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Will my plan work?

Opinions please! Here is two options. OPTION 1: Day 1-Arrive at 8:30am from Oregon in Dublin. Besides breakfast, we want to get a car at the airport and head out of Dublin. Drive to Rock of Cashel. Stay the night. Day 2- Drive to Dingle and drive the pennisula. Stay in Dingle. Day 3-Drive to Doolin via ferry. Potentially see the Cliffs of Moher if we have time. Stay in Doolin. Day 4. See Cliffs if we didn't get to them on day 3 then drive to Shannon airport by 3pm to fly out to England. OPTION 2- Day 1- Arrive in Dublin at 8:30am. Drive to Bru na Boinne/Trim. Drive to Gardens of Powerscourt in the afternoon. Stay the night. Day 2- Drive to Rock of Cashel. Drive to Dingle. Stay the night. Day 3- Drive Dingle Pennisula, stay the night again. Day 4- Drive to Shannon airport by 3pm. Some notes: The first option includes Cliffs of Moher while the second option omits them but adds Bru na boinne and powerscourt. I realize the roads are difficult to drive, very time consuming and frustrating. We will have our own personal GPS. We could potentially stay a day longer if we cut out a day in our Italy plan but I don't want to if we can do it this way. My husband claims he is not worried about the jetlag as he was fine when he came home on leave from Iraq and returned to Iraq again (He actually was too).
Will either of these plans work? Any tweaking?

Posted by
100 posts

We just got back from 2 weeks in Ireland. We tend to stop a lot to take photos and we like to drive the N roads and the R roads, so I don't think you've given yourselves enough time based on our travels. I think you are trying to do too much and won't have time to enjoy Ireland. The drive to Bru na Boinne from Dublin is about an hour (I think). Depending on the day, weather & time of year, you might have to wait for a shuttle bus. We got on a bus right away and were still there for a couple of hours. Then Powerscourt is south of Dublin and we hustled through it (because practically nothing was blooming but it was still amazing) and spent an hour. We spent several hours in Cashel and it's a long drive to Dingle even if you blast on N8, then, N73, then N72, then then R561 along Dingle Bay. It takes several hours to drive from Dingle to Doolin, I forget what our GPS said, but I think it was about 5 hours. My husband did most of the driving because he drives fast and he's good driving on the other side but still, there were lots of times when he did not drive as fast as the speed limit because of how curvy the roads are. I wouldn't call them frustrating though, it was loads of fun! Have you considered just spending 2 nights in Doolin? There's lots to do & see. Driving the loop around the Burren can take a day if you stop to look at things. By loop I mean driving from Doolin to the Cliffs on R478, then loop around to Lahinch bup to Ennistymon, then through Kilfenora and onto R476 to R480 up to Ballyvaughan and then down along the coast on R477 back to Doolin. We did those roads and it was amazingly beautiful. We also drove down to Loop Head (I posted on another thread about that) and, frankly, as great as Doolin was, so was this part of Co. Clare.

Posted by
655 posts

Just our ideas: We would much prefer the Burren/Cliffs to Powerscourt. If you are not going to Newgrange, you could fly in/out of Shannon which would make a much easier trip especially considering driving on the 'other' side.

Posted by
9363 posts

I agree that the Cliffs and the Burren are far superior to Powerscourt. I would go with option 1. It would be ideal if you could add Bru na Boinne, but I wouldn't bother going all the way out of your way to see some gardens. You don't say exactly when you are traveling, so I'm not sure how good the gardens would be anyway. The "long" tour (self-guided) takes less than an hour at a normal walking speed, so it would be a long way out of the way of everything else you plan to do for a brief stop.

Posted by
47 posts

I agree the gardens are less attractive than the cliffs but my husband really wants to see the bru na boinne and I was trying to figure out a way to make that happen. A flight from Dublin to Kerry airport would be possible the day we fly in. It leaves at 10:30 and arrives by 11:30 then drive to Rock of Cashel and stay the night? Our priority is Rock of Cashel and Dingle pennisula. It would be nice to see the Cliffs and Bru na boinne and stay the night in Doolin. So much to see in not enough days! Anyone remember how long it would take to drive to cashel from kerry?

Posted by
9363 posts

You could drive straight to Bru na Boinne from Dublin airport (it's an hour or less), then drive to Cashel for the night (less than a three hour drive). Then you could proceed with your option #1 as you have it planned. You don't say what part of the year you are talking about, so light could be a factor in how long you could drive. And if it's at the height of the tourist season it's best to get to Bru na Boinne as early in the day as possible to have a chance to get in.

Posted by
9363 posts

September shouldn't be as busy there as, say, June or July. So it should be perfectly possible to get to both Bru na Boinne and Cashel in the same day (you might be better off seeing the Rock after that first night instead of trying to cram it into that afternoon). Flying to Kerry and backtracking the same distance just doesn't make sense at all.

Posted by
47 posts

Thanks Nancy (everyone actually!) I sure hope you are right!