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Itinerary plan-need day trips from Bunratty???? help!

Itinerary plan-need day trips from Bunratty???? help!

Jan 21st, 2008, 12:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
Itinerary plan-need day trips from Bunratty???? help!

My husband, another couple and I are trying to plan a 6 night, 7 day stay in Ireland for April. Im sure I could put together a great itinerary reading all the posts here however we are not staying in different places, were using one place as home base (because of an all inclusive special) and will try to hit what we can. Were just very happy to go! If anyone can suggest any day trips from Bunratty? Since I have no knowledge of the roads or distances, Im at a loss and dont want to plan an itinerary that is not feasible and we just end up driving all over creation without seeing anything! Were all in our early 30s (so trekking around wont be a problem) and were hoping to see a bit of the countryside, culture, towns to poke around in and some pubs. If there were a good overnight spot (we could probably afford one of these!) for us, where would be worthwhile? It would probably end up being Dublin, is this a good idea?

Thank you for any and all suggestions, I am so grateful!
pumpkinseed is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
I suggest Ennis as a base rather than Bunratty: more Restaurants, Pubs, Shops, and Hotels. You could daytrip to Galway from Ennis and touch on Connemara, or to Doolin and the Burren, to Lahinch and down the coast to Doonberg or Dromoland Castle. If a half day of Golf interests you, Spanish Point is a nice, inexpensive 9-hole Links layout.

You'll have some rain showers in April, but not gullywashers.

Google on TempleGate (or call Paul Madden) to see if Ennis' Temple Gate Hotel has any 'package' deals for the time you'll be in Ireland
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 41
Kate. There are many options for day trips from Bunratty.

Craggaunowen, Knappogue, Quin abbey, Mooghaun hill fort, Finlough (Finn Lake) , Dromoland castle are all within a few miles of the village, toured in a circular loop.

These will all be open in April.

Great area for walking is Cratloe woods in Gallows hill, with great views of all county Clare's neighbouring counties.

Assuming you are based in the village, Bunratty castle and folk park is on your door step, and there's a nice selection of restaurants and pubs in the village.

Have a look at Gallaghers, Red Door, Creamery, Bunratty manor, Durty Nellys or Macs pub.

For basics - assuming you're staying in one of the two rental groups of units, go to Skycourt mall in Shannon town (5 minute drive)where there are basic grocery shops, pharmacies - and the source of a major looooong thread the last time that I visited this site, a McDonalds.

All above within a 10 minute drive from Bunratty.

Ennis and Limerick are worth a visit

For striking scenery look also to east Clare, and consider taking a day trip onto the very nice Lough Derg from the pretty Killaloe on the Whelans service.

Other nice villages on this lake are Mountshannon (www.mountshannon.com) , Terryglass , Garrykenndy and so on - great views of the countryside also.

Obviously the Burren , cliffs of Moher are all quite easily visited now that both Clarecastle and Ennis have been bypassed, and there is so much to see in this area.
Visit Kilfenora later in the day when the crosses are lit, quite effective, and the views of Galway bay from Corkscrew hill are terrific.

The view taking the coastal route from Doolin to Ballyvaughan is terrific, along the R477.

Monks pub in Ballyvaughan is well worth a stop.

Another great place to visit is Loop Head, take in a view of the stack at the very tip of the loop, it is featured in 2 mythical tales, also take in Bridges of Ross, and stop by the tiny villages of either Kilbaha or Carrigaholt.

Amazing views of the coastline, and often missed.


You can easily take in a visit to Inis Oirr (smallest of the islands - service will have resumed from Doolin by April - shortest ferry service is 20 minutes.)

All above very easy day trips from Bunratty.

For activities, take a look at biking around Loop Head, walking the Burren, (many structured walks throughout county Clare) dolphin watching from Carrigaholt, horse riding through Dromoland, golfing from Lahinch, or many water based activities on the coast.

Hope that his helps.
ferdia is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 175
You can do a short trip from Kilrush to Scattery Island and see a number of historical ruins on the deserted island. A few miles from Kilrush is the car ferry from Killimer to Tarbert across the mouth of the Shannon,Ireland`s largest river.Fifty miles from there via Tralee are the well-known tourist centres of Dingle and Killarney. Consider paying for one night on that trip to make the most of the time available.
Sandylan is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16
I second most of what ferdia said (I only say most because I don't have first hand experience for all of it, and I'm sure the rest is great too!).
I'd add a trip to the green road, since you say trekking is okay. We did a walk along the Clare coast, and the part along the green road was the best. You walk up hill for quite a while, but when you get to the top, the view of the limestone Burren across the valley was unbelievable. We thought it was snow at first.
I'll look up the details of where to park for the drive when I get home from work.
the_girl is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:24 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
Thank you everyone! This is wonderful! With your knowledge of the area, do you all know of the Bunratty Castle Gardens, this is where we will be staying. I've heard mixed reviews on this site, but always take the negative with a grain of salt. Are these townhouses as dive-y as the hotel?

Thank you!
pumpkinseed is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 41
I've heard that heating is an issue, so make it clear that you want a warm room - apparently works in some, not as well in others. Give a reason if you can (be creative) although it wont (hopefully) be that much of an issue in April.

Last April we had our best weather, such memories....

Also ask for a unit away from the conference centre - and you'll be absolutely fine.

The two strong points of this place are convenience to castle, restaurants, small mace shop etc(remember Bunratty is small) - and it has a really good fitness centre.

There's a nice country walk up the rather steep Hill road (country road that has access to the units at the back of the hotel) with views over Shannon estuary, or a shorter walk down the lane, past Bunratty house, over to Bunratty winery, then onto low road for a pint at Macs pub.

Hope that this helps.
ferdia is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Thought I'd shamelessly post my fiance's photos from our trip to Clare

Hope you have a lovely trip!
the_girl is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 41
Excellent photos - thanks for that !
ferdia is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
Thanks again Ferdia, we are just so excited and all this advice will be priceless!

Thank you so much to everyone, and the photos are lovely! Seeing them makes me even more excited!
pumpkinseed is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 41
No problem pumkinseed. Would add that the if you want to eat in the village, the two best restaurants are Gallghers and Bunratty Manor, but will need advance booking. Both quite pricey, but the former offers an early bird.

Red door is very nice, great setting in the cellar of Bunratty house, and a nice place to grab an alfresco drink in the evening.Good bar food in the creamery, Nellys hit and miss, and Bunratty castle hotel is pretty good - none of these require reservations.

Carvery lunch is quite nice in Bunratty woollen mills, and also a good place for soup and sandwiches.

Unfortunately one of the major assets to the village, Avoca, is now a burnt out ruin - and an eyesore, used to have great lunches there - it's across the bridge from Durty Nellys so not very visible.

Cafe in the folk park is not great, but Macs pub is...

Have a great time.

ferdia is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Ferdia, you are a godsend! It sounds like you live in the area, we definitely owe you a pint!!!

pumpkinseed is offline  

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