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Feedback on 16 day itinerary-

Requesting feedback on our 16 day itinerary. I realize it's aggressive. However is it doable without pressing ourselves too much? And if you have any suggestions for improvement, I'm all ears! We have an event in Dublin we are going to on Saturday August 30th, so we plan to fly in to Dublin on the 28th enjoy the sights and the event, then pick up the rental car on the 31th and leave to see the country. Below is what I have mapped out and some of the things we hope to see and do along the way. We plan to see as much as the day will allow on our travel but not sure how much the required drive time will allow us to do. When I look at the drive times between locs it doesn't seem to take much time but I'm hearing the drives are slow due to the roads. Again any suggestions or comments are appreciated. Thanks

Dublin -3 nights
Kilkenny -1 night
See Waterford, Rock of cashew, Blarney Stone, Middleton distillery, Kensale and maybe Cobh
Kenmare -2 nights
Drive beara peninsula, muckross house, hike in Killarney nat park
Do ring of Kerry on way to dingle
Dingle -2 nights
Drive Shea head loop, minaret castle
Galway -2 nights
Aran Island, Inishmore
Take route through Westport to Sligo
Sligo -1 night
Place to sleep
Take route through Donegal
Derry -2 nights
Bushmills, Antrim coast, dunluce castle, carsick-a-rede, giants causeway
Belfast -1 night
Bru na Boinne
Dublin 1 night
Fly home

Posted by
9361 posts

You can get a better idea of driving times between places at www.viamichelin.com. Add about 25% to their time estimates, and also remember that their times don't factor in stops for photo ops, lunch, waiting at the ferry, waiting for a tour time at Midleton, getting lost (you will), or anything else. Also try to factor in how much time it takes to see what you came to see. And you might want to check your post for autocorrect issues - pretty sure you mean Rock of Cashel (not cashew) and Carrick-a-rede bridge (though "carsick-a-rede" made me laugh).

Posted by
1827 posts

Suggest you skip Waterford, not impressed at all. Cobh has lovely St. Colmans Church with a great view over harbor. Not impressed with Titanic exhibit, too expensive and don't remember seeing any artifacts. Take ferry to Kinsale to save driving time. Since going to Beara, suggest skip Ring of Kerry and just go onto Dingle. On slea head drive, stop for lunch for great seafood chowder or at least great hot chocolate with a touch of Irish whiskey at the Stonehouse Restaurant, even roof is stone and have donkeys in front, then you can walk up the hill to see some ancient beehive huts, only cost a euro or two. Yes, add twenty five percent to,driving time. You will get lost as Nancy said, even with numerous trips, GPS and great map, we did so numerous times but that was part of the fun. Rest of trip seems okay to me, in my opinion. Enjoy Rock of Cashew, just kidding you. Good luck.

Posted by
9361 posts

Gail is right - three coastal loops are just overkill. And I agree with skipping Waterford (and I would skip Kilkenny too, but that's just me). We liked Cobh very much, but don't recall a Titanic museum (the only one I can think of is in Belfast). Perhaps Gail means the Queenstown Story museum, but we liked that, too. Blarney has more to offer than just the stone. The grounds of the castle are beautiful, and there is great shopping across the street, too. You will want to make sure that you get to Bru na Boinne first thing in the morning or you might get aced out by tour buses (there are only so many slots a day on their shuttle buses to the sites, and August is still peak travel time).

Posted by
1827 posts

LOL, should be conversation just between Nancy and me as we seem to think alike about Ireland. We did not care for Kilkenney either and what I seem to,remember what is called either the Butler Castle or Butler House maybe because you could,not see much and it was not furnished much but that was a few years ago so maybe it it is changed. In Cobh it is called The titanic museum and I don't think it has been open too long. We were there in October, it is right on the water across from the Luisitania statue. It is supposed to be the Titanic experience but the only thing worthwhile was the replica of a first class and a second class or maybe it was steerage class room. The only good thing we learned was that all passengers had to leave docks on what I think were called tenders to get out to the ship which was in the mouth of the harbor due to shallow water at the docks.

Posted by
9361 posts

I think it IS just a conversation between you and me, Gail.

Posted by
155 posts

Personally, I would love to visit the "Rock of Cashew". Yum!!!

Posted by
9 posts

Piggybacking on this discussion- mainly for Gail and Nancy I suppose! Interested in the comments about Kilkenny and Blarney. We have a somewhat abbreviated itinerary from the fantastic one proposed here. We are flying into Dublin at the crack of dawn, getting our car, and are spending the night in Cork (in town). Was thinking about driving down, stopping in Kilkenny for lunch, seeing Rock of Cashel, then resting up some in Cork that first day. Neither of us are too intrigued by the Blarney Stone itself (heights an issue for one, germs an issue for the other). But have heard the area is nice. So in your opinions, should we cut Kilenny and add Blarney? Are all doable in a day? I imagine we'll start getting a tired that first day too. (And already have the tickets, can't fly into Shannon :) )

Posted by
9361 posts

While some people really like Kilkenny, we just didn't see anything too special about it. The castle was kind of "meh", but we liked the Design Center across the street. Traffic was bad and we had trouble finding anywhere to park. It could have just been a bad day, but it was April so you wouldn't have thought there would be that many tourists around yet. Personally, I love Blarney. Depending on the time of year, you can pretty much have the castle to yourselves to explore, as we did on a February trip. On our April trip, though, the line to get up to the stone was very long and you spend a lot of time in a small enclosed winding stairway. The grounds are beautiful, though, and there is a cave and a dolmen. Across the street is Blarney Woollen Mills, which is a great place for lunch and shopping.

I'm not where I can look at a map right now, but you might consider Glendalough on the way to Cashel (might not make sense if it's out of the way). It's an old monastic settlement with a round tower, a nice museum, and hiking out the to lake, and the drive through the mountains is nice.

Posted by
431 posts

My husband's hometown is not far from Kilkenny. It is a cute little town but I would rather stop at Blarney, Kinsale or Killarny if I was touring.

I agree with the other ladies as well skip the Ring of Kerry if you are driving to Dingle. Both are beautiful, they are similar.

You will also need to factor in additional driving time for cow & sheep crossing. :)

Posted by
123 posts

I would find away to add in another night to Sligo it has a lot going on in that area. Derry could really be done in 1 night there. As for Cobh it has a very nice church the end that's all. Yes it has a small small building on the water front that is the only other titanic museum in Ireland outside of Belfast (where it was built) this one is for the last port before it sailed away. Also the villagers of Cobh had the largest number of survivors. Don't go to the museum. I would actually go Rock of Cashel to Cahir and get on the R668 this road goes up into the Knockmealdown Mountains and it was this great pass called The Gap what a view over the valley. The road drops you down into Lismore. What a great castle and breath taking town. Then I'd take the N72 to the R627 that drops you downtown Midleton so you can enjoy a nice Whiskey. From there I'd go pass Cork to the Blarney Castle and then straight to Kenmare. Waterford, Cobh, Kinsale are really average towns. You have a lot of mileage that day so I'd skip it all together.
When your on your way to Sligo through Westport get up really early, try and get through Connemara and Murrisk (Doo Lough Pass) once you get to Westport I'd just on the N5 to the N17 straight to Sligo-town. Sligo is becoming as much as a foodie lovers places as Cork.