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Missing Ireland today

Saint Cloud, Florida
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871 posts
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Missing Ireland today

Today I am missing Ireland more than usual so I guess it is a sign to start planning my return trip.

I am thinking either very early September of this year or perhaps early May of next (although that seems impossibly far away). Maybe 10 days to 2 weeks and focused on either the north west or the south west. Not both! I'm flexible on the airports. Either in and out at Shannon or in at Shannon and out at Dublin as I wouldn't mind spending at least one full day in Dublin. I will be renting a car. I loved driving in Ireland, it was awesome fun ( well except for Galway City)!

Help me chose, please.

South West

I loved Kenmare and Cos. Kerry, Cork and Clare. Chose not to do the ROK last time but wouldn't mind it this time out. Didn't get to Mizen Head or Loop Head and would love to see them this time. Missed Ennis last time as well.

I would like to see Cork/Cobh but a bit leery of driving in the city. Didn't get there the last time.

North West

I loved, loved the feel of the land and loved driving in Connemara last time. Got as far north as Kylemore and Leenane. It is simply a most gorgeous place and I would like to explore more.

I am not interested in visiting Galway City, or as nice as it was, staying in Clifden again. Wouldn't mind maybe an overnight on Inis Mor and heading further north into Donegal etc. although as yet I don't know much about that area. I will, don't worry!

I don't want to spend too much time moving from place to place. The only 1 nighters would be possibly the night before departure and reluctantly the day of arrival. Oh, and the possible night on Inis Mor.

So your vote/suggestions for which area to see and places (towns and B&Bs). Maybe a possible itinerary for the area you suggest.

For those of you that don't know me I'm a solo woman traveler, 62 but healthy and getting fitter every day. Not much into museums and fancy houses but love beautiful scenery, good places to eat (not necessarily fancy, good pubs are fine by me). I like history and ancient places, good plays and good music. I am a recent fan of Rugby so being able to take in a game or two might be nice. Not much of a fan of the over touristy. Although I did enjoy the Birds of Prey Center in Co. Clare.

All suggestions gratefully considered.

Karen

Huntsville, Alabama
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1. Re: Missing Ireland today

My vote, Northwest hands down, with the caveat that we have not yet hit the southern bits yet (in 2 visits just over 30 days total). :-) (that will be trip #4 possibly!)

Our next trip will be the northern bits again (working on the itinerary now). I am completely in love with Clifden (stayed 3 nights last time and will do 5 nights this next time) and really enjoyed the rugged beauty that Donegal provided (and Glenveagh and Slieve League should be must visits). We are also planning on staying in Donegal for another 2 nights (stayed 3 there last time as well). Certainly do not rule out spending some time on the Antrim coast - stunning! And I could go on and on!

Good luck in your choice!

Ventry, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
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2. Re: Missing Ireland today

Welcome back Kajo

I know how much you liked Kenmare on your last visit and it would be an ideal base for both Beara and the RoK. May and September are both great months, as the the Ring is far quieter. Make sure you get "off the Ring" to places like Valentia, St Finan's Bay etc

Bean A knows this are like tha back of her hand and would be able to give some great advice.

Connemara is also a lovely area to explore in depth and up into Mayo towards Sligo and South West Donegal is gorgeous too

Kerry
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3. Re: Missing Ireland today

Toss a coin

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
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4. Re: Missing Ireland today

oh kajo, what a wonderful decision to have to make...i know just exactly how you feel....there is never enough time, is there?...can't wait to hear what you decide....

i'd never suggest one over the other because i know it's got to be your decision and both areas are full of wonderful things to see and do....but look at it this way, you can't lose either way....

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
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5. Re: Missing Ireland today

Ok so the bank manager might disagree but I would say do one in September and one next May....

You know you won't go wrong either way but north-west would get my vote too:)

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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6. Re: Missing Ireland today

Arrive in September, go home in May - decision sorted ;o)

new york
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7. Re: Missing Ireland today

I haven't been to Clifden either and want to do that as well as visit Inishbofin for an overnight stay.

I agree about driving in Galway. Was almost hit by a bus trying to get out of town.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time. I almost booked a trip to go next week but am glad I didn't as I developed cellulitis in my foot and would have had to cancel. Oh well I hope to go in June or August.

Turner, Maine
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8. Re: Missing Ireland today

We spent a good part of our trip in the southwest and loved it. On our last day we scooted up to Connemara NP and had lunch in Clifden. We will start our next trip there. That said we loved RoK especially Skellig Michael. If you've not been there it is awe inspiring. And you said you're in shape. That's good because it involves a decent hike. I would also like to highly recommend tha Pax Guest House in Dingle. A lot of good pubs there as well. I envy you. Have a great trip!!!!

Oh yeah, driving in Galway was nerve racking, even after 9 days of left side driving..... all those rotaries.

Edited: 15 February 2013, 22:48
Saginaw, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
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7,886 posts
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9. Re: Missing Ireland today

Hello Karen,

While I wouldn't suggest building your trip around it, if you did choose early May, then you could catch one or more plays at The All-Ireland (Amateur) Drama Festival held annually in Athlone:

http://www.dramafestival.ie

Festivals run countrywide during Lent (February and March this year), culminating in a ten night festival in May:

http://www.adci.ie

And, if you do head into the North West, there's the Hawk's Well Theatre in (the town of) Sligo. Always an enjoyable experience:

http://www.hawkswell.com

In Letterkenny, there's An Grianán theatre:

http://www.angrianan.com

Have fun deciding and planning!

Saint Cloud, Florida
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871 posts
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10. Re: Missing Ireland today

Thanks for all your replies. This is why I love TA!

Akandal and nosymama62- I stayed 3 nights in Clifden on my last trip. I liked Clifden and it was a much better choice than staying in Galway City. That said I didn't love it and even if I chose to do the Northwest I probably would not chose to stay in Clifden.

Oma- thanks! I know I get excited just hearing about someone else's trip ( taken and planned) to Ireland so it is nice to have someone get excited for me.

Bean A and ponaire - both are very tempting ideas. I am still among the working folk however and haven't won the lottery yet either so unless someone would like to finance my trip, including my salary, I will have to keep it to one or the other. The NW might win simply because I haven't been there yet and it would be out of my comfort zone a bit. As all of Ireland was the last time around.

Tntmac1989- I'm not in shape yet but working very hard to get there. Not sure if I would be up or a climb up Skellig Michael. I stayed in Dingle last trip and enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure if it is going to make the list this time. I don't want to move around too much.

Uasal- thanks for the links to the festivals and theaters. I will check them out.

KerryEams- it might just come down to a coin toss!

Soonas- yes I did enjoy Kenmare very much and feel it would make a very good base for 4-5 days or even more. It would allow me to really explore the ROK, and of course my lovely Beara more.