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Ireland travel

Hi, my husband, teenage daughter and I are going to be heading to Ireland from the 10-17 of April and I have a route mapped out but I'm wondering if we're trying to see too much each day or if we are missing anything. We're not the type of travelers that have to do everything, we actually prefer to just take our time and enjoy the places that we visit. We are going to pick up the rental car when we leave Dublin.
We plan on spending the first two nights in Dublin seeing the sites, and then heading to Kilkenny on day 3 to spend two nights there stopping at Glendalough on the way, and possibly doing the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle as well. We can't check into our B&B until after 3 pm anyway. Leave Kilkenny on day 5 and head to Doolin for 2 nights, stopping at the Blarney Castle along the way, and possibly Jerpoint Abbey. I really want to see the Cliffs of Mohr and the Aran Islands. We will then drive back to Dublin on day 7, drop off the car and spend the night, flying home the next day. Is there anything else that we should see? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by
9363 posts

It looks like you have a nicely paced itinerary, and you'll see a nice mix of countryside and city/towns. I would highly recommend Cahir Castle, since you will pass through there anyway between Cashel and Blarney. In Kilkenny, be sure to visit the Kilkenny Design Center, across the street from Kilkenny Castle. You can often see artists at work there (it's the old carriage house of the castle), as well as unique shopping.

The only hitch I see that you could encounter is if the weather is questionable on the day you want to go out to the Aran Islands. The ferries don't run if the water is rough, and in April that's still possible.

April is a great time to visit Ireland! It's green and can be warm, and there are lambs all over the place. Have a great time!

Posted by
92 posts

You can definitely see the Cliffs of Moher and visit one of the Aran Islands while based in Doolin. The Cliffs are something you can see in a relatively short period of time (depends on how long you want to linger, take pictures, etc.), while you would want to spend an entire day if you visited Inishmore (the largest of the Arans). I would recommend joining a minibus or horse cart tour for at least part of the day, and skip the bicycles that look so fun but are not very efficient modes of transportation on a limited schedule.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks so much for the advice everyone! If we don't make it to the Aran Islands because of weather, is there something else that you would reccomend in the Doolin Area? Would Bunratty be too far a drive for a day trip instead?

Posted by
92 posts

I second the advice to see the Burren... It is hauntingly beautiful. But driving through does it no justice. It's best to get out and walk (sometimes even crawl) around, to see the plant life and rock formations. Don't miss the Poulnarbone Dolmen (Megalithic tomb), which is quite easily accessible and if I'm not mistaken might have a parking area nearby.

If you have time, stop at The Burren Centre (in Kilfenora) first. There is a video about the burren and a museum with artifacts. http://www.theburrencentre.ie

While you are in Dubliln I hope you have time to take a walking tour. Here are two I would recommend:

http://www.historicalinsights.ie/

http://www.1916rising.com/

Posted by
13 posts

Since we will have two full days in Doolin, even if we don't get to the Aran islands, then I think we will still have time to tour the Burren, the Cliffs and maybe even Bunratty the next day. We arrive in Dublin at 11:15 am on the 10th so that gives us that afternoon and all day the next day to see Dublin, and we still have part of a day and an evening there when we drop off the car before flying out on the 18th. I had planned to do one of the walking tours while we were there as well.
Thank you everyone for the great ideas!

Posted by
9363 posts

Not at all! Bunratty is only about six miles from Shannon Airport. Doolin is about an hour or so from there.

Posted by
13 posts

That's perfect then...a backup plan if the the Aran Islands don't work out!! Thanks again :)

Posted by
2708 posts

You could also tour the Burren. It's a fascinating area.