Ireland without a car

Apr 14th, 2007, 06:24 AM
  #1  
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Ireland without a car

Please don't even bother telling us how easy it is to drive and we should rent a car. Been there, done that, in England once and it just doesn't work for us. Would prefer to avoid the stress of driving and travel by train or bus. With that in mind, can you help us plan a week long itinerary. We are more interested in small towns than big cities, and would like to see beautiful scenery. Thanks. (This would be next spring, and we would have about a week).
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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In that case, you would be best off to Fly into Dublin and rely on train transport routes to determine your other bases, as there isn't train service along the west coast.

Here are two links to help you out:

http://www.irishrail.ie/home/

http://www.translink.co.uk/nir.asp

Good luck in your travel plans.

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine

CowboyCraic is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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There really isn't any train service in the best bits. And the buses are slow and fairly inconvenient for touring.

If you really can't face driving - I'd look for a driver/guide to take you around. There have been several threads about folks who hired private guides . . . .
janisj is online now  
Apr 14th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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I've done it six times without a car. Check the sites that Bit gave you and train from Dublin down or up the East Coast or you can train to Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Westport, and Sligo. From these towns you can hire a taxi. I know you can get day tours from Galway and Killarney.

You can do it and have a very enjoyable trip. Good Luck.
chatham is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 02:12 AM
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I've been all over Ireland by bus and train and it's not difficult. I've visited Kinsale, Baltimore, Dingle, Doolin, and many other places.
Trains are fine for journeys like Dublin-Cork or Dublin-Galway, but for many journeys, you need to use buses. Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie) runs express services which fill the gaps in the rail network between, for example, Galway, Limerick and Cork, and local buses go to smaller towns and villages. Services are not frequent so you need to study timetables, but you will travel at a gentle pace: if you have to wait for a bus, there's always a bar where you can have a Guinness and chat to the locals.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Over the past 10-years I've visited the Irish Republic at least 10-times: never used a rental car; never took a train. I used BusEireann almost exclusively. In several cases, I called the B&B from the Bus/Rail station and they drove down to pick us up and take us to the B&B. Of course, that requires advance reservations at a B&B and Hotels won't do it. At your first opportunity you should buy an Eircom Phone Card (one with the I/C Chip on the card itself). They are sold at convenience stores. With it you'll have an inexpensive way to contact your B&B.

If you're starting from Dublin, have you considered PaddyWagon tours? http://www.PaddyWagontours.com
I haven't done one but have read about them.

janisj writes: "... buses are slow and fairly inconvenient for touring."

I disagree with that. BusEireann has taken me everywhere I wanted to go: Of course I had the foresight to buy an Expressway Bus Schedule (at BusAras in Dublin). I must confess: once I took a CityLink (private) bus from Dublin airport to the Galway Tourist Office on Forster Street.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Just looked briefly at the Paddywagon tours website. Thanks for the link. It looks like something we'd consider.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 07:47 AM
  #8  
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As I read further, I'm wondering, are paddywagon tours for "young" people. We're a couple of old farts (late 50's, early 60's) and wouldnt want to be the only oldies in the group.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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If you travel around Ireland with a tour company, you'll be travelling with foreign tourists. If you go on trains and buses, you'll be travelling with Irish people and many of them will be seniors because Irish senior citizens get free train and bus travel.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Paddywagon's target market is the young or young at heart. Whether or not you are comfortable with that is down to you.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:16 AM
  #11  
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Rethinking the paddywagon tours option. We might be young of heart but definitely not young of body. Don't want to cram 2 days worth of sightseeing into 1 day! Now checking into bus eireann options. Thanks.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Anyone who thinks BusEireann is slow needs to be ahead of them on narrow roads. They get from Glen to Killybegs in 20 minites; by car it takes half an hour......
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