Suggestions Needed for 2 nights in Ireland

Hi All, I am looking for suggestions on how to spend two nights in Ireland. We are planning a UK trip this Fall. The trip starts in London, then Edinburgh, then 2 nights in Belfast. We have 2 nights left to spend somewhere in Ireland before heading back to England for the flight home. I know Dublin is very popular but I want to actually see some of the Irish countryside and enjoy the scenery. We were thinking maybe Kilkenny?
We read about it in the Rick Steves Ireland 2013 book. Please, any suggestions are welcome!

Posted by mick
thousand oaks, ca
7 posts

Rent a car and go 40 minutes north to New Grange (Bru Na Boine), an ancient burial sight. Then drive the twenty minutes and take the castle tour at Trim. A great tour of an astounding castle. The country side is pure Ireland with rolling green pasture lands and sheep. You can also go another twenty minutes north to Monasterboice and tour the grave yard with Celtic Crosses from 900 years ago. Spend a day in Dublin and hit the Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse and Museum of History then take the musical pub crawl at Temple Bar for a complete evening.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8729 posts

No offense, but Mick must have taken his trip directly from the RS Ireland book. I agree that you should see Newgrange, if that interests you, and Trim is great, too. I would skip Monasterboice because it takes some time to get to, and you don't have much (though I like it). Do you want to see anything in Dublin? I wouldn't waste any time, particularly on a short visit, with Guinness Storehouse. You see nothing of the brewing process, just a lot of advertising, and the same Guinness souvenirs you can buy everywhere, with an expensive "free" pint at the end. I would suggest you see Kilmainham Gaol if you have time, or just take a walk down Grafton St and enjoy the musicians that are always there. Unless you are there early in the morning, you might have to wait awhile to see the Book of Kells, so that might take more time than you want to give it, too. Are you renting a car? That will determine how easily you could get to Kilkenny in a tight timeframe.

Posted by Mark
Atlanta, GA, USA
2 posts

Hi, thank you for the replies. We are considering renting a car for the two days. We have not nailed down our return path from Ireland to Manchester, so that is open. Our two days would start in Belfast, and end wherever we decide to head back to Manchester. I have read that renting a car in Northern Ireland and returning in the Republic can be expensive. Maybe we just take the train from Belfast to Kilkenny and chill there for 1 1/2 days?
Maybe rent a car there and hop over to see Cashel, and return the car in Dublin?