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March 26 thru March 31st

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March 26 thru March 31st

My wife and I will arrive at 1pm on March 26th, and fly out the morning of April 1st. It is our first time to Ireland...and a pretty short trip.

Our plan so far was to fly in to Dublin & drive to Cork City for 2 nights...driving around the southern end to recommended places.

Then a long drive to Northern Ireland March 28th to stay 2 nights somewhere there & drive to recommended places.

Then down to Athlone for 2 nights and drive to the west coast one day & the east the next...then back to Dublin the morning of April 1st to fly out.

Can anyone recommend key places to see? Or help us revise our ideas to make the trip easier? Maybe recommend cities for us to stay in? One southern, one central & one northern?

Any help would be greatly appreciated...thanks sooooo much!

Edited: 04 September 2010, 17:31
Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

I have to say that this post sounds like a troll. If it is not, then a radical reassessment is needed to accord with the advice you are likey to receive here. It makes no sense to go to Cork and Northern Ireland on a 5 day trip, unless you have particular business in these places. Why ignore places of interest near Dublin (Newgrange, Glendalough and the city itself) to flit around the country?

Co. Kildare
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2. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

b4fallingapart, as you say yourself it's "a pretty short trip". And my opinion you're planning too much. Maybe you're underestimating the time it takes to get from one place to the other in Ireland even with six nights at your disposal.

My advice would be to either stick to Dublin to Cork and the west coast or go to the west from Dublin and then north (or the other way around). You're trying to pack three major destinations into the few days. Restrict yourselves to two and enjoy them rather than being tired all the time from driving.

Why do you want to stay in Athlone? I have nothing against Athlone, it's a lovely town, but if you're planning to visit the west why not stay in the west (for example Galway)?

Cork and the southwest of Ireland warrant a week alone and that wouldn't be enough. Same applies to the west and north.

You might need to reconsider your plans.

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3. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

I see, so it sounds like we'd be missing the finer details if we try and see too many places. Basically I am getting that we are trying too much for quantity and not enough for quality... Thanks for the advice, we'll look at the places you suggested & try and reevaluate our ideology. Much appreciated!

Guernsey, United...
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4. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

Your plans will involve an Awful Lot of driving in just 6 days: no time at all to stop and enjoy the charm and delights of this beautiful country! Ireland is one of those destinations best savoured at a leisurely pace.

Have a look at the aa routeplanner, and plot in some routes to gauge distance and more importantly, "minimum" drive times:


(To give you some idea: Cork (city) to Portrush (north coast) is 494km and will take min 6 hrs, however I'd factor in 7hrs drive time to allow for possible traffic delays, roadworks etc).

If I had just 6 nights in Ireland, flying in/out of Dublin, and wanted to get a flavour of the country, this is what I'd do:

Day 1 - Dublin

Travel by aircoach into the city centre, leave bags at hotel and explore the city. This will give you a day to get over jetlag (I'm presuming you'll be flying transatlantic??) and an opportunity to see some of Dublin sights/sites. Lots of information on the front page of the Dublin forum (see right-hand side for Top Questions):


Day 2 - Day Trip from Dublin

Take a guided tour to either Newgrange or Glendalough: two of Ireland's most interesting and important heritage sites. A Very brief description of each: Newgrange is a prehistoric chamber, where the rising sun shines through the passage to light up a stone in the centre of the chamber on the morning of the winter solstice. Glendalough is a beautiful early-Christian monastic site in the Wicklow Mountains:



Return to Dublin and spend a 2nd night in Dublin

Day 3 - Kilkenny

Collect rental car and drive to Kilkenny, which is a beautiful (small) medieval city in beautiful countryside. There, you can visit St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny Castle, and wander the streets where several medieval buildings still remain: the Tholsel, Shee Alms Houses, Rothe House:



Opposite the Castle you will find the Kilkenny Design Centre which houses shops selling many quality locally made items:


Overnight in Kilkenny

Day 4 - Cashel

Early(ish) start from Kilkenny to drive to Cashel to visit the Rock of Cashel:


before heading to Galway city for 2 nights, possibly stopping in the small georgian town of Birr to stretch your legs with a walk through the grounds of Birr Castle:


Day 5

Plenty of options for this day:

Burren and Cliffs of Moher: this area lies south(ish) of Galway in co. Clare:






or a day-trip to one of the Aran Islands:






or spend a day seeing some of the highlights of beautiful Connemara:





Day 6 - Galway - Dublin

Spend the morning exploring the streets of Galway city, maybe picking up a few last-minute purchases, then head back east towards Dublin airport. You might want to take a detour south of Athlone to Clonmacnoise; it's well sign-posted off the motorway:


If you have a morning departure from Dublin, remember you need to be at the airport 3hrs before departure if on a transatlantic flight, so you may wish to spend your last night at an airport hotel. There are many to choose from to suit all budgets. I recently stayed at Bewleys, which has a courtesy coach (as do many of them), so you could drop off the car and take the coach to the hotel which will save time in the morning. It's very much a budget hotel, but the room was clean and spacious - and a good price, too!


If your departure isn't too early, you might like to consider staying in Malahide on the coast, a short distance from the airport:


Alternatively!! If you don't like the idea of spending 2 of your 6 nights based in Dublin, you could:

Day 1

pick up a rental car from the airport and drive to Kilkenny (an easy drive from the airport and far enough on your first day in Ireland!), spend a night there.

Day 2

drive to Cashel, then on to Kenmare, which is a pretty town on the Ring of Kerry for a 2-night stay:




You could spend a full day driving around the Ring of Kerry:


or visit Killarney:





or explore the wild and rugged Beara Peninsula:




Then head up to Galway for 2 nights, returning to Dublin airport area for your last night. Your route from Kenmare to Galway would take you through the pretty village of Adare, and near Bunratty:


Just a couple of ideas, but I hope they give you some ideas for what can be comfortably achieved in your timescale!


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5. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

Wow! Thanks so much for your time & detailed advice...this all looks great! Plus, so much better in terms of time management than I could have possibly figured out on my own. Thanks again & please, do add any further ideas or recommendations you all think of. This all is extremely helpful!

Whitney, Texas
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6. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

hey fallingapart...these folks on here are soooo right...way too much for just 6 days....and day 1 is a non day as jet lag can and no doubt will hit you when you least expect it....

since you are flying in and out of dublin i would recommend staying on the east coast or near by....in 6 days you could see dublin itself, the hill or tara, newgrange, knowth, the wicklows, kilkenny, dalkey, waterford, etc., etc., etc.....otherwise, as was stated already, you will spend all of your time in the car and "see" nothing but the windshield of your rental....

if i were you i wouldn't head out anywhere on day 1 after an international flight, i would just stay in or near dublin until day 2 to let you get time adjusted.....

ireland roads are nothing like our roads in texas....going can be very slow in many cases....curvy roads, road works, traffic, slowing down for small villages, a few sheep here and there, farm equipment, and the getting lost factor, need to be taken in consideration.....

7. Re: March 26 thru March 31st

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