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Ireland - cheap accomm and itinerary ideas please

(13 Posts)
twillup Sun 04-Jan-15 13:47:29

We are planning a 7-9 days in Ireland at the end of May and will spend 2-3 days in the north around Belfast and will take in Giant's causeway etc. But we'd also like to take our 3 kids (by car) to other areas in the south and would love any tips on where to base ourselves for seeing nice places and advice on super cheap places to stay. We could do 3 nights in 2 locations or I suppose even 2 nights in 3 locations so we can see more places.
Has anyone done a similar trip and found any great places to stay?
I had been thinking of places like Dingle peninsula but it's quite a long drive...

FurryDogMother Sun 04-Jan-15 13:59:21

I can recommend Mayo - Westport is a good base for such places as the National Famine Memorial, Westport House, Croagh Patrick, Achill Island, the Doo Lough Pass, Connemara National Park, the Museum of Country Life near Castlebar, Knock shrine, Ashford Castle (amazing formal gardens with a falconry centre) etc. There are huge open sandy/surfing beaches, mountains and lakes. Shore, sea, salmon and coarse fishing, good places to eat, horse riding, surfing lessons, bicycle hire - it's truly beautiful. There's a large choice of reasonable priced B&Bs (good because the full Irish breakfast will usually set you up for the day), or self-catering cottages, plus hotels of all grades, or fixed caravans on camping sites (the one at Old Head, Louisburgh, about 10 miles from Westport is good for a beach-based holiday). If it's wet, several Westport hotels have pools/spa areas open to non-residents - I like the one at the Westport Woods hotel.

Mayo has the advantage of being much closer to the North than Dingle, though Kerry is lovely too!

suitsyousir Sun 04-Jan-15 14:02:40

we stayed at the station hotel in letterkenny and can't recommend it highly enough. it is close to a station but we had excursions as part of our package and went to donegal, giants causeway and derry from there. its a nice little town with shops, a cinema and nice restaurants and pubs. well worth a look.

Drquin Sun 04-Jan-15 14:04:07

Kerry / Dingle would be worth it - the drive is reasonably good, you're motorway all the way from Belfast to Dublin, then motorway for a good bit south / west. I love the Clare & Galway areas personally!

VenusRising Sun 04-Jan-15 14:19:16

I've pm'd you twillups, the thing to remember about ireland is that the pace is slow and I order to appreciate that, it's best not to be too ambitious about how far you want to go.

I would leave a trip south for another week. Kerry and Cork are beautiful, but even a week wouldn't be enough for them.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Sun 04-Jan-15 18:11:46

Hey. We youth hostelled and travelled around Ireland. Dingle's youth hostel was friendly.

It was great. Lots of other families doing it too

twillup Mon 05-Jan-15 20:25:34

Thanks for replies, some good ideas to chew over. I'm a bit shocked at the prices for hotels and things though. Even the hostels/airbnb/B&B work out quite pricey for for 5. I'm thinking self catering for one week is going to work out cheaper, and do everything as day trips... unless anyone has any good suggestions for cheaper places?

Avonmore Mon 05-Jan-15 20:35:46

Accommodation in Ireland is expensive.
If you are interested in FurryDogMother's suggestion of Mayo (which I heartily second!) the Leenane Hotel is pretty reasonable in terms of price. It's a very old fashioned hotel but clean and comfortable and it's situated right on Ireland's only fjord Killary Harbour so the views are spectacular.
Leenane itself is a small village but does have a lovely restaurant (can't remember the name) and the pub where The Field was filmed. It's in a good location for lots of day trips including Westport, Louisburgh, Kylemore Abbey and not too far from the bigger towns of Westport and Galway.
If you opt for that direction you must spend at least 1 night on Achill Island- Keem beach is undoubtedly the most beautiful beach in Ireland and the pubs never seem to close.
Whatever you decide I hope you have a lovely visit. smile

FurryDogMother Wed 07-Jan-15 07:53:56

Just been reading this report of a family holiday in Mayo and thought you might find it interesting.

gointothewoods Wed 07-Jan-15 19:51:09

Are you taking the ferry to dublin, rosslare or northern ireland?
Musing over itinerary ideas..

twillup Fri 09-Jan-15 00:12:15

mmm, tempted by everywhere now!! Thank you!
Will probably fly to Dublin and hire a car (although I suppose we could take the car by ferry from wales to Dublin).
I'm swaying to Galway/Connemara and/or Clare and save Cork/Kerry and the far north west for next trips.
Any thoughts on a lovely base for these areas? I'm trying to figure out the pros and cons of places like Roundstone, Clifden, renvyle, oughterard or places down the north clare coast? Any recommendations?
Anywhere to avoid - eg places that feel a bit TOO touristy (I don't fancy one of those complexes of new build "typical irish cottages"!)?

Londonbug1 Sat 10-Jan-15 22:21:25

Definitely second or third!!???westport. Westport is really lovely. It is a tourist town but it's also a very authentic Irish town. Really lovely scenery fabulous beaches nearby ,old head, bertra and the beaches beyond lousiburg are wonderful. There's westport house with a kind of theme park, my kids loved it when they were younger
You could look at bed and breakfast in murisk maybe?
We go there a lot so if you are interested I can probably give you more advise

AmantesSuntAmentes Sat 10-Jan-15 22:28:12

I'm swaying to Galway/Connemara and/or Clare

Fantastic choice! Not that I'm biased

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