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Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

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Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

My daughter and I are arriving in Dublin on June 6. We have no itinerary and have booked no hotels, except for the first two nights in Dublin. We will tour Dublin using public transportation and on the third day, rent a car and drive north towards Belfast. We plan to drive until we reach the half way point (between Dublin and Belfast), stopping along the way at villages or towns that have points of interest. Then drive straight to Belfast.

We will tour Belfast for one or two days (using public transportation). Then we would like to tour northern Ireland for two or three 4 days to see the wonderful sights. After that we plan to head south again to tour what we missed on the first go round. Then head west towards Shannon Airport, again touring the lovely towns and villages along the way.

Here is where it gets sticky. We need help with our itinerary and most importantly what towns, villages or cities to book our hotel reservations in. I know I am subtly asking you to do our homework, but believe me I have tried over and over again and just can't figure it out. If I knew what places to book hotel reservations, I think I would rest a lot easier. I have tried to figure out the "route" sites and just can't make head or tales of them. Any help will be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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1. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

What date are you leaving on - how long is your trip here?

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2. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

Thank you for answering. We are arriving in Dublin on June 6 and leaving from Shannon on the 21. We will have approximately 14 days in Ireland.

Guernsey, United...
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3. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

So, once you've spent 2 days in Dublin, 2 days in Belfast and 2-3 days elsewhere in northern Ireland, you'll have 7/8 days left. Rather than head south, as you'll already be at the north coast, I suggest you travel west to beautiful county Donegal and spend a few days exploring this area.

You could take the car ferry from the Antrim coast across to the Inishowen Peninsula:


Places to visit in Donegal and approximate amount of time you need:

Inishowen Peninsula : a day



Malin Head on Inishowen is Ireland's most northerly point:


Glenveagh National Park (and House) : half a day


Tory Island : a day (highly recommended!)



Slieve League Cliffs (highest in Europe) and Glencolmcille:



Consider spending a night in east Donegal: maybe on Inishowen or the pretty towns of Rathmullen or Rathmelton (but not Letterkenny), followed by 2 nights on the west, possibly Donegal town.

(bear in mind that some of these places are several hours drive apart).

Then travel down to co. Galway for Connemara and possibly a day-trip to one of the Aran Islands; you'll need a ful day each for these - and Donegal to Connemara is around a 3.5-4-hr drive:






You can fly or take a ferry to the Aran Islands:




Have a look at Clifden and Roundstone if you want to stay on the coast, or Oughterard (inland) for a Connemara stay.

you may want to spend a day/night in Galway city:


then continue south to county Clare for the Burren, Cliffs (Moher or Loop Head):



places of historic interest:


The town of Ennis would make a good base from which to see sights, and is conveniently close to Shannon airport for your departure:



east of Ennis - and worth a day's exploration:


You can plot your routes and gauge distances on this website:


but be very wary of the drive times quoted. Add a further 20% to allow for driving on unfamiliar roads and possible delays.

Recommend you purchase the Ordnance Survey Complete Road Atlas of Ireland; it will be invaluable - and it makes a nice (and cheap) souvenir of your visit:


If you're stuck for accommodation ideas, have a look here:


and I recommend you consider staying in a b&b or guest house along the way to truly experience Irish hospitality!


Western Ireland...
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4. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

From My response on Ireland Yes forum

I have read your answer to this question posted on the VT forum.

You will need a car to complete this list and get the most out of it

5th-7th Dublin

8th collect car from the Airport and head for Belfast.

9th from Belfast to Derry over the Antrim Coast.

10th Derry to Donegal for a couple of nights to see the Slieve League, and some of the North West

12th by Sligo to Westport

13th Somewhere around or in Galway after exploring the Connemara a little

14th-15th Ennis from Galway tour the west of Clare and the Burren the 2nd day the East of Clare and Lough Derg

16th Dingle, its almost compulsory

17th-18th Killarney/Kenmare

19th Cork

20st Adare or Bunratty

Very busy and could possibly do with some trimming.

You must have some ideas of what you want and whilst people are more than willing to offer suggestions the odd hint from your side might be helpful

From a former post of yours on VT then Air Con in Ireland involves the opening of a window. Yes some Hotels have air-con but most B&B can not afford all the complexity and Health and Safety legislation involved.

(I have already apologised for perceived sarcasm in that remark.)

As to Accommodation with your Daughter suffering MS then lifts or ground floor rooms would be a main consideration.

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5. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

Thank you Tony and Sarnia for your responses.

Sarnia, you have put so much time and effort into your post. As soon as time allows, I will visit all the sites you requested. Thank you.

I am sitting at my computer eating cracker jacks (which is good), but totally confused and feeling like an idiot (which is bad)

Tony thank you for remembering about my daughter Ilene. She is having hip surgery in 2 weeks and doc says she will be well enough and able to make the trip in June. We're going to stick with hotels because of the elevator (lift) situation.

A little insight into what we are like. Easy going, people friendly and interested in seeing all the popular sights with emphasis on visiting non-touristy places. We also enjoy time out for relaxing and hanging out.

You mentioned trimming our itinerary a bit. We're open to all your suggestions. What would really help is knowing where to lay our heads down at night. As dense as I am, I think I could figure out mileage from place to place even while stopping for food and the like.

By the way, I would love to invite you both for a coffee or a drink if that is allowed. Is the beer/ale serviced warm or cold? Do I have to practice drinking it warm?


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6. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

There is a danger of this post becoming too much for my head to processes at one sitting.

If you take 3 days in Dublin and do a couple of trips out from there then 3 days for Belfast, Antrim and Derry. You will get into Donegal on the 13th.

Cut out everything I have listed from the 15th and you have the basis of a really good holiday.

OK so you miss the south west corner under the Shannon but you can always come back and do the area South of the Dublin - Shannon estuary line next time.

Post a question on the Northern Ireland Forum for the 3 or 4 days in the North, ponaire will give better advice than you can get certainly from my moderate knowledge.

Sarnia G is a fountain of Knowledge as you can tell.

I am just Devils advocate and Cartographer with a list of bookmarks on the hard drive and more miles on the clock than the Star Ship Enterprise.

You will get a community feel and friendly banter plus a wealth of experience from the Ireland Yes forum.

Get a Michelin 712 map and pin it to an empty wall. get some coloured pins and have a play. Once you have some rough plan then come back to have it torn apart and reshuffled.

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7. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

Okay folks no more questions. I didn't realize I would be considered such a bother. I do want to thank everyone who responded - I didn't want to take a tour, but alas, I probably should have.


Whitney, Texas
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8. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

kathie, why do you think you have been a bother?...that is what folks are here for....

after you've had time to visit sarniagirls websites, see if her suggestions interest you...if not maybe you could tell us some things/places you think you might like to see....from there i promise you will get a lot of great suggestions....

oh, i almost forgot...i love the b&bs in ireland and you will be able to find some of them that are single floor homes and in my opinion, they are the best accommodations because you get to share ireland's best asset, it's people.....after you decide locations i am sure the folks on here can recommend some of those to you.....

just a thought....you two are in for a treat, you won't be disappointed....

Western Ireland...
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9. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

My fault again!

"There is a danger of this post becoming too much for my head to processes at one sitting."

Truth is I have been following through this question on 4 forums and it gets too much for my brain to handle at one time. I do not answer any questions from anyone when they start to roll on with long answers. I don't even read long answers. My brain shuts down part way through. I have contacted Kathie and things are sorted. Hopefully.

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10. Re: Arriving in Dublin, leaving from Shannon

I think that Sarnia G and tony2phones (as he says, up through the 15th) have given some really good advice on possibilities. County Donegal is an absolutely beautiful place and is undervisited IMHO.

You might want to consider spending some time in the Sligo area. Very nice as well.

I took a trip last fall that focused on Sligo and County Donegal. Here's a link to my trip report which may give you some ideas of what you might like to see. tripadvisor.com/…36074243

While I was very happy with my B&Bs, neither of them have ground floor accommodation. Just a note as you're looking for where to stay. I echo oma14's advice to not rule out B&B's (or guest houses). This can be one of the most enjoyable ways to visit and travel through Ireland and Northern Ireland. But be aware that we refer to floors differently in the U.S. versus Ireland and the UK. In the U.S. the ground floor is the first floor. In Ireland and the U.K. the first floor is ABOVE the ground floor (our second floor). So as you are conversing with any possible places to stay, be sure to be requesting ground floor rooms and not the first floor. (You probably already know this, but just wanted to be sure.)

If you end up staying in Galway (which will have a number of accommodation options), I recommend the Galway Tour Company. I've taken two of their tours and quite enjoyed them: 1) Connemara and Cong and 2) Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.