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Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Milwaukee
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Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Leaving in 10 days for a 17 day trip to northwest Ireland. We just finished Irish Fest here, and I took in some lectures on the megalithic sites around Sligo. Don't think I can fit in Carrowmore, Creevykeel, etc given other activities like visiting relatives, Knocknarea, Yeats, Strandhill....Arriving Sligo midday Friday 6th, and leaving after Mass Sunday for a busy travel day toward Westport doesn't give much time.

The current plan has late afternoon arrivals to Sligo, Galway & Dublin with departure early after the second night. So while those places show 2 nights, there is only one day in/around town. Connemara has time for touring either side as Westport and Galway routes go through Connemara :

Omagh x1,

northeast Donegal x 2 (not booked)

southwest Donegal x 2

Sligo x 2

Westport self catering x 3

Connemara x 2 (not booked)

Galway x 2

Malahide x 2

I am thinking of replacing one of the Connemara open nights with an open night in Sligo or Aughris or Enniscrone to give a little more time to Sligo area before the 3 nights in Westport. We would then leave Westport early Thursday spending Thursday & Friday touring Connemara then Friday night in Galway. Overnight Thursday would be Inshbofin or Clifden weather depending:

Omagh x1,

northeast Donegal x 2 (not booked)

southwest Donegal x 2

Sligo x 2

open (Aughris or Enniscrone or Sligo)

Westport self catering x 3

Connemara x 1 (not booked)

Galway x 2

Malahide x 2

But this tweak means either Clifden or Inishbofin, not both. Aughris could deliver an alternate remote coastal experience while resolving that time squeeze around Sligo....

WWYD? Two days/one night Connemara seem like enough?

Arrrgh!! This is hard.

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Don't panic - you are doing fine with your itinerary.

As you will be in Galway for 2days/nights and on the doorstep of Connemara anyway, you could go with option two i.e. taking one day from Connemara and adding it on to your Sligo portion. The other reason I recommend this is that you are keen to see as much of Sligo and environs as possible.

When in Galway however, I would spend one of those days exploring whatever part of Connemara you missed when you were there on your 'Connemara day'. What part of Connemara did you hope to stay at? North of Killary Harbour would be a good choice as the loops I mentioned are South of Killary Harbour

There are a number of loop drives out of Galway to Connemara. You could do one of these loop drives from Galway. Which loop you drive will depend on where you visited on your 'Connemara day'.

Does that make sense?

Edited: 21 August 2013, 07:19
Cavan
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2. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

I would agree with Bryno, you don't need two days in Connemara if you are planning a stay in Westport and Galway particularly as you can easily do a day trip through the 'Connemara loop' from either location, you might also consider Clifden for one night. I don't think it wise to go for an overnight on Inisboffin in case the sea conditions prevent you from returning.

It appears somewhat that you prefer less touristy places, I am wondering why you picked somewhere remote like NE Donegal and not visiting historic Derry city (City of Culture). Omagh is a less tourist destination apart from the Ulster/American Folk Park which can easily be reached from Derry. You might also be better staying around Enniskillen where there is a wealth of historic places to visit together with some excellent restaurants etc..

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Perfect sense. Appreciate the input from both of you!! As usual I agree with your thinking.

Cavan, I hadn't thought of getting stuck out on Inishbofin, just the risk of not getting TO Inishbofin. Makes all the difference. I definitely want to be in Galway city Friday night for the Saturday morning markets and the afternoon at Clarenbridge oyster festival. (Some Galway pols visiting here for last weekend's Irish Fest recommended same when I expressed regret over missing the Galway Oyster Festival.) Sunday we will make our way to Dublin via a number of midland stops. So there is no day to give over to Connemsara once we are in Galway city. There is still most of the Thursday and Friday for Connemara before arriving in Galway.

I picked Omagh as the first stop as it positions us well for visiting Derry, and I figured the Folk Park on bluegrass Sunday would be as good a place as any to stumble about jetlagged. And Mullaghamore House happens to have a snooker table for DH. If we awaken to reasonable weather, we will head to Donegal via the day in Derry. If the weather is really atrocious, we will defer Derry/Donegal and maybe spend the two open nights at whim, maybe previewing Enniskillen and the lake country instead. Then to Ardara.

My next trip is already taking shape in my head: North Ireland with a coastal tour then a self-catering week in Enniskillen.

Cavan
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4. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Sounds good to me, a well planned trip is worthwhile particularly considering the change in present weather conditions from day to day.

Milwaukee
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5. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

I have been envisioning activity sequences for the Sligo area and Connemara area. Really is a horse apiece - both Sligo and Connemara are deserving of two nights. Both areas offer so much.

Sligo is seeming a tick box challenge with specific activities, and perhaps not an area I'd otherwise linger in. Ticking the Sligo boxes is definitely possible in my exisiting 2-3 days, albeit busy. If it gets too rushed, we'll drop some things. Connemara in contrast seems more ethereal, somewhere more needful of unstructured time. So given that, I think I should leave the itinerary as is.

I see there are three Inishbofin ferries back to the mainland Friday. A visit Thursday then may not be too risky if the weather is fair. I have read some reports touting Inishbofin because there is no garda and the pubs can stay open into the early morning. No great appeal in that for us (DH doesn't even drink!) I guess I am asking if the essense of Inishbofin requires an overnight, (or heavy drinking).

Ireland
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6. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Hi there that sounds like a great itinerary. Have you considered taking in the ceide fields in Mayo on your journey from Sligo to Westport. http://www.museumsofmayo.com/ceide.htm

Also while in Westport do consider visiting the Turlough house museum? museum.ie/en/info/explore-turlough-park-hous…

These two spots in Mayo strike me as something that might internet you from what you have said in your op.

Milwaukee
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7. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

yes, crazeedaisy, they are both on my list. Especially if the weather is foul!

You read me well.

Ireland
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8. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

That's great you will enjoy them also while in the Ballina area consider looking up the Jackie Clarke collection

http://www.clarkecollection.ie/home/ and maybe even in nearby Foxford, which you have to go through from Ballina to Westport, you could check out the Foxford woollen mills. http://www.foxfordwoollenmills.com/

At this rate of going you might as well add in an over night stay in Ballina. ;-)

Cavan
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9. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

If you get the opportunity go for the Arigna Mining Experience, well worth a visit: www.arignaminingexperience.ie

Milwaukee
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10. Re: Maybe one final tweak to this northwest itinerary??

Saving all these suggestions.

I have the Foxford woolen mills info and was planniing a stop en route to Westport. I head toward Westport after Sunday Mass in Ballintrillick Sligo where my GGF was raised and where my GM's brother returned in the 1930's to say Mass. Aughris and Enniscrone and Ballina are along the way. No way will we rush the seaweed bath in Enniscrone, so Foxford might be closed when we pass through. If so, that's OK.