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Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

Warrenville...
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Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

Thanks to Aer Lingus' great fares to Germany I ended up planning an entirely unexpected 6 day lay-over in Ireland in January. We arrive on a Wednesday and leave the following Tuesday. I realize that January isn't exactly prime Ireland time but that's what it is :-)

I have never been to Ireland before and my main interest is natural scenery, pubs and people. So far the rough plan is to stay 2 days in Dublin and spend 4 days driving a rental car to Doolin, Dingle and Kilkenny. We'd like to visit Cliffs of Moher, The Burrens, Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry.

Are these good places to go to in January? Looks like a lot of places in Doolin and Dingle are closed in January. Is it still worth going? Any suggestions for (cheap but charming :-) lodging and pubs?

Is winter driving a problem in Ireland?

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Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

Ireland is not all about the 3D triangle. Dingle and Doolin are totally tourist focused in season but are not unique. Best bet out of season is to stick to larger key places, Galway or Ennis would be good bases for the Burren and Cliffs plus a couple of other points. Killarney good for the Ring and a day trip to Dingle if the weather is right.. That said with only 4 days fitting all the west coast between Galway and Killarney might be a push. Kilkenny is an option between Dublin and the Southwest if thats not a Killarney typo.

Warrenville...
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2. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

Our itinerary is still in flux and I'm starting to think it might be too ambitious. Ireland packs a lot into a very small package :-)

Any suggestions for small towns or villages that are worth visiting in the winter?

england
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3. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

With only six days in total I would split my time between Dublin and Killarney ,or Dublin and Galway, Three days each, there is plenty to do for three days in either Killarney or Galway, smaller places will be very quiet in January and I wouldnt think you would want to be doing a lot of driving in the dark.

The weather is anybody's guess, could be bright and sunny, could be wet and cold. You will have to play it by ear on arrival, no point going to the Cliffs on a foggy day. Pubs will be bright and cheerful in the evenings though, and you will get to meet the locals.

Guernsey, United...
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4. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

You haven't really got time to cover the Burren, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, etc in your time frame; the aforementioned need minimum full day in each area just to see some of the highlights - and some of these areas are several hours drive apart.

Also, bearing in mind that you'll be visiting in January when the days will still be short, and there's the potential for bad weather, I think you'd be best dividing your time between Dublin and Galway.

There are a couple of day-trips from Dublin that will take you to some interesting and unique sites:

heritageireland.ie/en/…

heritageireland.ie/en/…

The drive across to Galway takes approx. 2.5hrs - be sure to have some loose change for the motorway tolls (€2.90 and €1.90). Galway is a nice city (small) to explore on foot and makes a good base from which to visit the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, and Connemara region which lies north(ish) of the city. This would give you a good range of scenery and sites.

My favourite places in the Burren :

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19855-Burren…

flickr.com/photos/…

Bear in mind that if it's extremely windy, the Cliffs may be closed. We were walking on the west coast on Sunday and the wind was so strong, we were holding on to each other. Some smaller attractions might be closed, but Aillwee and Burren Birds of Prey will be open (flight displays at 12noon and 3pm), and places like Corcomroe Abbey, Poulnabrone are free to visit year round. If it's a nice day, then a walk along Lahinch Beach (short drive south of the Cliffs) is most enjoyable, particularly if the surf is up.

Galway :

http://www.galwaytourism.ie/

http://www.connemara.ie/

http://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/

http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/

Do leave adequate time to return to Dublin airport; there's a motorway service area at Enfield where you can refuel before dropping the car back at the depot. It's then a short shuttle transfer to the airport.

For car rental:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186591-c138899/Ire…

:-)

Waterford, Ireland
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5. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

As has been said, you need to wait till you are here before you decide on each day's activities. Dublin and Galway would give you two centres if the weather is dreadful, but you will be in reach of places like the Burren if it is nice winter sunshine. If there are low skies and rain it is a complete waste of time trying to see wild scenery, you would be better beside a nice pub fire taking in the local ambiance (and the guinness) :-)

Warrenville...
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6. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

Thanks everybody for your advice!

We have realized that our original enthusiastic plan was a bit too much for the time we have. I think we'll divide our time between Dublin and Galway with day trips as weather permits.

The Shannonside Winter Music Weekend sounds like a fun event to visit while we're there :-)

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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7. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

As someone else this week remarked, 'many tourist places are already closed down for the winter'. Suggest therefore that you plan your Winter day tours accordingly and keep an eye on the weather.

8. Re: Unexpected 6 day trip - where to go?

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