I have received so many thoughtful suggestions which I've taken in consideration. Here is my revised itinerary: Mon ...Flying into Dublin - p/u rental car - drive to Newgrange - then on to Galway for a night stay. Tues.... Drive thru The Burren - then on to Doolin to spend the night. Wed....Go to the Cliffs of Moher - then drive to the Dingle Peninsula for a 2 nite stay. Thrus...Site-see the Dingle Pennisula Loop Fri....Drive to Rock of Cashel with stay in Killkenny. Sat....Drive to Dublin for day of siteseeing w/overnite stay. Sun......Fly home at noon I would appreciate any recommendations on B&B's or restaurants in each of these places. Thank you all!
Plan looks good. We stayed at I think is called Seaview in Doolin, private car park and good view. Loved The Lighthouse in Dingle, it is about 5 to 10 minute walk into town and private car park, great reviews on trip advisor. Only thing is walking home at night the street is dark but we loved it. I think there is a way to maybe take a ferry from Doolin towards Dingle but we did not take it, I think it cuts down on a lot of drive time, we went long way around via Adare and Tralee but that was our choice. See what suggestions other have. Enjoy, you will love it!!!! We loved Kilmainhaim Gaol in Dublin, easy access by bus or ho-ho bus or city bus. Did not enjoy Guinness Brewery, thought too costly and waste of time but that is just our opinion, others would disagree.
Looks good, though you won't have a lot of time for sightseeing in Dublin after driving from Kilkenny (assuming you have done your Kilkenny sightseeing the day before). I agree with Kilmainham Gaol and I also agree that Guinness is a waste of time and money.
I'm hoping the drive is only 1.5-2 hrs from Killkenny to Dublin. I agree, would have liked more time in Dublin but other than Trinity College/Book of Kells, Grafton St, Temple Bar, and now the recommendation of Kilmainham Gaol, I really only want to get the feel of the city instead of the sites. Don't worry, I have no interest in Guinness Storehouse. Thanks ladies!
The Greenmount Guesthouse in Dingle is wonderful!
Oh, and I forgot to add that we took the Tarbert ferry from Doolin to Dingle. I looked it up and it says that it takes the same time as driving (through Limerick); however, we were tired of finding our way through "cities" and the ferry offered a peaceful ride--plus, it was kinda fun. We're planning on doing it again on this trip (we leave end of June). I second K. Gael in Dublin. It was fascinating. (I suggest you take a guided tour.) While we've been to Dublin numerous times, we prefer the smaller villages as they feel a bit more Irish than Dublin does. Don't get me wrong, I love Dublin for its history, but to us, it feels a little less Irish (and could any city--Boston, Chicago, etc). Folks might disagree, that's just our take on it. We walked quite a bit there, though, and did the Book of Kells at TCD, St Patrick's, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar area.....the Post Office, etc. Have a great trip!!!
One thing about Book of Kells. It might not be as big an issue in September, but it's best to get there as early in the day as possible, as lines can get long as the day wears on.
Hi Linda, We just got back from Ireland yesterday! You'll have a great time. A few thoughts: Monday night in Galway: If you're only staying the night, maybe avoid the city and stay nearer the Burren? Perhaps Lindoosvarna? (We didn't go there, so can't recommend for sure.) If you have time on arrival in Doolin, consider visiting the Cliffs on Tuesday evening instead of Wed. morning. The light is much better in the evening. (Sunset on the west-facing cliffs.) If you go after 7pm, the visitor center is closed, but parking and admission will be free. And the crowds will have mostly gone home. Two recommended B&Bs in Doolin (we stayed at both): The Sea View House and the Horseshoe House. O'Connor's pub is walking distance; jammed with Americans, but their food is excellent, and they often have locally caught seafood on the menu. If you can afford to, consider staying at the Butler House in Kilkenny, but only if you can book a room overlooking the garden and the castle. It's storybook lovely! You're right that the drive from Kilkenny to Dublin is about 1.5 hours. September is a great time to go. You'll have an awesome trip!
Wow, thanks so much ladies for all this valuable information. Yes Elizabeth, I'm going to definitely look into using the ferry on our way to the Dingle Peninsula...sounds lovely! Since we probably won't get into Dublin until early afternoon, after reading the suggestions, I think we'll head straight to K. Gael and save the Book of Kells for our second site. Do you all agree? Also, Stacy thanks for the tip on seeing the Cliffs until evening...great idea. We went to the Grand Canyon during the day but was forced to wait out a storm. We landed up staying until sunset and was so happy we did. The canyon was so much more amazing at that time. It's obviously the same concept for the Cliffs. Will try to see if we can squeeze more out of our slim budget to stay at Butler House. Funny, even before you mentioned it, it had caught my eye.
Thank you Elizabeth, Nancy & Stacey!
The Gaol was closed one day a week when we were there, can't remember which day and if this is still true, might check out
Thanks Gail! We'll be there on Saturday. Hope that's not the day it's closed.
Just got back from doing a similar kind of trip and here are a couple of suggestions. -We did Newgrange/Knowth (great!) and then also did the castle tour at Trim (good!) on the way to Galway. You don't say anything about time but it's on the way if you can make it there by 4:30. (If you want to try ask for directions at Newgrange - they gave us really good printed directions that helped us do it without getting lost at all. They also have driving directions to the other sites in the area.) -Galway has no street signs... seriously there are no street signs so be prepared to search and navigate by landmarks. Good luck. -Do take the ferry across instead of driving around - it's simple and completely worth it. (Gas is about .10 euro a liter cheaper on the north side of ferry so fill up before you cross if you need it and have time.) -Taking the O'Connor pass road from Tralee to Dingle is worth the view and the road is not that bad (unless you really have a problem with mountain roads). -I found the Blasket Island museum (on the Dingle drive) worth the time and was moving. -Muckross House is on the way from Dingle Peninsula to Cashel if you want to stop. The view of the house and the amazing grounds are free. The inside of the house is tour only and is impressive enough if you're into that sort of thing. -If you're just staying Killkeny you could stay in Cashel - there a bunch of BnBs and it is good proximity to the freeway to Dublin.
-If you need to turn your car in full of gas at the airport drive to the airport and then at the last minute head to 'Swords' and get gas there and then return to the airport. (You'll see the 'Swords' signs at the round about after the rental pick-up.) It will add about 15 minutes to your airport trip. Anything else? Have a great time! =Tod
Thanks so much Tod for all this valuable information. We fly into Dublin early morning so we should have no trouble seeing Newgrange. Since we leave Galway early next morning, I don't want to arrive there too late, so I don't think I should add Trim. But since you were just in Galway, are you glad you went there? I've heard good and bad about the it (I guess finding a person's way around is one concern). I'm just trying to figure out whether to include it or skip it. RS states it's a fun "night" city, so it was the reason we wanted to go there that first night. Gas tip is awesome and good to know and we will definitely drive via O'Connor Pass. I'm sure I'll be freaking but my driver will be fine :)...don't want to miss the beauty. Another question I have is - how long of a drive is it from Dingle to Cashel? I very much want to see Muckross House but again afraid of squeezing in too much. Since we don't have much time in any of ours location I think it's important to not get to our destinations too late. If we take a B&B in Cashel, is there somewhere to park free in Killkenny? Reason for staying in Killkenny - can walk from B&B into town.
Anyway, thank you again Tod....you've been a tremendous help!
Dingle to Cashel is 3 hours Linda. Here is a link to a website that is very good (and accurate) for calculating times and planning routes.
http://www2.aaireland.ie/routes_beta/ Not sure about free parking in Kilkenny, my guess is that you will pay right in the centre, but it will be free just outside the city centre, supermarket carparks are a good way of getting free parking. The cost won't be significant anyway. Hope this helps, enjoy your stay with us.
I thank you again John...you and so many others have been such a big help in the planning of my trip. If there's any more info that anyone can think of, please tell
Doolin B & B - Seaview Dingle - Castlewood Rock of Cashel - O'Brien's Lodge in Cashel (if you don't want to stay in Kilkenny) Also, it depends on who is in your group; my husband loved the Guinness Warehouse, it was okay for me. He got a certificate on how to properly pour a pint - there is an art to this. I love 29 Georgian House, he thougt is was okay and we both loved Kilmainham Goal. We were impressed by St. Patrick's Cathedral too. I believe that no matter where you go and stay you will have a blast. Lovely country and it's people are wonderful! Patty
Thanks Patty! I'm going to check into each one of these. Originally, I was allowing 2 days for Dublin but then changed my intinerary and something had to be cut. I know I'll wish my 6 days were longer because I've read so many glowing comments about Ireland and it's people. Can't wait!
Linda, our night in Galway was one of the best nights of our Ireland trip. Our hotel was at the foot of the pedestrian mall from Eyre Square so it was easy to do a pub crawl that evening on foot (lots of beer & Guiness, no driving). Our favorite pub was the "Tig Coili", fabulous traditional music. http://www.galwaycitypubguide.com/all-pubs/tig-coili.html Don't give up on Galway, even for just one night, it's a wonderful place.
Nancy, that's exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! I am having trouble finding a budget B&B within walking distance of the city. Where was it that you stayed? If anyone out there has any suggestions on a great budget B&B (preferably under $100)?
Hi Linda, sorry I don't remember the hotel name, we were on a tour. Have you tried Trip Advisor? You can search for hotels or B&B's near Eyre Square for your dates. I used a dummy date of Sept 10 and it came up with 20 or so B&B's, many of which were under $100/night (not sure if that was for 2 or per/person, also not sure about availability). Also, if you haven't checked Booking.com, try that. I have found lots of good places on their website. Oh, I'm so jealous of you! I love Ireland - been there twice and can't wait to go again.
Late to the dance here, but I wonder if Newgrange would be too crowded? Maybe it would be ok in Sept but I read that unless you get there really early you might not get in. Also it tends to be claustrophobic. Don't gt me wrong, I plan on seeing it sometime :) Personally I would rather see the Book of Kells than the jail, which is what we did. We had no line for Kells in August. I also loved Dublin Castle and the Beatty (I think) Library. Enjoy!