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Ireland without car

(17 Posts)
Khongor Thu 06-Jan-11 22:56:37

We've got our first family trip booked - heading over to Ireland for a few days. We're planning on spending about half of that time on an island off the Co. Cork coast where you can't take cars, so we were hoping not to rent a car at all. But we're also flying into Cork and out of Knock, so we'll be traveling across much of the country.
DD will be 5 months old. How would public transport be? I'm not too worried about the train from Cork to Dublin, but we'll be on buses from the coast to Cork and from Dublin to the airport. Will we have buses or coaches? Is this a good way to do it or are we creating extra headaches?

Udderly Thu 06-Jan-11 23:03:50

Why are you flying out of Knock? Cork to Knock is a long trip, no direct trains, I can't be 100% sure, but its not an obvious journey so I would guess there is no direct bus route and you would probably have to change in Limerick and/or Galway. The drive from Cork to Knock would probably be 4hrs+.

Khongor Thu 06-Jan-11 23:07:58

We weren't planning on going direct from Cork to Knock. We've got a week, so we were going to go from Cork to Dublin, spend a couple days there, and then head on to Knock.
And I'm originally from the US. Anything under 12 hours is a short journey.

CointreauVersial Thu 06-Jan-11 23:10:53

Public transport in Ireland is generally pretty rubbish. For example, the main train line across the country from Dublin to Sligo is SINGLE TRACK, so the trains have to pass each other on a short double-track stretch half way across.

Knock is in the middle of nowhere. Really. Nowhere.

I suppose you'll get there, but slowly!

CointreauVersial Thu 06-Jan-11 23:19:31

DH (Irish) has just said you can get a bus from Dublin Central Bus Station direct to Knock - maybe 3.5 hours.

Or get a train to Galway and spend a day there (it's nice) before heading to Knock (maybe 40 mins by bus from Galway).

Udderly Fri 07-Jan-11 00:09:00

Ok, Cork - Dublin - Knock would be a little easier. Rail can be expensive. The are regular private bus services from Dublin to Galway, I would imagine its the same from Cork to Dublin. Also public bus services, but the private services are non-stop, use motorway and are more competitive.
Check out Iarnrod Eireann for trains, Bus Eireann for public bus, gobus and citylink for private buses dublin - galway.
If it were me though, i think i would rent a car. I've a 2 month old and I don't know how well I would cope with numerous terminals, waits and being confined on a bus for long periods.

maryz Fri 07-Jan-11 00:23:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CointreauVersial Fri 07-Jan-11 11:23:52

Actually, Maryz, I'm quite glad Knock is where it is, because DH's family live in the arse-end of nowhere too, i.e. about 30 mins from Knock!

But it's a godforsaken place, isn't it? And it closes at the merest sniff of bad weather. Last time we landed there, the pilot had to go round a couple of times before landing because the wind was so strong. He said we might have to divert to Shannon, but then said "ah, feck it, we'll give it another go". Not quite the words of reassurance we wanted to hear, but we got down anyway and were nearly blown off the steps of the plane when we got off.

But OP sounds the adventurous type....grin

NL3 Fri 07-Jan-11 11:27:43

OP - I think you're being a little optimistic - public transport is not great. You should hire a car.

ohfuschia Fri 07-Jan-11 11:54:23

I've done a fair bit of travel around Ireland and I wouldn't do it with a baby without a car.

CointreauVersial - we must have had the same pilot, I once had the exact same with the additional as we were circling 'Let's hope we don't run out of fuel' - he must love the windup grin

CointreauVersial Fri 07-Jan-11 19:03:23

grin I suppose they have to have a sense of humour if they fly into Knock regularly!

berryfreeze Fri 07-Jan-11 19:18:23

They have a good citylink to Galway from Dublin that only takes a couple of hours and then there is a bus that goes from Galway to Knock every couple of hours starting from about 6 in the morning that is about hour and a half, if you wanted to break journey up, Galway is a nice city to spend a day or so there.Train fairs are very expensive.
Saying that i love flying from Knock it is so quiet and small, very easy with kids.

berryfreeze Fri 07-Jan-11 19:20:53

maryz Fri 07-Jan-11 19:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Decorhate Sat 08-Jan-11 15:05:03

I think your trip is doable by public transport but you will have to be prepared to be restricted on where you go/what times you travel - as others have said, public transport is not great. Many years ago I wanted to go somewhere in Co Leitrim - had to go a very roundabout way (not from the nearest big town) and then there was only one bus a day to the village in question - hiring a car would have been far easier.

Public transport is also expensive & you may find it is cheaper to hire a car... You could also investigate if private coach companies go directly from Dublin to Knock (must still be people who make pilgrimages there?)

I think I know which island you are going to (very nice!) - you will need to check times carefully to ensure the bus from Cork to the coast ties up with the boats to the island.

Also, a week is not very long to cover what you want to see (the journey from the island to Dublin will take a day, as will going from Dublin to Knock) but I know our American relatives have often covered far more miles than I would when they want to see as much of the country as possible!

Can I also ask why Knock? Unless you have family to visit there or something I wouldn't, really. Stay in Galway.

Khongor Mon 17-Jan-11 00:01:00

Am OP's DW. Thanks for all responses. No family in Knock, just cheap flights home - and now I understand why!

Khongor Mon 17-Jan-11 00:01:49

Whoops, forgot to sign in as myself. It's late, better get to bed before DD needs her feed.

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