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Ireland in October

Ottawa, Canada
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Ireland in October

My husband and I are travelling to Ireland for our first year anniversary at the beginning of October for 8 days. We have started to put together out itinerary and are looking for feedback/advise.

General Question

•Is it worth going to Limerick?

•What can we do around Galway and Mullingar?

•Have we missed any point of interest in the middle of our itinerary (day 2 to 4)?

•Should we go to Aran Islands from Doolin or Galway?

****

Driving Itinerary/Main Activities

Day 1 Dublin = Driving Time 1 hour; 7 hours activities

- Arrive/Airport Check-out

- Walking tour (Free)

- Guinness Brewery

- Comedy Show/Dinner

Day 2 Kilkenny = Driving Time 3 hours 14 mins

- Glendaough Tours - 2 hrs (+2hrs of walking around)

- maybe do Waterford here instead??

Day 3 Cork/Blarney = Driving Time 3.5 hours

- Rock/Town of Cashel - 1hour

- Waterford - 1-2hours

- Tour Castle Blarney

check estimated length of each activity; maybe more time, seems like historical area and may have other worthwhile stops

Day 3 Killarney = Driving Time 3 hours

- maybe do 1.25 hours of Ring of Kerry Drive to balance more

Day 4 Doolin = Driving Time = 7.25 hours

- Ring of Kerry 1.25 hours

- Dingle - 1.5hours

- Limerick - 2.5 hours (can bypass by over water - check says 1 hours shorter, but may be ferry needed to catch)

- Kilrush (coast) - 1 hour (can by pass to save .75hours) - check Kilrush - if worthwhile

- Doolin 1 hour

Day 5 Galway = Driving Time 1.25 hours

- maybe trip to Islands (see length)

- Castle Dinner/Show (9pm)

Day 6 Galway

- maybe day trip drive and back (up northern coast) - check what's available

- check Galway and areas things to do

Day 7 Mullingar = Driving Time 1.5 hours

- More Galway our enroute to Galway or possibly drive up north and back

Day 8 Airport

- Hill of Tara - 1 hour

- Dublin - .75hours

- Guinness tour if missed day 1

Thanks,

Amy

Canada
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1. Re: Ireland in October

You really cannot do the rofk in 1,25 hrs. Unless you are only doing the loop near Killarney which is nothing like the southern part of it.

Not sure what 2 hr tour of Glendalough this refers to. You really only need 2 hrs total unless you are going to hike for the greater part of the day.

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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2. Re: Ireland in October

##Day 3 Killarney = Driving Time 3 hours

- maybe do 1.25 hours of Ring of Kerry Drive to balance more

Day 4 Doolin = Driving Time = 7.25 hours

- Ring of Kerry 1.25 hours

- Dingle - 1.5hours

- Limerick - 2.5 hours (can bypass by over water - check says 1 hours shorter, but may be ferry needed to catch)

- Kilrush (coast) - 1 hour (can by pass to save .75hours) - check Kilrush - if worthwhile

- Doolin 1 hour##

Unless you have a time machine or a super dooper high speed helicopter your plan is totally unfeasible.

The Ring of Kerry will take a full day. Even driving some of the Ring (e.g. the N71) will take longer than that. Do you plan to stop and experience the scenery at all or do you just plan to see it from the comfort of your car? If the latter, don't bother. Take a look at someone elses slide show.

And when do you plan to eat or even go to the bathroom?

The Bypass over water is the Tarbert Killimer Ferry and you need to wait for a ferry - often for an hour. And the ferry takes 30 minutes.

Frankly this looks like a box ticking exercise. Yes you will go home and say "We drove the Ring of Kerry", "We were in Limerick" etc but you won't have EXPERIENCED them.

Last June, driving through France, we inadvertently (i.e I gave hubby the wrong directions!!) ended up in the centre of Paris. We drove through La Defence (Financial District), we saw the Eiffel Tower, we saw other landmarks. We eventually escaped out of Paris without a divorce :o))

Your itinerary is a bit like our "detour". You will be seeing things in a stressed blur and all you will get to experience is your car.

Slow down. Less is much much more in Ireland. Quality not Quantity is the best way to have an Ireland holiday.

And in answer to your questions, yes Limerick and Mullingar have lots to offer. But you'd need a lot of time. Limerick has the fabulous Hunt Museum, it has King John's Castle, it has the Thomond Park Interactive Rugby Museum, it has the 11th Century St Mary's Cathedral, it has some fabulous art.

Mullingar has nearby Belvedere House and Kilbeggan Distillery as well as a most beautiful cathedral. And it is a lovely town to walk through.

But you don't have time.....

Edited: 27 August 2013, 09:32
England, United...
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3. Re: Ireland in October

Amy you will need to rethink some of this, and maybe whittle down your itinerary. The RoK is a minimum of one full day, with your timescales you would be better concentrating on the Killarney National Park. The Slea Head Drive, which is what most people regard as a must see in the Dingle area, takes about 3 hours minimum, and that's only scratching the surface. It's really not worth travelling out to Dingle for 1.5 hours, so my advice would be to give it a miss this time. You will see plenty of coastal scenery during your time in the Galway area.

Hope this is helpfull and good luck with the planning.

Whitney, Texas
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for Ireland
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4. Re: Ireland in October

do listen to these other posters, way too much and the times are way off...not sure where you got them but they just aren't realistic....wow.....

Westchester County...
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5. Re: Ireland in October

Amy, you're getting sound advice being far off in your overall game plan and individual time frames. You've outlines a trip (comfortably) wanting a MINIMUM OF DOUBLE the time allocated to all mentioned. Let's get specific with some realistic possibilities for your eight days starting with departing Dublin in early in day two.

You could make a solid varied day out of an early post breakfast stop in Powerscourt Gardens including brunch there (skipping the lesser and time consuming separate fee waterfalls up the road a bit) and then head to Gendalough/Laragh for sites there including the Gaps and a restful dinner/pub option either in town at Wicklow Heather Restaurant or nearby Rathdrum's Bates Restaurant and next door Cartoons pub. See specials for either option on their web sites and here on TA for reviews on all. (Just beyond Rathdrum is the famous Vale of Avoca and village of Avoca known for film and tv series shot there, as well as the base home of (referencing their online site: Avoca Textiles, which happens to have an outlet in Powerscourt as well.

TA is rich with information on a search of any and all I'm statinh everywhere. The (Vale of Avoca and economical stop in town just beyond) last bit would probably involve choosing to include the next morning as a two hour diversion before heading on the way to Kilkenny which wants most of the remaining day and a night's rest as well. Again TA has solid accommodation, dining and to dos and the like under all towns by name.

Your "Day 3" Killarney now becomes day four or you have to cut something already---and more news? The Ring, as you're being told is a full day in itself and the Killarney National Park (whole serarate agenda) wants a leisurely more than half day minimally. So you have decisions to make on those scores. Do some research here on TA on each to get better perspective.

- "maybe do 1.25 hours of Ring of Kerry Drive to balance more"---You won't be doing much short bending and absolutely no "ringing or balancing" in that time-- You're up to days five and six completed without serious cutting. I would use the second shorter National Park day to get me to my DIngle b&b for the night.

Now you have to have cut or go into rapid choice mode with only two days for the a) Dingle Peninsula and/or the b) Cliffs of Moher/Burren/Doolin cum other villages areas. The Dingle Peninsula area "wants" two days minimally and is better with a leisurely three, You could get a taste in one, I suppose. However if you don't cut deeper and elsewhere in what I've provided as heavily edited already, it doesn't make much sense to try for (Moher, etc). option b at all which wants at least two as well, but could be sampled in one , again I suppose.

Now you'll see a great deal exorcised on your original impossible agenda to achieve this more succinct and realistic possibility and even that presumes cuts as well of at least the last b) Cliffs area portion entirely or other such adjustments beforehand. Galway and beyond, as well as all the rest you've posed and not even discussed in my posting here, would make a find second trip of the same precise length as you're currently weighing

You need to do some unhurried reading and make some prudently framed choices whatever you decide. Good luck with all. One can only hope this helps with perspective. Have to hurry along now as we're headed out.

Edited: 27 August 2013, 17:03
Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Ireland in October

Thanks everyone for the advise!

Sanford, Maine
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7. Re: Ireland in October

In eight days you will be totally frustrated trying to keep to your schedule. Ireland does not lend itself to high speed travel and hopefully never will. I would say do Dingle, skip Limerick or any time consuming stops and just take a leisurely tour with a very loose itinerary. Doolin is a good stop. You can go to the Aran Islands from there and the Cliffs of Moher are there too. Then the coastal ride to Galway is about and hour and fifteen minutes. From there you can take a tour of Connemara and which includes Kylemore Abbey . It is beautiful countryside and should not be missed. Along the way be sure to stop at local pubs to get the flavor or Irish hospitality. You will stay a lot longer than planned, but will enjoy your trip a whole lot more. These things will take a few days and leave time for Dublin sights and sightseeing in the Midlands as you travel across.. If you go as far as Donegal, the ride across the country is beautiful also..

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Ireland in October

I agree with the previous posters; having just returned from my first trip to Ireland, you're not really giving yourselves any time for things you might accidentally stumble upon that you want to explore more, and also do NOT underestimate how much you will need some "down" time, even if it's just resting for an hour. If you're always at a "go, go, go!" pace, you will end up frustrated and likely disappointed.

Furthermore (and apologies if someone already mentioned this above) - Is the Day 1 you listed the same day you arrive in Dublin via airplane? I was full of adrenaline when I got off my 7-hour plane ride in Dublin, and ready to take on the world... but by 5pm I could barely keep my eyes open. All I wanted was a long nap. Be aware that you may not feel like doing all that you have listed on Day 1. You might not even enjoy it that much if you DO go, as you'll likely be quite tired.

Don't feel upset if you do have to trim out things; remember it's much better to go at a leisurely pace than to cram everything in and feel rushed doing so. Just discuss what your absolute can't-miss sights are, and be flexible from there. You can ALWAYS go back!

Saint Louis...
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9. Re: Ireland in October

Wonderful post, HappyTraveler3434. Especially about that first day in Dublin. Adrenaline can only take you so far.

We leave for Ireland later this month with, hopefully, the mind-set that you describe.

It's such a fine line between over-planning and not planning enough -- especially when some financial commitments have been made up front.

There are a few times we are going to "wing it" -- middle of the trip and near the end -- when we should have our bearings. We've purposely left some "holes" in our itinerary for those unexpected twists and turns that make a trip an adventure.

I'm already planning my next trip, and I haven't even been there yet.

Saint Louis...
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10. Re: Ireland in October

Wonderful post, HappyTraveler3434. Especially about that first day in Dublin. Adrenaline can only take you so far.

We leave for Ireland later this month with, hopefully, the mind-set that you describe.

It's such a fine line between over-planning and not planning enough -- especially when some financial commitments have been made up front.

There are a few times we are going to "wing it" -- middle of the trip and near the end -- when we should have our bearings. We've purposely left some "holes" in our itinerary for those unexpected twists and turns that make a trip an adventure.

I'm already planning my next trip, and I haven't even been there yet.