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Thoughts on Must-Sees for our visit

I am planning a three week trip around Ireland in May. Our group of 3 includes two older folks including an avid photographer and one person with limited walking abilities (need to limit stairs and keep distances short). We are looking for advice about scenic drives, picturesque sights (that we can do without lots of walking or climbing) and photo-worthy towns especially coastal towns. We plan to spend time near Cork, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Galway, possibly Westport and either Derry or Portrush (not sure which would be a better choice).

So, I'd love advice about any accessible places that you love that we should be sure to include. Also any recommendations for lovely inns or B&Bs would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
2635 posts

The best guide we've found for our own driving trips is "Backroads Ireland" from DK publishing. As the title suggests it describes a number of off-the-beaten path scenic drives around the country, many of which would be photographers delight.

You can usually find used copies on Amazon for just a few dollars.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks, Robert. I just ordered a copy, used and cheap on Amazon. I'm not sure why I didn't think of that since I've used the series to plan other trips. Thanks, again.

Posted by
6245 posts

Tricky situation: one companion has significant mobility issues, another (the photographer) is going to want to get out and go some distance away from the car to get the best shots.

Ireland's west is a photographers dream (I say this as an avid photographer myself who was constantly swooning in Ireland), but keep in mind that a lot of the best, most drool-worthy photos will require some walking (and climbing), in some cases across terrain that's far from ideal (and in some cases, impossible or at least very dangerous for those with significant mobility issues).

This is probably already on your list, but you will definitely want to include a stop at the Cliffs of Moher - it'll be one of the best places that will work for all members of your party.

Here are are 3 older threads that I think will provide some context - you'll see the dilemma...suggest you take a look, and I think you'll realize that the needs and preferences for your avid photographer friend may be difficult to balance against your mobility-challenged friend. At some point, the two companions may need to split up at least for a short while, so hopefully everyone is understanding and willing to accommodate the others' needs. Have a look (these posts include links with some photos that should be helpful in both understanding the terrain challenges, and also seeing some of the very compelling subjects that will make your photographer want to go wild).

West Ireland sights for seniors
Separate day trips to the Cliffs & Islands?
Puffins on Inishmore?

Shortcut links to photos showing some of the terrain/scenery/mobility issues:

Inishmore's Uneven Ground (click any photo for a larger view)
The Climb Up Skellig Michael (click any photo for a better view)

Hope that helps.

Posted by
1488 posts

I must admit I was terribly disappointed with the Cliffs of Moher - We visited in May and it was so busy and the car park was full and we had difficulty finding somewhewre to park. The guide book had suggested you could lose the crowds if you walked a short way on either side. You couldn't as everyone else was also trying this! This picture is 21016 and it is probably a lot busier now. The best views are from the sea on a boat trip... We did however love the Burren and its stark limestone scenery. The stretch round the coast north of Doolin is spectacular.

Something else we really enjoyed was the Sky Drive from Clifden. On a clear sunny day this is a spectacular drive and must rank as one of the best short drives in the world. County Galway is spectacular and we also particularly liked the area around Roundstone with its small harbour and views across to the Twelve Bens.

Posted by
8054 posts

Forget Cliffs of Mohr.

Easier, less crowded to visit are the Kerry Cliffs.
Ask the locals for best spots. They will happily share their knowledge.

Glendalough, Newgrange, Cobh, Kinsale, Benbulbin Mountain are all worth your time.

Posted by
7559 posts

I would pick Portrush over Derry and Port Ballintrae over Portrush. (Bayview Inn, Port Ballintrae)

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks. You folks have been so generous with your responses. I appreciate all the help!