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First trip advice please

Charlotte, NC
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First trip advice please

Traveling in August, family of four (boys 14 & 17). Need first time advice please.

Other than the boys finding a surf spot to say they surfed in Ireland and some horseback riding for my wife, we love to establish a "base", explore, get lost, meet people and enjoy whatever happens.

Based on reading and internet I have drafted this itinerary. I have no idea if its plausible and would welcome advice.

Fly into Shannon, rent a car and drive to Kilkenny. Stay 2 nights/3 days.

On third day drive to Kinsale. Stay 2 nights/3 days.

On third day drive to Dingle. Stay 2 nights/3 day. Day 3 drive to Limmerick, spend night and depart 11am'ish flight to states.

Is this a plausible itinerary? Thanks!

Co. Kildare
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1. Re: First trip advice please

gosenga, your itinerary looks good to me! Just make sure that you get to the airport in plenty of time for returning the car and checking in. Have you sorted your accommodation yet? August can be pretty busy in all of your chosen locations.

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: First trip advice please

In Dingle you can fufill the horseback riding and the surfing. Look at www.dinglehorseriding.com for treks in the area and on the beach. Look at www.jamieknox.com for surfing. They seem to have some special programs aimed at teens as well. They actually surf at Brandon Bay, which is a little less than an hour from Dingle. Someone else may be able to recommend something closer.

Have a great trip!

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: First trip advice please

And there is also Long's at www.longsriding.com.

Charlotte, NC
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4. Re: First trip advice please

Thanks very much for the advice, we appreciate it. Thanks!

Limerick, Ireland
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5. Re: First trip advice please

I don't know if you want to veer to much from your itenerary but there is a surf school in Lahinch. They have kids camps, lessons etc. I hear it is a great place to surf(never having done it myself!)The kids there seemed to be having a great time. My daughter hopes to go this summer sometime

nantucket, ma
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6. Re: First trip advice please

Hi,

We travel to Ireland every year w/ 3 children. I think your itinerary is good although driving in Ireland is not at all like diving in the states. The drive from Shannon to Kilkenny will take at least trhee hours if not more. Kilkenny is a great city be sure to visit the design center and the Castle.

Kinsale is the most wonderful place on the planet (planning to relocate to Kinsale next year) !!!! I would highly recommend this town as your base. The food, people, architecture

everything basically is wonderful. Cork city is only 20 minutes away. There would be plenty of places to surf and horse back ride in this area.

Dingle is absolutely beautiful as well, a much quieter place than Kinsale while Limmerick could be done in 2 days and one night I think.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Atlanta
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7. Re: First trip advice please

We just got back (7/4/06) from our first trip (1 daughter 5 years old).

We did Dublin to Shannon, but went to many of the places you did.

On the way to Dingle we stopped at Inch Beach (Inch Beach Guest House). That way we had most of the first day, and the morning of the second day at the beach. We were in Dingle for Lunch.

We were coming from the south (Inch is on the south side of the Dingle peninsula), but it shouldn't be too far out of your way. We saw some surfers there on the 2nd day, and the beach was HUGE (cars drove on it). I can send you pictures if you like.

We liked the Dingle area the best.

There was more to do in the Shannon area than we expected. Bunratty Castle was probably the most touristy place we visited, but we still liked it. It is really a park with a Castle in it. There are medieval battle re-enactments etc...

We stayed at Dromoland Castle (Shannon area) - which costs a fortune but is a destination itself. We took a rowboat out on the lake there and walked the trails.

If going to Kilkenny, I would stop at Cashel. "The Rock' is quite impressive.

The only thing I would question is Kinsale. In my humble opinion, if you are looking for a fishing village, then you get that at Dingle.

Maybe put in a night in the 'Ring of Kerry' area (we stayed in Kenmare).

Have fun! It was a great vacation for us.

Melbourne, Florida
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8. Re: First trip advice please

There is a surf place in Inchadonney in west Cork near enough to Kinsale. There is also a big hotel there.

New Jersey
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9. Re: First trip advice please

I loved reading your post and your approach to your upcoming trip. That is the way to go. You WILL meet terrific people and there wasn't a day that went by that we didn't get a bit lost as we explored. Our family of 4 (girl 15, boy 12) just returned from a week's stay in Ireland. We stayed our first 3 nights in Dingle and hated to leave. Our next 2 nights were in Kinsale. We ALL loved Dingle (this says a LOT when you consider that we had a VERY skeptical teenage daughter and a reluctant son prior to our trip) Not that we didn't like Kinsale but DIngle is more our style. A true fishing village, felt more homey, if that makes any sense. We had an easy walk into town from our B&B. The village of DIngle is smaller than Kinsale which made it relatively worry free for either of our kids to stroll around on their own for a bit. We could have EASILY stayed a full week. Besides surfing and horseback riding, there are so many options.

- boat trip to the Great Blasket Island. Take the Peig Sayers and you may be escorted from the harbor by Fungie, the dolphin. The hike around the island is awesome. Both kids loved it. My son and I wanted to go to the top of the "mountain" that is there but we ran out of time.

- 18 holes pitch and putt overlooking Dingle Harbor. Sounds sort of cheesy but it was fun.

- Hike Mt Brandon. You'll get a sense of the views if you arrive to Dingle via Connor Pass. There are plenty of other hikes as well

- Dingle Aquarium - small but well done. Your boys may consider themselves too old for this type of thing but I bet they might give a grudging nod of approval at a few of the displays.

- fishing

- Murphy's Ice Cream

You didn't mention what your accomodation plans were but B&B's are plentiful. You could also do the self-catering thing. We met a couple from the US in one of the pubs. They were staying in a self-catering place for the whole week. Their kids, ages 15, 12 and 9 (I think) were having a blast playing soccer with some of the local kids. Dingle has its own GAA field ... if you ask around, perhaps there is a local team who plays or practices when you are there.

We did like Kinsale but is a world apart from Dingle. I don't know if you have ever heard of Montauk which is past the Hamptons on Long Island. I told my husband that Dingle is to Kinsale as Montauk is to the Hamptons. Kinsale IS a charming place but it was quite crowded when we were there - it felt cramped. We all did get a kick out of the stairs that connect the streets in places - a VERY hilly area. We all also LOVED the Bulman Pub which is across the harbor from Kinsale in Summercove. Loads of dogs hanging around and people sitting and standing around outside overlooking the harbor. Can't think of many places in the US that it is okay to enjoy a pint of two outside if one feels like it.

If I had to do it over again ... wait, scratch that ... WHEN we do our next trip, we will pick a place to settle in and really enjoy that area. DIngle is not centrally located at all but there still is LOADS to do.

I have more to add but must leave for a basketball game ...

Whitney, Texas
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10. Re: First trip advice please

gosenga i think your trip sounds good but if i could i would recommend your last day and night in bunratty because i think for teens it would be a hoot....and i love limerick but it is just so busy with traffic whereas the teens can just go out on their own in bunratty......

have a great time....