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Ireland - need itinerary help!

(26 Posts)
almightygirl Thu 02-Aug-18 22:49:04

We’re going to Ireland at the end of August and need help planning our route!

We’re flying into Dublin & hiring a car. We’re driving to Mullingar for 1 day & night, & need to be in Spanish Point 3 days later. Then we have another 3 days before needing to be back in Dublin.

So where should we go? If possible, we wanted to fit in Giant’s Causeway, Belfast & Drogheda - would they be doable in the 3 days after leaving Spanish Point? Any other places that 2 boys (9 & 12) might be interested in?

If anyone has any recommendations for me, I’d be very grateful smile

OP’s posts: |
almightygirl Fri 03-Aug-18 08:35:21


OP’s posts: |
WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 03-Aug-18 08:47:18

What order are your visits? Is Mullingar straight after you land or a day or two after? Spanish Point is on the Atlantic Coastline, the Wild Atlantic Way. Giants Causeway is on the north Antrim coastline.

Would you be able to fly into Belfast Airport instead, do the Giants Causeway and Belfast first. Then drive to Drogheda, then on to Mullingar and ending in Spanish Point. Then you could fly out of Dublin Airport at the end of your trip?

reddressblueshoes Fri 03-Aug-18 08:58:13

Why mullingar and drogheda? Are you visiting friends/family? They're both places you would drive through, I once tried to kill a morning in mullingar after a wedding and didn't get v far so if you don't have specific reasons they are places I'd give a miss.

Ireland is quite compact so don't underestimate how much driving you can get done in a day.

reddressblueshoes Fri 03-Aug-18 08:59:15

Also- you might be better if you move this out of UK, since you seem to mostly be going to the Republic of Ireland which is not in the U.K.!

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 03-Aug-18 09:04:26

Well spotted there @reddressblueshoes! grin You may have better responses in Craicnet.

almightygirl Fri 03-Aug-18 09:12:24

Oops, good point - will see if I can get it moved!!

Dh has already booked flights so we can’t do @WatchaMaCallit’s suggestion, which would make more sense

Mullingar is to see family, Drogheda is just for the Saint Oliver Plunkett shrine (apparently he’s a distant relative on dh’s side!). We’d stop there for an hour then drive on to Dublin for our flight.

We have driven Galway to Letterkenny to Giant’s Causeway in a day before - so from Spanish Point should be doable, with maybe a stop somewhere on the way?

OP’s posts: |
drquin Fri 03-Aug-18 09:24:59

If you need to be in Spanish Point, I'd explore more of the Atlantic Coast / West Clare / Burren area. I love it there, and Galway.

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 03-Aug-18 09:43:44

If you are up in Drogheda, you might want to take in Newgrange -

Also there is the Boyne Valley area -

ChablisLover Fri 03-Aug-18 09:43:45

Spanish point to the giants causeway is some trek though for a day. I would say with stops it could take 8 hours if not more depending on the way you'd go. If you went back to Dublin and up it would be quicker due to the motorways but not as scenic. As pp suggested I would stay in Clare and do the burren, cliffs of moher, bunratty castle, or maybe down to north Kerry for the beaches etc

Don't get me wrong the north antrim coast is fabulous ( I'm antrim born and bred) but not sure it's worth such a long drive

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 03-Aug-18 09:45:37

If you're around by Spanish Point you could visit Aillwee Caves:

There is also a bird of prey education centre on site there too.

Rainatnight Fri 03-Aug-18 09:47:16

Extremely odd to have posted this in UK. You do know you'll need your passport, don't you? hmm

BiddyPop Fri 03-Aug-18 10:08:34

You don’t need your passport to travel to Ireland - there’s a free travel area and, as UK always refused to join Schengen, Ireland couldn’t so we need passports to travel elsewhere in EU when others don’t.

Belvedere House is lovely in Mullingar, or find a spot near Athlone to get on the river Shannon.

Around Spanish Point, a long day to do the coast road and Ailwee cave. Another to do cliffs of moher and poulnabrone dolmen and the Burren in general. There’s An interpretive center for the Burren (possibly in kilfenora) and an eco trail of artisan food and craft producers including a perfume factory and a chocolate maker if I remember right. The main beach at Spanish point is very wavy - if you want to swim, ask locals how to get to White Strand instead (smaller but sandy and interesting rock pools etc), or go up to Lahinch for surfing (there’s. Few schools to get a lesson or rent boards, John McCarthy in the middle of the car park is good). DO pay for sufficient parking, they do ticket and clamp there. Joe’s cafe on the corner does lovely food and is great hot chocolate after surfing, or the pub opposite on the waterfront is also nice for food and a pint.

Up to Belfast etc is a long spin. You need to decide on a long day driving (maybe stop en route overnight) on less good roads but seeing Galway, Mayo, maybe Sligo and through the North as a scenic way, and making a few stops along the way, or (still long but motorways to drive on) back probably pretty much to Dublin and up M1. You’lol come back down M1/A1 to get back to Dublin anyway, and drive right past Drogheda so easy to pull off there. But Belfast is lovely (haven’t ever made it to Giants Causeqay or the rope bridge - they’re on our list to get to). Titanic museum is well worth a visit, takes a good few hourS, and W5 is near it - a children’s museum/science center whic is really good.

AnyaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Aug-18 10:09:29

Hi there everyone,

OP has asked for this to be moved to Craicnet, so we'll be moving it across shortly.

kenandbarbie Fri 03-Aug-18 10:37:18

I'd also say explore Galway and Clare, mullingar in the middle is a bit of a balls. You'd be better to have it at the start or the end really. As it's not that far from Dublin. Obviously there's loads to do in Dublin , book of Kells, trinity, I like the Georgian house museum, Phoenix Park, Howth / Dun Laoghaire for a walk on the pier chips and ice cream, GPO, kilmainham gaol. Newgrange, Skerries.

almightygirl Fri 03-Aug-18 14:45:32

Thank you everyone for the helpful suggestions. I think we’ll stay by Spanish Point/Galway and do the North Antrim Coast another time. My boys are good but I think even an 8 hr + drive will test their patience!

Boys will definitely want to do surfing, and the caves and the Burren look amazing!

OP’s posts: |
SparkyBlue Fri 03-Aug-18 19:41:15

If you are traveling to Spanish Point (I assume for a wedding) then definitely stick around that side. Lahinch is lovely and you have the cliffs of Moher close by. If you went to Doolin you could always take a ferry to one of the Arran Islands.

Leela96 Sat 04-Aug-18 18:04:11

If you have 3 days between Mullingar & Spanish point , then a road trip around Galway/Clare would probably suit.

Galway city obviously, Kilmore Abbey, Aran Islands, Ailiwee caves, cliffs of moher, surfing in Lahinch ( although roads signs now seem to be calling it Lehinch).

If you had time to spare, I personally love the drive from Clifden through Roundstone back to Galway. The scenery is amazing.

Also the scenery on the drive from Galway down to the Cliffs of Moher is amazing

Littlegreyauditor Sun 05-Aug-18 22:28:44

Definitely ^ the Clifden sky road is gorgeous, and probably just has the edge on the North Antrim Coast (I’m from North Antrim, so that’s hard for me to admit).

FadedRed Sun 05-Aug-18 22:37:09

The Ailiwee Caves is on the bogof ticket vouchers on Kelloghs cereals packets.

Everyoneiswingingit Sun 05-Aug-18 22:39:25

We just had a week in Mayo, nr Westport. Had a great time, even managed to climb Croach Patrick. Gorgeous beaches.

PandaPieForTea Sun 05-Aug-18 22:40:04

I’d definitely visit Newgrange if possible. Just be aware that it can take a while to get a tour once you get there.

MadamBatty Mon 06-Aug-18 17:04:45

You can book tickets for Newgrange in advance. I’m also supposedly related to Oliver Plunkett.

KoolAidPickle Tue 07-Aug-18 11:48:15

You don’t need your passport to travel to Ireland - there’s a free travel area and, as UK always refused to join Schengen, Ireland couldn’t so we need passports to travel elsewhere in EU when others don’t

OP is flying so does need a passport

honeyrider Tue 07-Aug-18 23:37:06

You do not need a passport with Aer Lingus but you do with Ryanair.

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