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What town to stay 1st night north of Dublin - heading to Antrim Coast

What town to stay 1st night north of Dublin - heading to Antrim Coast

Old Mar 23rd, 2019, 04:14 PM
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What town to stay 1st night north of Dublin - heading to Antrim Coast

Arriving Dublin May 19th and Driving north.
Will spend 11 nights driving north and travelling along the Norhtern Ireland coast and then will head down to Connemara and Clare before leaving on May 30 out of Shannon Airport.

Planning to pickup rental car and then head to Newgrange for the tour. (Visitor center under construction until August.)
Being big Game of Thrones fans, were then thinking of going to Tollymore Forest for a few hours to see some of the filming locations and then to Strangford Lough area for more filming locations - Castle Ward and Inch Abbey.

Not sure what town to stay in the first night.
Not too many B&B choices in Strangford area that I can find on BandBIreland.com
Close to a town where there would a pub or two with live Irish music would be a first choice.

The Cuan was one small hotel that showed up online. A bit $ more than a B&B.

Not sure if we should devote 2 nights to the area to rest up before heading north to the Ballycastle area and then Giant's Causeway and Antrim coast.


Feedback appreciated.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2019, 04:42 PM
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Is this after a transatlantic flight? If so, driving the first day is a bad idea. Not just jet lag, but also acclimating to the other side of the road etc
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Old Mar 23rd, 2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LindaBrinck View Post
Not sure what town to stay in the first night.
Not too many B&B choices in Strangford area that I can find on BandBIreland.com
There are B&Bs listed here among many other accommodation types:
https://tinyurl.com/y2ros8h7
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 07:36 AM
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5th trip to Ireland in 8 years so acclimated to driving on left side of road.

Looking for suggestions for towns to stay in that would have some pubs with music at night, outside of Belfast, close to coast.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 08:28 AM
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If driving on the left side is not a problem, driving while even slightly jet lagged will be. You do mention the possibility of spending two nights at your first stop in order to rest up which indicates fatigue is a factor. You also have a pretty full schedule on your arrival day. I am aware that many travelers do not want to consider jet lag as a serious problem. One to be ignored because it may be inconvenient to do otherwise but it can have serious consequences for you and for others.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 09:51 AM
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>>5th trip to Ireland in 8 years so acclimated to driving on left side of road.<<

Fine -- other side of the road isn't an issue. The BIG problem is jet lag and 'micro sleeps'. Plus you are planning on sightseeing - even if you only go as far as Tollymore Forest that day and stay somewhere like Clough, you will have a 3.5 hour drive plus stops. Please don't drive on your arrival day.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 01:27 PM
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I'd also dispute the "acclimated to driving on left side of road" contention. I've found there's always an adjustment time during a switch from one side to the other, for remembered habits to take over & become as safe as we want them to be. Though I rent a car from time to time, for many years now, leaving Oxford in a car I'd just picked up there a couple of weeks into my last trip I just about had a bad one at a busy roundabout. Saved by the skin of my teeth and apologies to the other poor person I almost got. I've never had an accident or moving violation, so it was due only to adjustment time. Add jetlag and, well, there can be dire consequences.
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Old Mar 24th, 2019, 03:05 PM
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I would pick Cuan, there are some good dining options close by or go for Downpatrick.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 04:54 AM
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I just returned from a week in Ireland. Arrived Dublin via overnight flight from New York. I slept the best I've ever slept on a plane and still only clocked 3 hr 45 min of sleep (I wear an Oura ring which confirmed this). I dont' know where you are flying from but from the east coast, the flight just isn't long enough to get enough sleep even if you sleep from wheels up to wheels down. We stored our luggage with left luggage, took bus into Dublin and stayed until we were spent around 3pm. We returned to get our car and get a great night's sleep at a hotel near airport. We then spent the next 6 days driving much more than anyone on this forum would recommend, so certainly have no issues driving, but definitely could not have driven safely for that long on that first day. But I get it is hard to give up that first day to spend it near Dublin. Personally, it was the smartest decision for us.
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 10:01 AM
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I usually nap several times in the car during the first day of trans atlantic travel and drive a little bit in between.

Based on past history, doing a bit of driving the first day should not be a problem.

I appreciate everyone's concern.
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 04:35 AM
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How about Carlingford? Plenty of lovely places to stay there
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