Help with tentative itinerary!

My fiance and I are planning our Honeymoon in Ireland this coming November. We've already purchased our flights to arrive in Dublin on Nov. 3 at 5am and to depart Shannon at 11am on Nov. 10. We're planning on renting our own car so we have the leisure of coming and going whenever we want. I haven't booked any hotels, yet, as I want to get our schedule set first. I would love a little advice on our tentative itinerary:

Nov. 3 - arrive Dublin, explore city
Nov. 4 - more Dublin
Nov. 5 - leave Dublin, drive to Kilkenny, Roch of Cashel, stay in Kinsale
Nov. 6 - leave Kinsale, visit Kenmare, Ring of Kerry, stay in Dingle
Nov. 7 - more Dingle, possibly the self-driving Dingle Peninsula Tour, stay in Dingle
Nov. 8 - leave Dingle, drive up to the Cliffs of Mohr (want to take the coastal route to see the views!), Dromoland Castle
Nov. 9 - day trip to Galway, Dromoland Castle
Nov. 10 - depart Shannon in the morning

I have no idea if I'm packing too much in or not enough! Please help!!

Posted by Mary
Woodside, New York, United States
52 posts

It may be a bit too much. Keep in mind, many of the tourist attraction hours are shortened starting in November. The daylight hours are shorter as well, I think sunset will be around 5pm (check this). You may want to drive from Dublin directly to Kinsale or skip Kinsale. If I had a choice for my 1st time in Ireland, I would see Kinsale. I would also cut either the Ring fo Kerry or Dingle. That is a hard one. I loved staying in Dingle, I don't know that I would want to drive those roads in Nov. You may want to check the weather forecast closer to the dates. I doubt you will have trouble finding a place to stay.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8173 posts

Looks well paced but have an alternative plan for your RoK day in case it's rainy/foggy (which it well could be in November). I would not skip the Rock of Cashel. It's an easy stop on the way to Kinsale. If you do decide to do RoK, the drive from Kinsale, around the Ring, to Dingle will be something like 6.5 hours with NO stops.

I would suggest that you take the ferry across the River Shannon at Killimer/Tarbert instead of going around through Limerick. That will put you on the coast road to the Cliffs of Moher. You can check out different routes at www.viamichelin.com. Add about 25% to their time estimates to get a more realistic idea of time. It can be slower than you expect, particularly in the west.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1590 posts

I think you have some pretty optimistic plans – November 6 looks particularly ambitious. I'm not sure that day is doable if you want to actually see anything. If you've not driven in Ireland before, I think you'll find it takes you longer to travel distance than you anticipate, even when the weather is good. I think I averaged around 35 miles an hour over the course of a 2-week trip. However, little of our driving was on highways.

I would also suggest you choose either the ring of Kerry or Dingle, since your time is short. We hired a local guide to drive us around Dingle peninsula, and I'm very glad we did; it would've been very difficult to drive and still appreciate the scenery. I don't have his name, but I know he was listed in the RS guide.

Posted by Mark G
London, United Kingdom
63 posts

Hi

just adding to the previous wise replies, I'd reinforce the fact that the weather in early November 'could' be very wet and windy, making scenic views almost invisible from time to time. Thus I would investigate indoors things to see on your route, as fallbacks should you need them.

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2364 posts

Whatever you do don't give up Dingle!!! Was there last November. Few grey mornings with light rain then clear for remainder of the day. Drove the coast. No tour buses, few cars. Bliss. Also hiked a mile of the Gap of Dunloe, then drove over it and I'm not a spring chicken like you two. Best day in Ireland. Breath taking. Serene. Don't miss the Killarney National Park either. Personally I'd give up the Ring of Kerry for the Dingle Peninsula but that's just me. Try to stay with Angela and John at the Cill Bhreac House in Dingle. Best B and B hosts ever!!! Lastly, if you don't stop in for a pint at Foxy John's you'll be missing the charm of Dingle in November.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
243 posts

Hi from a veteran Ireland traveler,

Been there many times since 1973. Keep Dingle on your plan, but you might skip the Ring of Kerry and substitute Beara Peninsula. The ring was made famous, inmy opinion, by being a road big enough for mega busses to navigate and being close to an early rail head.

I have always been a bit disappointed in the Cliffs of Moher. Yes, they are dramatic, and yes there is now a primitive hiking trail from Doolin area to the Cliffs. I would substitute the back road drive to Ballyvaughan. There is quite the castle ruin over looking a huge ravine and several megalithic tombs along this back road.

If you want a map to get you there, as it is not on most road maps ask for my back road in Ireland maps. send me an email wmcca@hotmail.com

Galway's name evokes all sorts of romance, the city...not so much. Better to spend your time in Cong or Clifden (a wee bit of a drive beyond where you suggest and I hate driving when there is so much Guinness to drink). Or closer still is the lovely market town of Ennis. A really medieval feel to the main street, their high street) And a walk around Ennistimmon.

Don't be afraid of hanging out in a nice pub when it is raining out side.

wayne iNWI