Western Ireland

Oct 13th, 2016, 01:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 224
Western Ireland

Hi All - we are doing a self drive trip in Western Ireland at the end of Oct. Which itinerary makes the most sense, in terms of bed and breakfast locations, relative to Top Attractions/Must See's:

Shannon - Donegal - Dingle Peninsula - Cork County (Union Hall) - Shannon


Shannon - Donegal - Cong Connemara - Dingle Peninsula - Shannon

We are looking to see/do many of the typical attractions like Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Dingle Peninsula, Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet (last night) - Perhaps the Ring of Kerry, if time permits, as well as Blarney Castle. In Donegal, we are staying at Lough Eske Castle. Other nights will be at Bed and Breakfasts, of our choice.

Are there any Must-See's near Donegal?

We are open to adding/removing attractions if anyone has suggestions.


swanner is offline  
Oct 13th, 2016, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 413
Hi Shelley,
For people to advise, you would need to outline the length of your visit.
Lough Eske is a lovely hotel but it's quite a distance from Shannon (by Irish standards, at least). You will be dedicating a full day for the trip up; your journey will be at a time when darkness will be setting in well before six o'clock.
To make a time commitment of that order, it needs to be justified by you spending at least a few days in the area. Perhaps the hotel can provide a list of attractions in the region but I suspect that this could be quite a short one, allowing for the time of year.
Areas such as Westport/Achill and Connemara are closer to Shannon and would have more to offer than Co Donegal. However, it would appear you are already committed to your booking at Lough Eske.
SeeDee is offline  
Oct 13th, 2016, 08:40 PM
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Hi SeeDee - thanks for your note back. Yes, we are already committed to Lough Eske and very much looking forward to it. What I'm really seeking is advise on areas for b and b lodging based on the sites we want to see.

I'm comfortable with our timeline, I am just wondering which route makes most sense, based on the things we want to do/see.

My initial thought was that we'd be in Donegal, then head towards Dingle - taking the ferry from Shannon - from Dingle to Cork County (We think we'd like to see Kinsdale and Blarney Castle) and then back to Shannon.

But as I research a bit more, it seems that maybe Donegal to County Mayo (Cong Connemara, Achill Island - Atlantic Drive, Ashford Castle) to Dingle and then back to Shannon could be pretty amazing too.

As I type this I realize my question is really this: time aside, which do you think are the better, more memorable (I know, "better" is a personal preference) attractions: Kinsdale and Blarney Castle - and maybe Cobh, if time allows OR Achill Island - Atlantic Drive, Ashford Castle, etc...

If I can determine that, then figuring out the route will be easier.


swanner is offline  
Oct 13th, 2016, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
It's a lot of driving, especially for this time of year. The days are shortening, and there is the constant possibility of cloud and rain. We haven't seen a great deal of sun recently.

Unless you have 10 days, I think your wishlist is too long.

Near Lough Eske, you have Donegal Castle to see. Great scenery in all directions. Head for Glencolmcille, taking in a view of Slieve League.

After lough Eske, follow the coastal route southwards. It's part of the well-promoted Wild Atlantic Way, and you will find tourist literature easily enough. You should make it to Westport handily enough in one day, and it's not a bad town for an overnight.

From Westport you have a variety of route options through Connemara to Galway. Which one to take depends on your own preferences. Again, Galway offers plenty of overnight options, and places to dine or socialise.

How much time have you remaining?
Padraig is offline  
Oct 14th, 2016, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,365
Agree with Padraig. Slieve League is spectacular. Westport if a nice atmospheric town for an overnight stop. Time permitting Rosses point in Yeats county may be a nice stop along the way. Achill island is beautiful and Connemara including Kylemore Abbey further south should not be missed. You need several days to work your way down to Dingle. Unclear whether you have the days needed...
mnag is offline  
Oct 17th, 2016, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 231
I dont want to comment specifically on itinerary, but I can tell you what we enjoyed: Dingle is STUNNING- photo ops at ever turn. Bunratty has interesting grounds but there were no actors in the houses when we went in April, so that took away from the experience a bit (dinner was fun but not a can't miss-my kids loved it). Blarney is a large site and very pretty to wander around. It's a little pricey IMO but still a cool bucket list item to check. We did enjoy the Cliffs and the Burren is very unique-although we only had time for a short walk. I very much recommend Poulnabrone. Enjoy!
or2nh4me2 is offline  
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