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Itinerary Review?

Sacramento
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Itinerary Review?

Hi all,

I've been lurking around the boards for months, trying to soak up as much information as possible. My husband and I are taking our first trip to Ireland in October for 9 nights. We know it won't be enough time to do it all, and that it will be cold and rainy, but hopefully less crowded. This is our tentative itinerary - any glaring flaws? There are certainly some long days of driving, but it's always the tradeoff between seeing more things or spending more time.

We've tried to arrange multiple nights in the same city where practical. Based on what I've read, I'd be willing to ditch Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty, if necessary. The thing I want to see most is Newgrange and the thing my husband most wants to see is Powerscourt. I'm not worried about fitting either of those in because we could make them daytrips from Dublin if we absolutely had to. Thanks for any input you can provide. This forum has truly been invaluable.

Day 1 - Fly into Dublin, drive to Newgrange, maybe include Hill of Tara (which will be closed, but available to visit) and Trim Castle. Stay at Ross Castle overnight.

Day 2 - Drive to Galway, stopping at Clonmacnoise. Stay in Galway.

Day 3 - Drive to Connemara and Kylemore Abbey. Stay in Galway.

Day 4 - Drive through the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher, then on to Bunratty. Stay in Killarney.

Day 5 - Either Dingle Peninsula or Ring of Kerry. Stay in Killarney.

Day 6 - Drive to Rock of Cashel (stopping at Cahir Castle on the way?), then on to Kilkenny. Stay in Kilkenny.

Day 7 - Drive to Glendalough and then to Powercourt Gardens. Return rental car to airport, take a shuttle into Dublin. Stay in Dublin.

Day 8 - Dublin

Day 9 - Dublin

Western Ireland...
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for Dingle
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1. Re: Itinerary Review?

Do-able, if busy.Visit Cahir castle for certain!

Fort Worth, Texas
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2. Re: Itinerary Review?

I'm not one of the experts, but it seems like a lot of driving and missing some of the best of Ireland to me. But I tend to spend hours at places that some just pass right on through.

You don't mention any stops in the Burren area which has a lot to offer. Do you plan to walk along the cliffs and go through the visitor center?

I spent several hours at Kylemore Abby and still didn't get enough. Taking that Loop is fine but there are a lot of places to stop along the route. I needed more than one day and I still didn't see all that I wanted to. But I will let the real experts guide you.

Sacramento
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3. Re: Itinerary Review?

Thanks for the endorsement of Cahir. The plans initially included Blarney Castle, but I convinced my husband that Cahir would be the better bet, both route-wise and attraction-wise.

Ty, do you have recommendations on things we should see that this itinerary is skipping? It's definitely a LOT of driving. We plan to go to the visitor center in the Burren Area and yes, walk the cliffs some. Day 4 is the day I'm most concerned about. Everywhere else, it seems like we can create some buffer time if we need to - we can get up early and be at Clonmacnoise when it opens, for example, which would get us into Galway with time left in the day to wander around. But Day 4 is the one that's go go go with a lot of distance to cover. We're definitely open to changing up the schedule some on the fly, which is part of the reason I mentioned potentially skipping the Cliffs and/or Bunratty. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who has been even once is far more expert than I am, so I appreciate the advice.

Fort Worth, Texas
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4. Re: Itinerary Review?

Listen to the experts here. I did and felt like we had a near perfect trip.

The driving is going to take you much longer to get places than you think it will you never know what might be around the bend. One day we spent a good half hour watching two older ladies trying to get a tall older gentleman into a tiny car that was in the middle of the road. It was like watching a comedy show. Driving that loop up from Salthill to Clifden we had a lot of sheep you had to wait on. We just didn't get in a hurry at any point and had such a good time.

Sacramento
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5. Re: Itinerary Review?

Despite all of the plans, I don't plan to stress out over missing anything or taking more time somewhere than we though. My current idea is that I'm going to book Ross Castle the first night and Dublin the last three nights and then make arrangements from the road after that, since we'll be there off-season. That will hopefully give us the ability to spend more time lingering somewhere than we thought we might. I can think of a lot worse things to have to wait on than sheep. :) I'm glad you had such a good trip; I'm really looking forward to ours.

Dingle, Ireland
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6. Re: Itinerary Review?

'we know it will be cold and rainy' - well, that's a lot more than we know!!

One year, 2011 I think, 1st October was the hottest day of the year. But if you come expecting cold and wet at least you wont be disappointed if its not. Last night I put the heating back on, this morning it is below 10'c and blowing a hooley.

Whitney, Texas
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7. Re: Itinerary Review?

the only thing I could add is yes it's doable but very busy and with only 9 nights I wouldn't spend 3 of them in Dublin....however, that said, i'm not a fan of big cities but if you are it may just be your cup of tea.....my choice would be 1 day in Dublin and to use the extra time for the Kerry (dingle/killarney) area....

as for tara, there is an opening where you can get in, I've done it many times myself...also, i'll be dying to hear about your stay at ross castle....I keep saying i'm going to stay there and see if it's really haunted, so be sure to come back and tell us about your visit, please......

Sacramento
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8. Re: Itinerary Review?

Lol, I guess I should have said we know it MAY be cold and rainy! I actually love traveling in October in general, since I like the rain.

We're spending three nights in Dublin, but two days since we'll be arriving late on Wednesday night and heading to the airport on Saturday morning. We're not big city people either, but it seems like there's quite a bit to do in Dublin so i didn't want to give it just one day. But I've been feeling like we don't have enough time in Kerry too. Really just one full day there and I'd love to have more. Would you do three nights in Killarney, or maybe one night somewhere else?

My husband is now looking forward to Ross Castle more than anything else on the trip, but he's already convinced himself he won't believe it if it's haunted. We'll see how that plays out once we're actually there! :)

Whitney, Texas
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9. Re: Itinerary Review?

wendy that's a difficult question to answer....I love both killarney and dingle...you could do a 2/1 split either way you like....maybe 2 in killarney, 1 for the ring and one for muckross house, the national park, etc.....1 for dingle/slea head, etc.????....

or

maybe 1 day in killarney for muckross the national park, and killarney village itself...then do the ring on your second day (clockwise) heading toward ladies view, sneem, Waterville, and getting on the N70 at killorglin, through Tralee to dingle and spend that night and the next day and night there???...

either way you split it up, the ring is a full day because you'll see so much to stop and see along the way and to take pics....it's about a 4 hour drive if you just drive it but I don't think you'll be able to do that and miss those opportunities...the second option will keep you from backtracking to killarney.....

decisions, decisions 8-)

Sacramento
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10. Re: Itinerary Review?

SO MANY decisions! Thanks very much for your input. The hardest thing about this trip is deciding what to leave out. I keep telling myself it just leaves me more to explore next time.