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OK need your tips and advice for Southern IRELAND - Dublin/Waterford/Kerry/Limerick

(36 Posts)
roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 18:31:57

We are going to spend 2 weeks in Ireland next summer with the boys (will be 9 and 11).

Your tips please for must-see attractions, excursions, and entertainment. (We like wildlife and walking, but also some excitement to break up the holiday a bit - boat trips and so on.) Also any recommendations of super swimming pools, in case of bad weather.

We like back-of-beyond/remote, and already have a cottage sorted out at the far end of Kerry (opposite Valencia Island) - we've stayed there before (but not with the boys).

Beforehand we thought we'd spend 1-2 nights in Dublin, 1-2 nights in Co. Wicklow, 1-2 nights in Waterford, and 1-2 nights in Limerick.

Budababe Tue 31-Jul-07 18:52:46

Hi roisin

Just had a week in Kerry and one night in Bunratty.

We stayed in Dingle but weather wasn't great. Stayed at Dingle Skellig hotel - very child friendly with an indoor pool. You can go out to see Funghi the dolphin from Dingle but weather too bad for us to do it.

Had a friend in Limerick we wanted to see and she suggested Bunratty. DO NOT stay at Shannon Shamrock - twas yucky! There was another one which was nicer - Bunratty Castle Hotel I think - will double check.

Once you are in Bunratty everything is walking distance and the castle and folk park kept our DS well amused for a morning. Could have gotten more out of it but it was raining and we were heading back to Dublin.

petunia Tue 31-Jul-07 22:49:13

Ooh I love Ireland-planning to go next year as well! DH (has had several day trips to Dublin) says most of the museums in Dublin are good or try taking the DART (train) down the coast and visit the beaches.
We've stayed in Kenmare, County Kerry (so not too far from Valencia) and we did the Ring of Kerry. Muckross House, just outside Killlarney is nice to go in, has nice gardens, a farming exhibition (bit of history of Irish farming there) and the tea shop is excellent!
DH recommends that you buy a Rough Guide to Ireland book. They often give plenty of ideas on what to do. Also try the Tourist Information place in Killarney. That might be the nearest one to Valencia so should be able to give information about boat trips, swimming pools etc.

roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 22:52:34

Hi Budababe. Oh sorry you had poor weather. Was this last week? We were up on the West Coast of Scotland (Mull), and had great weather.

We have great memories of B&Bs in Ireland, so will be staying B&B when we're travelling around, rather than hotels.

roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 22:53:46

Thanks Petunia. Will look out for a Rough Guide.

Dh bought a guidebook today, but it's not a great one for what we want tbh.

moondog Tue 31-Jul-07 22:54:54

OOh,I'm reading too.
Oftop Ireland in a week or so and have been planning with my Lonely Planet.

How long would it take to get from Dun Laoghaire to Westport does anyone know?

Four hours?

roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 23:00:55

OK Moondog we need full reviews when you get back.

Where are you going and how old are your children?

AA Routeplanner thingie tends to be pretty accurate for journey times.

moondog Tue 31-Jul-07 23:03:21

3 and 6
Want to start in Wesportish and end up in Cork.
Will do Roisin (although with a name like that i thought you would be on familiar ground!)

roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 23:08:25

Nah it's all an act

My boys both have Irish names too, but we haven't any Irish blood anywhere:
we've got records of ancestry on both sides dating back 150-300 years and no Irish anywhere

roisin Tue 31-Jul-07 23:09:28

Is Lonely Planet good?

The one dh picked up seems to be aimed at 60 yr-olds..?

petunia Tue 31-Jul-07 23:16:05

moondog- I'd say 4-6 hours. We did Dublin to Kenmare (looking at map, it looks same sort of distance) in 5 hours or so, but that was with lots of stops for DDs (aged 4 and 6mts at the time). Cork is very nice- Cobh on the outskirts (pronounced Cove) has a very nice cathedral/huge church and is a nice seaside-type place (it was also the last place the Titanic stopped at before its voyage).
Roisin- few more places (moondog, you might want to take a look at these places on the way to Cork), the Lakes of Killarney and Gap of Dunloe (very nice gift shop right at the top of a hill).

moondog Tue 31-Jul-07 23:50:26

Thanks Petunia.
Roisin,we travel a lot and wouldn't go anyway without an LP.

Bushnels Wed 08-Aug-07 20:53:32

A town I have always loved is Westport in the West. Not too far from Limrick. www.heritagetowns.com/westport.html

The coastal road from Claire to Mayo is amazing.

Look into the Ceide Fields. The Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world, over five and a half millennia old. It is a unique Neolithic landscape of world importance, which has changed our perception of our Stone Age ancestors. www.museumsofmayo.com/ceide.htm. I love really ancient stuff though.

roisin Wed 08-Aug-07 21:19:12

I LOVED the Ceide fields, but I think it's probably further than we intended going.

roisin Wed 08-Aug-07 21:19:39

Thanks Bushels. Do you happen to know of any B&Bs in Westport?

roisin Wed 08-Aug-07 21:19:52

Sorry, Bushnels

Bushnels Thu 09-Aug-07 15:56:19

Sorry no I don't I have only done sc there. I'm sure there must be a website. Will check it out.

Have you seen Newgrange?

Bushnels Thu 09-Aug-07 16:08:57

www.discoverireland.com/gb/ireland-plan-your-visit/accommodation/listings/?l=-1878256293&pts=1841261 488 Here you go.

Avoid Knock (unless you are a raving catholic) and Claremorris (boring). Castlebar is fairly bustling and not far from Westport. If you can find a B&B near Croach PAtrick and Clew Bay it's deffo worth looking into. I love Clew Bay which is just outside of Westport. If I remember rightly the only fjord in Ireland is also just outside Westport. Look for a place called Leenane www.detourphoto.com/p_zoom_l_2_ph_479.htm

roisin Thu 09-Aug-07 18:26:24

Oh thanks Bushnels. I will look at those sites.

Dh and I have been to Newgrange before, but we want to go again this time to show the boys.

roisin Mon 13-Aug-07 11:34:52

Has anyone been on a good dolphin (and/or whale) - watching trip off Ireland.

We're actually flexible, as we're doing some touring. So would contemplate a trip from Dublin, Kerry, or Cork, if it comes highly recommended.

Doodledootoo Mon 13-Aug-07 21:53:24

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Doodledootoo Mon 13-Aug-07 21:55:26

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roisin Mon 13-Aug-07 23:14:09

Aw thanks Doodledootoo. Dh and I loved Donegal and Galway, but it's just too much to fit into one trip.

Do you know Glenveagh Castle? We went on a walk near there, and I wandered off the path and fell in a bog, up past my knees! Dh had to drag me out [trying to control his laughter], and then we had to find someone with a bucket and hosepipe to hose me down!

stleger Mon 13-Aug-07 23:33:26

One of our best days ever was with Funghi the Dingle dolphin - I know it doesn't sound too thrilling, but he plays right beside the boat. I hope the weather improves, it seems to be constantlt raining or threatening to rain - my boss is just back from Kerry where it rained a lot, but mostly overnight. (Also there is a very good ice cream shop in Dingle!)

KerryMumbledore Mon 13-Aug-07 23:44:03

What kind of stuff are you looking for with boys roisin? There isn't a whole heck of a lot round here (Kerry). Beautiful landscape, beaches, etc. but not a lot to "do".

I LOVE Killarney. Well specifically Killarney National Park and environs. The town is pretty touristy crap but the Park is one of my favorite places in the world. Tons to do and see. homepage.eircom.net/~knp/

Second favorite place is also road from Claire to Mayo - back, coastal roads

Very fond memories of Westport. There's a famous pub\music room there. Think Christie Moore owns it or something. Fab for music if you get it on the right night.

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