We will be traveling without a car and our first choice for a castle banquet was Dunguaire but it is not accessible without a car unless you want to pay a cab for 40 miles..sigh, not in my budget. So now I am wondering if ANY castle is available to people relying on public transportation...anyone have any experience here they could help us out with? Thanks.
Where are you staying? Are you staying in Galway? Ennis?
I have a website for you for buseirean travels from Galway to Kinvara; which is where Dunguaire Castle is right off the Quay. You can also by Tourist pass. On the website you can go to 'Print Timetable' which will get you to page for muliple items. Click on local/rural/commuter services. Rte 434 is the Galway-Gort-Kinvara line. I would plan on spending the night in Kinvara at a B&B if you do the banquet. The cost for the bus is much cheaper than cab. web site: wwwbuseiranne.ie
Thanks for the website...when I emailed the castle itself they just said no bus service from Galway. I see Kinvarra on the map and it surely is an affordable ride cab to the castle. You are right, we would definately want to stay in Kinvarra for the night but at this point we are flexible and can probably work around that. Thanks for helping me think this through and providing the website for timetables. We land in Cork in August and are going to Kinsale from the airport for a couple nights...maybe we can stop at Kinvarra for a night before going to Galway. Hmmmm....you have opened new possibilities. :-)) Thanks.
I think you'd be very happy staying in Kinvarra one night, especially after the banquet. In Sept, my mom and I drove from Lisdoonvarna to Galway in a day. I did the driving and it was tiring (driving in Ireland/England can be frustrating/slow/confusing/scary). We stopped at Dunguaire for 15 minutes, for a little break. They were sold out on our trip. The area is very charming/quaint/pretty. I would have liked to stay the night there but we had reservations in Galway.
Don't rely on a public bus from Kinvara to Galway. They don't leave very regularly and even when they do, you can sometimes be denied boarding if the bus is already at capacity when it pulls into Kinvara.
I know this as I have relatives who live in Kinvara and I've taken the public bus a number of times to/from Galway. A cab from Galway would be ridiculously expensive.
That being said, staying in Kinvara for a night is absolutely worth it. You'll probably save money over a Galway hotel or B&B, and Kinvara has great restaurants and a dozen pubs within a 3 block radius - several featuring live trad music a few nights a week.
Thanks for all the great advice. I have decided to definately stay a night in Kinvara...it looks like it would be fun with the pubs and small town atmosphere. I hope I can depend on the bus to Galway...even though a night and day in Kinvara sounds perfect I think two nights would take too big a hunk out of a short holiday. Looks like there is more than one bus a day to Galway so I'm not too worried...looks like 4 a day so if we miss one, we will take the next one but thanks for the heads up about them being full sometimes! Never would I have planned a stop here on a short 9-10 day trip but I think it will be perfect. Serendipity is often the best part of a trip isn't it?
Thanks again for all who have been enormously helpful.
We stayed at the Villa Maria on the outskirts of Kinvara. It is just down the road from the castle. It was reasonably priced, looked pretty new, & the host and hostess were really pleasant and helpful.