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Is this Ireland Itinerary Plausibe? Please Help!

Is this Ireland Itinerary Plausibe? Please Help!

Old Apr 24th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Is this Ireland Itinerary Plausibe? Please Help!

My husband and I plotted on a map the highlights and activities that our family of 4 (2 kids: 12 and 10 yrs of age) are interested in and put together this tentative driving tour itinerary. We would like a reality check if this is doable or not and are seeking input from the forum. Any comments are welcome.

Suggested Ireland Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Dublin

Day 2 Tour Dublin
St Patricks Cathedral
Oscar Wilde House
Dublin Castle
National Gallery
Market Street
Get Rental Car

Day 3 Travel Dublin - Waterford
Stop in Wicklow
Tour Waterford

Day 4 Travel Waterford Killarney
Stop in Cashel awesome Castle
Stop in Blarney Kiss stone
Horse and Carriage ride

Day 5 Kerry Circle
Travel Killarney - Dingle Limerick

Day 6 Victorian Village
Cliffs of Moher
Kinvarra (evening banquet)
Overnight in Kinvarra

Day 7 Travel to Dublin

Day 8 Travel Dublin to Londonerry
Stop in Bru na Boine
Stop in Slieve League
Overnight Londonerry

Day 9 Visit Giants causeway
Travel to Dublin

Day 10 Fly to Scotland

Thanks for taking the time to reply and assist us in making our holiday better.

Reggs
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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It's madness. Too much driving, zig-zagging all over the place, rush-rush-rush.

Killarney to Limerick via Dingle? No.
Waterford to Blarney via Cashel? No.
Dublin to Derry via Slieve League? No.

You really need to go back to the drawing board, and I think you need to abandon the idea of visiting all four corners of Ireland in such a short time.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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Hi Reggs,

I'm not an Ireland expert, but we were in N. Ireland for a long weekend in March and it took a full day to get from Belfast to Derry (stopping at a waterfalls walk, the Rope Bridge, lunch and Giant's Causeway). It was a long day honestly and we were all really sick of the car by the end of it. It takes a really, really long time to drive anywhere in Ireland as it's all small roads and very twisty and windy. I haven't been carsick in years but I was feeling it a bit by the end!

I agree with Padraig - if you pick an area to focus on, you'll be able ot plan a lot better. East or West, North or South.

We are going to the SW of Ireland for a long weekend in July and are spending 5 days just between Dingle, Doolin and Ennis - and it's still quite a bit of driving in that time. We had a lot of success using this site - http://www.theaa.com/travelwatch/pla...jsp?database=I for driving directions and to get a sense of how long it would take. Round up!

Good luck.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Echo all of the above - nigh on impossible. Ireland may look small on a map - but it isn't. And you will average about 35 mph touring around. So go back to the drawing board and decide which areas are most important for you and we can help.

I'd skip Waterford altogether BTW. Except for the factory tour there isn't much "there there". And going to the Waterford factory is not worth missing other terrific places elsewhere.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Oh - meant to add -- when revising your plans, there is no reason to have to return to Dublin. You can get to Scotland from lots of other places in Ireland - Cork, Shannon, Belfast, etc . . . . .
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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I lived in Ireland for a year and concur with all others--you're trying to do way too much. Unless Waterford policy has changed, there are no real "deals" at the factory so I would give it a miss. After Dublin I would choose one area and hunker down--maybe Galway, the Burren (including Cliffs of Moher which takes 15 minutes) and Connemara which is still wild and fascinating. Linger in front of open fires in old pubs--listen to the local stories--true and embellished, listen to local musicians, shop Galway's quirky "Shop Street", etc.
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Old Apr 26th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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Your itinerary sounds amazing....if you had two months. Otherwise, sorry but I have to agree: it is madness.

You did really well in laying out the type activities and sights your kids would enjoy, so now list them all out, prioritize and cut the bottom half.
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 05:30 PM
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I have an additional suggestion for traveling and that is to supplement a car rental with travel by "train". Especially with the 12 & 10 yr old. My husband & I traveled by train (also bus) to destinations in Northern Ireland and the West. It might allow you see more sights and cities...and if needed, pick up a rental car to browse the country nearby. Pack lightly..
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Old Apr 27th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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You asked the right people!! This forum saved our family's sanity and helped us plan a reasonable trip to Ireland (from a London base) last summer: first it was fly to Dublin, drive to Galway, and then drive more. Then we realized that to see the southwestern area of Ireland, we'd lose too much of our short time to get there, so decided to fly to Shannon Airport and then begin driving. The more I read, the smaller the driving route became----we ended up not even having time to get to Galway. We, too were travelling with kids: 9 year-old twins and a 6-year-old (and we did fit nicely into the Opel Astra we rented)....
In the end, you must keep your focus on the great things you will see,as opposed to the Inside of Your Car. Make those cuts!!! The more intimate trip which results will make better travellers of your children, at least.

And do get the Ordnance survey maps for driving; the 1:400,000 Michelin map we got locally doesn't quite convey the driving you will do. They can be a challenge to get in the US; we ordered ours from Longitude in New York, I think (I was just going to bed when I saw your post, so can't furnish more info just now). You can also do on-line plotting of routes between towns, which gives you pretty accurate estimates of travel times and was invaluable in helping us be realistic. I can find a link for you, if you're interested. --Penny
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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http://www.aaroadwatch.ie

http://www.viamichelin.com

Set it up to give the distances in MILES, rather than the default KILOMETERS.

DIVIDE 'Total Distance Driven' by 30 or 35.

Distances in Ireland are decieving. There are precious few (read: ALMOST NONE)of the wide, straight, limited-access roads that you may be used to, in the US, or Canada. It ALWAYS takes LONGER and costs MORE -- Mr. Murphy said so!
That will tell you an ACCURRATE estimate of how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B.

For example, Day 5: the Ring of Kerry is a SIX hour drive (or more), depending on stops. It will take at LEAST 1 1/2 hours to drive between Killarney and Dingle, Even the ABBREVIATED Slea Head Drive will take about 2 1/2 - 3 Hours, with any stops at all. The drive from Dingle to Limmerick will add another 2 1/2 - 3 hours. That's a total of 12 1/2 - 14 hours, DRIVING TIME -- NOT counting stops.

Do you REALLY want to imprison your two Tweens in the car THAT long?

Bob
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:55 AM
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Hey Everybody, this is Reggs the original poster and evidently the local idiot!!! I have been working diligently, utilizing all of your fabulous suggestions and I still need your help getting semi-Ireland educated! Please be patient with my ignorance and guide thee gently!

pittpurple: I picked south! Now I am using the fabulous link you sent me to check distances between 'must sees'after I obtain all of the distances I will know if I need to prioritze and cut more. (So I won't give you all my tentative Itenerary yet!) Unfortunately after checking only a couple legs of my travels the web site became,'Temporarily unavailable". I am hoping it will come back quickly. If not I will utilize the links the 'ever so kind' previous writer to this entry provided to me (Thank you!)

beeze: What places did you go to and how long did it take you? Which places did your children love?

Janisi: Thanks for the info! It looks like we will be flying into Shannon Airport.

MaryDee649: We will hire a car!

Okay,... You 'Novice Fodorites' Now for a question (Be gentle please!!! Don't make me feel like 'the red headed stepchild again!) WHOOPS! Perhaps I should not have picked a red head being that this IS Ireland!Forgive me.

We will be extending our trip by 2 or 3 days to enable us to see more. Everything we have prioritized is Dublin Southward. My son is so Adament about going to Giants Causeway. We will end our southern ventures in Dublin (we are fine about the cost of hirering the rental car in Shannon and leaving it in Dublin). The query is: I have checked flights and costs of flying from Dublin to Derry just to get to the Giants Causeway. I have also checked flights and costs for flying from Derry(Londonderry)to Glasgow Scotland where we need to meet a 5th family member at the Glasco Airport. We will then carry on with our holiday in Scotland as a family of 5. The flight is 50 minutes from Dublin to Derry. Can I catch a Bus Tour to Giants Causeway? What is the best way to get there and back to Derry? I am estimating that we would have anywhere from 12 hours to 36 hours to get from Dublin, to the Causeway and back to Derry again. What are your thoughts on this/ I await your replies anxiously! Thanks, Reggs

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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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Hi Reggs,

I know there are tours from Belfast, but I haven't seen any from Derry. Honestly, if you're fine with driving, I would rent a car. It was a lovely drive along the coast and then you can do it at your own pace. Giant's Causeway was definitely a highlight on our trip to N.Ireland.

For the SW we're actually going on a trip in July and our itinerary is flying into Shannon, driving to Dingle (3-4 hours) staying the night there, doing the Sleahead drive the next day and another night in Dingle. Then driving to Doolin (4 hours) to see the Cliffs or Moher (primarily because they were in the Princess Bride!) and spending a night in Doolin. My husband goes home from there, but my mom and I are going to stay in Ennis for two nights (with a super early flight out) without a car.

We actually reworked this trip after going to N.Ireland because we found out quickly everyone on this forum was right - it is exhausting spending the whole day driving on tiny roads and pulling over every 20 minutes for a picture. But we got amazing pictures so it was worth having our own car.

Oh yeah - that site goes down sometimes but it's usually back up within an hour or so. It was definitely the best one we used.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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First off, Reggs, I think you should discuss matters with your son, and let him know how far away from everything else the Giant's Causeway is. See if it's a negotiable matter. If you concede the argument, make sure that he has the sense that he owes you big-time (useful for your old age).

Then clean down your programme as you have already started to do. A tour package from Dublin to the Causeway Coast for four people would be quite expensive (here's one: http://www.railtoursireland.com/dc10.asp ). So I suggest that you drive from Dublin. It is possible as a longish day trip or you might choose to do one overnight in NI, either going or returning. Personally, I'd do it as a day trip, mainly because driving between Dublin and Belfast is easy, nearly all motorway.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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Okay Guys, it's Reggs again! We nixed the flight from Dublin to Derry and decided to drive. Play devels advocate for me on this potential itenerary. Take note that I have checked the travel time distances from place to place from your site pittpurple and added an hour contingency time per leg. So if the stars are all aligned, and and we stuff our pockets with four leaf clovers...this is what we propose:

Arrive 10th July Shannon Airport
Collect car at Airport
Stay B&B in Shannon or Limerick or Ennis - any suggestions??

11 July

Drive to Cliffs of Moher 2 hrs
Take Photos
Drive to Bunratty and spend rest of day at village
Attend Midevial Banquet that evening
Overnight at same place as previous evening

12 July

Drive to Killarney 3 hrs
Drive Ring of Kerry 6 hrs
Overnight in Killarney - any suggestions?

13 July

Drive to Blarney 2.5 hrs
Kiss Stone 2 hrs
Drive to Cashel 2.5 hrs
Visit Castle 2 hrs
Overnight Cashel - suggestions?

14 July

Drive to Waterford 2.5 hrs ( It's my 14th year Anniversary and I am going!!!)
Visit Factory 2 hrs
Drive to Wicklow 3 hrs
Visit Jail 2 hrs
Overnight Wicklow - suggestions?

15 July

Drive to Dublin 1 hr
Explore Dublin
Overnight Dublin - suggestions?

16 July

Continue exploring Dublin
Overnight same as previous evening

17 July

Drive to Bru na boinne 2 hrs
Explore area and ruins 2 hrs
Overnight Cabra Castle

18 July

Drive to Giants Causeway 4 hrs
Explore Causeway 2 hrs
Drive to rope bridge and do that 2 hrs
Overnight in area - suggestions?

19 July

Drive to Larne (driving time depends on where we stay previous evening)
Drop rental car ( we already have checked the price and are okay with it)
Take Ferry to Troone Scotland 2 hrs

Whew!

We fully recognize there are some long days in this plan. We typically go hard all day long while on holiday. We have also allocated some "easier" days in this plan to charge our batteries.

Okay, Now let me have it everyone ASAP! I need to get planning for Scotland!


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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Much more workable.

I suggest that you nix Limerick and Shannon as candidate bases for the first two nights; Ennis is good, but perhaps Bunratty might be better if you plan to do the banquet.

I think Blarney is a waste of time, but it's your time to waste. Ditto Waterford.

After Wicklow, head for Glendalough -- choice of hotels, the Glendalough Hotel or Lynam's of Laragh. Have a quick tour of the monastic site in the morning before heading for Dublin (I suggest the scenic route over the Sally Gap).
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 06:25 AM
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When I had the same questions about where to stay, the overwhelming opinion of everyone here was to stay in Ennis. The suggestions here were right on line with what you'll see on Trip Advisor - I ended up making reservations at Glenomra B&B as they had better prices for a single. You'll see Grey Gables suggested quite a bit if you do a forum search, but they didn't have rooms available when we needed. Note that we're there a few days before you, so you'll probably want to start booking B&B's soon as we had to email several places. However, for parts of it we won't have a car whic made it a bit more difficult.

Besides a really long day on the 12th (just a lot of driving!!), I think it sounds okay. I travel like you - run like crazy for days and then relax when I get home, so this plan mostly makes sense to me (minus Waterford, but that's personal preference!)
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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I personally think you will kick yourselves after getting to Waterford and seeing how little there is to see/do. There are no bargains. Waterford does not discount their products at the factory and you may actually find a better selection elsewhere in the country.

Warterford will take a relatively large bite out of your very limited time, without adding much if anything to your experience.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Advice you have gotten here is good. Ennis would be the 1st choice and Bunratty second for lodging. Outside of Ennis, I stayed at the Lakeside Country Lodge which I liked very much. Perhaps a 10 minute drive into town. It's a beautiful setting. http://www.lakeside.ie/

If you arrive in Shannon early on your 1st day, consider doing the folk park then. The earlier the better as it will be mobbed in July.
Try to get to the Cliffs early the next day. Again, midday will be very crowded.

I would choose Kenmare over Killarney, especially in July. Killarney sold it's sold to tourism over a century ago and would have little charm to me at that time of year. I can get you some B&B suggestions for Kenmare.

I can't think of anything I would like less than Blarney Castle in July. It's not a very interesting castle and every tour bus in southern Ireland will be making a stop there that day. Go to Cahir Castle (in Cahir) instead. Much more inetersting and in very good condition. Blarney is a ruin.

I'm with the others on Waterford also. Hey, it's a factory and by no means the nicest crystal produced in Ireland. Most small cutters scoff at it. Perhaps stop in Kinsale and chat with the cutter himself. They do beautiful work there and will be happy to talk to you about it. As far as being in the east, given the choice between seeing Waterford or Glendalough, well, it's a no-brainer.

If it were me, I think I would dump the car in Dublin and do a tour north and to Bru Na Boinne, if you absolutely must. Bru Na Boinne yes, Giant's Causeway just seems like too much. As Padraig said, he owes you!

Hope this helps.

Bill
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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Just a small caveat. There are times when the Rope Bridge is closed due to high winds. You might want to check the weather foecast before making the journey.It certainly won't take two hours. You can still explore the Giant's Causeway and the nearby castle ( Dunlace?)is well worth a visit if you're already there.

I concur with those who suggest you skip Waterford. A monumental waste of time IMO.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I was close. It's Dunlunce Castle.
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