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Updated travel times via highway?

My wife and I drove the North and the Republic of Ireland back in 2001. We had paper B&B vouchers and the B&B guide and were able to call via public telephone on a daily basis to reserve our nightly lodging.
Our biggest issue was the antiquated road system which caused us to significantly reduced our list of 'must-see' locations on that trip.
Fast forward to 2020: we are planning our three-week trip in September, 2020 (barring COVID-19 barriers) but all the 'travel-time' highway maps I've found are sadly outdated.
For example, at the end of our itinerary at the Midleton Distillery in the South, we plan to drive back to Dublin via the new N8 superhighway, but no travel times from Cork to Dublin can be found.
Can anyone suggest an updated source for this information?
FWIW, all the current Rick Steves Irish books (The Best of Ireland -2016 and Ireland 2019) have the same travel time map which was current as of 2016.

Posted by
6774 posts

For driving times I have always found ViaMichelin much better than Rome2Rio. But I always pad even their times to account for rest stops and possible traffic or road issues.

Posted by
6557 posts

Have you done something as simple as a Google search? That will take you to Google Maps.

Google Maps is pretty accurate, allows you to input your starting and end point (it makes a big difference where in Dublin you are going), and see or modify the route. The only thing to watch out for, or take advantage of, is the times are sensitive to traffic patterns, so if you check during rush hour, the time will be longer and vice versa.

Posted by
117 posts

I always use Google maps on my mobile device. Downloading the map before I leave WIFI. Also have a paper Michelin map just in case.
They are saying 2 Hours 47+-.on the M8.
I have to laugh, I was on that road in 1995 before M8 was completed. We were stopped at one intersection by some gentlemen taking a poll. They wanted to know if we would take a faster, shorter road if it was available. We had no idea where we were going or where we would end up. We were hoping that we were on our way to Cork. We said "Yes, of course and that not being from there we still thought it was a good idea."

Posted by
2566 posts

In general we've found that travel time estimates are pretty accurate if we stick to the modern motorways where traffic moves at or near the posted speed limit. Congestion is usually an issue only around the major cities during rush hour, otherwise things tend to move quickly and efficiently.
All bets are off once you exit the M roads and get onto one of the more rural the N, R, and L roads however. It's usually impossible to drive anywhere near the the posted speed limit due to a variety of factors, which is why most here advise adding about 30% to any estimates you see on Viamichelin or Google Maps if your travel will take you via one of the more rural back roads ... and I generally include the National (or N roads) in that category.

Posted by
15 posts

Robert,, thank you for your comments.
We are taking three weeks to allow sufficient time to see all on our list of places to visit, with most along the coastal highways on the Wild Atlantic Way, beginning along the Antrim Coast and continuing 'anti-clockwise' down to Mizen Head.
From there, we aim for Midelton to visit the gift shop for distillery reserve bottles to resupply my stock, and beeline-it back to Dublin.
Perhaps some last-minute shopping in Dublin for a day or two before boarding the flight home.
The same drive in 2001, from the Midleton/Waterford area to Dublin was a two-day drive with a stop overnight at a B&B along the way! M8 will be a 'God-send'!

Posted by
2101 posts

Your 2001 Irish road trip reminds me of ours is 1992. After starting in Dublin at the Dublin Horse Show, we took the train to Sligo where we went horseback riding for a week out of Bundora, Donegal. Afterward we rented a car, did the B&B vouchers and headed back to Dublin via southern Ireland through central Ireland. We never planned on a long day's drive doubling what we thought our drive times would be. We found the back roads we got lost in charming and where the best non-tourist spots were hidden. As your said, even the "major" roads were two lanes and slow back then. That added to the charm. I'd hate to miss the 300 y/o woolen mill because I was in too much of a hurry and drove the freeways. Do you really need to rush from one side of the country to the other?
Not criticizing. Just saying maybe you want to slow down and enjoy the scenery. It might be a fuchsia hedge that's in bloom. As for road times, in Italy Naples to Cosenza district I used Rome2Rio app and added a couple hours for potty and lunch breaks and getting lost.
Have a great trip. Slainte!

Posted by
2566 posts

neverhome: sounds like you have a great trip planned, and three weeks should give you plenty of time to explore the two countries at a meandering pace. While it's true that the Motorways are great if you just want to "get there", the real charm of an independent driving tour of Ireland is wandering the back roads as horsewoofie has said. Ireland truly is one place where it's more about the journey than the destination.
If you're interested in off-the-beaten path excursions I can suggest a guide called "Backroads Ireland" from DK publishing. As the name implies it's chock full of day trips and roads less traveled that other guides never get around to. It's the only publication we bring with us on our own trips aside from the RS guide. You can usually find used copies on Amazon for just a few dollars.