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Irish destination - we want to stay put in one area & explore from there

Irish destination - we want to stay put in one area & explore from there

Sep 9th, 2019, 03:18 PM
  #1  
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Irish destination - we want to stay put in one area & explore from there

OK - so we are still planning to finally go to Ireland. We prefer to choose a hotel we will love (the kind that makes it hard to leave) and then make day trips to see the sights.

The two hotels currently "in the running" at this point are Sheen Falls Lodge near Kenmare and Ashford Castle near Cong (County Mayo). From what I can tell, in my very limited knowledge of Ireland, it seems that there is more to see/do in the area near Kenmare (Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park, Wildlife excursion from Kenmare). Ashford Castle doesn't seem close to much but there is certainly a lot of activities at the hotel. We aren't that interested in Dublin (at least for this trip).

I have recently begun looking at Glenlo Abbey and Ballynahinch Castle (doesn't look like they have falconry which Chaz is very interested in). I think both are somewhat close to Galway, which may be the best base for seeing (Connemara, Kylemore Abbey). Is the Galway area the best for accessing Cliffs of Moher?

It all looks so gorgeous and we know we will not even scratch the surface of what there is to see in Ireland. I would say we are most interested in food, whiskey, porters/stouts natural beauty/scenery and falconry. Chaz would love a good castle and/or ruins. This probably won't be a trip for shopping as some of our other trips have been. (I'll save Chanel for another time but feel sure I will find some wonderful things in Ireland).

We will probably be staying 10-12 days. Maybe two locations but we do want to relax, take it slow and enjoy. I am think May or September/October for time of year. Chaz loves cooler weather.

If any of you have stayed at any of the hotels I mentioned (or other similar ones), your impressions are definitely of interest. Am I wrong about the area near Ashford Castle? Maybe there is more to do there than I realize. We often will spend one day exploring and the relaxing at our hotel (especially if there is great scenery, spa, etc..).

denisea is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 04:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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https://www.dromoland.ie/ Look at this place, it has falconry. Ashford would not be my number one pick.
Macross is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 04:20 PM
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https://www.dromoland.ie/activities/falconry/ Glenlo looks good for exploring Connemara and Galway. I would have to do two locations for day trips, north and one more south. You have Delta miles. My friend Donna met us in Dublin using her Delta miles or it was going to be 400 more than what we spent flying from MCO to Dub on Aer Lingus. Spring or fall are my favourite times of the year for Ireland.
Macross is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 07:46 PM
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Have stayed at Glenlo Abbey and it was great.

If you are able to get a booking at Ballymaloe House, do it, even if just for one night. It's kind of a Martha Stewart porn experience.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 04:01 AM
  #5  
 
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Seamus, the cookery school and gardens are my favorite. It was beautiful and I want to go back now for classes. Very close to Ballymaloe house. The Allen family own both. Ballycotton is a dream destination for peace and beauty. Four miles or so from Ballymaloe.
Macross is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 05:55 AM
  #6  
 
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I stayed in Clifden about 4 years in a row back around 15 years ago and it was glorious! Probably my favorite spot in ireland (maybe after Kerry ). Incredible drives from Galway to Mayo. Once we stayed in a really lovely apartment in the grounds of [color=left=#323232]Ballynahinch booked through a local agent. We dined in the Castle often and there were loads of great restaurants in the area. [/color]
OReilly64 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 10:06 AM
  #7  
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Wow - a Martha Stewart porn experience definitely requires investigation. Thank you for your input...it will be for his 50TH so I really would like to knock this out of the park! My 50th birthday trip was amazing and set the bar very high for milestone birthday trips.
denisea is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 08:00 PM
  #8  
 
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macross - yes, agree, we enjoyed both the cookery school and the gardens.
denisea - we lucked our Ballymaloe stay when our previous reservation at a castle was cancelled. The agent said it was rare to be able to get a booking on such short notice, they must have had a cancellation moments before he called to inquire. We were thrilled. The accommodations are lovely, the food and service impeccable. Darina Allen runs a great place!
Seamus is offline  
Sep 11th, 2019, 06:56 AM
  #9  
 
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I can't speak to the hotels but when I explored the middle west coast, I stayed in the Claddagh area of Galway. From there I easily visited the Burren, Lisdoonvarna, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands (Inishmore) and Connemara including Kylemore Abbey and Clifden.
amyb is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 08:58 AM
  #10  
 
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Denise, my husband and I stayed at Ballynahinch for 5 nights and loved it. From Ballynahinch we planned different outings. We did the Hawk Walk (with a Harris Hawk) at The Falconry School at Ashford Castle. It’s approx. a 40 minute drive to Ashford from Ballynahinch. Our walk was in the morning so we stayed for lunch/drinks at Ashford Castle and walked the grounds and common areas afterwards. Do book your day and time in advance for the walk.Another day we visited the Killary Sheep farm. This farm has sheep/sheepdog herding demonstrations down their vast fields, sheep shearing and Peat bog cutting. (They provide the wellies). This sheep farm is situated on the side of a mountain with stunning views overlooking the only fiord in Ireland, the Killary fiord. Book ahead also.We drove to Kylemore, Clifden and Westport during our stay. One day we walked around the property/lake at Ballynahinch and went fishing.If we had 1 more day there we would have taken the “Scenic Flights with Aer Arann” over to the Arran Islands, down the coast to the Cliffs of Moher and other coastal sites. The flights are approximately 40 minutes in length and from what I hear well worth it for the views. Drove through Galway on our drive to Ballnahinch Castle but did not stop or visit, next time.We have visited the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and other sites in Connemara on previous trips so didn’t venture to these site this trip.In Kenmare we stayed at the Park Hotel Kenmare. You can walk right into town from the hotel. This hotel has an old-world décor/atmosphere and with great food. Sheen Falls Lodge is about 1 mile away.Will you be flying into Shannon or driving down from Dublin. The drive down from Dublin to Kenmare is about 4 – 5 hours, which we drove after our last Dublin stay. Denise, hope some of this helps with your planning
celticmoon is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 09:09 AM
  #11  
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This is very helpful. We are planning to fly into Shannon since everything of interest is on the west side of the island.

I think we are narrowed down to Ballynahinch, Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle. (That's today but tomorrow, who knows)!

I would love the sheep farm and dogs - I am a dog lover we have 2 shelties (shetland sheepdogs) and they naturally herd. Our older dog is very agile and would have been a great farm dog.

As withe other trips - we will not get see and do everything this trip but want to maximize the time there while still relaxing and enjoying it.
denisea is offline  

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