Which area in Ireland...

Mar 6th, 2002, 07:55 AM
  #1  
ann
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Which area in Ireland...

Hi all,

I'm trying to plan a trip to Ireland in May. I'm planning on staying probably 5 or 6 days (still kind of flexible). My problem is that I can't decide what section of Ireland to focus on, so I thought I would ask the experts - you!
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 10:11 AM
  #2  
Bill
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Ann:

My 1st choice would be the southwest, my next would be the northwest. Those two choices flip flop a lot with me. I'm spending a lot of time in the NW in May so I'll probably lean towards that area after the trip is over.

What are you interested in seeing?....scenery, religious sites, small towns, big towns...? Let us know and maybe we can help narrow it down a bit more.

By the way, make it 6 and more if you can.

Bill
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 10:34 AM
  #3  
evelyntrav
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I agree with the SW being the best area to cover in 6 days. I suggest: The Burren and the Cliffs of Mohr, Gallway to Clifton, Bantry Bay and the Beara Peninsula, Killarney, and the Dingle Peninsula
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #4  
DB
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I definately agree with the message above, and I would like to add a couple of other interests. Kylemore Abbey was one of my favorite areas. Please research it, it's unbelieveable! We stayed at Marless House in Gallway/Salt Hill...great place.. full Irish breakfast was the best there. We went to Kinsale on the Bay, and stayed at a B&B called Crossways. We could see the harbour from the sliding glass window. Muckross Abbey is a beautiful mansion, with tours on carts with horses....So much fun! Old Head is a sight to be seen. We enjoyed it as much as Cliffs of Moher. Waterford Crystal Tour was a great way to spend an afternoon if you are in that area. By the way, we were there in May, and it was beautiful. Can't wait to go back. Enjoy!
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 12:45 PM
  #5  
ann
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Thanks for your help!

I guess what I am interested is a lot of natural sights - Cliffs of Mohr a great example. I am really excited to hang out in a pub and get to know the locals over a Miller Lite (kidding about the Miller Lite). I also would like to focus on quaint little towns that is close by the coast. Can that narrow it down at all?
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 02:27 PM
  #6  
cd
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We are leaving for Ireland in one week. One of the places that was recommeded to us and we will be visiting is Doolin. Doolin village is famous for its traditional Irish music. There is music nightly in all the local pubs and it is located on the West coast by the Clifs of Moher.
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 02:33 PM
  #7  
marylouise
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Hi Ann
We found lots of naturals sites, quaint little coastal towns, and local pubs on the Dingle Peninsula! Beautiful scenery, ancients ruins along gorgeous Slea Head drive. Definitely drive over Conor Pass if you are renting a car. Explore the northern part of the peninsula,also...Brandon Mtn.,Maharees Bay, Cloghane (if you want a small local pub...you can watch the sunset over the water from the pub near the tiny post office there where the boats come and go.
We would love to go back and visit other areas in Ireland as well as visit Dingle again. Other folks can offer info about other places but my advice is the southwest is a great start!
marylouise
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 04:04 PM
  #8  
Bill
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Yes, the cliffs of Moher is a must. Try to get there early in the day or late in the evening....you'll avoid the crowds getting off the tour busses. Doolin is a VERY small town but there are a good number of B&Bs in the area. Even though May is a "shoulder" season, you may have to book a room there early. I have wanted to stay at the Sea View in Doolin but it had been booked. It looks like a spectacular place.

I prefer Dingle to the Ring of Kerry, but Killarney Nat'l Park is wonderful. Dingle has so much to see in a small area. The Ring of Beara is great as an option to the more crowded ring and the Mizen peninsula is somewhat of an undiscovered gem for some reason.

The Conemarra and Kylemore Abbey are great but with 5 or 6 days, you probably don't have enough time.

The Waterford Crystal Factory is a fun tour, but the really good stuff comes from a little shop and crystal factory in Kinsale.

Ok, I've said enough. Have fun!!!

Bill
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 04:24 PM
  #9  
evelyntrav
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I could have mentioned in my previous reply that we did the itinerary I outlined above, plus other places as we had more time to spend in Ireland than you. The Burren area is an amazing place of unusual natural beauty and close to the Ciffs. It is a very natural environment and you will see herders with dogs and sheep in the fields and roads. As Bill said, forget the touristy Ring of Kerry and do Dingle and the pub town of Doolin. We found the Beara Peninsula and Inch Beach to be magnificant and very isolated. Be prepared to drive along the edge of mountainsides without guardrails, but it is manageable...just go slowly. Killarney is hard to manage as if you take the fun pony trap you wind up with your car in one place and you at another. We did the Ireland trip on our own except for this part as we found the best approach was to take an all day bus tour out of the town of Killarney which included the ride and a boat ride back. It worked out well for us. One more thing, we also went in May and had one day, the day in Killarney, of heavy rain. Fortunately, we had packed rain gear (including rain pants) and had a fun time as there were waterfalls galore in the park.
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 05:31 PM
  #10  
asre
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Bill is right. There is a little crystal shop in Kinsale that sells the most beautiful hand made crystal at a reasonable price.
Can anyone help with the name of the shop?
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #11  
Anne
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I went to Ireland last summer with my family and the hardest part was deciding what part of the country to focus on. We settled on West Cork, in the town of Clonakilty. It is close to some lovely beaches and was an easy (and picturesque) day trip to Kinsale. It was also a good home base for drives to the Mizen penninsula (stopping at the Drombeg Stone circle) and to Blarney Castle. I'm always touting my website of our trip, but you might find it informative.

URL: http://www.corketc.homestead.com

We really had a wonderful time.
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 08:24 PM
  #12  
elvira
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I'll weigh in with a suggestion to visit Northern Ireland. The coast is spectacular, the ruined castles are eerie, the glens are magical. There's Rathlin Island, the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, and you can make a swing into Donegal.
 
Mar 6th, 2002, 08:39 PM
  #13  
gracie
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Ireland was the most magical trip ever. Fly into Shannon, rent a car and take off. Stayed at B&B's and Farm & B's the entire time (picked up guide at the tourist bureau at the airport). Enjoyed the castle banquest (same company does all three. Farm & B in the Burrens. Missed the ferry to Aran Islands so wandered through Connemara (with marble quarries, peat bogs, and Connemarra ponies in the road). The trip to the Aran Islands the next day was a big highlight. Dingle over Ring of Kerry (bypass the tour buses). Waterford factory is a must. Kissed the Blarney stone. All else was good, but the above were the best. Love my pottery from the Dingle penisula and sweater from the Aran Islands.
 
Mar 7th, 2002, 08:49 AM
  #14  
Wendy
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Ann,

Lots of people seem to be steering you towards the West so I'm going to opposite and say Go East! There is so much to see and do in the east of Ireland that I can't possibly write it all here. Dublin is always one busy place but they have great museums and you can't beat it for shopping. Not to mention a beautiful coast. Right below it is Co. Wicklow which is not called "the graden if Ireland" for nothing. I love the bogs and hills; the wildness of it all. Then you have Kilkenny; the county and town. If you love little Irish towns then this is your place. Visit Inistioge and you won't be sorry. Make sure you visit Kilkenny town and castle. lots of shopping there and around the area, especially for handmade items like pottery. Further South you have Wexford and Waterford and if you are going to find sunshine in Ireland in May this just may be the place. If you go north-west of Dublin you simply must visit Trim and the castle there. It is grand, massive, amazing! All of these areas have beautiful seacoasts, rolling fields, bogs and hills as well as any number of small very Irish towns. Most of all - Enjoy!
 
Mar 7th, 2002, 07:48 PM
  #15  
Tim
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Try to extend your time. There is so much to see and savour. If you must spend such a short time make sure to pick an area you really want to focus on. You will definitely go back after seeing this country. If I can suggest one thing specifically, I would choose to go the second half of May. The fushias come to bloom and it is an incredible sight to see the canopy of bright purple mixed in with the different shades of green. Have fun.
 
Mar 8th, 2002, 03:32 AM
  #16  
Buzzy
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Kinsale has a pretty little harbour and did you know it is the gourmet capital of Ireland?
 
Mar 8th, 2002, 07:16 AM
  #17  
Ann
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Not the Ann asking the question...

I'm going with Elvira. Anyone who has read my postings before knows I love N. Ireland. But there's a reason for that. It's just a lovely part of the country. It's also much less touristy and crowded, because people have the misconception that it's dangerous. It's not. It's beautiful and idyllic. The Antrim Coast road is one of the best drives in Ireland. And as Elvira said, you can easily pop over to Donegal from there.

If you want a quaint little town that's close to the coast, try Killyleagh in County Down, which lies on the Strangford Lough. There's a castle in the town where you can stay, or try the Dufferin Coaching Arms. If you're interested, do a search for Killyleagh, and you'll get the websites for both of these places.

On the other side of Strangford is Portaferry. I've always thought that this is a lovely little town. You take the Portaferry Ferry to get there, of course.

My second choice would be to spend much of your time in Donegal. It's just gorgeous up there.

Also, Ann, you WILL see locals drinking Miller. Not Miller Lite, but Miller is bad enough. American beers like Budweiser, Miller and Rolling Rock are very popular over there. Of course, they're not brewed in the US, so they are much better.
 
Mar 21st, 2002, 02:51 AM
  #18  
Gerald Horgan
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Only 6 days !! Well my opinion would be the Dingle Peninsula. For further information on the area go here
http://www.dingle-region.com
 
Mar 21st, 2002, 02:05 PM
  #19  
John
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Hi Ann,

Just returned from six weeks over there. I have to go with Elvira and the other Ann - head to the Northwest.

Donegal and Fermenagh a great and within easy reach of the Antrim coast. I would suggest consider staying at Belle Isle south of Enniskellen - a perfect location.

But, everyone has given you great advice. You can't go wrong with Southeast, Southwest or Northwest.

Have fun
 
Mar 21st, 2002, 06:57 PM
  #20  
sam
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Hi wendy,
I am trying to e- mail you to get advice cocerning eastern Ireland, please e- mail me so I can get to send my questions?
Thanks
Sam
 

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