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easter trip itinerary advice

Astoria, New York
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easter trip itinerary advice

Have posted before about me and my girlfriends trip now nailed down some more soecifics and would like some advice. We leave new york thursday march 28 and arrive good friday march 29 at 810am at dublin and are leaving sunday april 7 out of dublin. We have decided to tour the northern half of ireland wi th help from this forum. We understand not much may be open good friday so we were going to travel north right away, get rental from airport and head to belfast to take a black cab tour and see titanic exhibit (if its open) was going to stay a night in belfast but then I thought

about it more and think maybe go from there to one of the towns north like port stewart or I saw reviews and pics of bayview hotel in portballintrae and it looks beautiful. Stay there two nights so we can check out causeway, rope bridge, bushmills and open to other suggestions. How far is drive from airport to belfast? And from there to one of the places mentioned? I emailed the bayview hotel and received no response back, are they open? From there was going to stay in omagh with a friend for easter night just to go out and party.........wanted to stay in galway 2-3 nights a d finish off the trip staying in dublin the last 1-2 nights......I am very flexible and open to suggestions esoecially stumped where to go easter monday to see a d stay for a night or two, was thinking abbeyglen castle or ashford castle??? Anyone have any insight? I know my gf would love to stay in a castle one or two nights so was thinking either of those two but open for other ideas......thanks in advance

North Coast, N...
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1. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Hi. If you are coming off a long haul flight, i would not go any further than belfast. You will be tired. I recommend tara lodge in belfast if you have a car as it is one of the few places with free carparking. We're a bit odd up here (some may say that is a huge understatement!!) but easter tuesday is a holiday up here rather than good friday. But public sector workers get good friday so some public buildings like the city hall might be closed but everything else should be open.

the bayview is open but may be slow to reply due to Christmas.

Astoria, New York
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2. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Thanks for your advice. I am pretty good with sleeping on the plane so driving doesnt bother me much, how long is the drive from dublin airport to belfast? And from there to those towns I mentioned? And titanic exhibit would be opened? Also pubs are definately closed right? Wanted to stay in a hotel with a bar so we can have a drink at end of day

North Coast, N...
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3. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Sorry - doing battle with mobile. If you havent heard back from the bayview in a few days send me a pm.

you really should drive from belfast along the causeway coastal route to portballintrae/portstewart. this could take you up to a day depending on how many stops you take en route. The drive itself is probably 2.5 hours but you might want to do a photostop at carrickfergus (well preserved norman castle); have a coffee at ballygally castle hotel or in quaint tearooms at glenarm castle walled garden. You pass through some villages before another popular stop - the waterfall walk in glenariff forest park. after that you are really in the causeway area so lots to do within very easy travelling distance.

North Coast, N...
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4. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Have to head now but others will chip in! Its a good 2 hour journey from dublin airport to belfast on motorway. you need to add in luggage, immigration clearance and car pick up times also so that can add up.

Astoria, New York
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5. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Ahhhhh ok cool so I will stay in belfast for the night, this is great advice, what else should we see on that first day? Is there anything thay is a must see between dublin airport and belfast? Are the pubs open good friday in belfast?? What would u suggest seeing in belfast other than black taxi abd titanic if it is open

North Coast, N...
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6. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Newgrange/Bru na Boinne is the main must see. This does take you a detour off the main Dubin - Belfast motorway but is still en route so ony a minor detour. I have been several times and love it:

http://www.newgrange.com/visitor.htm

Monasterboice high crosses are also nearby if you have time although that might well be pushing it...

sacred-destinations.com/ireland/monasterboice

Pubs will be open in Belfast on Good Friday but close early at 11pm.

Titanic is showing ticket availability for Good Friday. May be worth considering booking these in advance as it could be busy during holiday season. It certainly was sold out quite a bit this year although the novelty factor may be wearing off.

titanicbelfast.com/Navigation/…Bookings.aspx

An alternative to the black taxi tour is the HOHO bus which gives a very good overview of the city.

A key must see in Belfast is a drink in the famous Crown Bar (sounding like your sort of city?!!)

http://www.crownbar.com/

Have a look on this website for lots to do and also check out the Belfast TA forum

http://www.gotobelfast.com/

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g186470-i491-Bel…

There are walking tour apps which you can download to explore more of the city centre. Belfast is a compact city so you can cover a lot in a small space of time. City Hall with its Titanic Memorial Garden is worth a few minutes of your time also. They do free guided tours but unfortunately I suspect that the inside of the hall will be closed on Good Friday.

Hope that gets you started:)

Astoria, New York
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7. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

great advice!! thanks, Ok now im wondering Ill stay in belfast one night, should i go from there and do all the stuff along the antrim coast in one day? or travel and stop in the little towns and stuff on the way to port stewart or portballintrae. hang out for the night and then do the causeway, rope bridge and bushmills the next day? advice on places to stay the night in belfast?

also, advice on which town to stay in on the antrim coast?

also after the night in omagh, where should i go from there? like i said was thinkin of staying in abbeyglen castle or ashford for at least a night, would that be wise? is there good pubs around either of those and things to do??

North Coast, N...
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8. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

I think today is quiet on the forum with it being a holiday so hopefully someone can help soon! I haven't stayed in Ashford or Abbeyglen so can't comment.

Can I just check what night it is you need to be in Omagh? Is it Easter Sunday? That just will help plan where to overnight.

If you go to Belfast on Thursday via Newgrange, you may not have a lot of time to do much in the city that day. Titanic exhibition takes 2.5 hours and first tour is 10am.

Re where to stay on the north coast. Portballintrae is lovely but very small and quiet. But that might fit if you are wanting a quiet night in seaview hotel in between a few busier nights out!! Portstewart is a bigger town (but still smallish) popular with retired folks, students (lots from nearby uni live here), and families with younger children. Lovely evening walks and very good ice-cream here (try Mauds poor bear - although Morellis' is an institution for sit-in ice-cream. More to do in Portstewart but you'd probably be in a B&B.

Where to stay in Belfast if wanting hotel with bar? Have you a budget in mind? I think you're wanting somewhere with a bar so Premier Inn Cathedral Quarter is worth looking at (parking nearby at St Anne's Square) as it is in a good lively location, (Basic but clean - I've stayed here although it was a while ago now) Hilton is fine but last time I stayed parking overnight was £18. Radisson Blu is more of a business hotel but has a pool and charges for carparking except at weekends and is a little bit out of the city centre- maybe 15 minute walk. Although if you're staying on Thursday the carparking cost may make it too expensive and it is a bit o Then there are the well-known hotels like the Europa and Jury's which are a bit older or the more expensive boutique hotels such as the Fitzwilliam or Ten Square, both in great locations but again no free carparking. There is also the 5* Merchant for those wanting to push the boat out.

Dukes Hotel in the Universtiy Quarter also gets very good reviews although is further from the city centre - maybe 20-25 minute walk but as it is a busy area, you won't notice the walk so much and there are buses.But parking here should hbe easier and as it's in a studenty area, is close to good restaurants etc.

Edited: 26 December 2012, 21:19
Astoria, New York
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9. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Yea was planning on being in omagh easter night but I am flexible if we should stay in a seaside town for two nights...... ooooo maybe quiet because I forgot to wish everyone a merry chirstmas!! If pubs are open then we dont need to stay at a hotel with one, just wanted to stay at hotel with bar because I thought that was the only place to have a pint.....on the drive to the seaside town can I do the causeway, rope bridge bushmills and everything else proboine suggested on the way up? Or should we do some of the things he suggested and the causeaay and other stuff on easter morning?

Belfast, United...
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10. Re: easter trip itinerary advice

Hiya - just an idea -I think you should re-post on the UK - Northern Ireland forum as you could get some good suggestions there as well.