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3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Huntsville, Alabama
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3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Hello all, since we are now officially less than a year until our 3rd trip to Ireland, I thought I would post our ideas for our itinerary. We will arrive in Ireland on Saturday, April 25th and leave on Monday, May 11th. We have ‘done’ the northern bits on our last trip but since that was specifically geared towards my parents who were celebrating their 50th anniversary, we felt like we missed quite a bit so are heading back to the same general areas.

There will be four of us traveling, DH and I (early 40s) and my parents (mid 70s and very active). We will be flying in and out of Dublin, are planning on purchasing Leap cards for the Dublin portion of our trip. The outlines for the days are just that and are in no specific order as we will kind of take each day as it comes. NOTE: I have also posted this in the Northern Ireland Forum as well.

This is what I have outlined so far:

3 Nights: Malahide - Grand Hotel (stayed here before). Hang around in Malahide the first day (DH and I do not sleep on planes). Head into Dublin one day to see things we have missed on previous trips such as Kilmainham Goal, Chester Beatty Library, doing HOHO, maybe Glasnevin Cemetery if we can fit it in, etc. The other day we will spend in Howth.

4 Nights: Portstewart – Strandeen B&B or Strand Guesthouse. We will rent the car on morning of day 4 and head up via the inland route (drove the Causeway Coastal last visit). Revisit Giants Causeway maybe via the walk from Portballintrae across Runkerry Beach and past Runkerry House. Drive around the Inishowen Penninsula one day and spend one day at Rathlin Island.

3 nights: Donegal Town – Ard na Breatha (stayed here before and will certainly have dinner here one night). Depending upon how we feel we may drive down from Portstewart via Glengesh Pass, Glencolumbkille, Slieve League (visited Slieve League previously). Donegal Bay Boat Cruise and/or Slieve League boat trip. Drive around Lower Lough Erne one day. Drive to the Rosses one day and walk the beaches such as Maghera, Glencolumcille and Ardara.

5 nights: Clifden – Quay House (stayed here before). Some of the things we are interested in doing here are Connermara national park (DH wants to hike Diamond hill as the weather did not cooperate last time); Clare Island; Clifden Castle; Clegan Beach Riding; Inishbofin Island; Sheep and Wool Centre and Joyce Country Sheepdogs; Ashford Castle to do the Hawk Walk; Achill Island; maybe even taking a butchery class at McGeough’s Butcher in Oughterard. We know that we will not likely get all of these items in but wanted to have a good list. Our first night here will be my 45th birthday and while we do want something nice for dinner, probably not Mitchells. How is AbbeyGlen Castle Hotel, right now they have Irish night on Tuesday night which is my birthday?

Last night: Malahide – Grand Hotel. We will return the car to Budget in Galway and then take the train over then either a cab or public transport to Malahide. Hang out in Malahide the rest of the day enjoying a last Guinness or two.

So, any thoughts, comments and/or recommendations. We do have some restaurant recommendations already but certainly looking for more!

Huntsville, Alabama
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1. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Another question, we are interested in seeing either Hurling or Football while over. I know right now it is too far out but any thoughts on where may be best to catch a match?

North Coast, N...
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2. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

GAA isn't particularly big/strong on the north coast to be honest. But the local GAA club is located between Portstewart & Coleraine and its website is eoghanrua.com (owen roe). Hurling is popular around the glens. Fixtures are normally on the club websites so you should get website details and keep an eye on these nearer the time.

North Coast, N...
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3. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

You should be able to get the (car) ferry from magilligan to greencastle. It's cheap enough and saves time to allow you to cover inishowen.

Huntsville, Alabama
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4. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Thanks as always Ponaire! :-) The car ferry is on the agenda.

Ireland
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5. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Another suggestion for the Clifden area is a visit to the Connemara Smokehouse www.smokehouse.ie in Ballyconneely and for dinner the Ardagh Hotel overlooking Ardbear Bay www.ardaghhotel.com or Ballinahinch Castle Hotel http://www.ballynahinch-castle.com for that special birthday treat. Enjoy your trip :)

Huntsville, Alabama
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6. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Thank you Ladysor, we have been to the smokehouse and it was wonderful (wanted to take home too many things!). I will certainly look into Ardagh Hotel and Ballinahich!

Huntsville, Alabama
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7. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

:-) had Ardagh on my list for a possible birthday dinner - great minds!

Derry
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8. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Have you visited Derry city yet?

Huntsville, Alabama
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9. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

Yes we have shells, but again not long enough. But we did do a guided wall walk which was wonderful!

10. Re: 3rd Trip to Ireland April/May 2015

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