We are a family of 4 (2 teenage kids 14 and 16) visiting for the first time in late July for 11 days. We are flying in and out of Dublin. On our list are Dublin, Giants Causeway, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Blarney castle, Cliffs of Moher and Galway. I am having a very difficult time trying to figure out the driving to work most of these in. Can anyone please start me in the right direction? We will be renting a car once we leave Dublin.
Im no help w drive times, but giants causeway is an excellent choice. Id have to look to see if the National Stud Farm is near yr circcuit, but it would be good for a half days w kids, horses, a japanese garden, and a very cool recreation of the monk's stone huts (w a waterford crystal floor!!!) lots of space to stretch legs and be loud (well, at least to use yr normal voices, not yr museum voices)
We basically did your route. We left Dublin (rented our car from the airport) and headed to Northern Ireland to the Giants Causeway, staying in Bushmills. From there drove to Galway staying there and did the Cliffs from Galway. Drove to Dingle and stayed there (stayed 3 nights but could have stayed there longer). Ended in Dublin. But you could also do that route clockwise. We just chose to do it counter clockwise. It was very doable. Don't worry about driving or about having a car in Dublin. It really wasn't a big deal.
Any additional information or tips you can share I would greatly appreciate it. I am trying to narrow down where our overnights will be and any points of interests along our route. This is a much more difficult trip to plan than I anticipated. We have done numerous road trips throughout the US but this seems a bit more difficult to plan.
Id be happy to help. We loved everywhere we stayed. We stayed at the Bushmills Inn for 2 nights- from there we did everything we wanted to in one day. We actually did an amazing hike from The Giants Causeway, on the hillside above for about 5 miles to this little castle where we got a bus and a ride back into the main parking lot at the causeway. We went to the rope bridge and to the Bushmills Distillery for a tour. Everything was really close. The Bushmills Inn is beautiful.
The drive to Galway from there was only about 3 hours I believe. Easy drive. We stayed 3 nights at Glenlo Abbey. It was really nice and a nice walk into town. Some would probably prefer to stay right in town though. I wasn't a huge fan of Galway. I would have rather shortened our time there and spent more time in Dingle- live and learn. The Cliffs of Moher are amazing- that will basically take up a day.
In Dingle we stayed 3 nights at the Castlewood House- couldn't recommend it more. Perfect location. Short walk into town. Amazing breakfasts, beautiful views. Dingle is a blast. The sessions at the pubs in town were amazing. Dingle Peninsula so beautiful. We did not do Ring of Kerry because we read and talked to others how similar it is to the Dingle Peninsula but takes a lot longer. We wanted to spend more time in town.
From there we drove to Dublin and stayed 4 nights at the Ashling Hotel. It was a great location in town and had a car park. We wanted to keep our car because we wanted to go to the Wicklow Mountains and hike. We had no problems with a car in Dublin.
We just used the GPS on our phones to map our routes and had no issues. Everyone is friendly there if you have questions... I may see your problem though... Your doing this all in 10 days correct? Is that 10 nights? You may have to drop something... We had more time then you do but didn't do as much as you're trying to do. I would put whats highest on your list in order and talk to your kids about it, depending on what their interests are you may want to change things up. We like hiking and being outside. I guess if I were you... the thing most out of your way is the Blarney Castle, and you don't mention wanting to stay in Cork...The other place is Giants Causeway... I think you'll probably have to chose between them. You will be in a rush to do them both, but if you don't mind I guess its OK. Hope this helps.
If you have to trim something off (and obviously, i dont know yr family's tastes) id say keep giants causeway...really unique rock formations, and trim off blarney castle. There is a thread here (last reply 3/23) talking about crowds and the rather hokiness of blarney castle. If you can keep both, great!