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County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Texas
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County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

I will be arriving at Shannon airport 14 Sept 2012....overnite from USA

Picking up a rental car at the airport. This is my third trip to Ireland, but first time going alone. I have about 14 days in the country. I will be single 60ish female, so want to keep driving to a minimum. [it's been a few years since this American has driven on the left !}

Plan to drive to Mt. Shannon for a night or two's jet lag R & R.

I love Co. Kerry and plan to spend most of my trip based in Kenmare, touring the surrounding countryside. I will be returning to Killarney National Park, Muckross, Beara and perhaps Sheepshead Peninsula.

Part of this trip needs a trip up to Galway to see friends, perhaps two nights there.

My question [or questions] :

Should I do Galway first and return to Kerry to spend rest of trip? Or would it be best at the last of the trip before departing for USA from Shannon?

Is Kilkenny worth a side trip to see the castle etc...? And when would be best to do that? I have been to Waterford, Kinsale etc. and don't plan to go there this trip, and I do want to avoid Cork and Dublin traffic if at all possible. I like touring castles, stopping in quaint villages or shops for afternoon tea. I stay in B and Bs and pretty much have those chosen, except for Kilkenny. I love gardens, horses, nature parks, farms etc.

Any other suggestions for things to see or do would be appreciated. I have done Bunratty and Blarney, the Cliffs, Connemara and Clifden.....could be persuaded back up on the Sky Road.....?

I realize I'm asking more than one question here, but any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Western Ireland...
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1. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Kilkenny is a bit out of your way. I'd certainly keep Galway until you will be heading back to Shannon. Do you ride?

Texas
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2. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Hi, thanks for the info.....I do ride horses and I think it'd be nice to do that in Ireland.

Western Ireland...
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3. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

You can trek through the national Park in Killarney. There are hairy cobs at most of the entrances and indeed at the Gap of Dunloe. The horses at Killarney Riding stables would be of a better quality, on the whole.

http://www.killarney-riding-stables.com/

They do shorter treks and a day's trail ride or longer.

Texas
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4. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Thanks a lot....will definitely check that out. :)

Western Ireland...
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5. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Kilkenny is only a couple of hours from Mountshannon so could be done on the second day. We do the trip about once a year from the Slieve above Mountshannon.

As a loop, head North to Portumna (Forest park, Castle, Workhouse etc) then over to Birr (Castle Demesne). Down through Roscrea (Leap Castle, Castle/Damer House. Round Tower, Monastery.). After a bite to eat down to Kilkenny to complete the top arc.

The return goes via Derrymore and left turn to Monegall (Obama link). Past Nenagh and Birdhill, over the Ballina/Killaloe bridge and back to Mountshannon.

Of course this loop is best split with a night in Kilkenny but you could do either and then after a night in Kilkenny head for Cashel (Rock of Cashel) and Cahir (Castle, Swiss Cottage) then over to Kenmare

I would be Tempted to start off with Galway rather than Mountshannon if you do want to include Kilkenny.

Dublin
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6. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Great plan! Kenmare is a good base to tour around the South West! Regarding the itinerary, maybe it would be better to keep Kilkenny and Galway for when you are close to Shannon Airport/Mountshannon area... Kilkenny at the beginning of your trip and visit your friends in Galway before your departure, for example. Check this link for the Horseback Riding in the Kenmare area: http://goo.gl/0v63D It's gonna be a wonderful experience!

Chicago
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7. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

We're staying at Lawcus Farm outside Kilkenny this October, which was recommended to us by several people & sounds exceedingly charming. I've also heard Kilkenny is just lovely and that the castle and some of the lesser known area ruins are worth touring. Something to check out! Happy travels! I'm jealous you've already gotten to go twice!

County Cork, Ireland
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8. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

Sheepshead is great for walking. Would also recommend Mizen Head as a day trip from Kenmare on a sunny day. The views are amazing! It's about a 90 min drive or so. A stop in Glengarriff and a short boat ride to Garnish Island is well worth a visit. Enjoy

Texas
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9. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

This sounds good. I didn't know about the sights to see in Roscrea and Portumna. I am thinking I will start the trip by going up to Galway, then on to the other places. Sounds like a good loop to take. Well thought out. Thanks a lot.

Texas
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10. Re: County Kerry mid-September itinerary help please?

I love Glengariff and had planned to go there, and will definitely consider Mizen Head for views. Thanks so much.