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.

Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Atlanta
Level Contributor
31 posts
Save Topic
Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Wife & I will be in Dublin for 4 days in late August, but want to spend ONE DAY hiking the countryside and/or seashore and, if possible, visit 1 or 2 choice historic sites....the more ancient, the better!

Where should we go? and how?

We'd prefer to take rail or bus, and walk alot, but we're also willing to rent a car, if it will give us alot more flexibility.

We don't want to spend too much time "getting there & back", but willing to start very early, and wander all day, as long as we can be back in central Dublin by 9 or 10 pm.

Very curious about Powerscourt, coast towns, Wicklow Mtns, Glendalough and Kilkenny, etc. to the S & SW...and Malahide Castle, Newgrange, and Clongmacnoise to the N & NW.

Tough choices all.

Are we overlooking someplace truly special even closer to Dublin...or just a little bit farther out?

Suggestions???

Humptulips...
Level Contributor
3,287 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Hi cultureseeker. To give yourself more time to hike and explore the hills, renting a car to Glendalough might be the way to go. You could ask these folks how much time you'd have in Glendalough with them. Cheers. discoverdublin.ie/wildcoachtours_wicklow.html

Fresno, CA
Destination Expert
for Fresno
Level Contributor
1,626 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Of all the mentioned sights, our favorites were Newgrange and Glendalough. Between driving/getting there and touring, they are both all day trips in my book. There are some great hikes around Glendalough and is very beautiful. Newgrange is awesome. The history is incredible. There are various sites around the visitor center. a bus shuttles you to each important site from the visitor center. I'm sure that there are tours that go to both places. We drove since we like to set our own pace. I'm not sure about rail service.

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
8,676 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

CultureSeeker, Glendalough is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. It's not as spectacular as Kerry or some areas in Connemara or Donegal, but it has this indefinable atmosphere that gives you sustenance. I am not a religious or particularly spiritual person but Glendalough fills me with awe. There is just something about that place.

You can get a bus there but I would really suggest to hire a car and visit Powerscourt House and Gardens (and if you have time go and see the waterfall as well [different entrance to Powerscourt House]) and Glendalough on one of your days. I don't think you'll be sorry.

Newgrange is, of course, wonderful and if you can get there, do. You would have to be there very early in the morning to be sure to get tickets. Or go there on a bus trip. I think the tourist office in St. Andrew St might be able to sell you tickets for that.

Clonmacnoise would be a whole day's travelling between going there and getting back to Dublin (it's in the middle of the country) and not close to Dublin.

Whichever of these tough choices you make - enjoy!

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
13,424 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

oh cultureseeker i am so sorry you will only have four days...are you coming straight from atlanta?....if so you won't get much done the first day because no doubt jet lag will zap you....

i would recommend the hill of tara, newgrange, and malahide...newgrange and tara you can do in one day with a car and malahide you could just go over to one afternoon or morning.....of course spend some time in dublin and then down southest....

with so little time you will be kicking yourself...i promise you that...it will be like going to a braves game, seeing the team come on to the field and then leaving without seeing the game......lol....

happy travels......

Humptulips...
Level Contributor
3,287 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

...these days that might not be a bad thing though. Lol. Sorry culture, only messin'. Hey, unbelievable run though. Anyway, what to do w/ 4 days? I think I'd stay on the outskirts of Dublin, with a car. One day I'd take a taxi,bus or train into/out of town. Google Military Road and Wicklow. You could detour off of it for Powerscourt. At Glendalough, check out the board detailing the different colored loops. DON'T take the yellow one to the left! Walk up to the upper lake and then take one of those loops up. Beautiful. No one here yet has been disappointed with the Wicklow Heather restaurant in Laragh. Or, you could head to jfp.ie on the way back. I think I'd go to the Heather and take the Wicklow Gap(Braveheart) back to Dublin. Another day I'd head for archaelogical and historic Meath. There are a few other places there, ie Trim Castle(Braveheart again), Loughcrew, Mellifont Abbey). For the third day, you could decide if you're comfortable with how much of the city you've seen. If so, you could take a daytrip up the Antrim Coast. Enjoy.

Atlanta
Level Contributor
31 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Thank you to :

muffya, Clauds, oma14 and Boru'sClues.

We're actually flying in to Dublin from Paris after a 24-hr lay-over there, so we shouldn't be too jet-lagged. (We'll keep Paris stay very low-key, as we've both been there many times before).

Sounds like car rental is the way to go....

....esp. to get to Powerscourt + coastline + Wicklow Mtns + Glendalough and back.

Should we reserve the car in advance, or will it be easy to walk in and rent it in Dublin very early in the morning...ideally by 7:30 am?

Or....

Should we take an early train to a suburb south of Dublin, then rent a car near a train station to avoid driving in & out of Dublin traffic?

If so, which train, which suburb, which station?

Of course, that forces us to return the car to a suburban office by a certain hour, so that seems complicated.

Yes, our stay in Dublin is sinfully short.

That's because it's an add-on to a obligatory "wedding family reuniun vacation" we're attending near Bordeaux, France.

We like to think of it as a quick "recon visit" to gether info for a much more leisurely trip in a couple years.

PS

Poor Atlanta Braves.

Yes, it was a very good run...but hey, the season sure ain't over yet!

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
13,424 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

cultureseeker, just have fun and i promise you will be planning a trip back....

i can't be as sad about your braves as i am about my astros....i wanted them to win so badly but they just made an appearance and i don't think they came to play....hehehehe....

have a great time...and don't miss the hill of tara.....

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
8,676 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Car rental companies have several collection/drop off points around the city but I don't think you can collect/drop off a car near a suburban train station (could be wrong here). I think you should definitely try to reserve a car in advance.

If you don't get any specific replies in this thread start a new one in order to get the information needed!

Humptulips...
Level Contributor
3,287 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Hi. I'd definitely book ahead. I'd say it'd be best to rent near Dublin. Check out irishcarrentals.com, http://www.arguscarhire.com/ and http://www.novacarhire.com/. I must go and pack my cooler for tomorrow, or did I mention that? Happy Holiday. Cheers.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
350 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Best Day Trip from Dublin? (rail vs car?/ North vs South?)

Hi

The site at Newgrange is defintely more ancient (3,000 BC) than the monastic ruins at Glendalough (600 AD). So if you are truly looking for old then it has to be Newgrange.

However I do think the scenery around Wicklow is more beautiful - it is certainly more dramatic - higher peaks, lakes etc. - the Co Meath countryside where Newgrange is is more rolling hillsides - not really hiking territory.

All other suggestions about car hire etc are good (I agree city centre rental location over train to suburban rental) - Being aware of warnings about traffic / one-way systems in the city.

One idea - if you can live without seeing as much in way of cultural sites and more of nature up close - there is a company - Dirty Boots Tours - that will collect you in the city centre and take you for a long hike in the Wicklow Mountains and return you again - no car hire, no hassle - lots of fresh air and less touristy areas (Glendalough if wonderful but is very busy esp. in summer - its a serious A list attraction). Anyway - check this out....

dirtybootstreks.com/wicklow1dayhike/wicklowm…