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Dublin, Ireland Day tours

This past June, I visited Dublin, Ireland.
I decided to try two different day tours.

1) Wild Rover Tours: I visited Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough.
This was a fantastic day. Kilkenny - our guide gave us a great walking tour! Had about another hour and 15 minutes to explore. It was raining something fierce, so we didn't stop at the Wicklow gap photo stop (that was okay with me, and I am use to rain living in the northwest, but this was like buckets!). Then the rain stopped when we arrived at Glendalough, one of the first monasteries in Ireland. We had a tour of the grounds snd then could go on this fantastic walk around two lakes. We had about 90 minutes for this. If you didn't do the walk, there was a nice area to enjoy a snack or drink. This tour, I felt it was very well done, plenty of time to see and do everything. We even had a bonus, a sheepdog demonstration. I believe there were 48 people on the tour. Big bus, I actually had a free seat next to me. This tour started at 7:45 am and end after 5 pm.

2) Extreme Irish Day Tours: The tour I took was called Celtic Boyne.
Visited quite a few places: Trim Castle, Hill of Tara, Drove thru the city of Slane, Monsterboice (2 very old and beautiful Celtic crosses and a round tower), Tomb at Loughcrew, and brief stop to see the Newgrange tomb from the outside, and an hour visit to the town of Drogheda. So interesting to go into the Loughcrew tomb. Only thing I didn't like was the town of Drogheda. The church that we went into was interesting, but there was nothing after that. There was an included walk by a local. I did stay with them for about 15 minutes. To be honest, he was a sweet man, but I was falling asleep. I spent the remainder just walking on the main street and I got an ice cream.

This tour had about 40 people. I believe we started at 8 am and finished by 5 pm

An added note: A year ago, I was also in Dublin for a few days. I explored Dublin and had one day free. I booked a long day tour with Wild Rover tours to the Giants Causeway. We left very early, 7:00 am and arrived back after 7 pm. We stopped in Belfast. People had a choice of either visiting the Titanic Museum or taking a Black Taxi Tour, this was included in the tour price. I decided on the taxi. It was very interesting. Recommend it. Then, we visited the Causeway - fantastic. Please note, that this tour company doesn't pay for the visitors center. I didn't need go in either. I had brought a sack lunch and ate it on the basalt rocks. Our next stop, was a photo stop of a castle. Final stop the Carrick rope bridge - this was also included in the price. It was a long day, but very worth it. I wasn't sure if I would have a chance to ever go to Northern Ireland, so taking this day trip was definitely worth it!
This tour had between 40-50 people on it.

Posted by dcp916
3 posts

I enjoyed the Wild Rover tour but I would caution that I wished I had more time at both Kilkenny and Glendalough. I think both are worthy of more than two hours and maybe even an overnight. But like many I was in a rush on a "green blur" tour of Ireland so I had to make sacrifices on what I saw and how much time I spent there. The Wild Rover was a good compromise, but if I had extra days, I would have taken the train to Kilkenny on my own and spent the night. I think there's a bus service and another Wild Rover tour that will give you a full day to explore Glendalough for hiking, picnics, etc.

As for other places, some of them are accessable by public transportation and local guided tours. I did Trim castle this way, which I enjoyed. Just plan well. Another do-it-yourself day outing I would recommend is taking a bus or train to Athlone and doing the Shannon river cruise to Clonmacnoise

Another good day tour I did was the Paddywagon - Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Cork market tour. Entertaining guide, and packed three must see attractions into one day, with what I felt was a bit rushed but adequate time. Instead of the long drive back to Dublin, I brought my bag and left the tour in Cork to catch a bus to Killarney. Essentially I used the tour partly as a mode of transportation getting to the Southwest. A good tip if you aren't renting a car.

Posted by Northwest adventurer OP
266 posts

I had looked into public transportation, but with th limited time I had, going on a day tour was the best option for me.

Going to Trim, Monsterboice, and Loughcrew/Newgrange weren't that easy on public transportation.
Trim was easy to get to via bus, but getting back wasn't easy. Limited return service to Dublin. Plus, I wanted to see these other mentioned places and it wasn't possible to connect them. in one days time. The Extreme Irish Day tours was a close I could get. Didn't want to rent a car.

Again, the Kilkenny tour- sure public transportation is available, but getting to Glendalough isn't that easy. A tour was the best bet again for someone on a limited time.

Paddywagon is good too, but Belfast wasn't included in their Giants Causeway tour. If I am remembering correctly, they had one just to Belfast and another tour that did others sites (not Belfast) and the Causeway.

When looking at tours, everyone has to find the tour company that works for them.