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saskatchewan
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Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Hello - I will be spending 8 days in Ireland end of Aug / beginning of Sept. This is what I have planned so far...

#1 - morning arrival in Belfast (from Scotland so no jet lag) - black cab tour of murals - check out the city

#2 - daytrip to Giants Causeway - Belfast pubs at night

#3 - train to Cork City - hang out - look around

#4 - bus to Blarney to kiss the stone / train to Cobh for Titanic and emmigration history

#5 - bus from Cork to Dublin stopping at Rock of Cashel

#6 - Dublin - become one with the city south of the Liffey

#7 - Dublin - daytrip to Cliffs of Moher - pubs at night

#8 - Dublin - shop Henry St - wander north of Liffey - pubs

#9 - go home

Any advice? Is the Blarney/Cobh day ridiculous? Is it worth heading all the way to Cork for such a short time? Are the daytrips worth doing? Should I lean to one tour group over another? Am I missing something I shouldn't?

As for background. I've travelled quite a bit but this is my first time going it alone. I'm happy to stay in hostels and have mostly narrowed down my choices. I'm not overly interested in museums and galleries - I would rather spend time getting a feel for the place and the people.

I really appreciate any and all advice - thanks!!!

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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1. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Your itinerary is doable - even your Blarney-Cobh-Cork day.

Just be aware that Blarney is a tourist trap and tends to be mostly avoided by Irish people

Your most tiring day will be Belfast to Cork. It's a 2 hour train ride to Dublin Connolly station and then you must transfer to Dublin Heuston station (you can use the LUAS tram which shuttles between the two)

Your train journey to Cork is about 2hours 50 mins

Grayslake, Illinois
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2. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Hi, Since you're interested in Titanic, you may like a boat trip on the River Lagan:

http://www.laganboatcompany.com/

I was in Belfast last month, and I took their Titanic tour - enjoyed it very much. While there's not much left of the Harland & Wolff shipyard, the very knowledgeable tour guide really brought it to life.

I believe you may have time to do both the black taxi tour, and the boat trip, especially with the long summer days

Manchester, United...
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for County Galway
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3. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Aer Arann fly from Belfast to Cork and they currently have some good 'happy hour' deals on - might be worth considering instead of the day of train/bus travel you currently have planned in...

http://www.aerarann.com/

The trek back out to the west to see the Cliffs of Moher is a long day from Dublin and would be the thing that we would cut from your itinerary more than any other - as a substitute we'd suggest a trip out on the DART to one of the coastal towns/villages around Dublin Bay instead such as Howth or Killiney/Dalkey :-)

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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4. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Be Brutal! well I have often been accused of it.

I would change your route from day 3.

3. I would go by bus from Belfast to Galway changing Bus at Dublin airport, after a night in Galway Then Cliffs of Moher. Night in Ennis or Limerick.

4/5. Bus to Cork. Blarney (yes it is considered a tourist trap but in my humble opinion the grounds are worth it with or without snogging the rock). and Cobh possibly Fota wildlife park.

6. as your 5.

7, as your 6.

8. as yours.

It would still give a fairly long trip from Belfast to Galway rather than Cork but gets rid of the day trip to the Cliffs from Dublin when you can do it by bus from Galway. Which is a place you should really see.

Edited: 15 June 2010, 13:37
saskatchewan
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5. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Ok - this is the best advice ever - all of it! Thank you.

Here's my reworked itinerary - again, all advice and schedule suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.

#1 - am arrival in Belfast - black cab tour of murals - Titanic boat trip - city

#2 - daytrip to Giants Causeway - Belfast pubs at night

#3 - ridiculously cheap flight to Cork City arriving 12:30 - city gaol - Blarney?

#4 - train to Cobh for Titanic and emigration history (afternoon bus to Galway - wondering if this can be done via Rock of Cashel?????)

#5 - Galway - tour to Cliffs of Moher

#6 - morning Galway then afternoon bus or train to Dublin

#7 - Dublin - tour city south of the Liffey

#8 - Dublin - shop Henry St - wander north of Liffey - pubs

#9 - go home

Thanks in advance!!!

Western Ireland...
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6. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

The bus from Cork to Galway won't bring you to Cashel.

saskatchewan
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7. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

Darn it Harvey! Okay, I admit it didn't look like the bus would take me via cashel but I needed to make it absolutely official...

soonas - thanks for letting me know the Blarney/Cobh day is doable.

trin - I had read about the Titanic boat tour in Dublin - after your recommendation, I'm totally doing it.

rangoora - the aer arann flight from Belfast to Cork is costing me less than the train and is saving me hours...awesome.

tony - touring the Cliffs from Galway instead of Dublin is far more practical - why didn't I think of that???? And the more I read about the area, the more I'm looking forward to it.

Anything else to add?

Belfast Ireland
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8. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

sorry if this is stating the obvious - the Titanic boat tour is in Belfast not Dublin, probably just a slip of your "pen".

Have a good trip!

saskatchewan
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9. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

LOL - yes! Thanks!!

Limerick, Ireland
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10. Re: Tentative 8 day itinerary - advice? Be brutal!

I almost hate to say it...but visited Cobh recently and was disappointed. I love history, culture, and the general draw of a seaside town, but felt that Cobh would rank fairly low comparing it to other historical points of interest and seaside towns I've visited in Counties Clare and Galway. We walked the whole town and were done in just 2 hours time...felt like we went all the way out there just to see the cathedral (which was gorgeous but there's gorgeous cathedrals all over Ireland). Sorry, hope this doesn't discourage you but felt like I should say something...anyone heartily disagree?

Also, did the Blarney Castle and agree with one of the reviewers that the grounds are mildly interesting and you can run amok in the castle but not sure if it's really worth the visit (or the money) unless you really really want to kiss the stone. Cork City is fabulous though and I think you'll enjoy County Cork in general. It really is beautiful down there.

Excellent choice to re-route and hit Galway, if you ARE still planning on doing the Cliffs of Moher I recommend a stop in Doolin where you can either get a boat tour of the Cliffs, which I think will run you about 12-20 Euros (I enjoyed that more than seeing them from the top at the visitor center) or just stop in for a pint at O'Conner's on Fisher Street. Doolin is renowned for traditional Irish music and there's usually a good crowd of characters at O'Conner's. If you're using Bus Eireann there is a stop right near Fisher Street and you can walk to the pier for the cruise or to the various pubs around there. I really like Bus Eireann's service...

Hope this was helpful and I sincerely hope you enjoy your trip, Ireland is a magical place and don't worry about traveling alone because everyone is really kind and helpful. Some of the best "craic" you'll have is just sitting in the pub and talking with the locals...enjoy!