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Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

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Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

Trip Planning to Ireland

I am planning a trip to Ireland for two plus weeks in September 2013. I am hoping to fly into Dublin and stay for three days; take a train to Cork or that area and rent a car for the remainder of the trip. I would like to visit the south and west coast area. I need help filling in the gaps such as how much time to stay in Kinsale, Doolin, Dingle, Killarney, etc. Any thoughts on this and what I absolutely cannot miss while there or suggested itineraries would be most appreciated. I will be returning the car to the Shannon airport and flying home from there.

Guernsey, United...
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1. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

I recommend spending 3-4 nights in west Cork; it's a beautiful area with some stunning scenery and great opportunities for boat trips, hiking/walking and there's also a variety of interesting places to visit, like country houses, lighthouses, gardens, prehistoric sites:


There are many marked trails on Sheep's Head Peninsula, where I recently spent 3 nights:



Boat trips for whale watching or visiting Sherkin or Clear Island:




Mizen Head lighthouse:


Bantry house is an elegant house on the outskirts of Bantry; it has beautiful gardens:


Beara Peninsula offers trails, prehistoric sites, gardens, and a ride in one of the smallest cable cars you're like to see anywhere:




I would stay farther west than Kinsale: have a look at Clonakilty or Skibbereen area, which will give you easier access to these places - and they're both less touristy/busy than Kinsale.

Then travel into co. Kerry for 3 nights in Killarney; there's lots to see and enjoy whilst based there. As well as the Ring of Kerry, you have Killarney National Park; Muckross House & Gardens; Ross Castle; Gap of Dunloe . . .







If you don't want to move on too often, you could just take a day-trip to Dingle from Killarney, but personally I'd stay in Dingle for a night, preferably two:




You could then take this route to west Clare; it's one of my favourite drives and takes around 3.5-4hrs:


I prefer Ballyvaughan rather than Doolin:


Lots to see and do in the area; if travelling up from Kerry, you need minimum 2 nights, 1 full day, but 3 nights, 2 days would be better:



Whichever you choose, both Doolin and Ballyvaughan are about 75minutes drive from Shannon, so if you have an early flight departure, you might need/want to stay near the airport. Oakwood Arms Hotel is only 5-minute drive from the airport; there's a nice bar in the hotel where you can get a bite to eat:


Accommodation: I generally prefer "country houses" guest houses and b&bs over hotels; after research here on Tripadvisor, I've never been disappointed with any of my accommodation. All have provided good clean facilities and most offer a hot breakfast cooked to order, along with a selection of lighter dishes. Have a look at these web-sites for inspiration:




Itinerary: You haven't mentioned what sorts of activities you enjoy or what you want to see/do in Ireland, so I've tried to offer a variety of things. I'm not suggesting you try do everything above! In particular, I wouldn't want to drive 3 Peninsulas (Beara, Ring of Kerry, Dingle), but you may feel it's worth it. Depending on your interests, you may also want to spend longer in some areas than I've suggested.

Recommend you get a copy of the Ordnance Survey "Official Road Atlas Ireland" which is invaluable when travelling around the country. You can order online or buy in Dublin at any good bookshop or the tourist office on Suffolk Street:


Hope the above gets you started!


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2. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

Thank you for your help! This information is wonderful. I now feel like I can make a plan without swimming in too much iinformation. I will take your advice on the length of time to spend in each area.

We enjoy vewing the scenery and look forward to listening to music in the pubs. We also enjoy finding smaller and not so touristy places. The Beara peninsuala will be a good choice along with spending a few nights in Dingle.

I will also take your advice on using TA's B&Bs.

Waterford, Ireland
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3. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

Good woman, Sarnia, you really do go the extra mile (so to speak! :-))

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4. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

We recently drove beara and dingle as first time visitors. Wish we could have gone further south like sheeps or mizen head. Beara was very pretty at end of point, and dingle offers great views as well. If visiting dingle, pax house is outstanding in its accomodations.

Guernsey, United...
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5. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

@ Doneraile - thank you :-)

@ andersp

If you enjoy smaller, not so touristy places, then you'll love west Cork, especially Mizen Head and Sheep's Head. Killarney will seem like a thriving metropolis after a few days out west!


Dublin, Ireland
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6. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

For your Dublin visit, don't hire a car use the public transport or walk. Dublin is compact enough to get around on foot to most of the sites. I recommend the Freedom ticket;


which includes the 747 airlink into the city, the green HoHo buses and 99% of the city local bus routes.

The green HoHo link is here;


There are lots of hotels to stay in around the city centre;


you can check the availability and then look on TA for reviews.

I suggest that you get out of town for one of the days - take a trip to somewhere like Glendalough. This link will give you a trip by train and coach


Any more questions - ask!

Edited: 18 April 2013, 11:31
7. Re: Planning a Trip to Ireland............Need Advice!!

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