Four of us will be traveling to Ireland from US arriving on Aug. 28 and departing on Sept. 10. We will be in County Tyrone for 2 nights, then 1 week near Galway in Headford, 1 night near Blarney Castle and 3 nights in County Wexford. I would appreciate knowing some "must sees" during our trip. We would like to see Belfast, Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle and Dublin, but would appreciate some other sights that are recommended. Also, does anyone know where to do some ancestor research near Keady. We are descendants of the Rafferty family which I believe was living near Keady before coming to the US.
Start by looking at a variety of guidebooks to get an idea of what you might want to see around where you will be. Are you traveling by rental car or public transportation? If you are driving, you can use www.viamichelin.com to get an idea of how long it takes to get from place to place (add about 25% to their time estimates, though, to get a more realistic picture - driving can be very slow in Ireland). Belfast is at the far north end of the island from everything else you want to see, so you will need to think about what point in your trip you want to see it. It could be done by train as a day trip from Dublin if you only want to see the city and take a black cab tour.
Nancy, Thanks so much for your reply. Sounds like that website will be very useful. We are getting a rental car so we thought we'd visit Belfast during our first two days when we're in County Tyrone.
A jewel of Ireland is the town of Clifton,great for pubs,resteraunts,traditional music. Also going south from Galway take the ferry from kilrush across to Listonverna(great brewery just outside town). On your way to Cliffs of Morh. That whole area is so beautiful.
Clifden is, indeed, a cute little place (and my ancestral home). If you are headed around the Connemara area you can get the Sky Road from there and go past the national park, up to Kylemore Abbey, and through the Twelve Bens mountains. Not sure what the previous poster meant, since there is no ferry at Kilrush, and Lisdoonvarna (which is what I think he means) is inland. Maybe he means the Killimer-Tarbert ferry, but that is not very near the Cliffs. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher are close to Galway and are great places to see.
Hi Connie, Clonmacnoise is a wonderful abbey site outside of Galway. You can wander the area with ruins of churches & gravestones. It also has a visitor center with 3 high crosses safely under their roof. You might want to consider buying a Heritage Card which will give you admission to all the heritage sites in Ireland. If you visit 3, it pays for itself. Their website must have a list of all the sites. Have a fun time.
We spent one night on Innishmore (the largest of the Aran Islands) during our recent trip. If you will be in Co. Galway a week, it may be worth it to do more than a day trip -- after the last ferry for the day, we had the stone forts nearly to ourselves (3 others were there) and the effect was almost magical. We stayed at Tigh Catherine B&B, which was absolutely lovely.
Kev and Emilie, Thank you all so much for the very useful information. I know our trip will be greatly enhanced with the recommendations you posted.
I would recommended skipping the Ring of Kerry and instead doing the Dingle penisula. MUCH less crowded and you can see the area where they filmed "Ryan's Daughter". :)
Kate and Jill, Thanks for the suggestions. I'm keeping a log so I can record the information along our route. Very helpful!
Agree with previous poster, Dingle is better than Ring of Kerry in my opinion. If near Dublin be sure to see Newgrange, well worth it. In Dublin, I would skip Guinness Brewery, we thought too commercial. We have been to Kilmainhaim Gaol in Dublin three times and would go back again and again. Also be sure to try to see Rock of Cashel, we liked it better than Blarney but the grounds around Blarney are prettier. Enjoy.
Gail is spot on- Dingle, Kilmainham Gaol and Cashel. I would include a pub crawl in Dublin.
Thanks Gail and Steve, We will definitely include Dingle in our trip along with your other suggestions if possible. Steve, what is a pub crawl? Is it just your terminology for seeing the pubs in Dublin or is it something specific?