BEST SIDETRIP FOR ME FROM DUBLIN?

Hi, I need to choose between Newgrange/Trim Castle or Glendalough/Wicklow mountains as a day trip for our group of six in July. We will only get to stay in Dublin during this trip, and we would love to see the beautiful countryside of Ireland, and two of us really were hoping to see castles. Is the countryside equally beautiful in both directions? I understand trying to do both is not doable. Is there another option I should consider? Thank you!!

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

The Newgrange/Knowth is a great sight and a must see if you're into prehistoric sites. The castle in Trim is good and in a very scenic area and tour was informative and lead by a local guy who played in the castle as kid. The countryside in this northern area is open, green, pleasant and rolling but not necessarily super striking. If scenery is your number one priority the Wicklow mountains are almost certainly more scenic. I'd suggest looking at Google images for the various areas and that might help you decide. Have a great trip either way,
=Tod

Posted by John
Dublin, Ireland
105 posts

There is a massive difference/contrast Shelley between the rolling plains of County Meath (Trim/Newgrange) and the rugged wilderness of the Wicklow mountains. Powerscourt might be an option for the castle lovers in your party, might kill two birds with the one stone.

Posted by Jerry
Carrollton, Texas, USA
64 posts

I agree with John & Tod. It's really hard to compare the 2. They are both unique and goreougs in their own right. With that said, I would recommend Powerscourt and lunch in Enniskerry if I was forced to pick.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7188 posts

Good descriptions above. Newgrange is rolling and very green. The Newgrange tour we took stops at Hill of Tara, as well as brief stops at Castle Trim and the Battle of the Boyne sight, which may capture the imaginations of many in your group. Glendalough is known for it's scenic drive. Nothing on the Newgrange tour is a substitute for the Glendalough monastic settlement but then the monastic settlement and scenic drive aren't a substitute for the Newgrange tour either. I had to choose and put Newgrange first but that might not be your choice.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

Could you make do with one less day of sight-seeing in Dublin so you have time to see both? If the issue is cost of sight-seeing tour for six people, the New Grange (try to get there by 8:15) - Hill of Tara - Trim drive is very easy with a rental car. We did it last April - the roads were good, not narrow like the ones in western Ireland.

Posted by shelley
vacaville, ca, usa
20 posts

Thank you, all, for your suggestions and guidance. I did google pictures of all the sites mentioned and have settled on Glendalough/Wicklow/Powerscourt and a drive through some "pass" that I cannot remember the full name of right now. And a definite stop for lunch in Enniskerry. I agree that Powerscourt might fill the need for the castle. And I just think we would get a better "feel" of Ireland by going this route. Newgrange sounds a bit more touristy, but it also sounds like an incredibly unique and awe-inspiring place to visit, that is, if you get tickets. We will be there in July, and it seems tickets sell out. So I am considering trying to hire a driver for two days. One for the all-day drive to Glendalough and the other sites mentioned above, and the other day just to take us first thing in the morning to Newgrange and try to be back by, say, 3:00 and move at a break-neck pace to soak up as many Dublin sites as possible. That is probably way too ambitious, however. Especially after a pub crawl! :-)
I am also going to try to talk my group into staying one more day if our hotel still has room availale since we have not purchased our international airfare yet. Three nights and two days simply is not enough time! Especially when one of your days is a Monday and so many sites are closed! Thank you again.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
773 posts

We suggest if you have interest, to see the Ashford Castle. It is a beautiful hotel. The grounds are spectacular. It overlooks the water. It was the former summer home of the Guinness Family. We spent two nights there with our TAUCK tours, last June. We wish we could have spent more time there.