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Please offer input on 9/14-27 Ireland trip

Please offer input on 9/14-27 Ireland trip

Aug 19th, 2003, 10:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9
Please offer input on 9/14-27 Ireland trip

Hi folks. I will be traveling to Ireland with my late 60s/early 70s parents (their 1st time) arriving on the redeye Monday 9/15 in Dublin. I tentatively have jotted down an itinerary and am looking for some guidance. Am I on the right page? ANy suggestions for places to stay, travelling times would be helpful.

Day 1 -Arrive 6am in Dublin - pick up rental car and head to Ariel House B&B outside Dublin. Staying there 2 (possibly 3) nites. Figured we'd eat breakfast, perhaps nap and take DART into Dublin for some sightseeing.
Day 2 - Dublin sightseeing
Day 3 - possible road trip north of Dublin to see Newgrange, Hill of Tara (should we drive or do a bus tour out of Dublin)? Dad's family was from Louth - anything to see there that you'd recommend or should we pass on heading up there?
Day 4 - Drive thru Wicklow Mtns to Kilkenny (visit Powerscout Gardens, St kevins monastery in Glandalough, St Canice's - stay in Kilkenny?
Day 5 - Waterford, Rock of Cashel, Cobh/Cork - stay in Kinsale
Day 6 - Blarney Castle, Cobh/Cork - stay in Kinsale
Day 7 - head to Dingle peninsula - stay in Dingle
Day 8 - Dingle
Day 9 - head to Galway - stay in Galway
Day 10 - Galway - Cliffs of Moher, Burren
Day 11 - possible trip to Aran Islands - stay in Galway
Day 12- head to Adare - stay at Dunraven Arms for 2 nites - medieval dinner at Bunratty
Day 13 - parents playing golf at Adare Manor
Day 14 - drive to Shannon and depart at 3:20pm.

driscoll8 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2003, 01:19 PM
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We just returned from a trip where we started in Cork and ended up in Dublin, so hit a few of the spots you are thinking about. Just briefly, we loved Dublin and enjoyed the National Gallery, but also loved the Gaelic Athletic Association Museum! Our best meal of the whole trip was at Bang Cafe on Merriam (sp?) Street. We also liked the Mermaid Cafe, which is well written up, but Bang was better!
We all enjoyed Newgrange (our ages are 13 to 54, by the way, 6 of us), but there can be a wait to get in. Maybe not as bad in September.

Another great place to visit, but grim and depressing (just warning!) is Kilmainham Gaol (esp if interested in the Easter 1916 Revolution).

The Blarney Castle is just not worth it, in all of our opinions, but the grounds around the castle are beautiful! It makes no sense that there is no interpretive material, just numbers and signs that say "Family Room", etc -- we laughed "yes, this is where a medieval family would have put the big screen tv?!" The walk up the narrow steps is steep & a bit claustrophobic and could be hard for older people, too.
In Cobh, you all might like the Cobh Interpretive Center, or Queenstown Story, the museum about the Irish emigration movements that also covers the Titanic and Lusitania sinkings. We found it very interesting.

Have a fun trip! We took my in-laws (about that age) to England & Scotland 3 yrs ago and they loved the trip! They couldn't do it this time, so enjoy having them along!
dhraub is offline  
Aug 19th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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I took my parents with me to Ireland in April ( Mom 65 , Dad 68) so I can relate to your trip.

You have a lot of 2 night stays planned. While 2 nights may sound plenty to you, I can tell you, my folks were really happy with the places we stayed 3 nights. 2 nights at a place seemed like we were packing up all the time. (can you imagine if I had planned a bunch of one-nighters? ) It looks like you have 3 nights in Dublin & Galway, and 2 in Kinsale, Dingle, Adare - 2 different places in that town. And 1 in Kilkenny. The only change I would make would be to find a way to make one of your 2nighters a 3 nighter.

For places to stay - it all depends on your budget.

I would book the Bunratty Banquet ASAP - it fills up fast.

Kinsale to Dingle is around 3 - 3.5 hrs.

Click on my name if you want to read my trip report.
Debbie is offline  
Aug 19th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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tours at Newgrange may be a hour or two apart so try to find out the times of the tours so you don't get there 5 minutes after a tour left and need to wait 1-2 hours for the next one.
bigtyke is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 02:39 AM
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Day 9 & 10: From Dingle head for the Tarbert-Killimer ferry - You can do the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren on the way or if you're not in a hurry, your folks might like to play the 9-hole links course at Spanish Point or the 18-hole links course at Lahinch. Adare's two courses are 'parkland,' like most of our U.S. courses. Ask your dad.

For Spanish Point, I have stayed at (Pauleen) Fitzgerald's B&B in nearby Miltown Malbay. Very nice!
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 03:51 AM
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Just got back and I was going to post separately on this (and still might). I wouldn't give two seconds attention to the town of Adare, especially since there are so many other areas of Ireland you can explore. Would encourage you to spend time in lovely towns of Kinsale, Bantry or Kenmare in the South or more time in the West--Ballyvaughen, Doolen, Letterfrack, Clifden, etc.

Dunraven Arms was outrageously expensive--my biggest expense of an over two-week trip--and it just wasn't worth it. The hot weather meant that our expensive stay was also shared with two wedding receptions. Hearing "Jumping Jack Flash" at two a.m. wasn't something I had expected.

As to Dunraven's famous restaurant, it was a joke. Our watercress and spinach salad contained neither, for example. We had better meals in pubs in the middle of nowhere than in this overblown SUPPOSEDLY gourmet dining room.

Adare from the photos looks like a sleepy, cute little town. In reality it is a mass of tour buses filled with throngs of tourists taking pictures of who knows what. You walk outside the Dunraven Arms to inhale diesel exhaust.

The experience was particularly jarring because we had just ended our tour of the West where we had seen "real" cottages and "real" Ireland.

If you want to see a "mock" town (which was what Lord Dunraven had in mind when he built Adare), then go to the Bunratty Folk Park. I now understand why so many people on this board thought the Folk Park was well done--after seeing West Ireland, it was great to have a review of the feel of it all again before we flew home. Unlike, Adare, it was relatively inexpensive!!!!!

Again, there is so much beautiful Ireland to see, so please don't lock your parents and yourself into one of the worst "la tourista" experiences I've ever had.
Aug 20th, 2003, 08:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9
Thank you so much for all this feedback...definitely helps narrow choices. A few other questions. Heading from Dublin via wicklow mtns on way to Kinsale, would you guys recommend an overnite stay in Kilkenny or perhaps Cashen? It seems like a long haul and perhaps needs a one nite break. Any suggestions for where to stay in either. I think Debbie you had mentioned Dualla House?
driscoll8 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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I absolutely loved Dualla House ( do a search on Google - their web site has very real photos of what to expect). We were there 2 nights and would have loved a 3rd or 4th. We lucked out and were there during lambing season.

In Kilkenny we stayed at Laurels, and it was WAY overpriced for the room size,location, and overall value - would not stay there again.
Debbie is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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Debbie, Dualla seems wonderful. So stopping there instead of Kilkenny on way to Kinsales sounds like a good idea? Can you tell me how long leaving Dublin in the am, going through Wicklow mtns (Powerscourt Gardens) to Cashel would take approx? And what maps are a must for us since we have a car. Thank you again for all your input!
driscoll8 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Well - we left Glendalough, through the mountains to Kilkenny. And that took us just under 2 hrs. ( only 1 stop at a gas station to confirm we were on the right road )

Dublin to Powerscourt all depends on where in Dublin you are.
Powerscourt is about 30 min from Glendalough, and Cashel about 1 hr from Kilkenny,
So I would guess the total drive time would be around 4 hrs.

(I don't have my Collins map with me - so I don't know if there is a more direct route. you can always check with Michele at www.IrelandYes.com - she usually is fabulous with directions.)

You will usually get a map with your car rental - the large fold out type. I prefer the notebook type - Collins maps makes a really nice one.
Debbie is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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One more question - how far is Galway drive from Dingle?
driscoll8 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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Galway to Dingle is about a 4 hour drive.
MaryZ is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 06:35 AM
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I'm 68 and agree with Debbie on staying at least 3 nights in one place.I usually stay one night near the airport coming & going. 2001 I flew into Dublin, went down to Hunter's Hotel for 4 nights, went by train up to Dundalk,County Louth(via Dublin) and a taxi to Carlingford. We were to have stayed only 4 nights but loved it so much we stayed 6. Our Bed & Breakfast was Jordans and could sit in a window seat & watch what was going on out on the water. Ghan House is very,very nice. They have a web site(ghanhouse.com) There is a small hotel on the village square( might be noisy) and more B&B's. I found a web site for Carlingford with the listings. With your Dad being from Louth, I don't think you could go wrong with a visit. Have a great time. I'm looking forward to my trip in Oct. to Connemara. Maryz & Marymac have good info. P.S., I found Kinsale OK, but have been other places I liked better.
chatham is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 06:55 AM
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Amelia is right about Dunraven Arms. I spent a sleepless night there once. Maybe if your rooms are away from the road, you'll be OK. It did have pretty nice rooms. We had a Pub dinner some where. This was 1996,so hard to remember.
chatham is offline  

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