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Suggestions for an (easy, non-planning intensive) weekend trip away from Dublin

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Suggestions for an (easy, non-planning intensive) weekend trip away from Dublin

Old Jun 26th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Suggestions for an (easy, non-planning intensive) weekend trip away from Dublin

(First, we did go to Connemara last weekend and it was wonderful, thanks to everyone for the ideas on that. I will do a trip report later when I have more time).

Since I just tackled a last-minute trip to Connemara, I'd like to again get out of Dublin for the weekend (i.e. leaving Fri night or Sat morning, returning Sun night). But
I don't have the energy to pour myself into direcitons/details, etc. so soon! and this time I'm looking for a "keep it simple" weekend getaway - perhaps at a B&B/hotel
Fri/Sat night(s) where it would serve as a good base to explore. I wouldn't mind renting a car for a day, if needed, but would rather rely on places via public transportation if possible.

What are some of your favorite areas that are 1) a relatively easy distance from Dublin either via train/bus (i.e. 2-3 hours) and 2) fairly simple tourist-wise? I'm open as to nature vs. city, etc.

I'd rather stay away from most places via the DART as I hope to do a lot of those areas once visitors start arriving.

I thought about the ferry to Wales but that seems a little ambitious. So, thought I'd ask for your suggestions this time before I start going down the wrong path

p.s. So far I have been to: Trim, Kilkenny, Connemara. In mid-July I also plan to visit Dunluce Castle (N. Ireland) as well as Newgrange.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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Laragh, Co. Wicklow. Visit Glendalough. Plenty of hiking, walks, picnic areas, mountains, rivers, lakes.

St. Kevins Bus Dublin to Glendalough:http://www.glendaloughbus.com/

My hotel pick would be Lynhams of Laragh.
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Thanks... I forgot to mention that we'll have our 7-month old son, so something with plenty of hiking and walks isn't really realistic for us.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 04:34 AM
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i picked up a copy of the blue book (fine dining / accommodation) recently and have made a shortlist of 3 places i'm thinking of for a weekend break, all within relatively easy reach of dublin. they are pricey enough but i think they do weekend packages with 2 nights B&B one dinner and all of them have supposedly excellent restaurants.

The places I was thinking of are Rathsallagh House, Castle Durrow and Dunbrody House, all on http://www.irelands-blue-book.ie/

I also love Tinakilly House in Rathnew, Wicklow also fairly pricey but great. If you haven't already driven the wicklow mountains / Sally gap you could pick it up on the way.

Other areas you could consider are Wexford - I was in Kilmore Quay last summer and loved it - the only thing that I didn't like was the traffic congestion - one hour delay both ways in Gorey but I believe the Gorey bypass is due to open on July 5th so travel after that should be fairly painless.

Closer to Dublin (maybe too close?)you could try Enniskerry and see Powerscourt House and drop down to Glendalough.

Going northwards, you could try Carlingford - gorgeous location on a lake, nice small town, ruined abbey. Ghan house is a lovely place to stay there. Maybe you want to leave that for the way up to NI to see Dunluce Castle but if not it would be a great weekend spot. Really relaxing.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Jumper22,

I stayed at Hunter's Hotel in Rathnew, Wicklow and loved the area as we could tour gardens and went down to Avoca. I wonder if Hunter's would be a good place with a baby, it's a wonderful very, very old hotel. I think it'd be fine for a baby.

The other place mentioned by littlejane, is Carlingford in county Louth. I went for 2 nights and stayed for 5 as I loved it so much. The B&B Ghan House is very nice. We stayed at a townhouse right on the water, Jordan's. I don't know if I'd return because they allowed smoking. At the time is was fine and enjoyed my window seat watching the young people in their canoes. I got to Rathnew and Carlingford by train and taxi. I think for Rathnew it'd be better to have a car. Carlingford you can get a bus to Newry over in Northen Ireland and back for a few hours.

Give us little reports from time to time. Joan
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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Okay, I'm leaning towards Carlingford. I'm not finding a ton of info online or in my guide books though. I checked the train schedules to Dundalk and that's simple enough, pretty short too, which is what I wanted. What then - a bus or taxi to Carlingford? (how much would a taxi be - my maps show it's a 40-minute drive...)

How would Carlingford without a car be, i.e. do you know of any tours, etc. we could possibly do on Saturday?

Sorry, not finding a ton of info online about it.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Malihide is a great castle and a short train ride from Dublin. Visit the Castle, St. Patrick and Christ church. We stayed in Temple Bar... it was great. emilyandjim.info on yahoo.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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I think you would need a car for Carlingford, because part of the attraction is the scenic setting on the Cooley Peninsula, and you would want to move around a bit. I don't know of any place in Dundalk where you might hire a car. I suggest that you hire in Dublin. It's only an hour's drive from the north side of the city to Dundalk.

In Carlingford you find a small medieval town, complete with castle (somewhat ruined), the remains of an abbey, some medieval buildings, a fair interpretive centre, attractive harbour, good eateries, characterful pubs. And nearby you have mountains, the sea, a very nice but almost unknown beach at Shelling Hill, and plenty of other stuff. Good place.

Dundalk is not particularly interesting, but has a good county museum, which appeals to some people. Mostly, but not exclusively, urban history of the past 200 years or so.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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I'm having trouble finding a place to stay on such short notice so I think I'm going to plan Carlingford for another weekend (and actually book in advance, what a concept ;-))

I know some people aren't fond of it... but what about Waterford? It seems like it would be "easy" enough, i.e. just take the train and stay in town and do the tours and such. No complication. Thoughts?
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 04:34 AM
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Waterford: Reginald's Tower, good Civic Museum, "The Glass". That's about it. Somewhat dismal city.

Great stuff in county Waterford -- Lismore, Ardmore, Dungarvan, the Ring Peninsula, the Comeragh Mountains. Car probably required.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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I have only scanned the question and replies, so not sure if this is exactly what you're after, but I have always thought this place looked fabulous, and it's on my 'to do' list:

http://www.brooklodge.com/

Angela

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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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FYI

http://www.carlingford.ie/
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Well I ended up finding something in Carlingford after all, and Smarmore Castle has an opening. So, we're off to Carlingford for a short weekend trip.

If there are any "must see" places to see/do/eat, etc. feel free to share. Thanks everyone!

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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Ooooh I love Carlingford! I live in Armagh which is only about 45 mins from Carlingford, so we have spent quite a few weekends there!

Where are you staying?

My favourite restaurant is the Kingfisher, I really do think it's the best in Carlingford.

The Oystercatcher is also very good.

P J O'Hares is a lovely pub which you will without doubt end up having a drink at!! Choose from the original olde worlde side, or the newer, trendier side, or you can even sit outside in the beer garden.

Enjoy!

Angela
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