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!