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S. Ireland 16 days mid Oct - Itinerary & dining feedback

S. Ireland 16 days mid Oct - Itinerary & dining feedback

Aug 18th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,710
S. Ireland 16 days mid Oct - Itinerary & dining feedback

Hi, all -

My husband and I are experienced independent travelers, but this will be our first trip to Ireland. We'll have 16 days on the ground, arriving in Dublin on Oct 19 and departing from Shannon on Nov 4.

We love good food at all levels and often plan vacations around where we will eat! Also interested in history, art/architecture, and beautiful scenery, all of which seem in abundance throughout Ireland. Tend to skip the really touristy stuff and associated crowds. We generally like to spend at least 2-3 nights in each spot, and prefer to be somewhere where we can walk to/from dinner most nights.

We have a rough itinerary mapped out, but welcome suggestions of whether to add/subtract nights from a location, or substitute a different one. Currently, we are thinking of the following:

Dublin - 3 nights
Kilkenny - 3 nights
Shanagarry - 1 night (stay at Kilmahon House and dine at Ballymaloe as a belated anniversary celebration)
Kinsale (?) or Cork (?), or just skip to Galway or environs - 3 nights (28 Oct bank holiday and Cork Jazz Festival 25-28 Oct are both potential factors)
Kenmare - 3 nights
Ennis - 3 nights

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Lesli is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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PS: We'll be renting a car for after we leave Dublin. Easiest to pick up back at the airport?
Lesli is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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Hi Lesli, We were in Ireland at the end of June this year and we picked up our rental car at the Dublin airport, I recommend doing that.

We had 3 nights in Dublin and then spent 4 nights in west Cork and fell in love with the place, absolutely gorgeous scenery and lovely people. (we also liked that we didn't see hordes of other tourists)

We stayed near a town called Skibbereen at Liss Ard Estate which I can highly recommend. www.lissardestate.com/
We ended up eating in their dining room every night as the food was so good and the service also. Breakfast was only so-so but dinner was outstanding.
(breakfast is included in the price and was perfectly adequate but not up to the standards of dinner) The property is just beautiful, set in 150 acres, with a Sky Garden in a crater created by James Turrell and lots of lovely walking paths.
The receptionist organized a night out for us to hear traditional music in a pub in a nearby village and that was brilliant.
raincitygirl is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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I meant to add two restaurant recommendations for Dublin. These were near our hotel which was in Leeson Close, about a 10 or 15 minute walk from St.Stephen's Green.

The Sussex, 9 Sussex Terrace, Upper Leeson Street, and The Canal Bank Cafe, 146 Upper Leeson St. The food in both places was very good and the Whisky Sour at the Canal Bank Cafe was one of the best cocktails I've had anywhere.

Service was good at both busy places, slightly friendlier at the Sussex but certainly not unfriendly at Canal Bank, just that we had quite a chatty waiter at the Sussex.
raincitygirl is offline  
Aug 18th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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At that time of year, you hardly will face any crowds anywhere.
Actually, it's way off-season, so it could be a good idea to stay in the places which are somewhat overrun in high season. As more off-the-beaten-track places can get a bit deserted.
Therefore, I think you picked a good variety of places -- Cork vs Kinsale.. I think I would do Kinsale as Cork is so close by that it does not really matter.
Kilkenny and Ennis are decently sized small towns with enough going on all year so going there off season has no relevance re. restaurants, pubs, music...
Don't know a thing about Kenmare.
As raincitygirl pointed out, West Cork is a really nice area to stay in.. when in Skibbereen or Baltimore you can also do boat trips to the "thousand Islands" (well, to some of them).
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far! We are still trying to decide between Ennis and other nearby towns, so please keep them coming.
Lesli is offline  

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