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Ireland: please help me plan a trip

50 replies

RockingMyFiftiesNot · 09/05/2022 08:17

We are hoping to spend 10-14 days driving around Ireland in the summer. There is so much we could see and do, not quite sure how we're going to narrow it down, hence coming on here for advice. Appreciate that will probably also result in far tpo many suggestions, but fewer than Google I'm sure.
DH wants to spend a day at least in Dublin,.
Beyond that, we love walking; visiting pretty or interesting towns and villages; castles/stately homes / gardens/ country parks etc. Love being by the sea, but not looking for beaches to sunbathe on.
What are your recommendations for places we must see/do?
Ideally we'd have 2-3 nights in the same accommodation where there is plenty to see and do nearby, but the odd one nighter is ok, just don't want to move on every single day.
Thank you.

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 09/05/2022 08:17

Should add - all adults, no young children to entertain!

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Wailywailywaily · 09/05/2022 08:32

Stay in an actual castle
In my opinion don’t bother with Dublin it’s really not all that.
This is a beautiful area with lovely drives and I recommend the boat trip on irelands only Fjord and Connemara national park for walking.
Also the Burren the cliffs of Moher are a hellish tourist attraction but it is just as beautiful further up or down the coast with almost no tourists.
BTW just a little irritated that this is in UK travel.

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 09/05/2022 08:42

Thank you for the lovely suggestions.
Dublin is non-negotiable for DH, but one day & night should do it.

Sorry to offend by putting in UK travel - was thinking some people would mention places in Northern Ireland too but agree it's in the wrong place, I'm really sorry. I will ask to have it moved x

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Wailywailywaily · 09/05/2022 09:59

No worries, I don’t know the North at all.

my sister lives in Co Kerry which is a beautiful place, like Cornwall but with mountains. The tourist industry there is hilariously predictable- the old man with the donkey and cart and the ice cream seller will be in the lay by with the beautiful view at exactly the time that the bus load of American tourists doing the Ring of Kerry tour are due to pass. After that flurry of activity the county is quiet, peaceful and beautiful. There are some lovely tropical gardens and empty beach’s, also the local towns have some fun festivals, it’s worth checking to see if they are on when you are there.

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MaudieandMe · 09/05/2022 10:07

Agree with previous poster, forget Dublin. It’s a bit of a shithole.

West of Ireland for food and scenery.

www.thewildatlanticway.com

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sandgrown · 09/05/2022 10:09

We loved the Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast is stunning . The Carrikarede ? rope bridge was worth a stop . We stopped near Waterford and like it round there and enjoyed our day in Dublin. I believe Dingle is lovely and Galway/Cork are next on my list to visit .

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MissMatty2hats · 09/05/2022 10:15

I would basically stick to the edges, that’s where all the good stuff is. Starting in Dublin I’d drive down the east coast to Waterford and stay there to explore that corner. Then on to Kinsale, a night or two there for fabulous seafood and exploring Cork city. Then on to Killarney, horribly touristy but loads of hotels and a good base for the ring of Kerry. Then up the west coast to Galway, stopping on the way to see the cliffs of Moher. Galway is a fabulous little city, so much to see and do. I’d drive up through Connemara to Sligo or Donegal. Amazing scenery, cliffs, beaches and mountains. I’d then move on to the North, drive the Antrim coast, Giants Causeway etc and head down into Belfast for the Titanic Museum and a pint in the most beautiful pub I’ve ever seen and then head back to Dublin via Carlingford. Sorted 😁

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Thereisnolight · 09/05/2022 10:19

Kerry and West Cork.
say no more!

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Thereisnolight · 09/05/2022 10:20

The rural parts of both, with pit stops to the cities and towns.

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MissusMaisel · 09/05/2022 10:28

Can we stop telling everyone that Dublin is a shithole please? Some of us live there and it's a bit offensive.
BTW, there is a lot more to Dublin than Temple Bar. Go to Malahide, Dun Laoire, Howth, Skerries.....

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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 09/05/2022 10:36

Thank you for all the suggestions, really appreciate it.

@MissusMaisel I know how you feel - there was a whole thread dedicated to slagging off the city I live in recently, focussing on the bits we all know to be awful but ignoring the wide variety of fabulous things to see and do! Dublin will stay on our list x

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comealongponds · 09/05/2022 12:44

the Burren is absolutely stunning and one of my favourite places ever, the scenery is like nothing else

Cork is a gorgeous city and county

the ring of Kerry is beautiful, quite touristy but well worth doing and I’m sure you can find more off the beaten track type places.

Gap of Dunloe (co kerry) is stunning.

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nearlyspringyay · 09/05/2022 12:48

I'd start in Belfast, titanic museum, Antrim coast, Giant's Causeway, Bushmills if you like it, then through Derry to Donegal and pick up the Wild Atlantic Way.

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purplecorkheart · 09/05/2022 12:49

Consider doing part of the Wild Atlantic way. Dingle area is beautiful. West Cork is also stunning. I would make Dublin your first stop. Then maybe stay in Waterford. Then travel to West Cork and then Dingle.

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Lozza70 · 09/05/2022 13:05

If looking for NI. You could start in Dublin then head north. Mourne mountains, up to Belfast and then the north coast road Ballycastle through to Portstewart. Beautiful scenery, Giants Causeway etc.
Alternatively Dublin and across to County Fermanagh base yourself on the island town of Enniskillen access to beautiful Lakeland’s, stairway to Heaven, Marble Arch caves, Castlecoole and Florencecourt houses. Enniskillen is also known for great food. Then you are very close to Donegal and the Atlantic coast for further coastal driving, beautiful scenery and beaches.

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ChateauMargaux · 09/05/2022 13:14

The route between Clifden and Louisburgh is stunning.. a trip to one of the islands would be nice.. Inis Bofin or Clare Island or indeed the Aran Islands all offer beautiful options. Diamond Hill is a nice hike. Surfing somewhere on the West Coast could be fun. The cliffs on Clare Island are as beautiful as the cliffs of moher and less crowded.

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UpsilonPi · 09/05/2022 13:25

Dublin is amazing. Once you have done whatever you want to do in the centre, head south to Dun Laoghaire/Killiney/Dalkey/Bray and onwards into the Wicklow mountains. Powerscourt is a wonderful visit, climb the Sugar Loaf or head to Sally Gap or Glendalough.
I think the nicest inland place is Kilkenny, well worth a visit, interesting city and lovely castle.
For slightly off the beaten track west of Ireland, try Sligo. Beaches, mountains and not quite the level of tourism of Galway/Connemara.

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eggandonion · 09/05/2022 13:35

Grafton Street looked a bit sad a couple of monts ago.
Chester Beatty museum, the galleries depending on your interest, the national museum, assorted old buildings. There is plenty to see and do. But stay a couple of nights outside the city and travel in, check places on the Dart.
If you are hiring a car, use Cork or Shannon Airport, Dublin is big and busy.
For assorted seaside, follow the Wild Atlantic Way, which is well signposted, then head east along the derry and antrim coasts.
The Boyne Valley is interesting, and fairly quiet. Waterford and Wexford are lovely if you're arriving by ferry.
Co Clare is my favourite county though.
And the Killyhevlin in Enniskillen is a really nice hotel, if you like lakes and have some spare cash.


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RockingMyFiftiesNot · 09/05/2022 14:24

Thank you all, this is really helpful! A lot to look!

@eggandonion that hotel looks awesome. We'll probably do a mix of some cheaper places and also spoil ourselves on some of the nights.

Other hotel recommendations welcome. Preferably with a lovely view!

Thanks again.

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Thereisnolight · 09/05/2022 14:44

The Irish Blue Book is good for quiet, upmarket country (usually) hotels if you fancy splashing out.

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interferringma · 09/05/2022 14:48

Bookmarking this!
I really want to go to the Happy Pear in Greystones. Anyone been? Am a wavering vegan!

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Inyourhonor · 09/05/2022 14:51

Cashel is a lovely touristy town and from there you could visit the Rock of Cashel (castle), take in the view of the Galtee mountains from christ the king (statue), then head to the Galtees and walk to one of the lakes.

Or, just reading your update about hotels with a lovely view - you could stay in aherlow house hotel which has an amazing view of the mountains. You could then walk to the christ the king statue and would be very close driving distance from the lake walkways. You would be 30 mins from cashel and 20 mins from cahir which also has a castle.

(I live within walking distance of that hotel and am amazed every day at the view. Every day is a different sight due to the weather.)

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MissusMaisel · 09/05/2022 15:12

interferringma · 09/05/2022 14:48

Bookmarking this!
I really want to go to the Happy Pear in Greystones. Anyone been? Am a wavering vegan!

I wouldn't. You might actually meet the Happy Pair...of epic twats.

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mathanxiety · 09/05/2022 15:14

Agree with ChateauMargaux and UpsilonPi's recommendations

Definitely the Burren and the islands over the Cliffs of Moher.
Galway is nice.
All of the Connemara coast and the Inagh Valley are gorgeous. Letterfrack and Achill lovely,
Killary Harbour ditto.
Many lovely towns in Mayo ( Westport, etc).
Ballycroy National Park/Nephin very wild and unspoiled and often wet and windy
Sligo and Yeats country well worth a visit.
Glenveagh National park in Donegal...

I would head out to Glendalough from your base in Dublin, and Powerscourt is really nice.
Howth to the north of Dublin has stunning views of Dublin, the bay, the mountains. Great cliff walk.

You could take a tour boat into Dublin Bay.

If you get nice weather, there are some lovely beaches in Dublin.

The Dart southbound to Bray followed by the Bray to Greystones cliff walk is nice. The Dart runs along the cliffs in the Dalkey/ Killiney stretch, with a view you may recall if you saw the movie 'Once'.

In the south east, Kilkenny is worth a visit - bustling medieval town, castle. The south of County Carlow around StMullins has lovely trails in the nearby Backstairs Mtns, canoe hire on the river Barrow, some charming towns - Graiguenamanagh, Thomastown ( in Co Kilkenny), Bunclody across the mountains in Wexford .. New Ross and Enniscorthy are nice too.

Beaches at Fethard and Baginbun in Wexford might suit.

Rock of Cashel in Tipperary might interest you.

The Dingle peninsula is usually heaving with tourists all summer, but the Beara peninsula isn't as well known. West cork in general is superb.

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mathanxiety · 09/05/2022 15:15

*Blackstairs, tut tut autocorrect.

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