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14 day Itinerary planning please help

Sydney, Australia
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14 day Itinerary planning please help

We have planned the following itinerary but would like advice on the last section particularly whether to spend 2nights in Trim on the way back to Dublin or an extra night in the west? Maybe seeing some of county Mayo and the north? We are renting a car. Also any advice about experiences not to be missed along the way most appreciated. Would you suggest staying somewhere else than Trim for our last 2 days before flying out of Dublin? Is there much to see around county Meath? We haven't brought fares out of Dublin yet so could even fly out of Shannon airport if this is the advice?

Itinerary as follows

2 nights Dublin

2nights Kilkenny

1 night Kinsale

3 nights Kenmare for the ring of Kerry and Beara Peninsula

2 nights Dingle

2 nights Doolin

2 nights Galway

2 nights Trim , visit Newgrange

County Clare...
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for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
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1. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

Flying out of Shannon will add an extra day to your itinerary and I would certainly advise it...it will also facilitate an easy departure.

However the structure of your itinerary depends on that decision.

Dublin
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2. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

Do not rent the car while you are staying in Dublin - it's not needed, as Dublin is a compact city with the main tourist attractions within easy walking distance of each other. I would suggest a HoHo city tour (valid for two days) which will bring you to all the major attractions in the city. Pick up your car on the morning that you are travelling to Kilkenny. Depending on where you might be staying in Dublin, you can get a combined Airlink747 express airport/city centre bus ticket and a HoHo ticket for €24(current price), which would include the return to the airport, if that is where you are picking up the car.

In Kilkenny you could also visit the Dunmore Cave about 10 Km outside Kilkenny - heritageireland.ie/en/South-East/DunmoreCave/ . Allow 2 hours.

On your journey from Kilkenny to Kinsale, Cahir Castle is worth a visit - a different style of castle to Kilkenny Castle, if you intend visiting it - heritageireland.ie/en/South-East/CahirCastle/ . Allow 2 hours.

Also in Cahir is the very unique and quaint Swiss Cottage - heritageireland.ie/en/… Allow 1 hour.

When in Dingle, make sure you travel the Slea Head drive for some spectacular scenery, and the Blasket Centre, Dún Chaoin on that drive is worth visiting - http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/blascaod/ . Make that a full day trip.

A route that I would suggest from Doolin to Galway is this one - From Doolin, take the R479 and then left onto the R477 towards Derreen, Fanore, around Black Head, into Ballyvaughan, on to Kinvara, via the N67, and then on in to Galway. You will see the Aran Islands, and beautiful views of the Galway coastline, across Galway Bay. There are many opportunities to stop and enjoy the views. Google Map link - http://g.co/maps/3pz6f - You could allow 3 to 4 hours and maybe more, depending on how often you are inclined to stop!

Spend the extra night in the Galway region, perhaps Clifden. I think one night is sufficient for Trim (personal view). Trim Castle is well worth seeing - heritageireland.ie/en/… and so is Newgrange. Perhaps plan your journey from Galway so that you are arriving in Trim in the afternoon, giving yourself sufficient to take the guided tour of the castle there (allow 2 hours), and the next morning head off to Newgrange - you would need to allow 3 or 4 hours for Newgrange, as you can only visit it by guided tour and depending on how busy it is when you arrive there, you may have to wait some time to get on a tour. I suggest that you also see Knowth when you are there - both tours start from the Bru na Boinne visitors' centre. Get there as early as you can in the morning, but try and be no later than 10.30AM, so that you don't have to wait too long for a tour, as they are 'first come, first served' - you cannot pre-book.

Then after Newgrange head back to Dublin for your last night, and I would suggest that you stay in Malahide, which is a coastal village, about 10 miles north of the city and just 50 minutes from Newgrange. It is also only 15/20 minutes from the airport. It a lovely village with a nice atmosphere, numerous good restaurants, a few pubs and a lovely 2 mile walk along the coast to Portmarnock.

As regards Galway, if you decide to spend the extra night there, I would recommend that you stay in Clifden for a night. Here is a route through Connemara that I have travelled and enjoyed many times - Galway City, through Salthill, to Spiddal (R336)> Continue on the R336 until you come to Screeb Cross, where you turn left onto the R340 in the direction of Carna. About 8/9 miles after Carna, you can turn left onto the R342 in the direction of Cashel and onwards to Roundstone on the R341.

Alternatively, instead of turning left onto the R242, continue on the R340, until you come to the main Galway/Clifden road (N59). Turn left, in the direction of Clifden, and after a short distance, turn left again, onto the R341, for Roundstone. From Roundstone, continue along the R341 to Ballyconneely and then on to Clifden.

Just outside Clifden, there is a beautiful short drive - the Sky Road (Google Map link:- http://g.co/maps/cxpz6 ), which on a clear day is just fantastic, and well worth doing. The roads are narrow, but don‘t let that put you off.

Close to Clifden is the Connemara National Park on the N59, in the direction of Leenane and Westport. If you are into walking, you should visit this park, and you can also climb Diamond Mountain, when you are there. Further along the N59, is Kylemore Abbey, which might be of interest to you(I can do without it)

If you continue along the N59 after Kylemore Abbey, towards Leenane, there are magnificent views of Killary Harbour. At Leenane, you can take the R336 towards Cong, which changes to the R345 at a place called, Moneenmore, or if you don’t wish to go to Cong, take a right turn at Moneenmore( over a bridge) for Maam Cross (R336), and at Maam Cross, join the N59 for Galway City. Google Map link: - http://g.co/maps/b9rhb

Alternatively at Leenane, you also have the option of driving along the R335 to Delphi and Louisburgh and in to Westport. Westport is a lively little town, and of course Croagh Patrick - which you might be tempted to climb!! - is on the road from Louisburgh to Westport. You could travel the N59 back from Westport to Leenane. Google Map link: - http://g.co/maps/wh8yj

There is a lot to be done and seen on that Connemara route, and hence why I suggest a night in Clifden.

If you do not have a lot of time available to you, then when you get to Clifden, you could head back in from there to Galway directly, on the N59, or just tailor the route to suit the time available to you.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

Thanks so much Fenia Dublin for all your help. You have given me so much helpful information I have printed it all off and will stay in Malahide our last night. If adding an extra day in the west would I be best to stay in Clifden before or in between the 2 nights in Galway, is Westport to Trim too much driving for one day? Again thanks for all your help!

Dublin
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4. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

Westport to Trim is a 3 to 3.5 hour journey, which I wouldn't consider too much - http://goo.gl/maps/g4g8G

You could leave Westport, say 10.30AM, and be in Trim by 2PM at the latest, which would give you plenty of time to see Trim castle and stroll around Trim (but apart from the castle, I don't know what else there would be to see in trim, but perhaps others can advise). Trim to Newgrange the next morning would be 45/55 minutes (not a great road) - http://goo.gl/maps/KI0cD

If you are now going to spend 3 nights in the Galway/West area, I'm unclear if you are now considering a night in Westport, and if it would be one of those 3 nights. As you will be coming from Doolin, Galway will be your first port of call, Clifden is beyond Galway - an 80Km straight run, but the route that I have told you about is considerably longer and slower and the roads are not as good, but very rewarding in terms of scenery and coastal views. But you might like to consider one night in each of the three places, Galway, Clifden, Westport in that order, but it may be that you want to spend 2 days in Galway city, and if that is the case then and you still want to go to Westport, you could follow this route, which is the direct route from Galway to Clifden, and still a very scenic drive, and then continue on to Westport - http://goo.gl/maps/1fIDo

No matter what option you take, you will be trying to get a lot done in those 3 days - really what would be ideal is to have a fourth day available for that area, to do 2 nights Galway and one night each for Clifden and Westport, or alternatively leave Westport out. If it was me, I would take a day from Doolin and add it on to the Galway section, but you may have others who would do it differently, which is the beauty of TA.

The most important thing I would say, is to have complete flexibility in your itinerary, you might arrive in aplace and not like it, so move on. You might love one place and like to stay a day extra, so do that, and what matter if you don't get to see one of the places on your list, if you are enjoying somewhere else - that's what a holiday is all about - relaxing and enjoying it, good memories of it in later years, rather than a list of 'must dos' and 'must sees'.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

Thank you again Fenlia especially for spending so much time helping me sort out my itinerary. Everyone always says that one of the best things about Ireland is the friendliness of the Irish people and you are my first introduction to this. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Dublin
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6. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

I can't believe that you have not met any Irish in Sydney yet - I mean, most of Ireland seems to have emigrated to there. :) :) :) Have a good Christmas and enjoy planning your holiday in Ireland

7. Re: 14 day Itinerary planning please help

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