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fine tuning itinerary...

Townsville...
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fine tuning itinerary...

Hi everyone...

thank you so much to those who have replied to my earlier posts and have emailed me with suggestions, it has been very helpful. I probably have stuffed up here by starting another post while I have one going. Anyhow can someone please look at my new itinerary and tell me how I can fine tune it...thank you..

Famiily of 4 2 adults & 2 boys 7 & 8. Looking for things unique to Ireland as we are travelling on to Scotland, England, France.

25/03 arrive from London into Dub airport at 11am.

* Car hire arranged 2503 - late arv 0104

* drive to Belfast....may look and see if we can get into

Newgrange on the way....if it looks like big wait or no tickets will give it a miss.

* Overnight Belfast (booked)

26/03

* Black Cab tour of murals and peace walls.

* Leave for Antrim coast

*photo of rope bridge from distance (chickens)

*Giants causeway a must

Not going to distillery (husband wants 1 in Scotland)

*Heritage tea room?? read was worth a stop

*Dunluce castle a definite

*Dark Hedges

Overnighting somewhere up there.

27/03

* continue antrim coast on to Donegal town ish

overnight that area (any good suggestions?)

28/03

* Drive from that area to Westport

*photo stop of benbulben

* lough gill loop? (holy well & tree of particular interest)

* Drumcliff for Yeats, Round Tower & High Cross

* If didn't get to newgrange then carrowmore (if open)

29/03

* Westport to Cong ??? top of connemarra

overnight

30/03

* Cong Hawk Walk is a must at Ashford Castle

* rest of Connemarra

overnight Galway

31/03

* Top of Burren area

* sorry not Cliffs of Moher (husband from cliffs in S Aust)

* Kilnaboy to find Father Teds house a must

* The Dolmen starting with P (cant find where I have written it

down, but has the huge stone)

* and basically the excellent scenery

* then onto Carraugowen village near six mile creek

(have booked easter there for the kids goes from 1-5pm)

overnight somewhere nice around this area (suggestions?)

01/04

* Drive from Limerick area back to Dublin...taking it slow and

stopping anywhere people can suggest.

I know we are not staying long in Belfast or Dublin, and I hope that doesn't offend....In Dublin I want to do the hop on, hop off bus and sit in Grafton St and watch buskers etc.

The main part that has me confused about this itinerary is the connemarra area. Should we just go from Westport to Galway, have two nights in Galway and drive back to Cong for the hawk walk.....Cong looks very touristy and I have noticed a lot of the accommodation is booked out. I would leave this itinerary and just go with the flow when we got there, but have to book the Hawk Walk as it is very popular.

The top as well has me confused....should we have a overnighter on the antrim coast, knowing we want to give the rope and the distillery a miss or can we maybe enter it at Ballycastle and overnight further down (not Derry, don't want to go into another large town) so as to make the Sligo section a bit easier.

thank you for your thoughts....

Townsville...
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1. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

just to add.....I just noticed that the round tower at Drumcliff has not got a top.....can anyone suggest a complete round tower in the areas we are going to? I really would love to see a complete tower.

Also I have heaps of tour brochures here and noticed that a lot of the tour buses stay at towns like Westport and Donegal and Cong. I don't want to sound like a travel snob, but can anyone give alternatives to the towns I have suggest that may not be so geared to the tourist hoards...

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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2. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

All things Round Towers here:

http://www.roundtowers.org

Maybe, stay outside of Westport - Louisburgh, for example, and it's got family rooms:

http://www.seapointhouse.com

BTW, I don't think you are likely to encounter hordes of tourists in March, Easter notwithstanding.

Grayslake, Illinois
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3. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Hi revampz, The dolmen in Co. Clare is Poulnabrone.

Just south of Cong, near Headford, on the west side of Lough Corrib is a lovely monastic ruin called Ross Errilly - one of my favorite places in Ireland.

While you're in Cong, visit the monks' fishing house on the river, near Cong Abbey.

Townsville...
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4. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

thank you both.......and Uasal I have to stop worrying so much about Easter holidays don't I. Probably because here you say those words: school holidays and everything is chaotic....kids everywhere and prices going up and things booked out. I am from the north of Australia, and Easter is the best weather here after sitting in airconditioning for 4 or so months...haha..

thanks for the round tower link I noticed there is an excellent one in Gort!! and yes family rooms are a bit harder to find so will look into that accommodation....

thank you trin traveller re the monastic ruin, that one I had not read about before...

all in all does the itinerary sound ok??? and re connemarra is it stupid to break it into two??

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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5. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Instead of Cong, you could look at Clonbur.

Here's a B&B with a lake view:

http://www.lakeshoreconnemara.com

clonbur.galway-ireland.ie/lough-mask.htm

http://clonbur.galway-ireland.ie

http://towns.galway-ireland.ie

And, following on trintraveler's suggestion of Ross Errily:

http://www.headford.org

Both you and trintraveler (Greetings to you!) might be interested in the Ross Errily leaflet mentioned in the current Headford newsletter:

headford.org/uploads/newsletters/headford-ne…

Edit: I'll hold off on commenting on the overall trip and Connemara, in favour of those with more knowledge of the distances involved and so on.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 02:12
Grayslake, Illinois
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6. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Thanks for the link, Uasal, I may send for the leaflet, I'll bet the locals know a lot about Ross Errilly....there's so little written about it, I've only seen it mentioned in one guidebook.

North Coast, N...
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7. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Not offended but think it's unfortunate that the only image your kids is likely to have of Belfast is the Peace Wall and murals which have a lot of negative connotations. I appreciate their uniqueness but much better taken within the context of the city as a whole. Still, with that tight timeframe, I don't see that there is any scope to see more so fair enough..

I think it makes sense to overnight near the Causeway. I think you will be lucky to leave Belfast at 11am after breakfast, check out and your mural tour.. It takes a good 2.5 hours to drive the Causeway coastal route and I think the kids will need a comfort break somewhere en route. You can cut a little time off by going inland Belfast to Larne (only thing you miss here is Carrickfergus castle really) and a lot off by going fully inland via the M2 and A26 (although you do miss some of the lovely section north of Larne but the kids may not care too much!!). Worth bearing in mind - or if weather is bad, just go inland. So you're likely to not reach the Causeway area until 2ish.

Dunluce castle closes at 5pm according to their website so you want to be hitting it an hour before then. The Causeway and Rope bridge can be covered at any time for photos although the Visitor Centre (if you want to visit it) should be open until 7pm.

To squeeze in Dunluce castle, Causeway plus photostops at the Dark Hedges and Carrick-a-red in 4-5 hours is therefore perfectly do-able but it is a lot and I think at the end of all that, you will be tired. Plus overnighting in the area, means that if you do run out of time, you can do e.g. Dark Hedges the following morning before you head on to Donegal. It gives you that buffer. You won't have a lot of daylight at that time of year as it is before the clocks change.

Not sure what the heritage tea room is. With the kids, I would just stop when you need a break and not worry too much about it.

Going from Bushmills/Portrush area to Donegal town, you could either stop at Derry for coffee, walk the city walls, (more murals to be seen!), and aim to be down in Donegal town area before lunch and spend the afternoon exploring the area. If nice weather, I would seriously consider a boat trip on the Nuala Star to see Slieve League cliffs. They usually open around Easter so you might need to check in advance. The cliffs can also be seen by car and on foot.

Or if the kids like history or weather is not so good, go the longer route to south Donegal and spend 2.5-3 hours at the excellent Ulster-American Folk Park.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 07:38
North Coast, N...
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8. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Sorry - amendment - if do the UAFP option, then you could overnight in Enniskillen and head on to Sligo that way. (It's about an hour from Enniskillen to Sligo so you could actually push on to Sligo and overnight there instead).

Edited: 21 February 2013, 07:42
Western Ireland...
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9. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

Kilmacduagh Abbey near Gort has the worlds tallest round tower..

irelandtravelkit.com/kilmacduagh-abbey-co-ga…

lots of other hidden gems on that website.

Belfast
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10. Re: fine tuning itinerary...

For a good hotel between Dunluce and Derry have a look at the Roe park there an indoor pool so your kids will be happy. Also Doagh island famine village near Ballyliffin is worth a look if you take the ferry from Magilligan to Greencastle.

http://www.loughfoyleferry.com/

www.doaghfaminevillage.com/places-to-stay

http://www.roeparkresort.com/Attractions-Map