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Itinerary Bugaboo- getting hung up in the west

Hello all-

Honeymoon trip. We will be arriving in Dublin early on a Sunday morning in late September (already have the tickets booked, can't change to Shannon.) We will be leave 9 days later from Dublin (Mon). Here's what we have and why. I have a particular conundrum that I will highlight. Fiancee is interested in medieval type era of history, golf, and beautiful views. I am interested in beautiful views and the history of republicanism and the struggle for independence. We're trying to see as much as we can without overdoing it- do want to relax and have some bases.
Day 1: Pick up rental car- drive down to Cork area. Stop at Rock of Cashel. Maybe go to Blarney and see the sites (but neither of us have interest in the smooching the rock :) ). Get checked in at Cork. Wind down.
Day 2: See some of Cork. Go to Cobh, see museums there. Get adjusted. Stay in Cork.
Day 3: Drive along County Cork coast- go through Skib, Clonakilty, etc. (my genealogical trail). Up through Bantry and Kenmare. HERE'S THE DILEMMA. Not sure where to end up on this day. He's interested in less coast and more castle- is the Killarney area and the Ross Castle worth it? Or should we head somewhere on Kerry Way or Dingle? I know Killarney is a busy tourist mecca and people seem shocked that we're not doing either Kerry or Dingle..... Because of other priorities I'm not sure that we'll have time to really enjoy Ring of Kerry or Dingle.
Day 4: Leave from wherever we ended up. Take the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer. End up near Lahinch. Relax, plod around, maybe golf. (this is why the travel time from day 3's final destination matters- can flex this day and Day 5 around some as far as what we do....)
Day 5: Maybe golf some this morning etc. See Cliffs of Moher on day 4 or 5. Drive leisurely. End up in Galway.
Day 6: see Connemara or Aran Is. Drive later that day back near Dublin (I know this will be one of the longest hauls- not sure how to avoid it). Stay near Newgrange (big on the list unless this idea is preposterous).
Day 7: Try to see Newgrange early. Drop car at airport, shuttle in to Dublin sans car. Late afternoon/evening in Dublin on this day
Day 8: Dublin (not taking any more Dublin out, his grandmother grew up here and he really wants to see it, and I'm interested in some of the historical sights.)
Day 9: Fly out.

Open to feedback on all of it but especially interested in thoughts about the Kerry, Dingle, Killarney dilemma. Can't fit even close to that all in but don't want to cut the things around it.

Also, if it's helpful, we come from a fairly spread out place in the US and are used to a decent amount of driving in daily life- we like road trips.

Thanks all!

Posted by
9361 posts

If you are interested in republicanism and the struggle for independence, there are a number of places you will want to see in Dublin (the General Post Office, Kilmainham Gaol, etc.). You won't want to short your time there. I'm afraid I can't help with your other dilemma. I have stayed in Kenmare, and in the Cork area, but neither will fit into your timing. You might consider looking at farmhouse B&Bs, though. You can see listings on the website at www.discoverireland.com. You might find a farm that suits your timing and would add a different dimension to trip. And it could be located between urban areas at a distance that suited you for your drive the next day.

Posted by
7592 posts

First of all congrats! I hope you have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon. I will only comment on one thing I see as being way too ambitious. I think your day one is overly optimistic. You don't list your location, so I can't tell where you are arriving from. The odds are after an overnight flight you will be tired. Then you plan to get in a car and drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are presumably used to. From Dublin to the Rock of Cashel is about 110 miles. From there to Blarney is about 65 miles. Even though Via Michelin says from Blarney to Cork is about 8 miles, it also says it takes 25 minutes. The rule of thumb is to add an extra 25% to the diving times given. Way too much driving on Day 1, no matter how used to driving you are. I'm used to driving too. But the day we arrived in Dublin from California we picked up a car at the airport and drove to Kilkenny. It was about 90 miles and a two hour drive. I was exhausted and was so glad we didn't have to drive further. We checked out the town until we could check into our B&B, went to dinner and collapsed. By the next day we were good to go. We stopped at the Rock of Cashel on our way to Dingle. It's okay to have busy days. Just don't make your first day one of those busy days if you're driving.

Posted by
29 posts

I must agree with Andrea. We arrived in Dublin around 8am & drove to Enniskerry where we had breakfast and then explored Powerscourt Gardens. From there we drove through Sally Gap to Glendalough where we stayed for the evening in a charming B&B, Derrymore House. The ruins of the monastic settlement are nestled below beautiful mountains & lakes. The next day we did the Rock of Cashel & stayed in Kinsale (just past Cork). "They say" that walking around outdoors is the best thing for jet lag, so this first day worked out perfectly for us. We took a brief nap that afternoon & then went to a wonderful local restaurant for dinner. If you like beautiful views, you might research Mizen Head. We left Kinsale, drove the coast to Mizen Head & walked around there, went through Bantry & stayed in Kenmare. Long day, but not really too bad with the stops & exploring (still arrived Kenmare about 2:30-3pm). My only other comment is that Connemara is absolutely beautiful. We stayed in Clifden & explored the area. You might not have much time for it since you're headed back towards Dublin, but the N59 up by the park & Kylemore Abbey and then back through the Bens on R344 is a gorgeous drive. Regardless, have a lovely trip!