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Quaint Village a Train-Ride away from Dublin

I am trying to plan an extended stay in Ireland hopefully in August if all go well.
I love Dublin, but trying to find a village in which to rent a house for 1 to 3 months.
Think Dingle, Enniskerry, Kinsale, Trim, etc., with reasonable rail access to the city - 1-1/2 hour or less.

Any suggestions for a location and/or rental would be most welcome!

Thom

Posted by
4162 posts

Dingle doesn’t have a train station, and it’s way longer than 1 1/2 hours from Dublin by land transportation even if it did. We rented a wonderful cottage there (actually a mile and a half out of town), and it’d be a fine place to stay for some time, but not if you also needed proximity to Dublin within 90 minutes.

If you’re not driving a rental car, an alternative in Ireland to a train is by bus, on Bus Eireann.

Our last trip (with car), we stayed in Trim the last few nights before flying home from Dublin. It’s just about an hour away. Very nice small town, although I’m not sure I’d call it “quaint.” It was a fabulous base for getting to the mystical Boyne Valley neologic sights.

Posted by
1835 posts

What exactly is your priority - being close to Dublin or exploring the countryside? As Cyn points out the two will probably be mutually exclusive.
Do you plan to have a car or will you be relying on public transportation?
A good starting point for you might be to study the station and route maps on the Irish Rail website to see which towns along the route might appeal to you: https://www.irishrail.ie/travel-information/station-and-route-maps.
You can cover quite a bit of Ireland (and NI) independently by rail from Dublin if you base yourself there. Galway (Connemara, the Aran Islands. etc) is only a couple of hours away, as is Belfast and tours of the Causeway Coast and Derry.
Dublin would be central for guided day trips if that's your preference, though to simplify the logistics you'd probably be better off staying in the city rather than trying to commute from one of the outlying suburbs.

Posted by
6206 posts

Both Dingle and Kinsale are several hours from Dublin. Trim and Enniskerry are within your 1-1/2 hrs but by bus, not train. If you plan to rent for 1-3 months I assume you want to do some exploring in the area. Will you be renting a car for exploration? Or do you plan to use public transport exclusively? Unfortunately 'quaint' villages aren't always on the rail lines so you may have to rely on bus or taxi if you don't rent a car. Howth is only 1/2 hour from Dublin by train and it's a lovely seaside town. I also like Dun Laoghaire with is even closer and also on the coast.

I guess it would help if you clarified what you mean by quaint.

Posted by
3061 posts

I think you should look north to Northern Ireland. I think you could find several lovely villages that are easy train/bus combos to the North. It is a little further than 1.5 hours, but I really love the Antrim Coast and I think you would find a variety of possibilites there. I really like the Port Ballintrae/Bushmills area. I believe you could find rentals there without too great a difficulty.

Posted by
3 posts

First of all, thank you all so much for the responses! But it would appear I need to clarify...

When I listed Dingle, Trim, etc., I intended them to be examples of what I meant by quaint, and with the exception of Kinsale, not accessible by rail. I would rather NOT be in a modern suburb/housing track. By quaint I meant a traditional Irish village atmosphere with unpretentious places to eat and pubs, hopefully with music. I've stayed in a number of them but none close to Dublin. In looking at the rail maps, it's difficult to determine where each community with a rail stop lies in that spectrum.

The desire for rail access to Dublin is two-fold. First, it would be nice that any visitors flying in could have convenient access to both Dublin, and the airport without hiring a car or requiring a shuttle service of me. And second, as I stated I really enjoy Dublin and with the length of time I'm considering, I would like the ability to travel in without driving. Driving to a station could be acceptable, but walking to the rail would be much preferred. Asking a lot, I know!

I have a little problem hiring a car and in fact, will need to from time to time no doubt, but I'd rather not drive into Dublin. It does add expense to a lengthy stay, but maybe not as much as I might think. Another thing on the list to look into!

I have driven all around Ireland, following Rick Steves 3-week car tour. Kilkenny, Waterford, Kenmare, Westport, the Connemara, Derry, Portrush, and the four I previously mentioned. I would love to stay in any one of the places, but they're so distant from Dublin, except maybe Trim or Enniskerry if I succumb to relying on a car.

I've never stayed in the Midlands however. Any thoughts? Mullingar - was to be home to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2021 that I wanted to attend, but Covid-19 cancelled it!

Skerries is looking interesting. But I am open to other ideas for places.

Again, thank you so much for any input!

Thom

Posted by
1835 posts

Personal opinion only - but no visitor in their right mind would voluntarily venture into Dublin city traffic in a car.
Skerries would be an intriguing choice - small enough to let you enjoy a taste of Irish village life yet close enough to Dublin by rail to permit relatively quick day trips into the city. Would also permit easy access to the airport to collect a rental car when and if you decide to explore a little further afield than the Irish National Rail service will permit.
Northern Ireland is, I think, a greatly unappreciated destination. Like Carol we particularly enjoy the Antrim Coast north of Belfast - one of the world's great scenic drives on a sunny day. You could spend a week exploring the various Glens and still not exhaust all of the possibilities for enjoying spectacular seascapes. Both Belfast and Derry are terrific places to explore, and the Irish-American Folk Park near Omagh is an interesting place to spend half a day ... maybe more if your heritage traces to Ulster.
Suggest using the street view feature on Google maps to preview some of the towns and villages you're considering. Though I use it mainly to preview my driving routes it can also help me get a feel for a place before I commit to staying there. Might help you too.

Posted by
66 posts

I don't think Dublin is any worse to drive in than your San Francisco. A good GPS and a passenger to help look for parking should make it perfectly reasonable. I live in a very rural area (20 miles to the nearest traffic light), but I'm comfortable in LA or Seattle or Atlanta, so I never had an issue with driving in Dublin. Renting an automatic might help, but I don't bother. Car rentals are VERY inexpensive in Ireland. On our last trip, two weeks was $179 plus fuel for a four person car (Enterprise, I believe).

On the other hand, liking pubs and music, and therefore liking a beer or two increases all the risks of driving anywhere. I always arrange to stay within walking distance of pubs, which makes a plan like yours pretty difficult to pull off. I'd hate to pay for an overnight stay in a remote town while paying for the long term rental at the same time. Maybe economics isn't that bad.

You might find that you can find a satisfactory lodging in Dublin that feels quaint. Arranging day trips from Dublin is probably the easiest place, especially if using public transit.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you again for ideas & comments.

So now looking for information on Mullingar, County Westmeath and Bray, County Wicklow.

@Carol - I too love the north coast and may look into it, but I am not a big fan of Belfast, but maybe I haven't spent enough time there! Certainly, I find Dublin more welcoming.
@Robert - I have driven the Antrim Coast in both sun and rain and found it wonderful in either!
@jjgurley - having driven many cities in Europe and the US & Canada, I would have no issue with driving into Dublin either, but would rather not. In fact, I would rather not get behind the wheel anywhere after a pint or two; and I do rather like Guinness in Ireland!

So, has anyone been to Bray - between Dublin and Greystones on the DART line? I've another photographer that has a flat for sale that, if not sold, I can rent. It fits my needs, but I' know little about that community...