Where Else to Go? Maybe Cork?

Old Dec 7th, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Where Else to Go? Maybe Cork?

I’m lucky enough to do a work-related trip to Belfast almost every year—late February into the beginning of March. I typically add 5 – 7 days of vacation before going to Belfast.

Over the course of 7 or 8 previous trips we’ve visited many areas, both in the North, and in the Republic. In the North, we’ve been to the spectacular Antrim Coast and surrounds several times. We love its rugged beauty. We also enjoyed Derry/Londonderry.

In the Republic, we’ve driven the entire west coast; spent time on the Dingle Peninsula; stayed near the marvelous Rock of Cashel; Donegal; Dublin (visiting Newgrange and Powerscourt), and Wicklow.

Our interests are primarily nature walks and beautiful scenery—as opposed to big cities and museums. We’d welcome suggestions for somewhere new to visit--someplace with the natural beauty of the Antrim Coast or Dingle Peninsula. We’ve never been to Cork, and are considering that. Any thoughts? If not ... I'll happily return to the Antrim Coast.

PS. We’d love to visit Scotland, but we’re thinking it’s the wrong time of year for the weather.
PPS. I can't make it work to select multiple tags so I'll also post under the U.K.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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Lots of lovely scenery and walks in West Cork and Kerry. The Beara Peninsula comes to mind.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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South west Cork from Cobh, ferry over the river past Kinsale and you get to the good bits, round the southern end of the "Wild Atlantic Way" Mizzen Head Sheeps Head and Beara. Far better than Kerry's northern spur unless you want gift shops, tour bus's and Rick Steves fans. You have wild country, whale watching, good pubs with open fires, nice people and reputedly the best whether from the gulf stream.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 04:48 PM
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Both threads have two tags . . . .
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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Thanks so much! Good info!

janisj: that's so odd. The two tags didn't show up on my preview.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 07:34 PM
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maybe the monitors added the tags -- happens
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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oops meant to add:

see the instructions when you start a new thread - it explains how to add multiple tags . . .

>>You may select up to five tags by holding down the control (PC) or apple key (Mac).
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Old Dec 8th, 2014, 02:31 AM
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How about Galway and Connemara. It has some of the best scenery in Ireland and some good walking too.
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Old Dec 10th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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Connemara and look forward to your trip report. Greendragon has some good reports on that area. I have your Ireland with a northern twist booked marked for our next trip.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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The Ring of Beara is fantastic. So is Achill Island. Both fit your likes (I shar ethe likes!)

Oh, flpab already mentioned me Thanks!!!!
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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I went to Connemara many years ago and I didn't love it. But I only drove through the area, and it was raining. I'll definitely look into Connemara and the Ring of Beara again. Achill Island looks very interesting, too!

I stayed a week in County Mayo and didn't feel the parts I saw had quite the same "wow" factor as places like the Antrim Coast (in the North), and the Dingle Peninsula.

I really appreciate the suggestions and will pass them along to DH. I always make the travel decisions, but I'm trying to get him to decide this time ;-).
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Oooh, oooh, Achill Island deserves a couple or three days!
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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We really enjoyed Kinsale where we spent St. Patrick's Day in a local pub. Pretty town, good dining.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Achill's amazing. Beautiful beaches, stunning cliffs, and deserted villages. It's got a Celtic garden, a castle once owned by Grainne O'Malley (Irish pirate), and the tallest sea cliffs in Ireland. THe latter requires some hiking, though.
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Old Dec 11th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Also, not too far north from Achill is DownPatrick Head (stunning sea stack) and the Ceide Fields - Neolithic agricultural site.
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Old Dec 13th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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Songdoc: Remember your previous trips well -- Some of my favorite photos and Trip Reports. So glad you are continuing your visits!

I LOVE the Westport / Achill area and the Doo Lough Valley is one of THE most scenic drives in all of Ireland, but I don't know if Late Feb / Early March would be an ideal time for that area . . .

Have you toured the Copper Coast?
Web site: http://www.coppercoastgeopark.com/
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mJNLnbsXWs

You could add in a brief stay at the only modestly expensive Waterford Castle as a modest romantic 'Splurge'. A little pricey, but not Dromoland pricey.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mJNLnbsXWs

From there, you have access to Wexford, Hook Head, Cohb, Lismore and The Vee Drive. As you are on the way North, Kildare has a lively music scene (I know a number of musicians and singer/songwriters based in, and around the area.)as well as some terrific, 'touristy' attractions.
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Old Dec 14th, 2014, 03:31 AM
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we spent a wonderful week on the Sheep's head peninsular some years ago [pre-fodors so no TR, i'm afraid] but it was in July/Aug with mainly good weather - I'm not sure what it would be like in March in the rain.

it could be glorious [Cornwall is often wonderful in March and our situation and climate are not dissimilar] but it could also be very cold and wet with not a lot to do.

I might not book ahead, or book with very favourable cancellation terms.
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Old Dec 14th, 2014, 08:29 AM
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If you find yourself in the neighborhood of Cobh, and like to visit gardens, the Ballymaloe Cookery School & Gardens is the place to go:
http://www.cookingisfun.ie/gardens/our-gardens

On my visit one just wandered around but now I see they also have tours.

Ballymaloe House Hotel and Restaurant is nearby. I haven't been there but it looks beautiful: http://www.ballymaloe.ie/
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Old Dec 14th, 2014, 08:39 AM
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I should also mention, if you're in the far southwest, Valentia Island, great for walks with sea views.

The story of my visit: http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/a-quiet-irish-island
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