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Exercising While Touring Ireland

I know that we'll be busy touring & that the tour itself will involve a fair amount of walking, climbing & carrying, but for those of us who enjoy running, or even might consider that a good way to explore the Irish countryside in solitude before hitting the road with the larger group, is there much time to do that? Whether in the mornings before we depart for the day, or after we've settled in at whatever hotel it is we're staying in for the night?

Do any of you that have taken the 14 day Best of Ireland Tour recall whether any of the hotels we stay in have gyms? Even modest ones? I figure it'll also help work off any excess calories consumed while trying some of the restaurants I've been looking into.

Posted by
3493 posts

I know if you are used to having a daily workout it can be difficult to not have one. However, when I went on the RS Ireland tour I felt no need for "extra" exercise. :-)

If you want to do extra running, I would suggest doing it in the evening on days when the main activities are in the morning. Days when riding the bus, we left between 7:30 and 8:00. Getting everything packed and having breakfast in time to be on the bus just made doing much else too rushed in the morning even though I got up most days around 05:30.

Don't worry about consuming "extra" calories. Most restaurants we ate at served much smaller portions than what we are used to in the US. While the food was excellent and sometimes filling, many meals left me feeling a bit empty and looking for more. The tour guide seemed happy to have group meals that consisted of a small bowl of soup and a sandwich. I think he was on a diet. ;-)

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks, Mark.

It's not just being used to it, although that's a big part of it - I think there's something to be said for the exploration aspect (traveling Europe on my own, it was wonderful to run through Paris with scenery like Notre Dame, or even through Disneyland Paris), but I figured morning runs will be tough. I don't sleep much, & if I went out for a run at 4:00 a.m., the streets of Ireland could be teeming with drunken sailors & alley cats. Very unsafe!

I imagine it'll vary day to day, but how late do we generally arrive in whatever city or town we'll be spending the night?

Posted by
526 posts

I have been on tours where people got up each morning to do their daily run. It is just a matter of dedication. Hey, there might even be a fellow tourmate that is wanting to run. Ask, you might develop a friendship based on your common interest. On free afternoons or evenings you will have plenty of time to run, if you are so inclined. Although, it might be hard to resist the lure of the pub! Maybe stop in after run? On day 4 we went to Charles Fort, we were given the choice of a "hike" or going directly back to Kinsale. That might be a perfect opportunity to run instead. Also, when in Dingle you have a free afternoon on day 7. My spouse and I hiked, we don't run. On day 9 when you visit Dun Aengus, you can rent a bike for exploration, instead you could run.

As for the food, I only recall twice we ate soup. Once in Dublin during a "play" and once on travel day when we went to Rock of Cashel. I found there was always plenty of food, sometimes almost too much. But, that is my opinion and we all have one and they are all different.

Gyms, there were no gyms in any of the hotels or B&B's used on our tour. Most hotels are small and family ran. That said, I was surprised to find gym facility, rather small, in a hotel for my upcoming tour. The gym will be the beautiful country you will be experiencing.

I hope you enjoy your tour!!

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks, Debra!

I suppose my best bet is to bring a pair of shorts & play it by ear. Sooner or later, I guess we'll get a full itinerary & I can figure out how much time I'll have & maybe if running in one direction might be more interesting than another.

I'm kind of hoping soup is kept to a minimum. I've always thought of it as wet food :-) I figure, if I'm hungry, there will be a chance to grab something to eat at some point during the day - we're in no danger of starving! Your point about the hotels being of the small, family B&B variety is well taken.

Posted by
9914 posts

I agree with the comments from others and will add to look at the RS Ireland guide book for your free day in Dingle. We did the walk out to the lighthouse (use Rick's directions to get to the path/trailhead) and I would have liked to have walked further. The path continued past there and it was just beautiful out there. You may be reduced to walking some of this way instead of running as there were some areas where gorse bushes (very prickly) were hanging over the path as well as some other obstacles. It was very warm and sunny when we went in June 2013 and to continue the walk I would have needed sunscreen, sunshirt and more water! The view from the path was so beautiful that I could have walked for hours along it!

Do walk back from Charles Fort in Kinsale. That path may also continue on the far side of the fort away from town, but that is just speculation on my part.

Your guide may also have some suggestions.

I did not really consider that some of the sightseeing stops were also our lunch stops and in retrospect would have taken a sack lunch and gotten more walking in on some of the days. In particular, when we transitioned from Kinsale to Dingle, on the day we did the Slea Head Drive and stopped at the Great Blasket Center for lunch (would have enjoyed a walk there overlooking Great Blasket), and on the day we did Cliffs of Moher. (We had total, complete fog so you couldn't see the cliffs but we spent a long time getting lunch at the center). By Giant's Causeway I had finally figured out the system and spent more time at the Causeway part rather than getting food.

Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
3493 posts

Arrival times into the towns we slept in varied from day to day. We were always there in time for dinner and a few pints at the pubs before then in many cases.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks, Pam!

I got the guidebook in the mail only last week & haven't had the chance to dig too deeply into it (although I did look at an earlier edition borrowed from the library). The lighthouse is definitely on my agenda, along with a few other points of interest, but I think I'd want to keep the running separate from the real sightseeing - where I'll probably have a decent-sized camera with me & all of that & not want to stop constantly to take pictures.

Something tells me that I won't be experiencing the same weather you enjoyed that June when I visit later this fall! Charles Fort is also on my list!

I suppose depending on the hotels, in some of the larger cities (or if we wind up staying near any international chains, where I could pop in & pretend to be a guest), there's a slim chance they might have suggestions or even maps at the front desk for running trails like many American hotels do for out-of-towner, but if worse comes to worse, I can always go straight for a bit & then turn around.

I am not too much of a foodie & am a fast enough eater that a few charming local places to get an impression of what they offer & a lot of food I can eat on the move should serve my needs well enough. And of course, I'll be guilty of stopping in the Hard Rock in Dublin, because I'm sadly addicted to that tourist trap wherever I find one. Thanks again!

Posted by
16883 posts

If you like to run at 4:00 a.m., then do brave it. Enquire the day before at your hotel for a route that's more level, or popular, or better lighted. I am confident that sailors and alley cats will be no match for you, and probably asleep, unless they're just heading out on a fishing boat.

Posted by
920 posts

Hi Again Shawn -

Exercising.... Last year I scheduled our Ireland trip the first week In August 2014. I ran the half marathon Rock n Roll in Dublin the morning we had our city tour. It was fabulous to run a half in another country. Yes!! there is plenty of early morning runs anywhere you go on this trip. There was another group member who got up and did running while we were there.

Enjoy! Run out to the lighthouse in Dingle for me.