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Need suggestions for 3 extra days in Ireland

Need suggestions for 3 extra days in Ireland

May 30th, 2008, 07:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Need suggestions for 3 extra days in Ireland

We have a busy 9 day tour of Ireland planned. Below is our itinerary. We are flying in and out of Dublin and have an extra 3 days at the beginning of the trip. Any suggestions?

Day 1 & 2 Dublin
Day 3 Dublin to Galway and on into Connemara National Park, Maumturk Mountains, Twelve Bens, Kylemore Abbey and end the day in Ballina, County Mayo.
Day 4 From Ballina, move south along west coast and into County Clare. Visit Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Burren, and Bunratty Castle. Stay in Ennis.
Day 5 & 6 From Ennis to Kilkenny. Ring of Kerry, Killarney Lakes, Ladies View, Torc Waterfall and the Killarney National Park. Muckross House. Dingle, Slea head and Conor Pass. Brandon Bay and Tralee Bay and return to Kilkenny.
Day 7 Depart Killarney and travel to County Cork. Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills and on to Cork City..
Day 8 From Cork City, move east to Waterford. Tour Waterford Crystal. Depart Waterford continuing eastward to Kilkenny. Tour Kilkenny Castle.
Day 9 Return to Dublin

LauraAlice is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I guess I'm confused. I see 9 days planned here. Do you actually have 12? Quite frankly, if you have 3 more, you may be able to fit in some of what you have planned.

I know it's a constant tiring refrain from folks here on the board and we sound like broken records, but really, this is way too much for 9 days. You might be able to drive past some of the things you want to see, but you won't have time to stop. Let me get started.

Day 1-2 - fine
Day 3: I would consider this impossible, This is roughly 7 hours of nothing but driving (mapping tools say 6 but they are always too conservative, especially for someone new). Take into account you'll have to get your car rented and get out of Dublin (either pick up the car at airport or in the city). I can't imagine you'll be in the car driving before 10am which means non stop driving until 5pm. Figure you won't average much better than 35mph.

Day 4: well, less mileage but still tons to see. By the time you get to Bunratty castle they may be closed for everything but the banquet. If you want the banquet, you should reserve now. I can't see what time of year you are traveling.

Days 5 & 6: I presume you mean Killarney not Kilkenny. If you are sticking with this itinerary, go to Dingle on night 5 and Killarny on 6. You probably won't get to see it all.

Day 7: Not a lot to see in Cork City. There are much nicer places. Blarney Castle is easily the most overrated tourist destination in Ireland. The Castle is a ruin and it is swarmed with tour buses loaded with folks with "Kiss Me I'm Irish" sweatshirts waiting in a two hour line to kiss that putrid rock. Cahir Castle is much nicer. There is a Blareny Woolen Mills store across from Bunratty Castle (also much nicer than Blarney) if you must stop for shopping.

Day 8: Not a chance to get factory tour and Kilkenny Castle in on the same day. Tours for the day at Kilkenny castle book up quickly. By noon they are probably sold out for the day in most cases.

Day 9: Not sure what time your flight leaves (if it does this day) but give yourself lots of time. The M50 has lots of construction going on and you could get stuck in this parking lot for quite a while.

I presume others will tell you what I have. Cut what you have in mind in roughly half and perhaps you can enjoy. If you have 3 additional days, this could help.

wojazz3 is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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Bill gave you some great advice. Just reading your itinerary exhausts me!
CAPH52 is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 05:55 AM
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Why Balliná?? Have you a special reason for overnighting there.

I love Balliná and have spent many happy hours in Crocket's on Quay (Trad Irish music monday nights) and it's great for Salmon fishing; but I think you might be better off route wise overnighting in Westport or someplace further south & west.

It would be nice if you told us when your trip's gonna happen so we are able to tell you about events along the way: like Willie Clancy Memorial Summer Scoile classes & competitions near Miltown Malbay in coastal County Clare (July); or the Horse meeting (auctions & races) in northwest County Kerry, also in July

I concur with Bill! You're trying to cram too much into 9-or-12 days. IMHO Your first mistake was not scheduling a Shannon departure for your return flight. I've flown into Shannon and home from Dublin several times
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 06:43 AM
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Forgive my picking you up on a language issue, NEDSIRELAND, but there is something you do consistently that irks me: Ballina does not have an accent. No Irish placename in English has an accent.
Padraig is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Thanks everyone! We are arriving in Dublin the morning of July 28 and returning to the US on the afternoon of August 8
LauraAlice is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Forgive me for irking you, Padraig: the accent is to help Americans pronounce it correctly. People on this board have asked how it is pronounced; I've heard some really bad pronounciation of Ballina by American and European Tourists visiting County Mayo.

I stand corrected & if you prefer I will discontinue accentuating the last syllable of Ballina. It irks me when people mispronounce it and BusEireann Drivers whose route serves Ballina would probably agree with me.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
May 31st, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Just got back from 10 days in Ireland. We took the train to Dalkey one day, from Dublin. It was a lovely seaside town to walk around in, have lunch, and see the castle. We also drove to Galway, and stopped at Clonmacnoise on the way. It was quite beautiful and well worth a stop. Not heavily visited, either, which was nice.
PMJ is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 06:21 AM
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Thanks Everyone! Yes, our jam packed 9 day tour of the Republic is with a tour group. However we have 3 more days before the tour begins. So we thought maybe we would drive up to Northern Ireland to see the Glens and the Antrim coast. We arrive in Dublin on the morning of Monday July 28 and need to be back in Dublin on the afternoon of Thursday July 31.
LauraAlice is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
Nedsireland / Padraig:

Back in 2002, when I told my wife's cousin from Co. Cork that I was taking our group to "Bal-een AH", he corrected my pronunciation -- but only after grasping me in a brief headlock, and laughing heartily!

When I then made the mistake of asking if that meant that Killala was therefor pronounced "Kill a LAH", he grabbed me, once again ...

Ah, well, at least he didn't 'box' my ears.

And Padraig -- since I am out of YOUR arm's reach -- is Ballina, Co. Tipperary ALSO pronounced the same as the one in Mayo?

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Ah ha, much different. A way too busy scheduled planned by professionals. If you're not doing the driving, it's better but still, escorted tours are windshield (screen) tours of Ireland. Ballina is an unusual 1st night stop.

So my thought is this. Your 1st day you will be very jetlagged I predict so driving to NI fresh off the plane is not the best idea. My thought would be to perhaps get to the Bru na Boine (Newgrange). If you get in early enough in the day, you could do a tour there that would involve some walking around and at least help you stay awake. Maybe end the day by trying to get a bit further north, maybe Carlingford.

On the next day you could easily make NI and spend some time on the NE coast. The Antrim Coast rd followed by the Torr Rd is a nice choice and will introduce just a a bit of driving fear (the Torr Rd is pretty narrow).

On the next day you could pick up some things in the morning (maybe Carrick-a-Rede) and start heading back picking a place to stay enroute to Dublin. I think I would want to stay closer to Dublin if I had a hard stop time in the afternoon.

wojazz3 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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You are going to have difficulty covering it all in such a short time.
The country looks small on the map but takes longer to navigate.
I did a tour in 2006 using the Hidden Ireland Book as my compass. It was unforgetable.

Terry Mills
master_mcgrath is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Re. Ballina: I received Christmas cards from the owners of Crocket's on the Quay every year for the last three. I stayed in their Guesthouse back in 2005 & 2006. They're nice people!
I also spent several Euros in their Bars & Restaurant. They have some great Salmon dishes; and the Salmon is probably from the River Moy that fronts their establishment, right across the road.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
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