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16-19 days driving around Ireland

usa
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16-19 days driving around Ireland

We are planning a trip to Ireland hoping to arrive sometime between May 6th-9th 2015.

Depending on what day we get our award tickets on VA from Boston to London and then on UA to Belfast, we will have a total once we arrive in Belfast, of 16-19 days to drive around the country and depart back to London from Dublin. If we are unable to get 1-3 extra days we would like to take them off Belfast &/or Dublin combined.

We are adventerous Sr. Citizens. Next year we will be 74 and almost 79. We will rent a car in Belfast and return it to Dublin. This year for the first time we will get an automatic - our age!!

We are interested in sightseeing (touristy and non-touristy). Enjoy beautiful scenery, whether it be mountains, lakes, the ocean forests etc etc. Anything historic - buildings castles etc. Museums big and small, special interest museums and (me especially) art museums. We enjoy plays, concerts, getting to know the people. Chatting with them. Doing what the locals do. We are not big drinkers - if hubby has a beer, I usually have a few sips. Any more and I desperately want to fall asleep. That does not mean we will not go to the pubs. We will.

B & B's, and hotels are fine to mix and match. Comfy bed, friendly B & B hosts. Hotels that are welcoming and love to help the tourists have a memorable visit in their town and countryside. We probably will stay at the Ibis in Belfast and maybe Dublin. Cheap, clean and decent rooms.

We will eat anything once. In South Africa at a pre wedding luncheon in Cape Town, in an African restaurant, I pursuaded 3 other people in the party to try Fried Dried Worms. It was the first time for the 4 of us. Not too bad, and tasted crunchy!

We are not into sports or watching them. Although I like to watch football (UK not USA kind). We do not hike, play golf or fish. We sound rather boring, don't we?! We are not physically handicapped, although I truly am a clutz. Sprained my ankle on 2 separate vacations when our children were very young. I had to use a wheel chair and hubby managed the stroller .

Hubby still works full time, I work 3 days a week.

So to start we would love to have any and all of your suggestions as to a reasonable itinerary for 19 days/18 nights. (I am a born optimist).

1. How many days for Belfast out of the 19 and ditto for Dublin.

2. What towns big and small and maybe villages would we stay in for 1-3 nights as we travel around the country. Some of the places in which we will stay, we would like to take day trips, if this would turn out to make any sense.

Once we have a rough idea of places to sleep, then I can look on trip advisor as to what to see and/or do. Then next, I will look at recommendations for where to eat from pubs to restaurants etc.

The world is our oyster, and we really enjoy oysters when available and on a splurge.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this very elongated epistle.

We look forward to hearing from you with your itinerary suggestions.

Dingle, Ireland
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1. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Good for you, you sound great !

But I think the first thing for you to sort out is the car, there is a thread running on here as to whether people over 70 can get insurance, it is entitled 'Driver limitations on rental cars' - I cant figure out how to do links but it is about four pages down. Also be aware that hiring in the UK (Belfast) and dropping in the Republic (Dublin) will add considerably to the cost.

Also, do you want to see London? wouldnt flying direct to Ireland be a better bet?

Whitney, Texas
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2. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

I just looked at the dooley rental site and the rental for 16 days, pick up/drop off Dublin, for 74 years, is close to $1300.....that's for the class a (smallest) car, standard transmission....for an automatic, close to $1700....i'm sure drop off at a different airport will increase that price significantly.....just something to think about....

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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3. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

If you are renting a car on Arrival and ending up dropping in Ireland then rent from Ireland not the UK (Belfast) no harm flying into Dublin and heading north in a Irish car on arrival.. something like http://goo.gl/maps/gl8uv which is a 10 day road trip.. You have an extra week+ so rather than cutting back north of the Shannon estuary, cross the Shannon and continue round..

usa
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4. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Dear Oma and Fuchsia.

Thankyou for your quick replies. They are appreciated.

We are using Virgin Atlantic frequent flier miles round trip boston/london, and ditto for United London/Belfast/Dublin/London. I can't book a one way flight to London on VA until June 6th. A round trip can't be booked until July 1st. .So I have an awful choice to take a chance and book one way June 6th and one way back July 1st, or wait till july 1st and book it round trip. It turns out the taxes are cheaper if the flights are booked seperately! Hopefully we will get the dates we prefer. I have already booked seats at the Royal Festival Hall in London, for a concert on May 28th 2015!

I looked last week on SIXT web site. http://www.sixt.com/php/reservation I also checked just now, and it costs $9.00 extra each day if one picks up/drops off at a different web site. It would mean $171.00 extra totally. Plus they have discount coupons. Right now it is a 5% one. That would more than offset the difference in dropoff fee. Yes, it is very expensive but totally worth my husband's emotional well being. (I am a clinical social worker - poor man!). He is an Electronic Engineer. He can drive a manual car and always has in the UK, but now it is time make sure his stress level will not go up due to driving and shifting on roads that can be narrow, windy and at times hilly. . I will check other sites once we have our flight plans.

We've driven around Prince Edward Island/Nova Scotia, New Zealand/Australia, Portugal, Spain, Alaska, Iceland, South Africa (Cape Town and the Garden Route - a family wedding. And also experienced a Safari. Visited 4 islands of Hawaii. Hubby was really lucky he went to Oahu for a week for work last Feb. and we had already decided to go there for our Golden wedding. Thus his r/t flight was paid by work and ditto one week on Oahu!

We were even lucky enough in1964/65 to drive/sleep/eat (all paid for by the company he worked for), driving across country heading north, courtesy when he got transferred from Boston to Seattle and ditto when we came back 9 months later and drove the southern route. We lucked out being in San Fransisco during the Chinese New Year and New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We were so young back then, 24 and 29 years old. We've gone with Grand Circle Travel to Russia, China, Egypt and South America. Now you might all understand why we are still working. It all has to get paid somehow! Anyway we both truly enjoy working, so we get to have our cake and eat it as well!!!

Thankyou again for your thoughtful responses they were truly helpful. We look forward to hearing from you and all others with your ideas of how to use wisely 19 days driving around Ireland - Belfast to Dublin. Sometimes I drive my husband crazy as I want to see everything while we have the opportunity.

Warm regards.

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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5. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Greetings mistieuk:

It might be worth your while reading previous Trip Reports for May to help with your planning.

These reports are from May 2012.

The one at post #4 by Keith from Alberta was also a 19-day trip (17 full days on the ground) and included both Belfast and Dublin.

If memory serves me, he was a golfer, but don't let that put you off reading his helpful account.

There's also another from Texas_Duck which included Dublin and Belfast.

And, an excellent blog called Springtime in Ireland - complete with pictures - from TimeshareVon. More wonderful pictures from Levenah:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k54728…

May 2013 was cold and wet and there were not many Trip Reports that I can remember.

Speaking of wet and cold, a number of Trip Reports from May 2014 - linked to below - specifically mention how cold it was and how they wished they'd brought an extra warm layer:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k74822…

usa
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6. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Thanks Tony,

I just looked on that google site. Your suggestion makes sense. It only takes1.35 mins to drive Dublin/Belfast.

However we will not be arriving in Dublin looking at Air Lingus schedule until 15.35 pm. We depart from Boston at 21.50 local time and arrive at Heathrow at 9.50. I am a little concerned about having to drive when we might be really Jet-Lagged even though it is highway driving and only 1.35 hours driving time. Any thoughts/comments?

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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7. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

To get you started on the somewhat thorny question of Car Rental in Ireland:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186591-c138899/Irela…

Rules of the Road, complete with videos:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k72106…

Check past weather by month and season here:

met.ie/climate/monthly-weather-reports.asp

All things Nature in and around the time of year you will be traveling:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k73281…

The Wild Atlantic Way covers coastal Ireland from Donegal to Cork:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k73055…

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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8. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Read the third paragraph ('The flight to Ireland...') in this Trip Report for comments on travel through Heathrow, from a recent visitor:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k74432…

usa
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9. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Yes, I get it!

When my mum was alive (she died 9 days before her 97 birthday, I went twice a year to London. Mostly VA. The terminal experience is all the same for us "bloody foreigners" as my dad used to call himself (CZ). We got used to it and made the best of it by window shopping, chocolate liquer buying, reading, eating, and relaxing.

When I had a chance on the arrival, I would always go to the M & S shop and buy my very favourite of all - their prawn sandwich for my lunch later on.

Western Ireland...
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10. Re: 16-19 days driving around Ireland

Consider a reverse and fly into Dublin stay a couple of days then head round Clockwise with the penultimate night in Belfast before dropping to a Dublin Airport Hotel for your last night..

Distances given by 99% of route finding software is accurate.. Timings are off base by between 10 and 20% so don't be swayed by time.. Ireland doesn't run to the clock anyway so work on the longest time and anything shorter is a bonus.