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Please help plan a week-long Ireland trip in May

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We are in the early stages of planning a 16 day trip to Ireland and Scotland for May 2014. Travel may eat up 1-2 days, so we are tentatively allocating 7 days (and 7 nights) for Ireland. This would be our first (and possibly last) trip to this part of the world, and all help from Fodorites is solicited.

First, a bit about ourselves. We are a couple from India in our mid-50's, avid travelers of the independent variety, accustomed to driving on the left side of the road. We are going to Ireland and Scotland purely for natural beauty. Our top preferences would be places of raw natural rugged beauty; less interested in cities and mansions. A little flavour of Dublin would not hurt, as we have heard a lot about it. Intend to hire a car to move around, and stay in B&B's. Prefer not to change beds every night, and use a "base" for 2-3 nights wherever possible.

What is given below is a first-cut draft itinerary. Nothing has been finalized yet. At each place, a long list of possible "sights" are mentioned, fully well realizing that all of these would not be possible. We need suggestions on what to see and what to skip. We agree that "less is more", and do not want a very cramped schedule, although we usually do manage to pack in more than others in our travels. We are reasonably fit, but cannot undertake long and difficult hikes.

Day 1 : Land in Dublin in am. Spend entire day in Dublin. Night at Dublin. Get a flavour of Dublin, and recover from jetlag.

Day 2 : Pick up rental car, drive through Wicklow mountains, Glendalough, Powerscourt Estate, before arriving at Kilkenny. See Kilkenny Castle. Night at Kilkenny. (Note: many of the above sights can be omitted if too tight a schedule; in fact this whole leg can be skipped if we require more time elsewhere).

Day 3 : Drive to Killarney, with a brief stop at Rock of Cashel on the way. Drive through Killarney National Park. Also Gap of Dunloe ? Is it too much to also cover Mizen peninsula this day ? Night at Killarney. (Please suggest other things to do today).

Day 4 : Drive the Ring of Kerry, and anything else which is recommended for the day. Muckross House ? Ross Castle ? (prefer natural scenery to castles and mansions). Night at Killarney.

Day 5 : Drive around the Dingle Peninsula. Night at Killarney or Dingle ? (Would like to avoid shifting base, unless necessary).

Day 6 : Drive to Cliffs of Moher. See a bit of Burren if possible. Night at Ennis.

Day 7 : Drive through Connemara National Park area. Night at Ennis.

Day 8 : Go To Shannon to catch a flight to Scotland. (Assuming that car rental agencies are OK with car pick up at Dublin, and drop off at Shannon).

Please feel free to tear up the above itinerary and suggest as many modifications as possible. If required, we can skip our Day 2 itinerary, and add a day somewhere else.

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