No reservations in Ireland?

Old May 29th, 2007, 06:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 54
No reservations in Ireland?

Hi all, trip plans are beginning to firm up for trip next month! I have most accomodations sorted out, but wondering if I can keep a couple of nights free to decide during the trip. I did this in Chile (with no Spanish!) and it was great to be able to go where we wanted without reservations. I see there was a recent thread on this, but we aren't going to the more crowded SW coast.

Here's the current plan:
3 nights Dublin - Shelbourne (Marriott points)
Rent car, drive to Belfast, 2 nights Merchant Hotel (got great rate through work)
Now I have 2 nights open, thinking we'll drive up the Antrim coast and stay one night on coast or Derry, then to Donegal and 1 night near Slieve League Cliffs.
On to Co. Sligo, stay at the amazing Temple House for 2 nights.
Another 2 nights open, stay somewhere in Westport? Okay without reservations?
On to Connemara, 2 nights at Buttermilk Lodge in Clifden.
On to Galway, return car, 1 night Courtyard Galway (Marriott points again, not really ideal location).
Train/bus (hoping bus is a good option, it's much cheaper) to Dublin, 1 night Bewleys Ballsbridge.
Early am flight back to NYC.

Would love feedback on those open nights: okay to leave open without reservations? Any towns/B&Bs recommended in Antrim, Donegal, or Westport? Also would love feedback on Galway-Dublin on bus or train.

Thanks for the help as always!

NotoriousMEG is offline  
Old May 29th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 895
There is plenty of accommodation in Ireland if you aren't over fussy. I went in mid-September and booked nothing, having no trouble at all. June is fairly off season too so should be OK. This site may help you in your travel :
kaneda is offline  
Old May 29th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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I was in Northern Ireland in June last year and stopped overnight in Derry, Ballycastle and Belfast. In each case, I just went to the tourist office and they found something suitable. I've visited the Republic of Ireland at that time of year and had few problems finding accommodation. The cities of Dublin, Belfast and Galway, and tourist towns can be difficult at weekends, but the tourist offices will always find something.
Travelling between Dublin and Galway, I've always used the train which is quicker and more comfortable than the bus, but I've done longer journeys with Bus Eireann, including Derry-Galway, where there's no alternative by train. The buses are quite comfortable, and the only problem is traffic congestion in towns.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old May 30th, 2007, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Do any of your unplanned days fall on weekends or a bank holiday? Are you aware that from June 15 to 17 there is a motor rally in Co. Donegal? I am certain everything there is already booked. Just because you are not following the usual tourist trail does not mean you will have the whole place to yourself.
IrishEyes is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Ooh, thanks for the website and the suggestions! Nope, no bank holidays and not really weekends, though we'd arrive in Westport on a Sunday. I actually booked one night now in Donegal, as I really wanted to stay at So now it's down to only 3 free nights, and I think we'll be good for those.

I'm actually arriving on the 15th, so that we'll be in Dublin for Bloomsday, but a motor rally sounds quite exciting! I wonder if there are many people trying to choose between the two events?!

Thanks again!
NotoriousMEG is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 02:26 AM
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I stayed in the buttermilk lodge a few years back and it was lovely. Go one evening to the bar in the abbeyglen castle. The son plays opiano and it can be a fun night of singing and dancing. Westport has a good few places. Hotwl Westport is lovely and the castle court is more affordable. If you go there ask for a rooom on the top floor in the newer wing. You have to take a lift to the top and walk uo a smaller staircase. the rooms are bigger and nicer. Oh there is a lovely B&B next to the Knockranny hotel and friends reccommended it to me . Its located at
SiobhanP is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 03:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 519
You're right about the Courtyard in Marriott not being an ideal location. We stayed there last month to get the points as it was just a stopover. Not walking distance to downtown (in my opinion). Hotel is okay. I think it was about 8E or so to get downtown. Just out of curiosity - you might want to check flight prices from Galway to Dublin - it could be really cheap... and definitely quick.

Can you not drive from Galway to Dublin and drop the car there? That's what we did and then got a taxi to town. Drive is really easy and you could easily take a bus from the airport into Dublin if you didn't want to pay for a taxi - I think it was just about 22E for us, we just felt we had too much stuff to lug onto a bus.
celticdreams is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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You lucky thing staying in The Shelbourne, Its been open a few months now having been closed for 18mths for a huge facelift, and Its really gorgeous!
lucielou is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Lucielou is right it is jjust beautiful in the shelbourne. I have had drinks there twice and its so nice and more open in the bar area. They pretty much left the horseshoe bar alone as it is a landmark. I have not tried the food but its more reasonable from the menue in the main bar. It was a long overdue makeover and is so pretty.
SiobhanP is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 31
Just got back from Northern Ireland. If you can get a second floor room, stay at Crockatinney Guest House in Ballycastle. Do Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle.
Derry is fascinating if you like history and/or current events. We stayed at the Derry Tower Hotel which was fabulous for location and reasonable. Folks weren't overly friendly, but we walked everywhere in 10 minutes.
Rosalinda is offline  
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