We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Milwaukee
Level Contributor
10 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

I am planning my first visit to Ireland this November, focusing only on the southwest for this trip. My friend and I are females in our 40's. We're very active (walking/hiking, biking, horse riding, sailing) and like to see a lot when vacationing; however, we're also careful to plan an itinerary that allows spontaneity (i.e., weather!) and time to enjoy Ireland's people & culture. We'll fly in/out of Shannon and have 9 nights.

We have lodging in the Ennis area for our last 3 nights (we'll see Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Doolin while in that area). Prior to Ennis, we would like to see the Dingle peninsula, the Killarney/ROK area, and possibly Kinsale. Here are my questions:

- Is Kinsale a good addition to our itinerary (please consider we'll visit in November - I am mostly concerned about how active it will still be)? We're considering 2 nts each Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle.

- I am assuming that Kenmare and Killarney are close enough to one another that staying put in one location for 2 nts is better than 1 nt in each. Leaning toward Kenmare, but open to thoughts (again, trying to gauge November 'liveliness').

- Are there any activities or sights in these four areas (Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle, Ennis/Burren) that may not be as well-known to tourists? Particularly activities that allow us to see the beautiful outdoors as long as the weather will permit (we're from Wisconsin so we're hardy :).

- Any pubs we should try not to miss? We would like to find pubs with traditional music and/or sing alongs - meeting/spending time with locals would be a highlight for both of us.

I would love any and all advice offered! Particularly: "What is your favorite memory of Ireland?"

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
10,947 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

I can lists loads of places around Dingle, but can you give me what kind of things you like? In Dingle my favourite pubs in the town are Curanns and Foxy Johns, both on the top of main street.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
Level Contributor
19,048 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Ennis Trad fest takes place 7-11th http://www.ennistradfestival.com/ and would be a good option but probably the wrong dates. There will though be every chance you will catch music in the town for a couple if not all 3 nights http://www.visitennis.com/ not sure what will be on in Glor or the local Comhaltas events. Again a concert in Kinvara on the 9th will probably not fit?

Kinsale and Dingle I will leave to others but out of season you will meet more locals than fellows, Kenmare will be a good deal quieter than Killarney which for November would be my personal choice.

Ventry, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
Level Contributor
7,361 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

There were lots of people taking the cliff walk above Clothair beach on the Slea Head Drive west of Dingle today. There was a big Atlantic storm last night and the seas were utterly magnificent today. There are plenty of lovely walks out here and the pathways are deserted at this time of year.

Although the pubs stay open year round, restaurants and other attractions will close now until March/April. That said there is a local Irish language poetry festival running Ballyferriter in two weeks time.

Dingle town always has a range of dining possibilities and great pubs, many with music, even out of season. The weather of course can be hit and miss

England, United...
Level Contributor
1,722 posts
96 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

I think for the time of year I'd choose Killarney over Kenmare. Kenmare is a lovely little town but it will be very quiet indeed in November.Kinsale is only worth a days visit IMO, the town is pretty and nice for a stroll round, and there are a couple of decent walks weather permitting, but 2 nights might be pushing it out of season.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
10,947 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Saw a photo on Gorman's Cliff house FB page, Soonas. Foam was incredible. Don't know if I'd advocate a clifftop walk there in high winds though, there are some blowholes here and there, just like at Hook Head.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Dingle
Level Contributor
10,947 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Oh and a photo from a lady standing in the foam there that we both know who should know better

Colorado
Level Contributor
15 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

I agree - Kenmare is lovely but usually more quiet, especially this time of year. Killarney is more active and there is a great pub "The Danny Mann" that always has great music!

As far as the outdoor activities you can find incredible walks all over the country, just contact one of the Irish tourism sites and they will give you loads of ideas!

Have a wonderful time and stay warm :)

Colorado
Level Contributor
15 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Hi - I forgot to mention what my favorite memory of Ireland was...

My very first trip I drove from Dublin to Killarney to Ennis and back to Dublin in the dead of winter. I was so touched by the kindness and warmth of everyone I met that when I came home, I quit my job and moved to Shannon! It was the best experience of my life and I go back as often as possible - It is my favorite place in the world!

Lynn

http://www.womens-independent-travel.com/

Cork, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Cork
Level Contributor
3,091 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

The good news is that Kinsale isn't too quiet in November. It does enough local business that restaurants and bars stay open, unlike some tourist towns where they shut for the winter.

However, I'd be a little concerned about how far removed it is from the rest of your itinerary. It's a 2 hour drive (close to 2 hours using public transport) to Killarney at the best of times, so is it worth spending all that time driving to see it? If you're going to incorporate it into a drive along the south and west cork coastlines, then it's more practical.

Otherwise, I might seek somewhere closer to the Killarney/Kenmare area. Normally Schull is a fine alternative to Kinsale, but that does close down more significantly in the Winter.

Milwaukee
Level Contributor
10 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What's the best way to enjoy Ireland (SW) in November?

Thanks for the great suggestions! As to the question of what types of things we like...

We are packing warm jackets and plan to hike/walk in various places. I'd love to do another outdoor activity if we are lucky enough to have weather that allows for it (biking would be top choice, then horse riding or sailing - and I realize we cannot count on these). I don't plan to buy a lot, but we do enjoy shopping and eating in quaint/traditional locales. I love photography and writing... I will keep a journal and would love to capture photos of 'the expected' (Slea Head, Cliffs of Moher) but as importantly 'the unexpected' (any suggestions here? odd or interesting statues, landmarks, etc.). Oh - and I love a good Guinness and authentic pubs with friendly people!

I was concerned that Kenmare may be too sleepy in off-season, so thanks for the feedback and we may re-think our time in Kinsale/Killarney a bit.

P.S. Lynn, you are inspiring - I love your favorite memory and your blog! How beautiful.