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Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Springboro, Ohio
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Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

How long would u stay for ? We can do up to 3 weeks.

Should we do a private tour or go it our own and if we go it on our own do we need to advance purchase hotels?

Let's start there and I will add more as we go.....Thanks ahead of time.

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Take a line from Dublin to Galway and decide to stay above or below it. Don't try to fit everything in in 3 weeks. A car will give you freedom to plan around sites and out-of-the way places. Recommend you book in advance.

So what tickles your fancy? History, music, Pubs, gastronomy, Mountains, Seascapes, walking, etc?

Springboro, Ohio
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2. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

All of the above quite frankly....The bluffs and castles look magnificent. I'm also a huge fan of Jameson and Guiness!!!! I want food at local places and not tourist traps. How is the weather in Sept?

Edited: 29 May 2013, 23:53
Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

September is usually mild but blows a bit around the equinox. Evenings get dark from about 7.30pm.

You need to plan to stay around Dublin for a few days - don't hire a car, walk or use the HoHo for Guinness & Jameson and general sites and public transport. Trim Castle and Bru na Boinne in Meath would make a good day trip out of Dublin. You could then spend a few days based in South Dublin - Fitzpatrick's Castle Hotel, Killiney and use a car to visit Glendalough, Powerscourt and Wicklow area. Good restaurants in Dun Laoghaire & Dalkey. Decide on driving across to Cork/Kerry or stay exploring further south east into Wexford for a few days more and then up to Kilkenny. Sites in Wexford, 1798 center, Dunbrody Famine Ship, Hook Head lighthouse and peninsula, JFK Park, National Heritage Park, various monuments and abbeys, etc. Kilkenny has its castle and day trips to Cashel, Cahir [castle] and Waterford [Regfnald's Tower - a Viking structure]. But you might prefer to go to the west, to view the Cliffs of Moher and Galway city.

You should get a guidebook and start planning with pins in a map what you would like to see and then work out what is possible in your timetable.

Reno, Nevada
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4. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

If you have never been, then suggest you stay north and catch sites from east to west. Dublin and Galway and their surrounds will work. Either of the choices, north or south will contain all of the elements you describe. Stay in one visiting hub for several days and not just hop from one town to another on a daily basis. Go slow and you'll enjoy it more.

Springboro, Ohio
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5. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

@ Eddie L When I'm on Vacation slow is the order of the day.

@ 171956 That stuff all sounds fantastic....I would have been a great Viking. Now If we just show up in a town would we be able to get a room ? And how much does it cost a stay in a Castle typically?

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Sidebar, Eddie...

I can't speak for the south - never been. But I did notice a change in the character of the land starting near Shannon; softer hills, more rolling pastoral in that fairytale fashion than the hard lines and lands of the north. It was always my impression - possibly mistaken - that North and South Ireland showed two distinct faces. Can you confirm or contradict that notion?

I know, generally, that the South is preferred by the majority of the tourist trade; perhaps the OP's first priority is to hit the library and let his fingers do the walking - see for himself what engages him. Three weeks is a healthy bite - depending on how brutal he wants to be on his travel schedule, he can really do some damage to the map with that.

Irelandbound - there's only one way to do this, and that's with your butt in the driver's seat. At least, that's my opinion. Tours are like... tour books; desultory and limited. Self-drive is the entire encyclopedia. Three weeks - no "Best Of" "Top Ten" destination chasing for you. Put the Fodor's aside, and seek out the hidden gems as well. Get to the library, or hit up Amazon for a bunch of second-hand coffee table books. Go nuts with your crazy self for thirty bucks. Your Adventure starts now. And it IS yours - take the time and relish what destinations You like, not what we tell you. Trust me, these guys know 'em all - when you're ready, they'll set you right.

Find your passions, personally. Then use these folks to find your way. Congrats on your decision - and enjoy the planning. It's almost as fun as the real thing.

murrieta
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7. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Hello,

My wife and I just completed a five week trip to the British Isles and Ireland. We spent 8 days driving in Ireland. We thought Ireland was very expensive compared to England, Scotland, and Wales. The car rental was extremely expensive as there is mandatory insurance (I was told this at the rental car desk and I am not sure if this is true or I was taken by Nationalcar/EuroCar). We visited Dublin, Kilkenney, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Galway, Derry, Giants Causeway, and Belfast. We thought we saw most of the highlights of Ireland in those eight days. For the price we paid for the rental car and all other fees, you just might want to consider an organized tour. Driving on the left is definitely a challenge. We thought Scotland was better than Ireland. I hope this helps.

Whitney, Texas
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8. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

i bet you did think scotland was better than ireland because if you accomplished all of that in only 8 days you didn't "see" anything of ireland except the windshield of the rental car....not to mention you didn't even come close to seeing the highlights of ireland just ticked some boxes....

irelandbound, do rent a car, so much more freedom to come and go as you please...a tour would absolutely be my last choice...too much time on your bum, too little time at sites, too many shopping stops, too little free time....not to mention, much more expensive than doing your own thing......(i've done both)

are there any places you kind of think you might like to see?....things to do?....you sound like my kind of traveler, don't want to spend your time just seeing touristy places...i have to tell you though, some of those places are popular for a reason, they are amazing....

this forum is full of some fantastic folks with a world of information that they will happily share with you to make your trip better.....as for booking rooms, if you come in may or september you could just book your first and last nights and wing it the rest of the trip...i love doing that.....

ask away, you won't be disappointed with the help you get.....

Dayton, Ohio
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9. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Horning in on this thread because I am planning for the end of the summer.

Forgive the intrusion, and this is silly because I haven't yet been to Ireland, but the idea that you can see "most of the highlights" of any country in 8 days just seems absurd to me. I don't even know how to define "most of the highlights" anyway. But I do hear that car rentals are quite expensive. I s'pose sometimes things are expensive because they are worth it though.

Springboro, Ohio
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10. Re: Well where to start? We are thinking of ireland next year...

Going through books to do this trip is great but I like getting info from several horses mouths and this seems like a great place to do it. On the chance I don't make it back to Ireland checking out as much of it as I can will be awesome. Tourist spots non tourist spots it's all good to me. Most of all other than the fantastic country side I want pubs with local people who play their music with local fare not what they want to show tourists in downtown Dublin. The Cliffs are a must see and do for sure a castle or two and spend the night there as well. Checking out where Guiness and Jamesons are produced is a must. And the thought of seeing a place where Vikings once roamed makes me want to do back flips and I'm almost 50[Regfnald's Tower - a Viking structure]. This is going to be awesome for sure.