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Where to put one extra night

Hi everyone,

We are traveling with another couple to Ireland this September. The airfare, while not purchased, is decided to be in and out of Dublin, and the dates leave us with 13 nights to allot. I have already stretched to go to thirteen - both of us couples found a bit of austerity coming late to our households and didn't thing we'd be going anywhere, so we stretched as far as we could. This was our plan when we had 12 nights:

Land. Avoca (2 nights) (dream for these BallyK fans, also for Glendalough, Powerscourt, etc)
Kinsale area (2 nights)
Dingle (3 nights)
Galway/Doolin (Cliffs of Moher area) 2 nights
Dublin (3 nights)

So where to put that 13th night? Waterford area? Kilkenny? Westport? Even Dublin? I am leaning to Westport (after Doolin/Galway) because our friends want to drive through Ballyjamesduff on the way to Dublin because his family emigrated from there, and Westport would have us north-ish to accommodate that drive.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Posted by
2023 posts

I would certainly choose Westport over Waterford---a really nice town. Waterford, IMO, is charmless. The Connemarra area on your drive to Westport is beautiful and you could stop by Kylemore Abbey . One night in Doolin may be enough --O'Connor's there was good for the music and a pub dinner. Avoca Mill is worth a visit while you are in that area. Have never been to Kilkenny so no advice on it but if you like horses the National Stud Farm, home of race horses, is near Kildare and would be on your way on the drive back to Dublin. It is a gorgeous place.

Posted by
1259 posts

Thank you Susan. I am leaning towards Westport.

Now, If I were to drop Doolin/Galway to one night, what do you suggest?

Also, is it crazy to think of going straight to Newgrange upon landing? We get in mighty early (5:30am) and could be first there to get a spot on the bus.

Posted by
2023 posts

We drove straight to Newgrange from Dublin Airport and it is not a long drive but we had some rain so that slowed us down. On the road we took (major motorway) there is a toll so be prepared with some euros for tolls--about 1.80 about a year ago. We spent one night there & drove to Birr in order to be close enough to see Clonmacnoise and some peat bogs. Without looking at my travel notes our trip was quite different from yours--skipped Dublin since we had been there twice and also skipped Galway. Our trip was all about smaller towns & countryside. Spent two nights in Cliffden, Killarney, Dingle, Kinsale & one in Doolin as well as Bantry. Also one night in Glendalough and one unplanned night near Avoca. The trip was wonderful & I don't think I would have changed much--some hotels/B&Bs were more than we hoped to spend.

Posted by
46 posts

We personally loved Kilkenny. We stayed at Pinecrest B&B two weeks ago. It's a cool medieval town. Glendalough was remarkable, but we didn't have enough time there. You could drive through Glendalough and then on to Kilkenny for a day or so. If you decide on it, private message me and I can tell you about a couple pubs that will provide you with a genuine experience. Have fun!

Posted by
386 posts

A second vote for Kilkenny here. The town is great, loved the castle. Very convenient to Dublin too. If you went from either Dingle to Kilkenny or vice versa, you could easily fit in a stop at the Rock of Cashel too (well worth it in my opinion).

Posted by
1259 posts

Thanks everyone. Josh and Steve, I was thinking about a stop in Kilkenny (not overnight) on the drive from Avoca to Kinsale. If it can only be a day trip, would you suggest Kilkenny over Rock of Cashel? I don't think I could hit both in one day trip.

Thanks again.

Posted by
386 posts

If you are picking between Kilkenny and the Rock of Cashel for a short stop, I'd probably say Cashel, but it's more up to your preferences. I liked walking around the town of Kilkenny - seeing the castle of course, walking up the round tower at St. Canice's Cathedral, having a pint here and there. It's a great place for sure, but I think it deserves more than an hour or two. Rock of Cashel, on the other hand, you could easily do in two hours. We did walk around the town a bit too, but that isn't as significant. So for one stop, I'd vote Rock of Cashel. Go back to Kilkenny next time then!

Posted by
46 posts

Exactly what Steve said ... The Rock of Cashel is a single sight (although I've heard the nearby Hore Abbey is well worth a visit too) whereas Kilkenny is a nice town with it's own sights and more to offer, and therefore, deserves more time. We happily spent three lazy days (and fun nights) there and were happy with that. However, if you only have a few hours, go to see the Rock of Cashel and enjoy every minute!