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1st Time in Ireland

South Brunswick...
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1st Time in Ireland

Visiting Ireland Aug. 09, staying self catering house in Doolin, Co. Clare. Any comments, suggestions, 3 families w/boys ages 17-22, areas of interest, etc. Many thanks, Mary

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1. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

Doolin is much bigger than it was before but other than:

Pitch & Putt which to an American would be still 18 holes of a golf course but on a smaller scale using only a pitch and putter.

A few pubs

You can always do a day trip or overnighter to the Aran Islands. At the end of Doolin you will find Doolin Pier where you can catch the Ferry to the Islands. Foot Passengers only. You will not need a car on the Islands.

You can take a trip to the Aillwee caves outside Ballyvaughan, the Burren itself which surrounds the area you will be staying in.

You can visit the Cliffs of Moher only minutes from Doolin and further south along the coast to some of the many little towns and villages. I suggest a day out along the coast visiting Lahinch, Kilkee and onwards to Loop head which is the furthest point west in Ireland and a beautiful peaceful area. You drive up a road which goes past a farmhouse. You may be put off because you nearly drive through the farmers property. A lot of people turn back but keep going. The views are worth it right back up the cliffs of West Clare. Hardly another person in sight for miles.

From Doolin you can visit Galway which would only be around 45-60 minutes from Doolin.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is also only 45 minutes from Doolin just outside Shannon and not far from Ennis and Limerick.

Guernsey, United...
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2. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

Mary

Lovely ideas from bertie2.

At Aillwee Cave you will also find the Burren Bird of Prey Centre, where you can watch various birds being flown twice a day; we spent several hours at the Cave and Bird Centre:

http://www.birdofpreycentre.com/

The Burren is one of my favourite areas in Ireland. Here's an excellent site:

http://www.burrenbeo.com/

You might like to take a guided walk through the area; details on Burren Beo, plus:

http://www.burrenwalks.com/

http://www.heartofburrenwalks.com/walks.html

Lots of places of historical interest:

Poulnabrone is just up the road from Aillwee:

http://www.burrenpage.com/Poulnabrone.html

Kilfenora has a ruined cathedral with some intricately carved High Crosses - and the Burren Centre right next door:

http://www.theburrencentre.ie/

Corcomroe Abbey is located in a beautiful quiet valley not far from Ballyvaughan:

http://www.burrenpage.com/Corcomroe.html

The boys probably (!!) won't be interested in the following, but you might like to pop in here. Lots of nice little gifts to take home: candles in tins, scented soaps etc:

http://www.burrenperfumery.com/

I would definitely recommend a trip to one of the Aran Islands. I've only visited the smallest: Inis Oirr, and had a most enjoyable day wandering around on foot:

http://www.inisoirr-island.com/

But you might like to visit the larger and busier island:

http://www.visitaranislands.com/

And here's a link to the ferry services:

http://www.doolinferry.com/

http://www.aran-island-ferry.com/

Loop Head is a wild, unspoilt corner of Clare; great for bird-watching and long walks along the cliffs:

www.westclare.com/loopheadpeninsula.htm

And for lunch, stop in Kilbaha, where you have a choice of either Keating's or the Lighthouse pub. We ate at Keating's in April this year - delicious and reasonably priced food. (At that time, they didn't take credit cards).

At nearby Carrigaholt, you can take a boat to hopefully see dolphins:

http://www.dolphinwatch.ie/

And finally, have a look at Shannon heritage. We visited Craggaunowen and Dunguaire Castle a couple of years ago, and Bunratty this year. All recommended!

http://www.shannonheritage.com/Attractions/

:-)

Guernsey, United...
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3. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

Mary

Hallo again!

Saw your 2nd post for co. Clare - but thought I'd keep going on this one so that all information is in the same place.

Galway, which I think bertie2 mentioned, is definitely the place to visit with your boys. It's approx 1.5hrs drive from Doolin (give or take a few minutes!):

http://www.galway.net/tourism/visit/galway/

the Galway Races are on 27 July - 02 August; there will be 1,000s heading to Galway for this very popular sporting event:

http://www.galwayraces.com/

Would the boys be interested in surfing? It's a very popular and growing sport on the west coast:

shannonregiontrails.ie/FindaTrail/…

One of my favourite places is Coole Park, near Gort, just south of Galway city. Some lovely walks along the lough, and you can see the famous Autograph Tree where literary giants have left their mark. There's a little tea room, or you can take a picnic:

http://www.coolepark.ie/

You could combine a visit to Coole with Kilmacduagh Monastic Site; it's a beautiful spot rarely visited:

http://www.stcolman.com/life_monastery.html

As for clothing, well, jeans, t-shirts, shorts, a fleece, and waterproof jacket and footwear should cover most weather you're likely to experience in Ireland in August!

:-)

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4. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

Oh! Forgot to mention; if you are happy to have a long(er) day out in the car, then you might like to visit the Rock of Cashel - approx 2.5hrs drive each way from Doolin (however, could possibly take longer):

http://www.cashel.ie/attractions/rock.htm

Personally, I wouldn't attempt to visit Dublin or Waterford from Doolin - unless you plan to stay overnight: according to AA routeplanner, approx 4hrs each way in the car to Dublin, and probably as long to Waterford.

There's plenty to see/do closer to Doolin that you won't have to spend hours every day in the car.

:-)

Guernsey, United...
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5. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

BUMP for Mary

Anyone else got any suggestions for her??

:-)

6. Re: 1st Time in Ireland

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