Myself and four others will be arriving in Dublin 10.26.08 and leaving from Shannon 11.05.08. The plan is to drive along the southern coast, staying at a new b&b or hotel every 2-3- days. Has anyone done something similar? I'm curious as to the availability of b&b's along the way. Are reservations needed before leaving the States or can they be made in Ireland a day or so in advance?
Thanks, Nancy. We would possibly stop at Waterford, Cobh, Kinsale, Killarney, or Dingle. Any experience with b&b's at those locations?
I'll state that 10 years have past since my trip to Ireland and N. Ireland. The economy has boomed during the decade. With the boom came a resurgence of tourism and many more B&B's have been built to accommodate the masses. Fall is a great time to see Ireland. The tourist season has come and gone. I visited in Oct and did the drive your are going to take. Didn't see Waterford. Wish I could remember all the B&B's I found but can't. In my journey I would be certain to hit a town around 4-5pm. I'ld look for the homes with the brown signs (noting a B & B). Find one that I liked and knock on the door. NEVER had a problem in getting a room. Some rooms were in Pubs, some in older homes, some at farms, some in brand new homes. More towns have tourist bureaus as well although in the smaller towns they maybe closed. They can help you find accommodations if they are open. Make sure you drive the Sally Gap to Glendalough. Heaven on earth. Have a great visit. Wonderful country!
You should have absolutely no problem finding B&Bs at that time of year. Some close for the winter, but a lot don't. You can make reservations ahead or just stop when you come to one you'd like to stay in. That's what I did on one of my trips to Ireland. I booked the last two nights because I was staying in Dublin, but didn't book anything else in advance. During tourist season I would recommend booking ahead because of the crowds, but it won't be a problem in late October. I can recommend some at various points along the southern coast, and all of them were open even in February.
I didn't stay in Waterford, but outside a town called New Ross, just a few miles away. It was an easy drive into Waterford and straight to the crystal factory in the morning. There are numerous B&Bs in New Ross, and it's a small town, so they are easy to find (ours was nice, but way out in the boonies and we almost never found it). Near Cobh, we stayed at The White House in Blarney. South of Cork, in an area called Ballinhassig, is a horse farm called Ardfield. It has a breathtaking view of the area (once you get up its very scary driveway). In Killarney, try Crystal Springs. TI offices will most likely be closed by then, so don't count on finding them open.
We went to Ireland a few years ago and about the same time. We landed in Shannon and then drove to Dublin that day and made our way around the southwest coast. We stayed just outside of Waterford in Mooncoin and then traveled to Dingle where we stayed a few nights and then to Galway and back to Shannon to fly home. We prebooked all of our B&B's, but that was just because we wanted to have a plan. Most of them had plenty of openings when we were there. If you would like more specifics I would be happy to share more info, just shoot me an email.
Thanks for all the replies. We may now be staying in the Roscommon area at a rented house and radiating out from there. We are still in the planning stages...