Two Days in Southwest Ireland

Old Apr 1st, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Two Days in Southwest Ireland

My wife and I are only going to be in Ireland for 4 days with her parents in July. We want to spend two days in Southwest as her father's family hales from Dingle and Cork. Then we will spend two days in Dublin as we have tickets to see U2. Can someone recommend a nice place to stay in the Southwest, best for two days. Sights, countryside, quintessential Ireland. I heard Dingle and Kenmare are great. Should I stay in one of these two? If so I want a nice but not uber expensive hotel that has all that Irish country charm (4 star). Sorry for long rant
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 01:26 PM
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Where does your flight land? Dublin or Shannon? Are you coming from the States? Are you renting a car? Have you driven on the left before?

Honestly with only two 'extra' days your better off staying in or around Dublin, and seeing a few sights on the east coast, such as Newgrange and Glendaloe. It's a long drive (6-7 hours maybe) from Dingle to Dublin, and not much shorter from Kenmare. If you are arriving in Dublin, that's at least a six hour drive to the southwest, then the same drive back the next day, with possible jetlag thrown in, and virtually no time in the area. Personally, I'd save the southwest for another trip~it's worth it.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 01:48 PM
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I agree with Kate. Ireland is a small country but it takes a long time to get anywhere. The rule of thumb is to figure about 35 miles an hour. Since you have the tickets for the concert in Dublin, I think you'd enjoy the trip much more if you spend it in that area.

And there's a lot to see there. You can spend a day seeing the sights of Dublin, a day north of Dublin at Newgrange, Tara and Trim Castle and a day south seeing the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough and Powerscourt Gardens.

As Kate said, save the southwest for another trip when you have time to enjoy it rather than just driving there and back.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Dingle is a lovely place but you must factor in the distance to and from Dublin - distances tend to take longer due to the road network that is low on motorways. There are air connections to Farranfore, the regional airport in Kerry, where you could rent a car.
irelandsblue book.com might be a useful source of accommodation for the type of hotel you are seeking.
Four days however would be quite a rush to enjoy both Dublin and the Southwest. The laid back nature of the Irish countryside requires, not unsurprisingly, that most precious of commodoties...... time.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 02:04 PM
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"The laid back nature of the Irish countryside requires, not unsurprisingly, that most precious of commodoties...... time."

What a lovely way of saying it!
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
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I would agree Dingle would be a long drive. If you would like a fun quick getaway we stayed at Castle Durrow which is about a 40 minute easy drive from Dublin. It was so beautiful and what a treat!
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 02:26 PM
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But if you do decide to venture outside of the Dublin area, Dingle is spectacular. The friendliest people you will ever meet.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Thank you all so much for this great feedback!! We are flying into Dublin on Friday morning. I was thinking we could just jump on a flight or a train out to Dingle or close by. Would that work? I agree doing the whole 4.5 days in the Dublin area would probably be best, it's just my father in law really wants to see the Dingle area. Hmmm.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I believe the closest airport to Dingle is Kerry, and Dingle is still a 1.5-hour drive or so from there. Not sure about a train, although I don't recall seeing a train station in Dingle.

Glendalough and Wicklow are really beautiful - as great as Dingle is, I agree with those suggesting you spend your time around Dublin. (She says, gritting her teeth with jealousy over your concert tickets.)
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Really, the only way this would work is if immediately upon landing in Dublin you fly to Cork and pick up a rental car (is the family from Cork city or elsewhere in the county? ) and then on to Dingle, and fly back to Dublin from Kerry. But honestly - after an overnight flight, another flight, and figuring out driving on the left - this would be a death wish. Driving much on one's first day is difficult at best and deadly at worst. You only have 2 days to get to and see the other side of the country.

If you had wanted to see the SW - then you either needed to allow more time or not fly in/out of Dublin. So you sort of locked yourselves out when you only allowed 4 days (the first of which may be a jet lagged fog)
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 06:40 PM
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actually >>You only have 2 days to get to and see the other side of the country<< <u>and back
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 04:08 AM
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Some of the suggestions above for staying around the Dublin area are great, but if your father in law really, really wants to see Dingle, this is my advice;

I live in Kerry and nip up to Dublin all the time. Sometimes I go up and down in 1 day, sometimes 2 days, sometimes 3. I use car, train or plane. It's totally doable.

Coming from Dublin airport though, I would advise against using the train. It would take you an hour or more to transfer from the airport to the train station in Dublin (trains to Kerry go from Heuston Station), then you would have a 3.5/4 hour train journey, and since there is no rail service to either Dingle or Kenmare, you would still have to hire a car in Killarney or Tralee and drive to your destination.

If you go by car, the drive to Dingle is motorway for at least half of the journey, and it's only past Limerick or Tralee that you get on the narrow, windy roads. It should take between 4-5 hours. I don't know the Kenmare route very well.

If you go by plane, Ryanair have flights from Dublin to Kerry on a friday at 08:00, 15:30, and 21:50
Flights back on a sunday are at 06:30, 14:05 and 20:15
Kerry airport is tiny, so you can show up just 45 mins before departure time, and there's no passport queues or delays when arriving on the Dublin flights. The Ryanair flights are cheap as chips if you book in advance, so if you miss your connection, it's not too much of a loss to hire a car instead (we've had to do this on several occasions!)

I can't see it taking more than an hour to drive from Farranfore to either Dingle or Kenmare.

Another compromise might be a coach from Dublin airport, but I imagine you would have to change coaches at least once.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 04:12 AM
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Forgot to say the Dublin-Kerry flight takes about 35-45 mins, and you can use the faster security queue for business/domestic flights in Dublin airport
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:32 AM
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Wow! Thank you all for the GREAT advice! Our flight get's into Dublin at 7:50a. Bumbly Wumbly thanks so much! I think I would miss that connecting Ryan air at 8a. Then if the next isn't until 15:30 I would miss a bit of the day. So you don't think if I go right from my flight to a train to Killarney (then rent a car in Killarney) that would work? There is a 9a and 11a train to Killarney. I know it switched in Mallow, but it says only 3.5 hrs. I know it all sounds crazy but my Father in Law has his heart set on it. Also we will not stay in DIngle or Kenmare as I booked us two nights at the Ard Na Sidhe Country House which looks pretty close to Kerry and Killarney at North beginning to Ring of Kerry. I do appreciate all you thoughts and advice.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:43 AM
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I am thinking of something similar. Do they drive on the left in Ireland like the UK, or the right way? Any suggestions for a car rental agency in Rosslaer Harbor? TIA.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 05:17 PM
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You can do this! You land at 7:50 am -- odds that you will get through Customs, into Dublin, and on train by 9:00: not good. But take 11:00 am train and you're in Farranfore by 2:45; if you doze a bit on the way: no problem. Take taxi to Kerry airport (just a couple of miles) and pick up rental car. Drive the 30 km to Ard Na Sidhe and check in -- be nice to yourself, have a quick nap, early dinner and maybe take a leisurely drive (it stays light until late) a little ways south on scenic N70. Have a good night's sleep!

Saturday spend the entire day touring Dingle Peninsula; FIL happy (and already planning return trip?)

Sunday you can either take a 7:30 train and be in Dublin by noon -- or have a nice breakfast and take the 11:29, arriving at 3:18. OR fly back on Ryanair (that's why I suggested train to Farranfore rather than Killarney) departing at 2:05, arriving in Dublin at 2:50. Looks possible to me...
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Woo Hoo!! I fixed it. I just checked on Delta, and they have a one way flight to Shannon on the same day as we were supposed to travel to Dublin. I was able to fly into Shannon and still keep my same return out of Dublin for a change of $150 per ticket. I figure the time it will save and the one way ticket from Dublin on train will make this worth it. Now I can rent a car at Shannon Aiport and drive to the Ard Na Sidhe. Hopefully that won't be too long a drive

Thank you ALL for this wonderful advice
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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AA says it's 2-1/4 hrs. or 89.5 miles -- most people say to figure 35 miles/hour which would be a little over 2-1/2 hrs. Would you drop rental car at Kerry airport and fly/train from there to Dublin? Or do you have enough time to drive to Dublin and drop off car there? Ard Na Sidhe looks lovley -- you should enjoy your two nights there.
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Old Apr 4th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Thanks skibummette! You're advice and enthusiasm is great and makes me feel even better about this whole venture On the way back to Dublin, I think we will get the 7:30a train from Farranfore to Dublin. It switches once in Mallow, and gets into Dublin by 11:20a. I will just drop off our car in the Kerry office of Hertz or whomever we rent from. It is only 36 Euros for the one way trip. Plus Farranfore is so much closer to our hotel than Shannon which only has a 7a flight that morning. We would have to get going SO early.

We love the look of Ard Na Sidhe, and have read some great reviews. So fingers crossed! Plus how can we go wrong when we will be in the most beautiful place in the world
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