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Only a week in Ireland

Scotland
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Only a week in Ireland

My husband and I are driving/ferry from Scotland to Larne first Sunday in June. We will get into Ireland mid-afternoon and are heading for Dublin. With just a week we will only be able to get a flavour of the place so can only have a day or two in Dublin. We will want to head out Tuesday afternoon or very latest Wednesday morning. Which places are not to be missed? Also are there any pubs/eating places out of this world? We cannot afford to spend a fortune but could stretch to at least one really "nice" meal.

Where is best to head after Dublin? For sentimental reasons I would like to visit Cork. My sister who has since died was there a few years ago but I know we have very limited time as we will have to be nearing Coleraine by the Friday evening as we want to spend the last couple of days there seeing my aunt and uncle and going to Giants Causeway and possibly Derry and by the way is Derry worth a visit? We have to be back home by Monday afternoon so will have to leave Ireland latish Sunday afternoon/very early Monday morning so where is it best to spend the 2 or 3 days between Dublin and NI. When we originally planned this holiday we had much more time but for various reasons it has now got cut to just the week. Any replies appreciated.

Co. Kildare
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1. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Hi ScotlandCaroline! I know that visiting Cork would be a lovely thing for you to do but with just the few days at your disposal it might be too far out of your way. Maybe and hopefully there will be another time for that sentimental journey.

What about heading to Galway after Dublin? Not a very long drive along the motorway. If you can make it your base for two or three days you could visit the Cliffs of Moher and see a bit of the Burren one day and drive into Connemara another day. And the drive to Coleraine wouldn't be too bad.

I can't comment on Derry since I've only ever driven through the city and not stayed there. But I am sure you'll get advice from other posters.

Cavan
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2. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Just be aware the first weekend in June is a bank holiday in the Irish Republic, so some places will be closed on the Monday. If you head to Cork you will be facing endless hours driving followed by a horrendous 300 mile drive back to Coleraine, it depends on you if you think it is worth it, most people here would recommend against it.

Instead from Dublin you could either head back north and visit Belfast and the beautiful Glens of Antrim or go west to Donegal and return to Coleraine via Derry city.

england
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3. Re: Only a week in Ireland

I dont think I would go any further south than Dublin this trip, there is as much to see on the North and N.West coast as there is in Cork, and there would be an awful lot of driving involved.

Edited: 26 April 2013, 12:27
Western Ireland...
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4. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Stay north of Dublin, The North is well worth some time and Derry is worth a day on its own. Maybe venture into Donegal and the rest of Ulster.

As daft as it Sounds You could have a overnight/weekend trip flying to Cork from Edinburgh or Glasgow easier than driving down from Belfast or Larne.

Scotland
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5. Re: Only a week in Ireland

We are going to miss Cork as everyone advise. We are thinking of spending slightly longer in the north now. Thank you so much for your advice.

Scotland
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6. Re: Only a week in Ireland

We are thinking of taking your advice and flying separately to Cork from Edinburgh/Glasgow maybe next year.

Scotland
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7. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Thanks very much for letting us know that the first weekend in June is a holiday.

Scotland
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8. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Sorry for being a pain but we are now thinking of spending the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights in Dublin and then Friday and Saturday and maybe also Thursday in the north. Want to see Belfast, Derry, Causeway.

What is best to do for the couple of days between Dublin and the north? Also where to stay? We might just spend the two nights in Dublin.

Thanks so much.

North Coast, N...
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9. Re: Only a week in Ireland

Makes sense:) Cork next time.

Derry is worth a visit. The city itself has a very different feel to Belfast and its intact walls are interesting to walk round. You can do the city itself in a half day but you could easily spend a day there to take in a few things e.g. Tower Museum, Free Derry museum, Tour of the city walls, peace bridge, Guildhall. It's City of Culture this year so it's worth checking out in case there are any events on during your stay. It's less than an hour's drive from Coleraine although there is a nice scenic tour you can do via Mussenden temple/Downhill demesne. To be honest, you could easily spend a week just covering Northern Ireland and Donegal without including Dublin or Galway so it really will depend on your priorities and interests what you fit in.

North Coast, N...
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10. Re: Only a week in Ireland

You're not being a pain at all Caroline:)

Have you any particular interests? Do you like to be at the coast where possible - do you want history, scenery..I'm guessing castles won't feature highly on your list - but Dunluce castle will be on your causeway route anyway!

I was about to send you on a diversion to Enniskillen and Derry so that you looped up from Dublin but I'm sort of veering towards keeping the driving down to a minimum and sticking to the east.

A possible option would be to spend Wednesday in the Meath area exploring Newgrange, Mellifont Abbey, Monasterboice high crosses, then end up in Belfast. That gives you 2 nights in Belfast so keeps the packing up to a minimum. In Belfast you can get good deals at Premier Inn (I like the Cathedral Quarter one) but it doesn't have free carparking but there is carparking nearby at St Anne's Square which is reasonable. Or stay at Tara Lodge which has free carparking or a B&B. You really don't want to be driving round Belfast - easier and cheaper to walk or take the bus/train. Last night I had dinner at Ginger bistro which is near the famous Crown Bar. They do a very good and reasonably priced pre-theatre dinner.

Also worth checking out on a Thursday evening is the historic pub tour. A very nice way to see some of the city's best an most historic bars. It's very civilised - I think some of the hostels run something similar for the backpacking crowd who may want something a bit more er "lively"!!

That leaves you setting off on Friday to Derry (2 hour drive) and then take the scenic detour back to Coleraine. So you still have possibly some time on Friday late afternoon/evening, all Saturday and some of Sunday for the Causeway area.

In Belfast the HOHO tours are good - although some prefer the Black Taxi tours to the murals. Other popular things to do include a free guided city hall tour, the Titanic Experience (pre-book this if you want to visit it) or anothe Titanic tour, Crumlin Road gaol, Botanic gardens if the weather is nice... Those are just a few options but you can see that your day will easily be filled.

Hope that gives you some ideas. Feel free to ask any more questions! There are some very helpful posters on the Belfast forum if you've any specific Belfast questions.