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Scotland and Ireland, 12 days. Suggestions?

Scotland and Ireland, 12 days. Suggestions?

Jan 19th, 2012, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Donegal is DEFINITELY worth some time, including the Sliabh Liag cliffs and Inishowen. By the way, I had no extra fees when I rented a car from Dan Dooley in Belfast and returned it in Shannon, or at least it was no more expensive than picking it up in Dublin.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 12
Glendalough and Wicklow Mountains are worth going to. I was there in 2008 and loved it so much I took my husband to see it this past May.

Interesting things around the Dublin area are: Trim Castle and Newgrange/Knowth. I was glad we did both Newgrange and Knowth because they are different.

We were on the first tour of the day for Trim Castle and had a really good guide. You can only see the keep with a guided tour. Then you can wander the grounds. We then took a drive up to Monasterboice to see the High Crosses.

We stayed at a B&B a kilometre from the Cliffs of Moher and went there half an hour before the information centre opened. The parking lot is free before 9:00 and we were the only ones at the cliff.

When in Belfast, maybe check out the treasure recovered from one of the shipwrecks of the Spanish Armada in the museum. We didn't get to Belfast, but while in County Donegal, we took a day trip to Derry because they have a display from a different Armada wreck. My husband is quite interested in it. We also visited a few beaches where they know ships wrecked.
bluejayca is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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Posts: 158
Okay, time for an update. We've nailed down dates at each place, and my wife is getting more excited about going after looking through some pictures.

Day 1 - arrive at DUB, hop on train/bus to Galway, explore Galway city
Day 2 - rent car, drive to Cliffs of Moher, explore Burren
Day 3 - rent car, explore Connemara
Day 4 - train/bus back to Dublin, explore city
Day 5 - sights in Dublin
Day 6 - sights in Dublin
Day 7 - rent car, explore Wicklow
Day 8 - train/bus to Belfast
Day 9 - Belfast sites
Day 10 - rent car, explore Causeway Coast, County Antrim
Day 11 - Belfast sites, back to Dublin
Day 12 - fly home from DUB

99% sure that we'll stay at Forster Court in Galway and Premiere Inn Albert St in Belfast, but we're having trouble finding a place in Dublin that wouldn't be too loud at night yet remain close to the sights and be a good value (i.e. <$100 night).

Any suggestions on a Dublin hotel?
Spivonious is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
We had a decent stay at O'Neill's Victorian Pub and B&B. It's a good value (especially for Dublin) and walking distance to Trinity College and O'Connell Street. It's a bit noisy at night, so if that's a big factor, it's not a good place - there is traffic outside all night, and it is above a pub. Also there's a train nearby. However, the place was clean, the rooms huge (really is a Victorian house) and the rates were very good value.

There are two O'Neill's, so get the right one. http://www.oneillsdublin.com/
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Posts: 158
Thanks, GreenDragon. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that they have any double rooms available for the nights we'll be there. Seems like a great spot.

Street noise won't bother us, but we are worried about shouting and such at 3AM when the pubs close. We were looking at the Croke Park hotel, and aren't averse to walking from there to the city centre, but I've read that the neighborhood around it isn't the greatest.

Oh, in case it helps, we'll be in Dublin from 29 April to 3 May.
Spivonious is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Try Bewley's - they have E99 a room at any time.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 08:32 AM
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Has anyone stayed at the George Frederich Handel Hotel? It looks like a good spot (near Christ Church Cathedral) and is a good price.

And a new question: What's a good romantic place to stay in Connemara? It's our fifth anniversary while we're out there, so a one night stay would be fun.
Spivonious is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,423
Sorry, I can't help you with comments regarding the George Frederich Handel Hotel but can make a few recommendations for Connemara.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Cashel House Hotel are both very nice places, arguably the best in Connemara. I would also recommend The Quay House in Clifden. Great hosts and it's oldest building in Clifden (1820) but very well kept. Breakfast is served in the conservatory.




Some people are like the the Abbeyglen Castle in Clifden. It's fine on the inside, but the exterior always makes me cringe.
historytraveler is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 09:38 AM
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I just wanted to post back in here with a small trip report. Thanks for all of the advice!

We had a great trip. We ended up doing guided tours instead of renting a car. Galway Tour Company for Cliffs/Burren, Wild Wicklow for Wicklow region, and Hidden Connemara for a wonderful hike through the Connemara region.

We took a combo of trains and buses to get up to the Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. It wasn't the best solution, but none of the guided tours leaving from Belfast actually stopped at Dunluce for more than a photo stop. Because of my wife's connection (McQuillan), we wanted to spend some time there.

We never felt at a disadvantage not having a car, but remember to bring your walking shoes! Some of the distances from the nearest bus stop to our destination were a bit far (the Causeway Coast bus wasn't running as it was out-of-season).

I'd have to say that, of the cities, Galway was my favorite for the great pubs. Dublin was overly touristy and Belfast felt more British than Irish (go figure). We had a very enjoyable time in Galway listening to trad music in the pubs.

Of the outdoors areas, Connemara was gorgeous, with great views of the ocean from atop Diamond Hill. Cliffs of Moher was neat, but it's worth about an hour tops. The Burren area was very unique and worth a trip down from Galway. Wicklow was neat, but I wish we had spent a night down there to really soak it in. I'd gladly have taken a day from Dublin for that.

We also had such a great experience at the Prague House B&B in Galway that we will now be looking at B&Bs first when traveling. It doesn't get much better than included hot breakfast with local expertise.
Spivonious is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
Not quite what you set out to do. Just shows there can be success in flexibility. Glad you had a good time. don't be a stranger there is lots more to see and do.
Tony2phones is offline  

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