Planning Ireland trip for my Dad

Aug 25th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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Planning Ireland trip for my Dad

I am planning a trip to Ireland next Spring for my dad and brother. I received such wonderful advice when I planned my own trip last fall that I thought I'd post their tentative itinerary for feedback and suggestions. I've picked some of the same places we stayed and visited. Their trip is shorter, however, and its likely they can travel more easily than we did with a toddler, so more one night stops.

My dad and brother have each (separately)travelled to Europe previously and are primarily interested in castles, history, exploring the countryside, and meeting people along the way. My dad, while older, is still very active and my brother (mid-thirties) is the outdoorsy type.

Here goes:
Sunday, April 9 - arrive mid-morning Dublin Airport, pick up rental (we had good success with Dan Dolley and will probably use again), drive to Trim, tour Trim Castle, Hill of Tara, overnight at Highfield House. Any dining suggestions?

Monday, April 10 - early tour of Newgrange (I understand Knowth - which we loved - is closed that time of year but Dad really wants to see Newgrange). Drive to Cashel with stop in Kilkenny for Castle, also tour Rock of Cashel. Overnight at Legends Guesthouse, Cashel.

Tuesday, April 11 - Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage, drive to Kenmare, overnight at The Lodge (we enjoyed Kenmare and our stay at The Lodge). Or should I keep them on a more direct path and have them stay in or near Killarney? If Killarney, any lodging suggestions? Dinner? Other things to do?

Wednesday, April 12 - Killarney NP, Gap of Dunloe, Muckross House, drive to Castlegregory with overnight at The Shores.

Thursday, April 13 - Dingle Peninsula drive. Overnight at The Shores.

Friday, April 14 - drive to Ballyvaughn with stop at Cliffs of Moher. Should they go through The Burren (I have them exploring Burren on the next day) or is the coast drive nice? Overnight at Gregan's Castle

Saturday, April 15 - explore The Burren in the morning, spend afternoon at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Medieval dinner banquet at Bunratty. Overnight at Bunratty Lodge. We did not go to Bunratty but it seemed like a good last stop before flying out in the morning. Is it worthwhile? Lunch suggestions for Ennis or alternatively Bunratty?

Sunday - April 16 - fly home

Thank you in advance for your help. I'm looking forward to my next trip but planning this one will have to tide me over awhile.
POlson is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 05:57 AM
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I have to say this is a very ambitious schedule with alot of driving and getting into and out of B&B's. Having said that a few thoughts. Tuesday skip Kenmare and keep driving to Killarney. This will take you through the NP and you can stop at all the scenic spots along the way. Your plan for Killarney is very busy. I have done the Gap twice and its a full day. Walk it if your up to it. Muckross House is nice and you might be able to get it in after the Gap. Your next two nights sound good, two nights at the same place will give you a breather but the drive from Killarney to Castlegregory will a little longer than it looks on the map. Spend the whole day on a leisurely drive around the Peninsula and the Connor Pass. Doolin is not my favorite place in Ireland I have been there twice and the only reason I would go back is to get the ferry out to the islands. Having said that If I was you I would spend Friday night in Doolin just to say you have been there. Ballyvaugh is nice, quiet village and you really watch the sun go down over Galway Bay but For one night I would opt for Doolin. Next day your loop from the Cliffs throught the Burren to Bunratty is good. The Park is a bit touristy but its nice for an afternoon and there is some nice shopping across the street and two nice Pubs with good food and Durty Nellies. Some folks love the Banquet, some hate it. Since its Sat. night I would opt for one of the Pubs and some music, your call. I used Dan Dooley seven years in a row and had good service. This year I switched to save not alot of money and had a yard of aggravation. In any event have fun with your family.
JOHNOD is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Two follow up questions:

Any lodging recommendations for Killarney? I've seen Ross Castle Lodge mentioned. Any thoughts...

Would it make more sense to do the last two nights at Dromoland (with a day trip through the Burren and to the Cliffs?) instead of 1 at Gregans and 1 at or near Bunratty? Would we be near enough to Lough Gur for a stop on the way from Dingle to Dromoland?

POlson is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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There are many nice hotels in the middle of Killarney and hundreds of B&B's. Stay somplace you will not have to drive to town center. I have stayed at the Arbutus a few years ago and it was fine. I stayed at Dromoland Castle several years ago and if price is not a consideration go for it. Great Pub and Dining room on site and a golf course. Jackets required in the dining room, lovely gardens. We sat next to Richard Harris at Dinner and overheard him telling Frank Sinatra stories to his table. My wife swooned. Have fun
JOHNOD is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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Dad bought his tickets....

The revised itinerary looks something like this:
Day 1 - arrive Dublin in the morning, drive to Trim, see Trim Castle, maybe Hill of Tara (lodging at Highfield House). Any dining suggestions?
Day 2 - morning tour of Newgrange, drive to Cashel (with stop in Birr or Kilkenny depending on the route). (Lodging at Legends Guesthouse)
Day 3 - visit Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, drive to Killarney (lodging Ross Castle)
Day 4 - visit Muckross House, enjoy drive through Killarney NP with stops at Ladies View, Torc waterfall, drive on to Castlegregory (lodging at The Shores and hopefully dinner too)
Day 5 - Dingle Peninsula drive (this one I did on my trip and I will recommend a similar route - I think it was the Rick Steves one with suggestions by Fodorites) (lodging 2nd night at The Shores and more yummy food)
Day 6 - drive to Dromoland castle. Any interesting sites/sights along the way? Maybe stop at Bunratty. Maybe take in banquet? (lodging Dromoland)
Day 7 - explore The Burren, visit Cliffs of Moher, stop in Doolin, formal dinner at Dromoland (lodging 2nd night at Dromoland)
Day 8 - depart Shannon midday

Any additional thoughts on the itinerary are appreciated.

Meanwhile, I will fondly remember my own trip and look forward to my next one someday.
POlson is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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PO-- the Legends Guesthouse in Cashel has gotten horrendous reviews on a number of websites; are you aware of this?
Viajero2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Legends Guest House in Cashel was sold to a new owner a couple of years ago. I have heard through the grapevine that standards have slipped dramatically.
IrishEyes is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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For accommodations in Cashel look at IrelandYes web-site. I 've read the bad reviews of Legends also. I'm surprised Karen Brown still has it in her book. I'd suggest Cashel Palace Hotel as I was very comfortable there in 1997. I spent 3 hours at Bailey's B&B and couldn't stand it and moved on to Cashel Palace. It was wonderful. Now they get very bad reviews and Bailey's has become a small hotel and gets great reviews. Can't beat the location. When I rented my car from Dan Dooley I went to Pat Preston's web-site and mentioned her name and got 10% off.

Hope they have a great trip, Joan
chatham is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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This is an old thread.
Budman is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 12:16 PM
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Well, Budman, why didn't you tell us sooner. I'm getting a good laugh at myself. Maybe Dad will let us know after 2 years how his trip was.

Regards, Joan
chatham is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Fun read anyways.... amp;
Viajero2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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Hey Viajero2, Thanks for the joke!
IrishEyes is offline  
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