Just back from Ireland

Jun 27th, 2000, 09:32 AM
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Just back from Ireland

I just got back from 2 weeks in Ireland. We visited the Dingle Peninsula, the Burren, and Connemara. We stayed in B&Bs and had a great time! If you have specific questions about those areas, I'd be glad to try to help.
Jun 27th, 2000, 11:12 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing about the B & B's in those areas. Which did you like and why? How expensive were they and how convenient?

Did you spend the whole two weeks in Ireland or spend any time visiting Scotland, Wales, etc?
Jun 27th, 2000, 11:17 AM
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Dear Kris,
We are visiting Clare and Galway in 4 weeks. All B and B's have been booked but can you recommend towns to visit eg. is Doolin that good for music? Can your recommend a particular walk in Connemara? Any decent pubs/ restaurants? Did you go dophin watching?
Any info. appreciated.
Jun 27th, 2000, 11:54 AM
Lisa & Matt
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I'd love to hear about the B&Bs too. We're planning to go in August and we'd like to save as much as possible, but have reasonable accomodations (a shower). Can you help us out?
Jun 27th, 2000, 01:55 PM
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siobhan - I don't have the exact dates but the Willie Clancy fortnight in Miltown Malbay is towards the end of July and is an authentic traditional music feast - workshops, wall-to-wall sessions and good craic. If you miss it by a week or two however Miltown is too hung over for any but country music in the bars! In the middle of the tourist season your best bet for music is Galway; lots of good musicians live there. Doolin is for tourists these days since Micho Russell died. If you're there at the right time, go to the Galway Races; experience of a lifetime!
Jun 27th, 2000, 05:19 PM
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In Clifden we stayed at Faul House, a great B&B. Our hosts, Michael & Kathleen were very helpful, and have a diverse breakfast menu - I get tired of eggs every morning! Clifden was nice, just big enough to have a choice of restaurants, but small enough that driving around town wasn't a nightmare (driving for us was very stressful, being used to driving on the right!). If you find yourself in Clifden I recommend meals in Vittles the Half Door, and Mitchell's.

No, we didn't go anywhere but western Ireland because we don't like to spend our whole trip driving. We like to spend 3 - 5 days in each place.

Doolin has good music in the evenings, but we missed most of it because the pubs are so smoky. We're both nonsmokers, and it really bothered us so we stayed to hear the music for only a while. We stayed at O'Connor's B&B, a nice, clean place but rather impersonal. The owner spent no time talking to us at all, in fact I never learned her name.

The B&Bs we stayed in all ran around L19 - 25 per night en suite.

About walking in Connemara, my favorite was at Kylemore Abby. It's a beautiful place, very peaceful and serene. You can walk all the way around Lough Kylmore along a tree-lined boulevard. There is a series of maps for most areas written by Tim Robinson that were very helpful. They're not 100% accurate, but closer than any others we looked at. Also, the B&B owners are a great source of info. In Dingle our host (Mt. Eagle Lodge) suggested a hike that was not on any map or guidebook, and it was wonderful!

Near Doolin is Listoovarna with a pub called The Roadside Tavern - really good seafood chowder! In Doolin are several pubs all with good "pub grub" and a couple of dinner places. We had dinner at the Lazy Lobster - not cheap, but really great!

Yes, we watched for dolphins but didn't see any.

If I haven't answered your question, let me know - I tend to ramble a bit!!
Jun 28th, 2000, 08:46 AM
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What sort of things did you buy? What about Waterford - is it cheaper there?
Jun 28th, 2000, 11:04 AM
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Kris is correct..Kylemore Abbey is simply incredible. The drive around the Connemara region is beautiful. My wife and I stayed in Oughterard for three days at the River Run Lodge and loved it. A little pricey compared to B&Bs, but a great way to start the two weeks we were there.

Also if you take the Coast Road to Doolin (highly recommended) stop at Monks Seafood in Ballyvaughan for the seafood chowder, it is awesome.
Jun 29th, 2000, 04:32 PM
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Sharon, I bought a beautiful Aran wool cardigan. Be warned that many shops will advertise half-price sweaters, when you look at them they aren't 100% wool, and some are poorly made. I also bought some crystal from Dingle Crystal and Galway Crystal. It was much less expensive than Waterford, and just as high quality. I was surprised to find Waterford so expensive in Ireland, but I guess maybe the crystal Waterford sells in Ireland is actually made in Ireland as opposed to much of the Waterford sold in America. I also bought several Ireland shirts and some Celtic-design jewelry. Note that the Tourist info centers often have souvenirs, at about the same price or sometimes lower than other shops - just the opposite of what we find in the US.
Jun 30th, 2000, 12:01 PM
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Kris, Thanks so much for the tip on shopping at the Tourist centers. You mentioned "Dingle" crystal. Is there a factory on the Peninsula that produces crystal ware? As a side, I can't believe the amount of useful information that can be obtained from forums like this. It's like having a world of people with first hand advice at your fingertips.
[Ireland and the UK~~~~2001]
Jun 30th, 2000, 12:12 PM
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We will make almost the exact trip as you, Kris, in September except for the Burren where we've spent a lot of time before. Where did you buy your Celtic jewelry? I understand there are goldsmiths in Dingle. Did you visit any? Also any suggestions for restaurants in Dingle (other than Doyle's which is a must for us). Did you find a special place for sweaters? We have bought them at Mairtun Standun just north of Galway on the coast road, can't remember the town. Thanks.
Jun 30th, 2000, 07:23 PM
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To kam
We had a very nice dinner at Beginish Restaurant and had a wonderful meal at Murphy's Pub across from the pier.
Enjoy your trip!
Jul 1st, 2000, 06:51 PM
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If you want to stay in a wonderful spot in Connemara, try Portfinn Lodge in Leenane. The B&B is lovely (and 20 pounds per person per night!), the restaurant at Portfinn has a gourmet chef (owner Rory Daly),you can also have dinner there -- the food is superb! The town is low-key and on a gorgeous fiord. It is a perfect quiet interlude in a hectic schedule. It is just a short ride south to both Kylemore Abbey and Connemara Natl. Park, both of which offer wonderful places to walk.
Jul 2nd, 2000, 05:31 AM
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Lots of info on Connemarra at --- WWW.connemarra-tourism.org/ --. When I visited Connemarra last year we stayed just down the road from Kylemore Abbey in a small hotel named "the Pass Inn". It has an awesome view of the "Twelve Pins" a small restaurant and is centrally located to the abbey,the national park and it's walking trails.If you walk in the park be sure to keep an eye out for the small Connemarra ponies.I'm sorry I don't remember the address but it was between the towns of Letterfrack and Leenane at the approx.intersection of N59 and R344.Have a great trip.
Jul 2nd, 2000, 01:16 PM
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Crelly - Yes, there's a man who trained at Waterford called Sean Daly who makes incredible crystal in Dingle. He's on Orchard Lane, ask someone where it is, it's not real easy to find! Note that the prices in his shop include shipping to the US!
Yes, this forum is so helpful! I'm already using it to get info for our next trip!

There are jewelers in every town! I bought some Celtic jewelry at the tourist info centers, some at a shop in Bunratty village, and my husband bought me a beautiful necklace at a jeweler in Galway, sorry, don't know which one!
I bought my sweater at Lowrey's in Clifden, There's another good one that starts with S, but I can't remember the name! Sorry.
Dinners in Dingle - we had a great meal at Paudie's and at Vittles. Murphy's is good, also.

More good websites:
Jul 10th, 2000, 12:05 AM
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Thanks, Kris, for all the details and have made notes in my travel notebook. Sure appreciate your input and the additional links.
Jul 10th, 2000, 09:23 AM
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KAM, We are also going in late Sep.
I sent you an email but it got returned.
Please advise your best address.
Jul 10th, 2000, 10:04 AM
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Message:KAM..just got home from Ireland.I found beautifel hand crafted jewelry at Brian de Staic's in Dingle. There is also a shop called NU. We had anice meal at the Smokehouse in town. Dingle Pub had great music. Murphy's Pub had good pub grub.
Jul 10th, 2000, 05:10 PM
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waterford question...the waterford is not really cheaper there, but they do make some pieces that are only sold in Ireland. One of the workers at this little place in Lahinch where we bought the crystal gave us a run down on what each carving on the pieces stood for. I am not a huge fan of waterford, but it was interesting to hear that the butterfiles and intersecting lines all represented something. He even had the candlesticks we bought sent back to the factory for an engraver to sign.
Additionally, most people have the crystal shipped home for safety purposes and avoiding the tax.
Jul 18th, 2000, 06:28 AM
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I've toured Ireland a few times and my travel agent has published my "online journal" to help their clients with B&B recommendations and things to do. It's posted on <A HREF='http://www.flamingo-travel.com/virtual_vacations/ireland_day1.asp'>http://www.flamingo-travel.com/virtu...d_day1.asp</A>

There are names, addresses and phone numbers ... and photos of B&Bs that we stayed and recommend as well as our entire week's experience over there.


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