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Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Ottawa, Canada
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Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

We are 2 nurses taking a 3 week respite. We'd like to do no more than 4 hours of actual driving with maybe another 4 hours to stop and see the sights, take a picnic lunch on the beach, stop and smell the roses. Would appreciate any suggestions / tweaking. Have driven left hand on roads in Scotland

24 May Arrive Dublin 11 AM from Canada having just finished a set of 12 hour nights. B&B booked for 4 nights near St. Stephens Green.

24-25 May - visiting Dublin

26 May - booked the Wild Wicklow Tour of Glendalough.

27 May- quieter day - visit Howth

28 May - pickup rental car head to Kilkenny. Expect to be able to leave airport by 11 AM

????? thinking of driving the Military Road hoping to arrive in Kilkenny by 2PM. Do walking tour of Kilkenny (2 hours), drive to Jerpoint Abbey, stop at Inistoge for dinner. Would this work better the other way around - i.e. Inistoge, Jerpoint, dinner in Kilkenny?

Stop for night wherever we end up

29 May Day 6 - off to Kilfenora stopping at Rock of Cashel and Cahir in the morning.

30 May Day 7 - Tour of the Burren

??? is Kilfenora the best starting point for the tour - we picked it as the Visitor centre was here and thought it would provide the best place to begin. Have booked a B&B in Spiddal for the 30th and 31st May.

??? how long a drive would it be to Spiddal from the north end of the Burren?

31 May Day 8 - Weather dependant - Aran Island or Connemara

01 June Day 9 - start of long weekend. Drive Clifden, Sky Drive, Kylemore, and Connemara if we don't get to Connemara on the 31st.

????? We can either stay around Connemara this night or go onto Westport Is it best to stop near Connemara or to move on to Westport?

02 June Day 10 - Westport

03 June Day 11 - Achille Island

???maybe stay overnight on Island or back to Wesport

04 Jun Day 12 Long weekend Monday - to Sligo stopping to visit at the Ceile Fields

???? What are the roads like from Achille to Ceile Fields?

05 Jun Day 13 - Sligo to Donegal town. Cross country to Fermanagh Lakelands stopping at Marble Arch Caves, drive up the northeast side of the lough and on to Donegal.

????Is this too ambitious?

06 Jun Day 14 - Donegal town - Slieve League, take the boat tour depending on weather, drive up the Atlantic Coast towards Glenveagh.

?? Where would be a good place to stop for the night?

07 Jun Day 15 More of Co. Donegal working our way to Rameleton area via Glenveagh National Park

08 Jun Day 16 Ramelton to Derry with a stop to see the walls then on to the coast road to Giant's Causeway area

09 Jun Day 17 - day on Rathmullan Island

10 Jun Day 18 - drive to Newgrange down the Antrim Coast

11 Jun Day 19 - tour of Newgrange and rest of day in Co. Meath turning in car at Airport after dinner. Stay at airport hotel with shuttle

12 Jun Day 20 Airport for 11 AM flight home

Grayslake, Illinois
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1. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Hi - you've really done your research on Ireland!

@ Day 12 - the roads from Achill Island to Ceide Fields are good, not too narrow, little traffic. This part of Mayo is quite remote, lots of bogland, not many people or amenities, may be sheep sleeping in the road - but I think it's beautiful, one of may favorite parts of Ireland.

@ Day 13 - I don't think this too ambitious. I once took a bus from Enniskillen to Sligo - it was less than an hour - so I think you'll be ok for Donegal town that evening.

@ Day 14 - Ardara or Glenties would be good places to stop.

@ Day 17 - do you mean Rathlin Island?

@ Day 18 - after the Antrim coast (if you're not stopping in Belfast), maybe push on to Carlingford for the night, on the Cooley peninsula. Then an early start for Newgrange next day.

Grayslake, Illinois
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2. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

@ Day 19 - Newgrange is not that far from Dublin Airport, so you will prob have time to see some other sites in Co. Meath, such as Dowth (near Newgrange), Monasterboice, Mellifont Abbey, Tara, Trim. Or you could even go northeast of Newgrange up to Loughcrew.

Cavan
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3. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Take your time, there is no need to rush Connemara and an overnight in Clifden would probably be better than two nights in Westport. Achill Island is a beautiful place if the weather is good otherwise I would suggest move on towards Sligo. We have spent weeks on Achill Island and in my honest opinion it is too far out of your way for an overnight stop over.

If you are heading towards Marble Arch Cavea then you should also consider on your way the Arigna Mining Experience and also Florence Court House and gardens a short distance from the caves. Enniskillen is well worth a visit we recommend you take the boat trip to monastic Devenish Island situated in Lough Erne, Enniskillen is about an hour drive from either Sligo or Donegal town. We also recommend you visit the Ulster/American Folk Park near Omagh.

Dublin
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4. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

05 Jun Day 13 - Seems OK and not too ambitious. I'd suggest an overnight a few miles north of Donegal Town in Ardara - more a large village than a town but good base from which to tour the locations you note and maybe a bit less commercial than Donegal Town (not that Donegal Town is overly commercial)

06 Jun Day 14 - Head to Killybegs and then west towards Slieve League. After Slieve League, head west again to Glencolmcille and then head back to Ardara for a 2nd night via the Glengesh Pass"

07 Jun Day 15 - Head north from Ardara via Gweedore and then east on the R251 via Errigal to Glenveagh before heading onwards to the Ramelton area"

Western Ireland...
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5. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Great itinerary well worked.

you could cut from Cashel and go under Lough Derg over the Ballina Killaloe bridge and head for Kilfenora cross country if you don't mind country roads.

Spiddal is only 10 miles west from Galway so dependant on traffic no more than about an hour from Kinvara.

we use Dún Rí guest house in Clifden but I am unsure of availability. Clifden is celebrating its 200th anniversary the end of May beginning of June so will be a great time in town.

http://clifden2012.org/

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Thanks all - I'm feeling a lot better that I've not been overly ambitious here and we will have time to stop and smell the roses as we go along.

Trintraveller - Yes I meant Rathlin Island - wanting to see the Puffins in particular but also some laid back time. Thanks for the suggestion of Ardara to stop over. We had planned on a few other things in Co. Meath but Newgrange was the primary aim of the day and the rest icing on the cake. Will take your suggestions under advisement and I'm sure will be able to fit some of them in.

Cavan 007 - Bless you for confirming Fermanagh area was well within the plan. Thanks for the other suggestions on things to do in the area. We will take your advise re Achill and see what the weather brings and maybe have an extra day in the north instead.

Domhnall - Ardara it is for 2 nights. Any suggestions on B&Bs to stay at. Probably in the 35-40 Euro mark. We were thinking of taking the Slieve league boat trip - would this be workable on the first day (weather dependant of course)?

tony2phones - country roads are good - lots more to see. 2nd vote for a stay in Clifden. We will see what we can find in accommodations there. Do you have any suggestions of places to stay in Kilfenora?

Western Ireland...
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7. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

can't recommend anywhere in Kilfenora personally but a place that always gets recommended on the Burren is Fergus View by Kilinaboy and Corofin. Possibly 3 miles shy of Kilfenora.

http://www.fergusview.com/

Ireland
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8. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Day 28 May is not possible. You will not be able to leave the airport at 11, drive the Military Road, and arrive in Kilkenny by 2.00. Much as I love the Military Road, I suggest you skip that and drive directly to Kilkenny by the main motorway route. When you say 'walking tour' I am not sure whether you mean a self-guided tour, or Tynan's tours. Even if you do Tynan's, you will want to spend a little bit more than two hours in Kilkenny. Main sites: John Street, Rose, Inn Street, Patrick Street, High Street, Parliament Street, Irishtown, Kieran Street. St. Canices Cathedral, Black Abbey, Castle, Design Centre, Kytelers.

I suggest you have lunch in Kilkenny, then drive on to Thomastown by 3.30 to get there before the Abbey closes. Inistioge village can be experienced in an hour, but then drive up to Woodstock and spend at least an hour there. It is wonderful - visit the restored gardens before dark. Make sure you walk the monkey puzzle and noble fir avenues (look up the website inistioge.ie)

A good place to stay is Abbey House, which is just opposite Jerpoint Abbey, if they have rooms available. It would be better to book. Otherwise there are other local B&B's and plenty of choice back in Kilkenny

Inistioge has restaurants, but also a good choice would be Cafe Sol in Thomastown.

Edited: 05 May 2012, 16:49
Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

Thanks tony2phones I'll check them out over the weekend.

Irishrover - thanks for the info. We will enjoy Wicklow from the tour bus on Saturday then and go right to Kilkenny from the Airport. I checked out the website and we would thoroughly enjoy Woodstock gardens and will certainly look into fitting it in after the Abbey. I will look into Abbey House to see availability.

G'dday from the Valley (Ottawa Valley that is).

10. Re: Itinerary Help - Kilkenny, Burren, Achille Island, Fermanagh

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