's, McDermotts, and McGanns, are all good spots and usually have trad music.

Day 2&3-Leave Doolin on way to Galway. If you didn't visit the Cliffs of Moher on day 1 do so today. Spend some time exploring the Burren.Arrive in Galway and stay at Jury's Inn. It is located on the pedestrian walkway with a parking garage next door. You will not need the car as the city is at your front door. Many fine pubs, restaurants, and shops to keep you busy.If weather is nice you can consider spending 3rd day on boat ride to the Aran Islands, great way to spend the day.

Day 4&5-Drive up to Westport. Stay at Wyatt Hotel, located within walking distance to most every pub in town. Be sure to stop by Matt Molloy's for some great trad.

Day 6-Drive down to Ennis for final night. Nice town with several pubs, shops, restaurants. Stay at either the Old Ground or the Temple Gate. Both within easy walking distance to everything in town. Ennis is only a 20 minute drive to Shannon for you flight home.

Renting a car gives you freedom to stop and go at your pace. By staying in hotels or B&B's that are within walking distance to the pubs and restaurants you arrive in town park your car and never have to think about driving after a few pints.Enjoy!!
tuam is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 204
I like the itinerary "tuam; has suggested. I am familiar with all the places mentioned.

I would suggest staying in Ballyvaughan for the Burren part of trip Day 2.
Its a good place to explore the Burren. Even if you don't get the chance to stay there it is a good place to stop for lunch - Monks seafood lunches or Linnanes at New Quay.

Another idea that might interest you when you come into Shannon is to do the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle. (I am Irish and I always thought it sounded naff and touristy but I ended up going once with friends and had a really enjoyable evening. Interesting to sit in a genuine castle, hear about its history, nice food and very good quality entertainment - Irish music, song, etc.). It might be an idea to spend a night at Bunratty (there is lots of accommodation near the castle) either on your first night or last night. It is about 30 mins from airport. I have stayed in a place called The Courtyard which was excellent.
See below link for Bunratty.

Padhraicin is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 204
This is the link for the Courtyard


You will see from their info that Bunratty is closer to Shannon Airport than I thought.
Padhraicin is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6
if your going to Doolin, theres a hotel near it in miltown mallby cause Spanish armada, i think it is, and they have beautiful trad sessions in the bar, doolin beach is very beautiful
Ireland353 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,091
We recently returned from Westport and western Ireland. Matt Molloy's pub in Westport was really great on a Fri. night in Sept.. If you go to Westport, www.plougastel-house.com is a great B&B. It's 1 block off of the main street and walking distance to everything. With a total redo, everything is new and up to date.


We also had 2 of our best dinners in Ireland in Westport at Mango's and Torrino's right on the main street.

Dingle has the most pubs of the towns that we visited and www.greenmount-house.com is a fantastic place to stay. About a 5 min. walk to the main street.

We also enjoyed Ennis and loved our meal at "The Poets Corner" at "The Old Ground Hotel". It's a pub with music after 9:30 or so.
TPAYT is offline  

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