Hello, we get in at 530am and after we retrieve our luggage and get our car it will still be very early. Our first stop will be in Carrick on Shannon. There are several places I would love to see along the way, but they won't be open until 10 am. Is it worth it to just stop by and take a few pictures and look around, ( Trim Castle) . We had also thought about going west first and stopping at Clonmacnoise,also opens at 10, Athlone and Roscommon. Of course, it will depend on how tired we are after we arrive. Any other suggestions where to go on our way to Carrick on Shannon? Thanks.
If the monastic site at Clonmacnoise works like the one at Glendalough then the site itself is always open - it'll just be the visitor center (and bathrooms) that don't open until 10. In the case of Glendalough it's actually better to arrive early, ie before the day trippers start to arrive, in order to have the place all to yourselves and be able to wander around in peace. Would assume that Clonmacnoise probably works the same way.
Getting behind the wheel immediately upon arrival - sleep deprived after the long overnight flight - is usually not a good idea but that's for you to sort out. We're usually running on adrenaline until later in the afternoon and can manage safely with a couple of cups of coffee. Do take it easy, especially if you're relatively new to driving on the left and are unfamiliar with Irish rules of the road.
Since Carrick on Shannon is a pretty decent distance from Dublin airport, you may find the hardest part for you is staying awake. While our flight didn’t arrive quite as early as yours, we did get to Trim castle shortly before it opened. After sticking around for it to open, and seeing it, to me, the best views are on the outside looking in. Do a search on it to see some interior photos, then make a decision. From it, we went north towards Belfast. By the time we arrived at Crawfordsburn, I was at my driving limit for driving after a long flight; Actually a little beyond my limit.
Thank you. My husband is a pretty good sleeper on flights,but I hear you.I told him the same thing. We can decide when we land.Thanks for the tip about Trim.