Trip Report SW Ireland

Old Mar 11th, 2002, 04:48 AM
  #1  
kdr
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Trip Report SW Ireland

Just got back yesterday...we had a wonderful time. For those planning trips, here is what we did and where we stayed.

Day 1: Arrived in Shannon. Drove from airport to Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Back to Limerick for the night (Two Mile Inn–passable, but don't recommend it).

Day 2: Drove to Dingle via Connors Pass. Spent the afternoon driving the Slea Head Drive. Absolutely wonderful day. Overnighted at the Lighthouse B&B (great place except for crummy beds).

Day 3: Drove to Kenmare via the Ring of Kerry. Great scenery, but probably enjoyed Dingle more. Overnighted at the Harbour View B&B (beautiful house and view, but not walking distance to town).

Day 4: Spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the Lakes of Killarney before driving to Blarney for the night. Stayed at the White House B&B (highly recommend it!).

Day 5: Explored the Blarney Castle and shopped at the Blarney Woolen Mills store. Drove to Cashel (with stop at castle in Cahir). Stayed at the Tir Na Nog B&B (again, a great place but not in town).

Day 6: Explored the Rock of Cashel before heading to Dromoland Castle for a wonderful afternoon and fantastic meal on our last night.

Day 7: Returned home.

Thoughts:
I highly recommend traveling off-season in Ireland. We originally planned our trip in March because of the wonderful price we got on our package. But, while there, we realized that the true benefit is the lack of other tourists. We felt like we had the country to ourselves–we passed only one small touring bus on the Ring of Kerry, and didn't see any on Dingle. When we arrived at Blarney Castle, arguably the most touristy place in Ireland, we shared the castle with only one other person. It was absolutely wonderful to explore the castle and grounds by ourselves!

But, beware that the weather in March can be odd (we experienced mostly cloudy days, with some snow, hail, and sleet thrown into the mix). We didn't mind, but others might. Also, quite a few shops and restaurants had not yet opened for the tourist season. Again, we didn't mind, as we always found a restaurant or a pub, but this might bother others.

I was also glad that we didn't have to make reservations in advance. We actually covered far more ground than I thought we would. I attribute this in part to the lack of tourist buses and congestion, but also to the fact that there were less places open and thus less places to stop.

Good luck to those planning their trips to Ireland! I found the advice on this website to be very helpful!
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 04:58 AM
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ann
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Sounds like a wonderful trip!
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 05:55 AM
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cd
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kdr
I read with interest your report as we are leaving this week for Ireland and will be doing a lot of what you have done. How long a drive was it from Rock of Cashel to Dromoland. We are spending one night at Dromoland also and I thought of driving to the Rock of Cashel during the day. Any info appreciated!
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 05:56 AM
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cd
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PS What did you pay for gas?
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 06:43 AM
  #5  
kdr
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The drive from Cashel to Dromoland Castle was about an hour and a half--the roads are good ones (Ireland standards of course). Certainly doable as a day trip, although if the weather is nice, there is a lot to do at Dromoland as well.
As for gas, we spend approximately 50 euoros on gas the week we were there. We filled up three times, although not full tanks each time (probably 2 tanks altogether). Hope this helps.
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 10:23 AM
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ann
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kdr...

Thanks for the info on your trip. I'm planning basically the same trip in May. Did you book through Spectre tours? I just booked my trip with them today and would appreciate any feedback that you have. Thanks in advance!
 
Old Mar 11th, 2002, 11:10 PM
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Shadow
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kdr-could you tell us more about the White House B&B? What made it so special? Would like to know for future trips-thanks!
Shadow
 
Old Mar 12th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #8  
kdr
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Ann: We didn't have any problems with Sceptre. My only two comments are: 1) expect to charge approximately $160 to your credit card to cover CDW and pre-paid gas as required by Dan Dooley. If you return the car with a full tank, you will get the gas money back; 2) if you can avoid staying at the Two Mile Inn, I would. I would have preferred a B&B closer to the Cliffs and the Burren.

Shadow: The White House had the best combination of assets--1) location (walking distance to town and view of the castle), 2) comfortable non-smoking room and bed, 3) very friendly and helpful hosts, and 4) good breakfast menu. Nothing luxurious, just a great package.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 12:20 PM
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G
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kdr -
Found your trip report. This will help tremendously! You kept mentioning your dissatisfaction with Two Mile Inn. Why does Sceptre advertise it as the "1 night in First Class Hotel" then? Doesn't sound like it to me.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 12:37 PM
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kdr
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G:
First class in Ireland (and generally in Ireland) is not what first class in the United States. The Two Mile Inn is part of the Best Western chain, but every Best Western I've stayed in the U.S. was cleaner. Maybe we just went on a bad day.
 
Old Apr 27th, 2002, 02:14 PM
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mariana
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Our room at the Two Mile in was very modern, quiet, very clean, two double beds (not very common in Europe) and great for the first night, after an all night flight. The head housekeeper was walking the hall and was very sweet and helpful....Perhaps our room was in a "new part"...but ask for one in the back or overlooking the courtyard!
Our itinery was a little similar to yours......Second day after Arriving and staying at Two Mile Inn we drove to cliffs of Moher and Burren and spent night in Galway (wonderful Marless B&B), next day on down past Shannon again (better road then in the center of the country , day before). Lunch in Beautiful Adare and on to north side of Dingle Peninsula at lovely Shores Country House over looking Tralee Bay. Beautiful house and very comfortable. Nice pub down the road for dinner.
Next day over Connor Pass to Beautiful Dingle Town. Drove he Slea Head drive that afternoon (stunning scenery.. and not as long as the 5-6 hour bus laden
Ring of Kerry, which we skipped) Stayed in Dingle at Greemount House, fabulous views and breakfast!Dingle is fun town to walk..
On next day to Kenmare...another lovely walking town, and Hawthorne House ,very close to city center.
Then on to Kinsale, south of Cork,.another town on the water, and stayed at Old Presbytery B&B. Drove out to see Old Head Golf course...unbelievable setting, but couldn't get in ($250 green fees, but could see the course location,on the high tip of the peninsula,,,nice drive.
On the following day to Waterford...hadn't wanted to take the crystal factory tour, but DID and we both enjoyed it very much. Interesting.
Then on into Dun Loaghaire, coastal city south of Dublin and great place to stay. Glandore House. Drove though Wicklow Mt.s and Glendaloch on the way in. City Bus into Dublin the following day, rain;y and cold.(DART train goes also)..hop on hop off bus city tour and got a good overview of city and walked around and into Trinity College.
Loved Ireland , especially the SW part.,,,,and hope to return someday.

 
Old Apr 27th, 2002, 03:17 PM
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janis
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Nice report with lots of practical info. One point to clarify one issue - Best Western is not a "chain". They are all individually owned and just market under the "Best Western" moniker. (Sort of like Ace Hardware in the states. Each is an independent store but advertise together). Never expect any Best Western to be the same - or even similar - to others.
 
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