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Drogheda as a base

Vancouver, WA USA
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Drogheda as a base

My wife and I are planning a 3 week coastal tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland in May. After spending 2 nights in Dublin, I am thinking of picking up the rental car at the airport and heading to Drogheda for an overnight stay and as a base for seeing Newgrange and Monasterboice. Ideally, was thinking of incorporating these sights with a loop road to Trim and return to Drogheda through Tara. Is there a better location for an overnight stay in this area? Is this to ambitious of an itinerary?

Following a one night stay in Drogheda, we would then drive up to Belfast. Our objective is a counterclockwise tour of the island using the Lonely Planet and Rick Steves guidebooks.

Many thanks for your thoughts..

Many thanks for your thoughts...

Grayslake, Illinois
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1. Re: Drogheda as a base

Hi, No, not too ambitious - many travelers visit Newgrange & Monasterboice on their way to Belfast.

For an overnight, I would just stay in Trim & head north the next day.

Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Drogheda as a base

Lonely Planet fine, but get a decent alternative if you need two guide books,

As to the question I would agree with the above ,, or .. Aim straight for Belfast from the airport and freshen up there. Save the Dublin/Dublin area for the end. I benchmark 2 weeks to go round the island of Ireland so the extra week makes for a far more relaxing trip.

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3. Re: Drogheda as a base

Hello Rick

The Drogheda area is a great base to visit the wealth of historical attractions in the surrounding vicinity, and a far better option than staying in Trim for onward drive to Belfast. There seems to be quite a number of people that favour staying in Trim on their last night, or otherwise, but it wouldnt be my favourite place to stay. I don't really see the attraction (apart from the obvious!), but then as a local and having lived and worked in it a few years ago, I see it through different eyes. Trim wouldn’t be “en route” to Belfast either. I’d suggest, stick with your own thoughts.

The drive from car pickup at Dublin Airport to the Drogheda area is around 30 minutes - a handy (and easy) drive on the M1 motorway, allowing you to familarise yourself with your new car. Be sure to have change for the motorway toll charge (currently €1.90). Onward journey to Belfast is around 1 hour, 40 minutes, again, all on motorway.

Actual fact, I think I'd stay for 2 nights and savour more of what the area has to offer - rather than just the ususal suspects.

The town itself has a wealth of historical sights including St Laurence Gate, Magdalene Tower, St Peter’s Church and Oliver Plunket Shrine and Millmount Martello Tower which has an imposing site overlooking the town




The Boyne Viaduct is also another landmark of the town http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyne_Viaduct as is St Peters (C of I) http://stpetersdrogheda.ie/history/

Within short distances, you have lots to keep you occupied., with great beach walks, historical sites and hidden gems.

If you are a car enthusiast, a visit to Beaulieu House and vintage/classic car museum is a must too http://www.beaulieu.ie/index.html

Historically, not only do you have New grange, Knowth & Monasterboice, but also the beautiful Mellifont Abbeyhttp://www.heritageireland.ie/en/midlandseastcoast/OldMellifontAbbey/ , the picturesque and historical village of Slane, including Slane Castle, Hill of Slane and one of my favourite gems, the Francis Ledwidge Museum. You could spend a day in that area alone.



The Battle of the Boyne site is another great and historical place to visit , with lovely walks and a great coffee shop. heritageireland.ie/en/…

Sonairte, the National Ecology Centre is a short drive away and could be easily accessed en route from Dublin. Just take the R132 from the motorway (Junction 7) for Julianstown/Laytown (and avoid the toll charge!) . http://sonairte.ie/ Always something going on there .

The Four Knocks would also be easily accessed and would compliment your visit to Newgrange mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/fourknocks/ You could easily organise to pick up the key to the site and visit en route from Dublin too. discoverireland.com/us/…

If you did decide to stay for two nights, you could have a full day to incorporate Newgrange, Hill of Tara, Trim Castle and also incorporate Bective Abbey into your “full day”, and without having to rush around. Monasterboice is just a short detour off the M1 motorway which could be saved for your en route journey to Belfast.

For accommodation options in Drogheda, you can either opt for B&B or Hotel options. There are some great value hotel options at the moment, and the main contenders would be

D Hotel http://www.thedhotel.com/ which has an enviable view of theViaduct and right on the river Boyne.

Scholars Hotel www.scholarshotel.com

Westcourt Hotel www.westcourt.ie

B&B options a plenty, but to be honest, the hotels are offering as good as value these days. However, should you want some suggestions, just say.

Scholars and the restaurant at the Westcourt (Rest 29) would be two of my favourite places in Drogheda for food, along with Relish for a liter bite, which have a branch on Laurence Street http://www.relishcafe.ie/

A visit to Drogheda would not be complete without a visit to Carberry’s pub drogheda.ie/whats-on/pubs1/carberrys1.html https://www.facebook.com/carberryspub

Dependant on your plans, you can hit Belfast within 2 hours (max), or take a leisurely day hugging the coast with perhaps a stop off at Proleek Dolmen just outside Dundalk. www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/proleek/

Take a detour out the Cooley Peninsula and visit the picturesque medieval village of Carlingford www.carlingford.ie and follow the Lough back into Newry to relink with the M1. Should you do this, stop off at Omeath and capture some beautiful vistas of the Mourne Mountains (the other side of the Lough), as they sweep down to the sea (as the song goes!).

Alternatively or to include, a drive from Newry out by Warren point (stopping for lunch at Restaurant 23 http://www.restaurant23warrenpoint.com/ - one of my favourites) and follow the coastal route via Downpatrick and into pretty Strangford to take the car ferry over to Portaferry and onwards into Belfast. discovernorthernireland.com/Strangford-Lough…

Belfast is one of my favourite places ever, and I could write all afternoon about it, but think I have enough done for the time being.

Again, I reiterate that Drogheda would be a wonderful base to allow you sample a taste of the North East, and please feel free to ask for any clarifications/further information if I can help.

Have a look at www.drogheda.ie also and download a copy of their Visitor Guide to whet your appetite.



Vancouver, WA USA
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4. Re: Drogheda as a base

Little Pumpkin and others

Thank you so much for your wonderful suggestions. They have definitely made me rethink our early itinerary to the NE part of Ireland. There are certainly plenty of sights to visit and justifies a two night stay. I hear your comments about the hotels in the area, but do you also have some thoughts on Drogheda B&Bs?

As for Belfast, I was planning to spend one night there, seeing what we can in the city before making our way up towards Portrush (as a base) to visit the Northern coast sights.

Even with 3 weeks to plan, it's difficult to properly space out an itinerary to travel around the island and to especially devote enough time to see the sights of West and SW Ireland on the way back to Dublin.

Again...many thanks to you for your suggestions and your time to respond.

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5. Re: Drogheda as a base

We stayed in Drogheda and spent a pleasant day meandering northwards through Cooley. Carligford is quite popular for walkers etc, but didn't grab me ,but a nice drive all the same.

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6. Re: Drogheda as a base

Hello again Rick

With regards B&B's, the main contenders in the town I'd consider would be

Windsor Lodge http://barwindsorlodge.com/

Roseville B&B https:/…

Both are within walking distance of the town centre, with ample parking, and again, handy access for your onward journey.

However, something else to consider - if you would prefer a more rural location with the added advantage of a pre-booked timeslot for Newgrange, you could consider one of the following

Roughgrange Farm http://roughgrangefarm.mannadesign.net/

Lougher Farm http://www.lougherfarm.com/

Newgrange Lodge http://www.newgrangelodge.com/

Each of these premises is within hairs breath of Bru Na Boinne (for Newgrange), and the establishments have an agreement with the centre where their guests can be allocated a timeslot. Handy, and would save time and hastle if under pressure timewise.

Again, for me, Belfast warrants 2 nights. Should you arrive mid/late afternoon you need time to explore the city and perhaps take a Black Cab tour, and if you're interested, a visit to the Titanic Quarter.

Another site to bookmark http://www.gotobelfast.com/

When leaving Belfast and heading on up the coast, if weather is conducive, be sure to to include a drive to Torr Head as you meander up through the beautiful Antrim countryside. A drive not for the faint hearted, but so worth it and only 13 miles between you and The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland.

Aim for a stop in Ballycastle for the nicest fish & chips for lunch in Mortons, followed by a Mauds Icecream before or after your visit to Carrick a Rede.

Have you seen this site ? causewaycoastalroute.com/index.php/…90

Vancouver, WA USA
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7. Re: Drogheda as a base

Little P

I took you up on your suggestion about staying in the Newgrange area and booked a couple of nights at Lougher Farm and then we'll make our way up to Belfast for two nights, staying at Tara Lodge.

After Belfast we'll meander towards Ballycastle and Portrush to see all the sights up there.

Thank you for your wonderful and sensible suggestions.

8. Re: Drogheda as a base

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