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5 Days in Ireland with Family -Based in Athlone

We are planning a family trip in July to Ireland for a 5 days, arriving Dublin on a Tuesday afternoon ,heading to Athlone at night for our lodging then returning by noon back to Dublin Airport on a Sunday.

What would you suggest for us to see during our short stay. We will be 8 people, all adults, and will have 2 cars. 6 of us have never been to Ireland! We would like to visit some historic sites, a castle, great pubs, quaint villages.

Thank you for your input.
We look forward to your responses so we can plan an amazing itinerary.
Bob & Deb

Posted by
2 posts

Athlone is a cute town right on the water, I've visited it a few times. There's a viking boat tour you can do and I would visit Sean's Bar - the oldest pub in the world (more so for drinks). Il colosseo is a great Italian spot for pasta and pizza in Athlone. If you like Irish Whiskey, visiting Tullamore and Kilbeggan is on the way to Athlone and are about 10 mins apart from each other. Galway city is about an hour away and a great Irish city with lots of authentic irish pubs and also have some beaches on the Salt Hill side. Galway is also near great small towns of Kinvarra and Doolin. I've heard great things about the Aran Islands, which you can get to by ferry from Galway or Doolin.

Posted by
65 posts

Is there a way reason you picked Athlone to stay. You would be better off staying in Galway IMO. You would be closer to the coast, cliffs, WAW, etc. There is a castle in Athlone, but it is more of a museum from what I remember.

Posted by
552 posts

Clonmacnoise is near Athlone and is very interesting. Athlone castle is also an interesting visit. It's small, but due to its location on the river it has an interesting history.

Posted by
3 posts

WOW ! We are so excited by these responses, and would like to express our thanks for the suggestions we received thus far.
We are adding your input to our research and planning our itinerary.

We are looking forward to exploring the viking boat tour, visiting Sean's Bar - visiting Tullamore and Kilbeggan for Whiskey tours.
We plan to go to Galway , Cliffs of Moher, perhaps a drive along the beaches on the Salt Hill side. We will research the suggestion of the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinvarra and Doolin and the Aran Islands; we are unfamiliar with these areas.

We saw a site for Clifden,(Connemara) Kylemore Abbey/Castle and Henry's Gothic Church and the Sky Road. Is this do-able for a day trip from Athlone ?

Is CORK too far to venture out toward from Athlone for a day trip ?
What about KILKENNY or DINGLE?
We are finding so many beautiful things- so we would love some additional feedback to help us plan best.
Thank You !

Posted by
223 posts

Bob & Deb
How much driving are you willing to do for a day trip?
While Clifden, Dingle, Kilkenny and Cork are all great places with a lot to see, you will spend 2-3 hours ONE WAY getting there from Athlon.
I would say Kilkenny is the most feasible, but, while I enjoyed our time there, I wouldn’t spend four hours round trip to see it on a day trip. But that’s just one woman’s opinion.

Posted by
3 posts

We are so grateful for the tips
We would like to keep our travel to one hour destinations ( 2 hour round trip) to be able to enjoy the destination we set out to ....
All responses have been so helpful and we are getting an itinerary put together based on the replies. We wonder which is the best castle within our area of travel.

THanks ALL !