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Southern Ireland Plan - QUESTIONS - Appreciate HELP

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Southern Ireland Plan - QUESTIONS - Appreciate HELP

Old Jan 29th, 2020, 08:05 PM
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Southern Ireland Plan - QUESTIONS - Appreciate HELP

My wife and I (50’s) will be coming from Los Angeles for an 9 day trip… one of the first without our kids. We arrive in Dublin from a direct flight at 2pm (June 11)…and depart June 20 at 3pm. In general, we are set on renting a car and doing the common southern loop starting with Kilkenny to Dingle to Galway and on back to Dublin to depart.

I have been doing a LOT of reviews towards perspective and planning. Coming from Los Angeles, we view this as a chance to explore a bit of a country we have long wanted to travel to… knowing we it may be our only trip there… so wanting to venture but not at an oppressive pace. We are equally drawn to the coastal beauty and culture… and accept that skipping some sites… even popular ones… may be fine for the sake of enjoying the time itself. I know that some prefer having fewer “home bases”…but I am inclined to pack up if driving onward and just end the day in a new location rather than adding additional driving to get to previous place.

So after trying to plot and plan … I would so value the perspective of those who are more local or well traveled in Ireland… on the following itinerary. Anything that doesn’t make sense or seem wise?

And there is ONE BIG QUESTION you will see about whether to skip Cork between Kilkenny and Killarney.

I really am thankful for your help

Brad

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1 (Thur, June 11) – Arrive 2pm… head into Dublin by taxi / bus. Recoup. Enjoy evening dinner out. [Note: Sunset is not until 8:40pm] We will have this evening and one full day in Dublin at start.

Note: Dublin is 8 hours ahead of Los Angeles time…so if arriving at 2pm on a DIRECT FLIGHT… at 3:30pm…when likely heading out of airport…our bodies may be in the state of feeling both that it’s after midnight and “sleepless” after flight … and as such… I am disinclined towards the option of renting the car, learning to drive on the left, and beginning driving. We want to visit Dublin for at least a day… so to us this makes sense as there will be more grace for pace in that day to recoup and adjust if and as needed.

Day 2 (Fri, June 12) – Dublin – Will stay in “city center” / Temple Bar area… with several sites within short walking distance - Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, river, and more. Could do partial ‘day tour” to provide easy way to navigate and get knowledge. Stay night in Dublin.

Day 3 (Sat, June 13) – Depart Dublin – Will begin by returning to airport to rent car (common as car neither needed or advised in Dublin city… it’s easier to drive from airport onto highway). Drive south (2 hours) to Kilkenny. Have lunch and spend afternoon visiting Kilkenny Castle (built in 1195) and nearby St Candice’s Cathedral Stay night in Kilkenny.

Note: I have considered at length the option to try and rent car in Dublin outskirts… but am tending towards airport as the price I am finding is much better…and it seems ultimately easier to navigate and drive.

Day 4 (Sun, June 14) - Depart early (9am)and begin drive (1 hour) to Rock Of Cashel (Spend 2 hours) and nearby Hore Abbey (1 hr)….onto (30 min) Cahir Castle (2 hours + ) Continue on (1.5 hrs) to Cork (around 6:30pm) for evening. Stay in or near Cork. {Note: Though they are among favorite towns and sites … for the sake of time and priority…have decided to skip Cobh, Kinsale, and probably even Blarney Estate… because of seeing two fortresses more on route in Cashel and Cahir.)

BIG QUESTION: Had planned to go from Cashel / Cahir to Cork… arriving evening…then out the next morning to drive ROK and conclude at Killarney. The limited tie had meant accepting not visiting Cohb, Kinsale, or even Blarney… but now I see that we will have only later evening in Cork and Cork will add as much as 2 hours to driving the ROK. So I wonder if after Cashel / Cahir…we should just drive to Killarney. Appears by a more direct route it is only a slight bit longer than it is to reach Cork. Then the next day…we would have more enjoyable day to drive the ROK and back to Killarney. If time was not going to allow us to visit Blarney, Cobh, Kinsale and only have an evening in Cork… will we miss much if we bypass going to Cork? Obviously, my whole itinerary is trying to fit in both coastal drives – ROK and Dingle Peninsula… along with full day in Dublin… which may not seem as fitting a priority to others. I’d welcome any perspective.

Day 5 (Mon, June 15) – Depart Cork early and drive The Ring Of Kerry – Stay in Killarney

Day 6 (Tues, June 16) - Explore Killarney Area (National Park, etc)

Day 7 (Wed., June 17) – Depart Dingle (9:30am) …drive (1.5 to 2 hrs) to Dingle… early lunch…then drive Slea Head Drive portion Dingle peninsula (3.5 hrs) and enjoy evening stay in Dingle.

Day 8 (Thur, June 18) - Drive Dingle to The Cliffs Of Moher then to stay in Galway. (Long Drive day)

Day 9 (Fri, June 19) – Leave mid-morning. Drive back to Dublin airport (2 to 3 hrs) and drop car off. Stay in nearby hotel for a more relaxing end of trip. (This is the common choice of many as it avoids concerns for last day car return, allows staying out of driving in Dublin city, and one day of rental cost.) Considering Clontarf Castle Hotel, Grand Hotel Malahide, or Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport.

Day 10 (Sat, June 20) – Late morning head to airport for 3 pm flight. Arrive back at LAX 6pm (Home by 7:30pm)



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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 12:00 PM
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When I visited Ireland, I thought Cobh was one of the highlights of the trip. We visited the Cobh Heritage Centre where the Irish immigration went to various places in North America, plus Cobh was the last place the Titanic stopped before heading to New York. The "station" is designed as it was in the 1900's and you are given a ticket with a passenger's name on it including the ill fated Lusitania. There is a wonderful audio visual show. I enjoyed it more than the Cliffs of Mohr.
I have a friend who was born in Cork but when she goes back to Ireland she stays in Kinsale as she finds it more interesting. I have not been to Kinsale but next time I go to Ireland I will include it in a stop.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 02:24 PM
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Thanks. I was looking forward to visiting Cobh. Unfortunately we just had to remove some section. Cork without time for Cobh and / or Kinsale... became the section to cut. Hopefully Killarney / Ring of Kerry and smaller DIngle....will satisfy some of the coastal desires.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 05:33 PM
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Skip Cork as the city is not that great, it is the coast around it that is appealing imo. You get there late to even enjoy the English market. Just head for Killarney.

Lots of great early bird dinners in Dublin your first night. I love The Boxty House but make a reservation since you are staying in Temple Bar. The bus is very easy to take into town. The luas makes it very easy to get around but what you want to see if very walkable.

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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 04:13 AM
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If you find reading others' trip reports about visiting same/similar areas, here's ours from June 2019, a trip that took us to many of the same places. Our Irish Travels: Nine Nights in Early June

We were doing the loop in the opposite direction, so our timings are different, but hope something helps.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BradBailey View Post
My wife and I (50’s) will be coming from Los Angeles for an 9 day trip… one of the first without our kids. We arrive in Dublin from a direct flight at 2pm (June 11)…and depart June 20 at 3pm. In general, we are set on renting a car and doing the common southern loop starting with Kilkenny to Dingle to Galway and on back to Dublin to depart.

I have been doing a LOT of reviews towards perspective and planning. Coming from Los Angeles, we view this as a chance to explore a bit of a country we have long wanted to travel to… knowing we it may be our only trip there… so wanting to venture but not at an oppressive pace. We are equally drawn to the coastal beauty and culture… and accept that skipping some sites… even popular ones… may be fine for the sake of enjoying the time itself. I know that some prefer having fewer “home bases”…but I am inclined to pack up if driving onward and just end the day in a new location rather than adding additional driving to get to previous place.

So after trying to plot and plan … I would so value the perspective of those who are more local or well traveled in Ireland… on the following itinerary. Anything that doesn’t make sense or seem wise?

And there is ONE BIG QUESTION you will see about whether to skip Cork between Kilkenny and Killarney.

I really am thankful for your help

Brad

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1 (Thur, June 11) – Arrive 2pm… head into Dublin by taxi / bus. Recoup. Enjoy evening dinner out. [Note: Sunset is not until 8:40pm] We will have this evening and one full day in Dublin at start.

Note: Dublin is 8 hours ahead of Los Angeles time…so if arriving at 2pm on a DIRECT FLIGHT… at 3:30pm…when likely heading out of airport…our bodies may be in the state of feeling both that it’s after midnight and “sleepless” after flight … and as such… I am disinclined towards the option of renting the car, learning to drive on the left, and beginning driving. We want to visit Dublin for at least a day… so to us this makes sense as there will be more grace for pace in that day to recoup and adjust if and as needed.

Day 2 (Fri, June 12) – Dublin – Will stay in “city center” / Temple Bar area… with several sites within short walking distance - Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, river, and more. Could do partial ‘day tour” to provide easy way to navigate and get knowledge. Stay night in Dublin.

Day 3 (Sat, June 13) – Depart Dublin – Will begin by returning to airport to rent car (common as car neither needed or advised in Dublin city… it’s easier to drive from airport onto highway). Drive south (2 hours) to Kilkenny. Have lunch and spend afternoon visiting Kilkenny Castle (built in 1195) and nearby St Candice’s Cathedral Stay night in Kilkenny.

Note: I have considered at length the option to try and rent car in Dublin outskirts… but am tending towards airport as the price I am finding is much better…and it seems ultimately easier to navigate and drive.

Day 4 (Sun, June 14) - Depart early (9am)and begin drive (1 hour) to Rock Of Cashel (Spend 2 hours) and nearby Hore Abbey (1 hr)….onto (30 min) Cahir Castle (2 hours + ) Continue on (1.5 hrs) to Cork (around 6:30pm) for evening. Stay in or near Cork. {Note: Though they are among favorite towns and sites … for the sake of time and priority…have decided to skip Cobh, Kinsale, and probably even Blarney Estate… because of seeing two fortresses more on route in Cashel and Cahir.)

BIG QUESTION: Had planned to go from Cashel / Cahir to Cork… arriving evening…then out the next morning to drive ROK and conclude at Killarney. The limited tie had meant accepting not visiting Cohb, Kinsale, or even Blarney… but now I see that we will have only later evening in Cork and Cork will add as much as 2 hours to driving the ROK. So I wonder if after Cashel / Cahir…we should just drive to Killarney. Appears by a more direct route it is only a slight bit longer than it is to reach Cork. Then the next day…we would have more enjoyable day to drive the ROK and back to Killarney. If time was not going to allow us to visit Blarney, Cobh, Kinsale and only have an evening in Cork… will we miss much if we bypass going to Cork? Obviously, my whole itinerary is trying to fit in both coastal drives – ROK and Dingle Peninsula… along with full day in Dublin… which may not seem as fitting a priority to others. I’d welcome any perspective.

Day 5 (Mon, June 15) – Depart Cork early and drive The Ring Of Kerry – Stay in Killarney

Day 6 (Tues, June 16) - Explore Killarney Area (National Park, etc)

Day 7 (Wed., June 17) – Depart Dingle (9:30am) …drive (1.5 to 2 hrs) to Dingle… early lunch…then drive Slea Head Drive portion Dingle peninsula (3.5 hrs) and enjoy evening stay in Dingle.

Day 8 (Thur, June 18) - Drive Dingle to The Cliffs Of Moher then to stay in Galway. (Long Drive day)

Day 9 (Fri, June 19) – Leave mid-morning. Drive back to Dublin airport (2 to 3 hrs) and drop car off. Stay in nearby hotel for a more relaxing end of trip. (This is the common choice of many as it avoids concerns for last day car return, allows staying out of driving in Dublin city, and one day of rental cost.) Considering Clontarf Castle Hotel, Grand Hotel Malahide, or Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport.

Day 10 (Sat, June 20) – Late morning head to airport for 3 pm flight. Arrive back at LAX 6pm (Home by 7:30pm)
For a once in a lifetime 9 night trip to Ireland I would skip Cork, Ring of Kerry, and add Connemara. The only mistake you made is Flying home from Dublin. You should fly into Dublin and out of Shannon.

Then do this:

Tentative Itinerary:

Day 1 ( Thur, June 11) – Arrive 2pm… head into Dublin by taxi / bus. Recoup. Enjoy evening dinner out. [Note: Sunset is not until 8:40pm] We will have this evening and one full day in Dublin at start.

Note: Dublin is 8 hours ahead of Los Angeles time…so if arriving at 2pm on a DIRECT FLIGHT… at 3:30pm…when likely heading out of airport…our bodies may be in the state of feeling both that it’s after midnight and “sleepless” after flight … and as such… I am disinclined towards the option of renting the car, learning to drive on the left, and beginning driving. We want to visit Dublin for at least a day… so to us this makes sense as there will be more grace for pace in that day to recoup and adjust if and as needed.

Day 2 (Fri, June 12) – Dublin – Will stay in “city center” / Temple Bar area… with several sites within short walking distance - Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, river, and more. Could do partial ‘day tour” to provide easy way to navigate and get knowledge. Stay night in Dublin.

Day 3 (Sat, June 13) – Depart Dublin – Will begin by returning to airport to rent car (common as car neither needed or advised in Dublin city… it’s easier to drive from airport onto highway). Drive south (2 hours) to Kilkenny. Have lunch and spend afternoon visiting Kilkenny Castle (built in 1195) and nearby St Candice’s Cathedral Stay night in Kilkenny.

Note: I have considered at length the option to try and rent car in Dublin outskirts… but am tending towards airport as the price I am finding is much better…and it seems ultimately easier to navigate and drive.

Day 4 (Sun, June 14) - Depart early (9am)and begin drive (1 hour) to Rock Of Cashel (Spend 1 hour), onto (30 min) Cahir Castle (2 hours ) Continue on ( 2 hrs) to Killarney (around 4pm) for evening. Stay in Killarney.

Day 5 (Mon, June 15) – Explore Killarney Area (National Park, etc.) Stay in Killarney

Day 6 (Tues, June 16) -Depart Killarney (9:30am) …drive (1.5 to 2 hrs) to Dingle… early lunch…then drive Slea Head Drive portion Dingle peninsula (3.5 hrs) and enjoy evening stay in Dingle.

Day 7 (Wed., June 17) – Drive Dingle to The Cliffs Of Moher via Tarbert ferry. Then drive to Galway via The Burren. to Stay in Galway.

Day 8 (Thur., June 18) - Day trip- Connemara & County Mayo Loop (Cong, Westport, Doo Lough Valley, Leenane, Kylemoore Abbey, Clifden ). Stay in Galway.

Day 9 (Fri, June 19) – Leave mid-morning. Drive back to Dublin airport (2 to 3 hrs) and drop car off. Stay in nearby hotel for a more relaxing end of trip.

Day 10 (Sat, June 20) – Late morning head to airport for 3 pm flight. Arrive back at LAX 6pm (Home by 7:30pm)

Last edited by dugi_otok; Feb 1st, 2020 at 09:37 AM.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 11:04 AM
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Having "done" both the Ring of Kerry (my first trip to Ireland) and Connemara/Galway, I too think you'd enjoy Connemara far more. There are numerous castles, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Kylemore Abbey. Take a look at that. I also agree if it's not too late to fly out of Shannon rather than backtrack to Dublin, that would get you another day to spend on the west coast.
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