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Kenmare and Waterford or ????

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Jenks, America
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Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Help please! Where should our family of 4 (kids are ages 21 and 23) stay in Kenmare and around Waterford? Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. Our tentative intinerary: Arrive Dublin stay first night (where near Grafton???) than drive to Ennis, check into Old Ground Hotel for 2 nights. First day, visit Cliffs of Moher, Doolin area. Day 2, we visit our family's old homestead at Ballynacally, County Clare (The Gavin, Reidy, Dundon and Griffin families). My son's name is Gavin as to honor our Irish heritage! Day 3 we leave Ennis and travel to Kenmare (staying at Brooklane???) while visiting Dingle on the way. Day 4 we do the ROK. Day 5 we leave Kenmare for Waterford area (staying at The Park, Dungarvan????). Day 5 we want to take the Waterford tour (very confused about which location to visit?) and then travel back to Dublin. Wanted to also see Cahir/Cashel but hear the road from Waterford to around Clonmel is difficult to drive. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for all your information! We are really excited about planning our summer vacation to Ireland!

Ireland
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for Kilkenny
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1. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Firstly, those roads you mention between Waterford, Clonmel, Cashel and Cahir are definitely not difficult to drive. They have all been upgraded and are good roads. Definitely if you are staying in the Waterford area you should visit Cahir and Cashel. If you want to stay coastal, then I suggest Dunmore East as a good location to stay while in Waterford. A little closer to Waterford, but in a lovely rural setting, I often recommend Foxmount Farm. foxmountcountryhouse.com

Cork, Ireland
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2. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

You need some help here from Donerail and others who know the Waterford area well.

Regarding what you heard about the drive from Waterford to Clonmel, I would disagree. It's a very pleasant and safe drive. If you have time to get to visit Mahon Falls which is just off that route I would highly recommend it. Now that road is narrow but is driven daily by visitors. Try and get to Mahon Falls on a week day when there will be less traffic than on a Sat or Sun.

Waterford, Ireland
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3. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

When you say the Waterford tour, do you mean the crystal factory, the city walking tour or a general tour round the area?

Guernsey, United...
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4. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Hallo

A couple of recommendations for your trip, if I may?

On your first day in co. Clare, after driving up to see the Cliffs and Doolin, if time permits, continue from Doolin on the R479, and R477 around Black Head to Ballyvaughan. The scenery along this coast road is stunning; coast on your left, with the limestone pavement tumbling into the sea, and the hills of the Burren on your right. At Ballyvaughan, you can stop for lunch at Monks pub, which is located on the harbour - delicious food, and a lovely setting:

http://www.monks.ie

After that, take the N67 out of Ballyvaughan, but turn off (left) onto the R480, which will take you past Aillwee Cave, and Poulnabrone megalithic tomb (you'll recognise it from the pictures!). Caherconnel Stone Fort is not far away either. Continue past Leamaneh Castle (not a place that you can visit, but an impressive sight from the road), then back on the R476 via Corofin to Ennis. This route takes you right through the centre of the Burren, and will give you a "feel" for the area:

http://www.burrenbeo.com

http://www.aillweecave.ie

http://www.burrenforts.ie

Day 3 Ennis-Dingle-Kenmare

The journey from Ennis to Dingle town is approx 2.5-3hrs, then Dingle to Kenmare approx 2hrs, so that won't allow you very much time to see anything on the Peninsula. Many posters agree that min. 1 night stay is required to really see and enjoy this beautiful area.

http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie

http://www.dodingle.com

The more direct route from Ennis to Kenmare will take you through Killarney (2.5hrs), so you could stop there and do something in/around Killarney that you won't have time to do the following day when you tour the Ring: Gap of Dunloe (absolutely beautiful scenery!), Muckross House, Killarney National Park, and lots more suggestions on the following:

http://www.killarney.ie/sights.php

http://www.muckross-house.ie

Day 4 - Waterford

We stayed at Foxmount Farm several years ago, and agree, it's a beautiful peaceful spot. The house is very elegant, and the rooms furnished to a high standard. Would definitely recommend if you're looking for something with a personal touch, rather than a modern motel-type hotel.

If you have time to visit Cahir and/or Cashel, then do! We've visited both, and were very impressed by them.

Hope some of the above helps :-)

Good luck with your plans

Merced, California
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for Killarney
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5. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Reiterating the comment about Dingle from Ennis and onto Kenmare: Might I suggest you leave Ennis for Dingle and stay in Dingle. Then the next day leave Dingle and do the Ring of Kerry on your way to either Kenmare or Killarney. If you leave Ennis, do Dingle and head for Kenmare on day 3 you will be doing one half of the RoK to get to Kenmare anyway. It would be best to enjoy more time in Dingle on the night of Day 3. Then leave Dingle heading for Killorglin and take the coastal route along the ring to Kenmare for the night. You can finish the RoK early the next day if you head to Killarney from Kenmare as you make your way to Waterford. The only portion of the RoK that you will not be completing is that section between Killarney and Killorglin and that is probably the least interesting (unless you had the time to make the detours off that portion).

Jenks, America
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6. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Oh my gosh, you all are amazing! Thank you very much for all this wonderful info. I have been reading the TA Irish forums for weeks and you all are so generous with your valuable advice. With the tips you have shared, I was able to create a fun itinerary for my family’s first trip to Ireland this summer. Many thanks…

Doneraile: To answer your question, I meant to say Day 6, tour of Waterford crystal factory (which location? Is a new visitor’s center being built? Any tips on getting tour tickets? Are some tour times better than others? Any secrets about finding parking?).

After leaving Waterford we’ll make the trek back to Dublin via Cahir and Cashel. Glad to know that the roads between Waterford and Clonmel are okay (thanks for Mahon Falls info too). Should we stop at Kilkenny on our way to Dublin? We really don’t have any plans for our last night in Dublin, just check in at Airport hotel (early flight next morning).

Also:

Irishrover: Any favorite Dunmore East accommodations?

Bryno: Most of our road trips were tentatively scheduled during the week so I appreciate knowing about the traffic patterns. I am now able to finalize my dates!

SarniaGirl: Wow, what great suggestions and websites. What did we do before the internet?

Tonyirish: Thanks for the coastal route idea. Where do you purchase your maps? Which maps are the best?

Thanks to you all.

Hey, is it better or cheaper to make your car and hotel reservations through a “tour” company (like CIE)? Are there other benefits? If a hotel overbooks, do they honor the tour company reservation before they would honor a private consumer? Just wondering….

It is late so I better close for now….thanks again for your help….

Waterford, Ireland
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7. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

the-gavin-gang, Waterford Crystal tour. While there is talk of a new visitor centre it hasn't happened yet - it was due to open sometime early this year but I haven't seen any evidence of it.

Coming from Dungarvan just stay on the main road (about 40 minutes) and eventually you will come to a big roundabout that is the ringroad round Waterford. Go straight on and you will pass through the car sales area (!) more garages than you can imagine for the size of the city. Look out for the big Waterford Institute of Technology buildings on the left and immediately after that there are some lights and a left turn for the Crystal Factory. The turn into the factory is just round the corner on the right. Loads of free parking, no problem.

Small groups cannot book ahead, but there is no problem joining one of the bigger groups, or even if there are only a few of you the tour will go ahead. There is a cafe where you can get a snack - very nice cakes though not the cheapest place on earth.

The tours are on the hour as far as I know, and the last one is around 4pm.

If you then want to go to Clonmel you can either go through the city, over the bridge and bear left for Carrick on Suir. This is a much better road, but I don't recommend going through the city. Otherwise you can go back the way you came into the city, through the big roundabout again and on to Kilmeaden. The far side of Kilmeaden is a turn to the right to Carrick-on-Suir. This is a narrowish road and a bit twisty, but rather nice. If you see the right turn to Fiddown over the river, take that and then go left onto Carrick on a good road. If you miss it the road continues to Carrick but its a windy country road. Look for signs for Clonmel in Carrick as its not a straight run through, but after that its a good road to Clonmel.

Guernsey, United...
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8. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Hallo again!

When booking car hire and accommodation, I usually book car hire with argus or holiday autos:

http://www.argusrentals.com

http://www.holidayautos.co.uk

When comparing rental quotes, do look out for the dreaded "super cdw insurance". Most car rental rates include the following: unlimited mileage, airport fees, VAT, third party insurance, cdw, full tank of petrol ( think that's all - oh! do remember to return the tank full, otherwise you'll get another charge to refill it - at ridiculous prices!). However, there is usually an "excess" on the CDW whereby you will be liable for the first €1000-1500, if there is damage or the car is stolen. When you collect the car, you will usually be offered the "super cdw" which reduces the excess to nil - at a hefty €11-15 per day! I've always taken this out, as I just cost this into the holiday - and peace of mind is worth it!

However, I've just found this company, where you can purchase the "super CDW" for approx €6.19 per day. (I checked with the company, and it is available to US citizens hiring a car in Ireland - I specifically asked that question!). The only possible drawback is that if there is any damage to the car, you will be charged by the rental company, and will have to claim back from the insurance company (could mean a big hit on your credit card right at the end of the holiday!)

http://www.dailyexcess.com

When it comes to booking hotels, I usually check rates direct with the hotel, then compare with companies like expedia and ebookers, which sometimes have better rates for the larger hotels in the bigger and popular destinations (Cork, Dublin, Killarney, Galway, for example). However, I must say that I prefer staying in b/b's when in Ireland (a nicer, friendlier experience and some of them, although classed as b/b or guesthouse, are more luxurious than many hotels!), and I tend to check reports on TA, and then contact the owners direct. Have a look at the following web-site for some "special" places:

http://www.sawdays.co.uk

Personally, I can't see any benefit from booking through an agent, other than they do all the work for you - but I actually enjoy researching the accommodation, etc, and I think if you do the work yourselves, you get a more "personal" holiday experience.

Sorry, can't really help with your question regarding hotels over-booking as I've not experienced that in Ireland.

Hope the above is useful :-)

Merced, California
Destination Expert
for Killarney
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9. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

To answer some of your questions.

I would book myself and not through a tour company, yes they do the work but more than likely keep the commission? Yes, you have a third party if something goes wrong but dealing directly with the company may prove faster.

As for overbooking at hotels, which does happen at peak times for ones that take tours: Privates do not get bumped before tour groups. Privates pay full fare and are more likely to spend more whereas individuals on tours are paying less for the room and get to complain to the tour guide first and the hotel and tour guide just pass the buck back and forth.

As for maps. The best ones are made by OS Ireland and the best ones they make are the Discovery Series as outlined at www.irishmaps.ie/productlistingM.cfm… It is difficult to read this map as it is small but gives you the idea of the overlapping nature of their system.

Their Holiday Series should work fine for you though www.irishmaps.ie/productlistingM.cfm…

And a good tool for now would be http://www.multimap.com/ as it will give you a feel for driving directions and let you zoom (map-wise) into any part of the country you like.

Jenks, America
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10. Re: Kenmare and Waterford or ????

Thanks to all of you who have been so helpful to me in planning my family’s first trip to one of my favorite places in the world. I have been to Ireland but my family has not. Imagine my delight when I get to watch my family experience the history and beauty of Ireland for the first time. My husband even thinks he might want to move here someday and he has never visited before!

Raising a pint to you all…….Cheers!