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Our rough plan for trip to Ireland in May 2005. Would appreciate comments please.

Our rough plan for trip to Ireland in May 2005. Would appreciate comments please.

Jul 12th, 2004, 07:15 AM
  #1  
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Our rough plan for trip to Ireland in May 2005. Would appreciate comments please.

Hello everyone, especially Ireland experts including Siobahn, Cailin, Budman, Italian-chauffeur etc.
My husband and I are planning a European trip in May next year which will take us to Ireland for 12 days (two of which will be spent in Dublin, Scotland (seven days) and Paris (five days).
We had planned to spend a couple of days in London, but have abandoned that plan to give us more time in Ireland.
We can't book our airline tickets until the end of August. So I'm not sure if we will be flying into Shannon or Dublin. What I have noted below is not an itinerary because we aren't in a position to compile one yet. My hope is to gather sufficient information to form the basis for an itinerary, with adjustments, once we have dates and flight information. Hope it's not too vague and frustrating for you to offer assistance.
Could anyone in a position to help look at what we've put together on a daily basis and advise on whether it is feasible in the time allocated. I'd really appreciate the help.

Day one: (this could also be the last day depending on which airport we land at). Kells, Hill of Tara, Newgrange, maybe Knowth. Stay overnight in the area.

Day two: Powerscourt, Glendalough, Wicklow, Avoca and Brittas Bay. Stay overnight in Wicklow.

Day three: Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford. Staying overnight in Waterford.

Day four: Ardmore, Lismore, Cahir, Cashel and on to Cork where we would stay overnight.

Day five: Cork, Cobh Harbour and stay overnight in Cork.

Day six: Cork, Kinsale and Blarney. Staying overnight in Glengariff.

Day seven: Glengariff, Ring of Beara and Dingle Peninsula staying overnight in Killarney.

Day eight: Killarney, Limerick and Bunratty Castle (is the banquet worth doing?). Staying overnight in Limerick.

Day nine: Cliffs of Moher, The Burren and Ballyvaughan.

I've left a day open (day ten) in case we have to travel back to Dublin. Maybe Galway could be accommodated on this day? If there anything major I've ommitted that we would regret not seeing, I'd appreciate a wake-up call. I don't know if I've perhaps allocated too much time to Cork?
We are both thirtysomething and are keen on natural beauty and historical sights.
Hope you can help.
Thanks.
Lisa
LisainSA is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 08:21 AM
  #2  
 
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Too early to post an in-depth critique, but I do have a few general comments. Assuming Day 1 is from Dublin arrival, it is probaly way too ambitious, if Ireland is your first port of call. If this is day 1, AFTER your 2 day Dublin stay, that would be different.
You could easily spend even longer in Cork City, but you might be able to shave a day here, or at least shift your base to Kinsale or Clonakilty, for at least one night.
Day seven is neigh on impossible, to do Beara, Killarney AND Dingle and then return to Killarney.
I wouldn't stay in Limmerick, but rather Bunratty, if you decide to do the Banquet, or Ennis, if you don't.
Check out Budman's trip report from May for recommendations about Dingle and Co. Clare.
Are you into Music? Visiting with Locals, or just doing the tourist things?
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 08:37 AM
  #3  
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Hello and thanks for responding, I was hoping you would.
This rough plan is based on us arriving at Dublin airport and spending two days in Dublin before picking up a car and heading off for 10 days.
I suspected day seven was going to be the big problem, so I'll definitely spend more time researching that.
Thanks for the advice about Kinsale, Clonakilty and Bunratty, I'll go back to my Fodors Ireland and look into it.
We do definitely want to hear some traditional music. Saw Lord of the Dance on Thursday night and we're definitely keen to hear more. I know the pub music will be better, more traditional than that used for the show. Will also do a search on Budman's report. I remember reading it some time ago. Must print out a copy.
Thanks again.
Lisa

LisainSA is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:07 AM
  #4  
 
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No Ireland expert myself, but a few comments on a Monday morning. Would think you'd try flying into Dublin and out of Shannon or vice versa. So you would arrange your journey from East to West (or vice versa).

For day one you list Kells as if that is another stop north of Dublin when actually it entails a tour through Trinity College in Dublin. A full day in Dublin is possible with plenty to see depending on interests. You did mention history along with scenery and added pub music which we loved (quite different of course from Lord of the Dance). Then there is also literature (Writer's Museum), drama at The Abbey, experiencing Kilmainham Gael.

You may find as we did that no reservations were available for Newgrange and thus we did Knowth. Tara isn't much to see...just a windswept hill (but with such history of course).
Don't miss nearby Trim Castle, though.

Yes, a trip to Glendalough and Wicklow environs is a must. Didn't get to Waterford which is a favorite tourist stop, and deliberately avoided Blarney Castle. But certainly Rock of Cashel is impressive and include the adjacent folk center.

And yes, see the Burren, Cliffs of Moher of course, up into Galway, and how about where Lady Gregory and W.B.Yeats had homes. We stayed in Limerick and also Killarney and enjoyed the Dingle tour. Final night in rural family B&B near Bunratty...toured the castle but didn't do the banquet, instead a pleasant evening in the pub. As mentioned there are places in Ennis as well for those going to the airport.

Seems to me you will be weary with road travel. And where in Scotland will you be? Enjoy your planning...including Paris of course! But missing London?

Bill Longman (senior citizen)
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Ozarksbill is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Hi Lisa,

Ozarksbill - there is actually a town called Kells which is in Meath (same county as Newgrange, Trim, etc).

Re: Day 2 - this seems to be quite busy, particularly if you are driving to Meath. The drive will take you back through Dublin. I think it would be an easier option, if possible, to extend your stay in Dublin by one night, and do a day trip to Meath on one of the days. Then travel southwards with your Wicklow itinerary as planned. If you're looking for somewhere nice to stay in County Wicklow, I have two recommendations in particular - try either Brook Lodge at Macreddin Village just outside Aughrim, or, closer to Wicklow Town, try Tinakilly in Rathnew. Otherwise, a little further down towards Wexford, Marlfield House in Gorey is gorgeous. They're all a little pricey, but would be great if you have the budget!
cailin is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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(what I meant to say is "driving TO Wicklow FROM Meath")
cailin is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:32 AM
  #7  
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Ozarksbill. Thanks for your advice and comments.
I plan to see the Book of the Kells, or rather the pages on display at Trinity, but my Fodors Ireland also refers to a town called Kells which I hope to fit in with my Newgrange visit.
Scotland not planned yet, but definitely Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Oban and Skye.
Thanks again.
Lisa
LisainSA is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:39 AM
  #8  
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Thanks Cailin. Knew I could count on good advice from you. Also if you'd like to share any excellent shopping opportunities I might come across on these travels, those would be most gratefully received.
LisainSA is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Actually, you could do bothe Newgrange, Tara, etc and Glenndalough, Avoca, etc. on day trip bus tours out of Dublin and then dropp two days of car rental from your budget, to offset it.
Just an idle thought:
Have you considered flying into Shannon, taking a ferry to Scotland and THEN going on to Paris? You might even route yourself to London and take the "Chunnel" into Paris and then fly home from there ...
Just a thought (and wishful thinking on my part -- my wife is truely TERRIFIED by tunnels, even the teeny, tiny ones on the N71, between Glengarrif and Kenmare!).
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 10:47 AM
  #10  
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Like the Chunnel idea, I'll see what Grant, my husband, thinks of it and then I'll be able to report back.
LisainSA is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 12:00 PM
  #11  
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Just read Budman's trip report again. I remember now that's why I decided we should drop Ring of Kerry from our list of things to do.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 05:29 PM
  #12  
sbn
 
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Hello LisainSA. I spent 11 days in Ireland this past September and have a few thoughts I'd like to share with you. I highly recommend overnighting in Kenmare rather than Killarney. Kenmare is a charming town with excellent restaurants and delightful pubs. It puts you in excellent position for touring the Beara Peninsula (spectacular!), Muckross House & Gardens, and the lake country. Kenmare, Dingle and Kinsale were my favorite towns. If you enjoy hiking, there is a spectacular hike uphill to Charles Fort in Kinsale. A beautiful harbor town with great history. Lastly, you may want to allow a full day to drive the Dingle Peninsula. Recommend driving out to Slea Head and ferrying over to the Blasket Islands--more great hiking and spectacular scenery! Karen Brown's Guides, "Ireland, Charming Inns & Itineraries" was most helpful when planning my trip. You may find it worth a look. Two more things--I would overnight in Kilkenny rather than Waterford, and do not miss the Rock of Cashel (I hiked to the top and down the back side, across the pasture into the anchient Abbey at sunrise--my most memorable experience of the entire trip!). Good luck with your plans and don't hesitate to ask the Irish for advice--they are wonderful!
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Jul 12th, 2004, 05:42 PM
  #13  
sbn
 
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Hi again. If you are looking for good shopping, both Kenmare and Kinsale fit the bill. Don't wait to do your shopping in Dublin if that is your final destination in Ireland--you will be disappointed! For accomodations in Kinsale, I highly recommend Old Bank House. A bit expensive, but worth the $ if your budget allows. Michael Riese and family are warm and welcoming. Owner Michael is also chef and prepares a fantastic breakfast each day. Delightful!
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Jul 12th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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I don't recommend going to the Blasket Islands unless you want to go early, spend all day, bring a picnic lunch, hike all over the island, and come back late in the afternoon. The boats out to the Island were totally disorganized. There were many vendors, and you could only come/go with the vendor you came with.

We went out for what we thought was an hour or two and return. Wrong!! The boat we went on only took 12 people per trip, it never showed up when they said they would so we could return, and when it did, there were more than 12 people to go back. What a "goat pull."

There was a fight at the pier amongst the 18 people to be among the 12 for the 1/2 hour trip back.

Unless you are into history and all-day hiking, I would skip this trip.
Budman is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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RE: Shopping. (What, you think only women buy stuff?)
Blarney Woolen Mills has an Outlet Store in Killarney. Another chain, Quills, has at least two stores in Killarney and a great one in Glengarrif. Louis Mulchahy's Pottery, in Dingle. Jack O'Patsy, in Youghal (YAWL, Y'ALL). Brian de Staic, practically everywhere, for unique jewelry, and my personal favorite, the little florist shop on the side street in Kildare, where I bought my favorite flock of little sheep! But I don't know, maybe that's just me.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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Having just returned from 2 weeks in Ireland most of which were spent on the western coast, I cannot emphasize enough to folks who normally drive on the right side of the road...DRIVING IN IRELAND IS NERVE RACKING! You can read for yourself on tons of previous posts the reasons for that fact, but PLEASE realize that it will take you longer to get from spot to spot than you would think.

Also, if you want to truly enjoy a night life in the pubs, be sure to choose a B&B within walking distance to the town's center. Guinness and driving don't mix!

Yes, the Rock of Cashel is a must see!
mkdiebold is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 01:14 AM
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re: shopping - it depends what kind of things you are looking for. If it's clothes (apart from tweeds/aran jumpers, etc) there are lots of great boutiques in Dublin. Brown Thomas is a lovely department store, and there are lots of UK High Street shops in & around Grafton Street that are good - particularly if you don't have the same shops at home. Rococo is a gorgeous boutique just outside the Westbury Mall, Lara on Dame Lane is gorgeous too. There are also some nice shops in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, just behind Grafton Street. If you're looking for jewellery, there are lots of little antique jewellery shops on the lane that links Grafton Street and the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, and there's a lovely little shop (whose name escapes me at the moment) in the Westbury Mall which is between the Westbury and that little lane.

You should definitely visit the Avoca Handweavers shop in Kilmacanogue. There is one on Suffolk Street in Dublin, and another in Avoca village in Wicklow, but I find the one in Kilmacanogue is the best. You can even see the people working on the looms there. It's very close to Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall - just off the N11. There's also a lovely cafe there if you have time to stop for a bite to eat(try the carrot cake - it's delicious!).
cailin is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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I second the Avoca Handweavers and the cafe. The food is excellent. All above shops are nice but at the hight end for clothese and jewellery. All are uniwue and nice but may not be every age groups cup of tea. Another area is Henry street with the Jervis street shopping centre that has Debenhams (UK dept store) and several smaller shops. Arnotts is also located on the street and would be like a Macys. Brown Thomas on Grafton street is more Bloomies/Neiman Marcus. The Kilkenny shop, the Blarney Woolen Mills and House of Ireland are on Nassau street in Dublin and both are great for Irish goods.

I think overall you are running around too much and will be tired. cut out a little bit and give time to enjoy the places you visit.
SiobhanP is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 07:30 AM
  #19  
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Thanks so much everyone for the great advice - regarding our travel plans and the shopping. Especially the shopping.
I know we have to cut back on our travel plans - it's so difficult though because there is so much we want to see in Ireland. That's why we've dumped London - we want more time in Ireland. But then again, it's a really great excuse to return to Ireland, not so?
LisainSA is offline  
Dec 27th, 2004, 03:59 AM
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hi lisa - you should try to include a trip to county donegal in your schedule. it is a beautiful county with lots of places to explore. excellent little pubs with irish music. you can check pics of donegal together with hints on driving, money saving tips, safety, etc. together with facts on ireland on my website: www.welovedonegal.com

also, if you make donegal the end of your irish trip you could then drive to belfast (a couple of hours) and take an easyjet flight to scotland or paris. the prices are unbelievable. i had considered going to scotland for new year and had checked their prices back about october where i could have got a flight to glasgow for 1.28 sterling! you get cheaper flights the more in advance you book and you could go to their site www.easyjet.com to see prices and times. the site is really easy to negotiate and should help you plan a really budget way to get from ireland to scotland. they probably do scotland to paris as well so i'd check that too.

hope this of help! and enjoy your trip. catherine
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