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Good Ireland driving map

Should I take Rick Steves' advice and get the Ordnance Survey Road Atlas or will a Michelin Ireland map suffice? We are renting a car in Shannon and driving all around the west coast back over to Dublin. If the Ordnance Survey map is better, can I find it easily once I get to Ireland? And are there English translations in it for the town names? Thanks.

Posted by
47 posts

Sorry, I don't have an answer but I sure hope you get one! I would love to know as well! Good luck. Aubrey

Posted by
103 posts

We used 2 maps and drove all over all kinds of small (R) and some smaller (L) roads as well as the N roads. We bought the Ordnance Survey in Ireland, it's easy to find, it's a binder. And we used a HarperCollins Ireland map (published in the UK but we bought it in Alaska). It had much better city maps than the Ordnance Survey. I'd go with both if we went again. Also, all signs were in both languages.

Posted by
32238 posts

Tina, You might also consider a GPS unit, in conjunction with a Michelin Map. Some of the roads in more rural areas aren't well marked, so using both methods is often prudent. I've never used an Ordnance Survey Road Atlas, so can't comment? Happy travels!

Posted by
9110 posts

Either will work equally well for driving. OS maps are gems and arguably the most accurate in the world. They also have a wider range of scales. I think the Ireland Atlas runs about fifty bucks and is heavy - - it's an over-kill. You can probably find both, but it's just one more thing to do before you can start moving. I'd do it beforehand and just get the Michelin. You'd want the 712 which has a scale of 1:400k. All the bookstores either have it or can order it - - it runs about ten bucks.

Posted by
47 posts

I bought a michelin fold up map at the local Barnes and Noble here and it was just fine. No GPS was needed, as long as you are comfortable with maps and directions. Plus, there are numerous informational places along the route where you can pick up free, detailed maps of the local areas, as you go.
I found it very helpful to have had the map already in hand and having plotted a "rough draft" of the route before even leaving the US.

Posted by
1994 posts

I have tried to find the Ordnance Survey book/binder/whatever; I want to have it in hand before trying to find my way away from the Dublin Airport. The Ordnance Survey website says it no longer is available, and on Amazon, I'm just finding county-specific from the Ordnance Survey. Could I be looking at the wrong thing? The name I'm using is: Ordnance Survey Ireland Discovery Series. Thanks.

Posted by
9363 posts

I use the rental car office map or a Michelin map. My parents bought the ordnance survey map and found it both expensive and VERY confusing for them to use. Sometimes simpler is better.

Posted by
9110 posts

Sherry: I'm a geographer by training and probably own close to every stinking map in the world. I'm looking at my spiral OS atlas of Ireland right now and comparing it to the Michelin 712 that I mentioned above. The Michelin is just as good. I think RS out-clevered himself on this one. I also interneted around and can't find a source for the OS map anywhere (they seem to mostly nis with availability date unknown). Buy the Michelin and it will take you everywhere you want to go. The exits from the Dublin airport are well-signed with directions and you're not going to have a problem. Additionally, the car rental place will give you enought to get you going. Edit: Or just listen to Nancy.

Posted by
1826 posts

We have now done six European road trips, three of which included Ireland, and I am planning our 2012 Ireland trip........ This is what I find useful: for overall itinerary planning, the red Michelin map for the entire country. Our Ireland one is has a scale of one inch = six miles.........for specific road choices, we used the orange Michelin regional maps for the UK, France, and Norway. I couldn't find these for Ireland, so instead bought the four Ordnance Survey maps (north, west, south, and east) scale is one inch = four miles. These show all the little roads. These maps are also referred to as "holiday" maps........When we are driving, I like to have the AA road atlas, which is also 1 inch = four miles. It's easier to manage that in my lap ( I am the navigator) than a folded map. Michelin also makes one of these......We have never bothered with a GPS, since we both enjoy maps, but I think it would be useful if you had to function as both navigator and driver or if you were not good at reading maps.......We bought everything from Amazon or amazon.co.uk. Most items were about $10, the atlas was closer to $20.

Posted by
1 posts

The Complete Road Atlas Of Ireland (Irish Maps, Atlases & Guides) (O/S Road Atlas)
is available at Amazon.com, but I agree with other travelers that the Michelin maps are just as good and a lot cheaper.

Posted by
165 posts

We have used the Complete Road Atlas of Ireland, and will use it again this summer. We bought it at an Irish gas station for €12.95. The scale is good 1 inch = 3.3 miles. It comes as a spiral bound 8x11 book, covering both Erie and Ulster. Last summer in France we used Michelin,also good. What I did find was that they are way less expensive if purchased there. The map has both English and Gaelic names.

Posted by
12 posts

I'm glad this was such a hot topic! Our trip has actually already passed--it was incredible by the way! But I just thought I'd add here for anyone still planning their trip. We ended up using the Michelin Ireland map (I believe 712). I bought it here at B&N beforehand but I also saw it in plenty of places in Ireland. I used that map combined with local maps our B&B hosts would give us (mainly on tourism brochures) and the maps in Rick Steves' book. It worked out perfected. I did not feel the need to have a more in depth map and we did a LOT of driving. Good luck to everyone!

Posted by
348 posts

I found Ireland to be the easiest country in Europe to navigate. Even in large cities like Cork, I didn't have to look much for street signs, because I'd find a sign to the B&B or restaurant right in town.
Have a great trip!