We might be traveling to Ireland with our 2 children next year for 2-3 weeks. We will be renting a car and prefer to stay at a central location in the country. Any suggestions? We prefer a cottage, house or apartment with sleeping room for a couple and 2 teens. Thanks in advance, Frances.
Unless you want to do a lot of backtracking you might want to change locations at least once during your stay. Ireland is small but driving times are deceptively long, particularly in the west where roads can be more narrow. There is not likely to be any single central location that will work unless you want to visit a limited area. What are your interests?
Thanks Nancy! How about a place in the north and a place in the south? I think that might be a better idea. Maybe the one in the south for 2 weeks and the one in the north for 1 week... We want to visit old castles, museums, interesting quaint towns. In the past we visited Italy for a month and took a short side trip to Paris from Pisa. While in Italy we went to Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples & Sorrento. Our kids are very much into History and Art so they will not be bored, but we'd also like to have a few days to relax maybe walk n the beach visit quaint towns, etc., and shopping don't forget shopping.
others will chime in but I would suggest staying somewhere north of Dublin and planning lots of day trips to places like the passage tomb at newgrange, and all of the way up to northern Ireland to see giants causeway and the carrick a rede bridge (ok, maybe one overnight up in that area)
You didn't say what time of the year you'b be in Eire but with teens (unless they are home schooled) I suspect you'll be there during one of the summer months. It is a small island (5 hours drive between the West Coast and Dublin) but staying in one place for the entire span of weeks would be a bit foolish. That said, here's my suggestion for seeing the island. Fly into Dublin and out of Shannon or vice versa. That way no back tracking. Thus if you were to start in Dublin addressing your shopping needs and taking day trips to Glenalough, Powerscourt, New Grange, Carlingford. Then move on up to Belfast,
N. Ireland where I'd enjoy staying 3-4 days. Seeing and exploring St. George's Market, Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery, having a pint and pub meal at the Duke of York, visiting the Titanic Museum, picnicking at the Botanical Gardens, taking the Black Cab Tour of The Troubles, touring the Crumlin Road Gaol, having the best seafood chowder at Mourne's as well as seeing driving up to see the Giants Causeway. Where else can you experience two different countries in one geographical space. So Euros (Dublin, Ireland) and Pounds (Belfast, N. Ireland) Then a nice leisurely drive toward the West Coast of Ireland. Via Londonderry to Sligo to Gallway maybe. Believe your final destination should be Dingle where you can rent lovely cottages and explore the gorgeous West Coast. I'd stay at least a week if not more. Muckross House, Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, The Burren, Slea Head, Coumeenolle, Inch Beach, Rock of Cashel, etc. etc. I'm not a huge fan of the Ring of Kerry especially in Summer when over sized tour busses clog the roads. You will find the same on the Dingle Peninsula but if you get early starts won't have to sit behind them sucking up fumes. I do however like Kinsale. From Dingle its 2.5-3 hours to Shannon and your flight home.