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Ireland with Teens

Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Ireland with Teens

My wife and I would like to take our three sons, ages 20, 17 and 13, to Ireland for 11 or 12 nights during the second half of August. I have read some of the itineraries that folks have posted, but I am not sure what the best itinerary for my guys would be. They like to DO things, not just take in scenery, although seeing some spectacular natural places works, but not for hours on end. Bikes, beach, kayaking, sporting events (it does not appear to be hurling or gaelic football season), "sights" are all good. They are not much into hiking. The two older boys are interested in history, so historical sights might work. As you can imagine, all three like to eat!

First question -- should we fly into Dublin and out of Shannon, or make the full circuit back to Dublin? We are interested in heading into Northern Ireland (Giants Causeway, Derry, maybe stop for a quick tour of Belfast) and then heading around the west coast and down toward Killarney. Does this make sense? Do we need to hit southeastern Ireland (which I guess goes to the question of ending at Shannon or back in Dublin)?

Second Question -- Should we take a couple of days in Dublin? I have heard mixed reactions to this. Some say yes and some say it is just another big city now.

Third Question -- I am thinking that as we move, we should stay in B&Bs, or perhaps a castle along the way, that are close to, but not in, major tourist destinations. Staying in smaller towns might be a nicer experience and more reasonably priced?

Fourth question -- While we obvioulsy are willing to move around (we will rent a car), I do not see us getting up and changing lodgings every night. I am thinking that we should base ourselves out of perhaps a total of four places and take day trips?

Fifth question -- Considering what I have said about my boys, what are the "can't miss" sights or destinations for us?

Thanks!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 09:42 AM
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I think there is a bit too much of everything in your intinerary.
Looking for B&Bs as a base for day trips is a good idea, but when you plan for 4 bases and only have 11/12 nights, I do not really see how you can "do" all of Ireland, from Giant's Causeway to Killarney, SE Ireland AND incl. a "couple days" in Dublin. You will probably spend a lot of time in your car going from A to B, without much time to actually see or explore something.
Maybe you would like to downsize your plan a bit only some parts of Ireland, i.e. Dublin/surroundings, Northern Ireland, Connemara/Galway, and back to Dublin.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 12:07 PM
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Yes, it is a lot and I was thinking the same thing. If I skip the southeast and do not spend time in Dublin, maybe we can reach farther down into the southwest, like Dingle. I am not sure if that is a good tradeoff for us or not.

If you had teens, what would be your 5 "must sees"?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 01:59 PM
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If you fly into Dublin, consider your first night in Smarmore Castle Hotel http://smaremorecastle.com between Dublin and Belfast. You can get a discount through http://irelandyes.com .

I am taking two teen grandsons in June. A highlight, I hope, will be a falconry lesson at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo. http://falconryie.com . Other places that might fit your schedule better:
http://falconryofireland.com in Co. Wicklow
http://falconryireland.com in Co. Offaly (Kinnitty Castle)
http://newgrangefalconry.com in Co. Louth

Also taking the boys to visit Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory for a tour, and Trim Castle, Newgrange, Clonmacnoise, Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Traditional Irish Night at Bunratty, Craggaunowen, Aran Mhor Island, Celtic Weave China Factory, Monasterboice.

Okay, that's more than 5. And that doesn't include the neat things to do in Northern Ireland since I have chosen not to take the boys into harm's way.

If you would like to look at my 7 day itinerary e-mail me at jdjjarnold at sbcglobal dot com.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:37 AM
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jaja, thanks for the suggestions. I had not thought of falconry. I will look up some of the other places as well.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 05:44 AM
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I'll be back in early July to let you know how the boys liked the falconry.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:43 AM
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Would you consider a homestay placement for some of your children during the holiday. We have host families available for children from 12 years upwards, children live with an Irish family and improve their english skills while enjoying all kinds of activities with the family. That is if they are not already fluent in English.www.cheznoushomestay.ie [email protected]
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:47 AM
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chez_nous, that is an interesting idea, but I do not think my kids would be interested. We are english speakers anyway.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:50 AM
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If I was a 20yo visiting Ireland, I'd definetely want to spend some time on a pub crawl on my own in a "young" uni town like Galway or in Dublin's Temple Bar district
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Yes, the drinking age is 18, which I am sure will thrill him!
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Dublin is quite expensive and not so 20's but Galway, yeahhh so cool


ask here for more info on teen trip http://www.teenbar.net
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