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kafkamafia Jun 3rd, 2005 03:18 PM

Your favorites in Ireland?
I am looking to start planning a trip to Ireland in the summer of 2006 -We are in the very very early stages of planning, here- and I was looking for some input as to where to stay, where to eat, etc. Unfortunately we are looking at a short trip, 5 to 7 days.

What are your favorite hotels to stay in, places to dine, or absolute must see sights? I'm very open to suggestion on this, so whatever you can suggest would be considered.

Thank you in advance for your ideas and input.

kafkamafia Jun 3rd, 2005 03:59 PM


Craigellachie Jun 3rd, 2005 05:00 PM


A lot depends on your own tastes but I'd suggest you concentrate on one or two areas and don't even try yo see the whole country in a week.

I had two weeks in Doolin, County Clare on the west coast. Self catering so probably not suitable for a short stay. The pub / music scene in Doolin is something special. My favourite was McGanns though others would choose differently. The Cliffs of Moher near Doolin are very impressive despite the crowds. I went twice, the first time on a windy day when no-one went within 20 feet of the edge unless they were lying flat on the ground. Now I know what adrenaline smells like. We also drove to Galway for the day and enjoyed it so much we went back a week later; no real highlights, just the whole feel of the place was good. By contrast I didn't like Limerick at all, though I've no doubt some people would love it.
Like most great capital cities, Dublin will not disappoint on a short visit, and you could spent much longer without getting bored. We got a ridiculously good deal at the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green, but don't tell my Irish relatives, they were very impressed because they thought we could afford the full rates.

I've never been to Northern Ireland but everyone I know who has been there has recommended it very highly.

There have been several other threads on a similar theme - search for Ireland in the Europe forum and you should get some useful pointers.

fairoakschris Jun 3rd, 2005 05:32 PM

Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland was one of my favorites! If you go into Northern Ireland, being there for the Orange Parade on July 12th is a very interesting experience.

rickmav Jun 3rd, 2005 06:10 PM

You haven't said what part of the country you are most interested in so my favourites will cover a bit of territory.

- I'm not a fan of Dublin, but there are those on this site who are. You'll get good information from them. We've been twice and wouldn't return.
- Co. Wicklow, south of Ireland is quite lush and beautiful. We stayed in a B&B in Avoca (Glendale House). Built as a B&B so kind of like a very small hotel. Would highly recommend. A choice of breakfasts so you're not stuck with the Irish fry-up every morning (I particularly liked the fruit and yoghurt parfait).
- Interesting pub in Avoca called Fitzgerald's. Featured on Ballykissangel. Stuffed with tourists during the day, but the locals take over in the evening.
- Enjoyed eating at the Woodenbridge Hotel just down the road, bar food is served all day. Can also golf here, and stay the night - rooms have balconies overlooking course. If you're into Irish history, Michael Collins used to visit often and Eamon de Valera spent his honeymoon here!
- Arklow is a nearby market town - good centre for shopping, ATM, variety of restaurants.
- In the area we visited: Brittas Bay (very nice beach), Mount Usher Gardens (beautiful to walk through) and Glendalough. The drive to Glendalough is beautiful as are the medieval ruins, the round tower and the two lakes you can hike all around.

- Moving south, another favourite area of ours, is from west Waterford at Ardmore to Kinsale in Co. Cork.
- Although we normally rent a cottage at Ardmore can recommend Colbertís B&B in Ardmore. Ensuite rooms, 2 min. walk to town, an old-fashioned kind of B&B - meaning rooms in someoneís house - but owner is very private and leaves you alone. Ask for the room overlooking the garden. (024) 94197.
- Ardmore is a lovely little town, with a great beach, very friendly people and a perfect, Irish pub called Paddy Macís. You can find a great description of the town at: If you go, donít miss the Cliff Walk.
- Lots to see in area, including: Youghal (another astonishing beach, great restaurants and shopping); Kinsale (lots on this site if you do a search - summer resort Irish-style. Actually reminds me a lot of Bigfork, Montana in the summer. Can recommend Mad Monk and White House pubs, donít recommend Seagull House B&B.); south of Kinsale is Carrigaline. Nice place to shop, particularly Carrigaline Pottery; Cobh Interpretative Centre very worthwhile.

- Really liked the area around Glengarriff/Bantry. Visited Ilnacullin Gardens on Garnish Island - very lush and beautiful. Boat ride there was a bit scary - no life jackets - but lots of seals to watch. You take the Blue Pool Ferry next to the Information Centre.

- Killarney National Park is quite beautiful. Muckross House is worth visiting. Lots on this site on these places so wonít duplicate.

- Didnít like Adare although youíll probably read in guidebooks how Ďquaintí is it. Thatís usually code for overrun with tourists, overpriced and worth a detour. If you do stay donít book into Adare Cottage B&B - frightening. OíCollins pub on the High Street had great food.
- North of Adare is Craggaunown - definitely worth a visit if you like seeing early lake forts built by Bronze Age people. Tim Severinís curragh - The Brendan - is also there, along with video footage of their trip from Ireland to Newfoundland.

- Co. Mayo. Stayed in B&B in Newport. Highly recommend Anchor House B&B ( Another B&B built for visitors. Very friendly owner and great location on Black Oak River. Ask for room with balcony. Donít recommend the Black Oak Inn. Booked there first and it was a big mistake.
- Recommend Dalyís Bar at Mulranny. Has the most amazing view over the ocean and beach.
- Achill Island is definitely worth a visit. Beautiful beach at Dugoort. Slievemore Deserted Village is quite haunting. Amazed by the fuschia, crocosmia and Himalayan orchids just growing wild.

Have skipped over some of the more popular places regularly noted here like Bunratty, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, etc.

Youíll love Ireland.

Danna Jun 3rd, 2005 06:19 PM

Glenariff Forest Park's Waterfall Walk! The Antrim Coast is lovely. Others go gaa gaa for the Giant's Causeway, give me the Glens of Antrim anyday!

kafkamafia Jun 4th, 2005 09:54 AM

County Wicklow sounds lovely! Thank you so much for the suggestion, I'll get started researching tonight. The more off the beaten path places are excatly what I was lookng for. Thank you for the insightful replies despite my rather unintended vaguary. :)

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