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Ireland-- The North Itinerary


Good Morning and Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm planning a trip to the north with my 23 year old son in August.

This will be my son's first trip the Emerald Isle, but my 2nd. ( I did the Galway to Dublin south loop last time with my wife)

We will be flying out of Chicago on Aug 9th and arriving early morning in Dublin on the 10th.

Im going to list the days and towns in which we plan to stay for the night . We will be driving a car and staying in the B&Bs.

I would love to hear any suggestions you may have or sights to see.

I'm most interested in sharing natural scenic places, historical places, and relaxing in historical pubs in the evening. 

I would also like to do some genealogy research to as both sides of my family come from county Antrim. 

A pipe dream would be to meet some relatives. (I should be receiving my Ancestry DNA matches back in a couple weeks, so who knows?)

 

August 2018

10th Belfast (Drumgart- Carrickfergus)

11th Belfast (Drumgart- Carrickfergus)

12th PortRush (Beulah Guest House - PortRush)

13th PortRush (Beulah Guest House - PortRush)

14th PortRush (Beulah Guest House - PortRush)

15th Donegal  (Ardlenagh View - Donegal Town)

16th Donegal (Ardlenagh View - Donegal Town)

17th Dublin (Riversdale - Swords)

18th Dublin (Riversdale - Swords)

19th Travel to home in the afternoon.

 

Thank you for the suggestions in advance.

Jeff

 

PS -- Michelle, the newest edition of your book should be arriving today. Thank you for all of your hard work! 



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Member

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wow.. No replies?
I know Im a decent planner, but surely I dont have this down pat perfectly on only my 2nd trip to the emerald isle

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Whilst I've traveled the North four times now, I hardly consider myself an expert -- particularly since my greatest area of interest is Irish Round Towers, which are NOT in particular abundance in Ulster.

Never-the-less, SOME ideas:

If you are Game of Thrones fans:  http://visitbelfast.com/things-to-do/theme/game-of-thrones

Perhaps THE most iconic pub in Belfast:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-crown-bar

Another worthwhile pub:  https://www.belfastbar.co.uk/the-rose_and_crown-review.htm

Guide to the top scenic drives in Northern Ireland:  https://discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/things-to-do/northern-irelands-top-scenic-drives/

We LOVED touring Derry City and found it to be a fascinating and delightful little city:  http://www.ireland.com/en-us/destinations/northern-ireland/county-londonderry/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkp-XjprB2AIV1xSBCh2TAQjiEAMYAiAAEgIAQPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

On the road between Derry and Donegal:  

http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/grianan-aileach-hillfort-legendary-kingdom-which-lies-5000-year-old-sacred-021295

https://www.activeme.ie/guides/driving/inishowen-100-scenic-drive-donegal-ireland-top-10-things-to-see-and-do/

http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/

Out and about, once in Donegal Town:   http://www.sliabhliag.com/

http://www.glenfolkvillage.com/glencolmcille.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3dQmBDpRJ8

http://ardara.ie/   --  Be sure to visit Nancy's:  https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/barfly-nancy-s-ardara-co-donegal-1.2546792

Hope this helps!  biggrin   biggrin  

 

 



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Friday 5th of January 2018 03:51:28 PM

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Bob

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Fantastic suggestions! This is exactly the type of things I was hoping to get. Thank you!

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Ooops!  Somehow, I accidently repeated the Grianan of Ailleach link twice, instead of the Glenveagh National Park and Castle link that I intended!  wink   wink   wink

Here's the corrected other link:  http://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/   



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Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



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In addition to Bob's suggestions these might be of interest:

Gobbins Cliff walk
Stormont
Titanic Experience
Hillsborough Village, Castle & Fort
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

I really like the Ards Peninsula but you will be bypassing it. One of Ireland's most beautiful gardens is there: Mount Stewart.


In Co. Donegal Glenveagh is well worth seeing. 



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Gobbins Cliff walk is within walking distance from our B&B .. looks awesome

When we arrive in Dublin the first day.. I was thinking of visiting Trim castle and Newgrange on our way to Belfast. Is this manageable?

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On a direct drive to Belfast, you're looking at 2+ hours.

Following:  https://goo.gl/maps/6i425CS5CUz   MY best guess would be about 4 hours -- PLUS time spent at each site, or 7-9 hours, total.  At Newgrange, the wait to begin a tour can sometimes be an hour or more, depending on the crowd numbers.    http://www.worldheritageireland.ie/bru-na-boinne/built-heritage/newgrange/

Personally, I would think that's a bit much for an arrival day -- particularly when you factor in time to actually TOUR those sites, but you should know how you will react to the over-night flight.

Some sights along the 'Direct' route to consider:  

http://www.discoverboynevalley.ie/boyne-valley-drive/heritage-sites/monasterboice

https://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/proleek-dolmen/49966



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Bob

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My visit to Newgrange off peak season took 4 hours for Knowth, Newgrange and visitor center. I would not do it in peak season fresh off a flight with a drive ahead of me.

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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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ok.. its not that far from Belfast, so perhaps we will hit Trim on the way ... then do Newgrange another day

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Since you will be in Dublin for a couple of days at the end of your trip look at this: http://newgrangetours.com/



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



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We spent a week up north in September,mostly Donegal, Tyrone, Cavan. Here are some of our itinerary notes:

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara (say ar-DRAH), tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Nancy's pub, Ardara - try their succulent crab claws and proper traditional Irish stew.

Hard to get to without wellies: Two very fine court-tombs stand close together in adjacent townlands, about 300 metres W of a road junction. Both have fine megalithic lintelled portals and two-chambered galleries. Stop in at TiLinn and ask Paddy how to get to:
Shalwy : Court Tomb
County Donegal Nearest Town Carrick (6.5 Km)

Croaghbeg : Court Tomb
Visible from Shalwy, walk over to it. Like Shalwy, this monument faces north, away from the sea and towards the valley head, so visits are probably best either late or early on a summer's day.

Glencolumcille Tower Loop - easy
54.70735, -8.72701
A 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail near Glenties, with scenic views, good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding.
1. No obvious place to park but there is plenty of space to park in the village.
2. We found it difficult to get started as we didn't find waymarks and had to ask a local. Once we got started the markers were perfect.

The Gap Trail - easy and level 2.8km. 1 hr
Car park at the start of walk lies approximately 5km/ 6min up from Ardara towards Glenties on the N56.

Walking and cycling trail follows the old railway line for Bord na Mona turf extraction facility. Crosses Ownea River (and the Bluestack Waymarked Way), passes through forestry, ends at remote, but hauntingly beautiful, Lough McHugh.

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara, tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Beltany Tops: 45min NW of Omagh.
From nearby town of Raphoe follow brown heritage signs to Beltany about 2 km outside of town.
Beltane Sunrise directly behind the triangular stone covered with cup marks.

St.Patrick's well near Castlederg. 40min from Omagh. Take a5 N, go west on B50, left on B72 at the T, down to Killeter, bear right onto Magherakeel Rd. Well on left.

In far SW of Co.Tyrone at Scrahy about 10km SW of Castlederg is Druid's Circle.

Drumskinny stone circle, Co.Fermanagh. There are many examples of stone circles in high bogland in N Fermanagh, S Derry and Tyrone, but this is one of the most charming and accessible. Measuring 13 metres in diameter, it originally had 39 upright stones up to 1.8 metres in height, with a probable gap to the NW where there is a small carefully-constructed cairn of stones contained within a kerb almost 4 metres in diameter. Stretching S from the cairn is a 15-metre-long alignment of 23 small stones.

Beaghmore stone circle is fantastic.

Cavan Burren Geopark is great. We went there but are planning to go back because too many things to see in a day.

In Dublin visit the We spent a week up north in September,mostly Donegal, Tyrone, Cavan. Here are some of our itinerary notes:

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara (say ar-DRAH), tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Nancy's pub, Ardara - try their succulent crab claws and proper traditional Irish stew.

Hard to get to without wellies: Two very fine court-tombs stand close together in adjacent townlands, about 300 metres W of a road junction. Both have fine megalithic lintelled portals and two-chambered galleries. Stop in at TiLinn and ask Paddy how to get to:
Shalwy : Court Tomb
County Donegal Nearest Town Carrick (6.5 Km)

Croaghbeg : Court Tomb
Visible from Shalwy, walk over to it. Like Shalwy, this monument faces north, away from the sea and towards the valley head, so visits are probably best either late or early on a summer's day.

Glencolumcille Tower Loop - easy
54.70735, -8.72701
A 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail near Glenties, with scenic views, good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding.
1. No obvious place to park but there is plenty of space to park in the village.
2. We found it difficult to get started as we didn't find waymarks and had to ask a local. Once we got started the markers were perfect.

The Gap Trail - easy and level 2.8km. 1 hr
Car park at the start of walk lies approximately 5km/ 6min up from Ardara towards Glenties on the N56.

Walking and cycling trail follows the old railway line for Bord na Mona turf extraction facility. Crosses Ownea River (and the Bluestack Waymarked Way), passes through forestry, ends at remote, but hauntingly beautiful, Lough McHugh.

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara, tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Beltany Tops: 45min NW of Omagh.
From nearby town of Raphoe follow brown heritage signs to Beltany about 2 km outside of town.
Beltane Sunrise directly behind the triangular stone covered with cup marks.

St.Patrick's well near Castlederg. 40min from Omagh. Take a5 N, go west on B50, left on B72 at the T, down to Killeter, bear right onto Magherakeel Rd. Well on left.

In far SW of Co.Tyrone at Scrahy about 10km SW of Castlederg is Druid's Circle.

Drumskinny stone circle, Co.Fermanagh. There are many examples of stone circles in high bogland in N Fermanagh, S Derry and Tyrone, but this is one of the most charming and accessible. Measuring 13 metres in diameter, it originally had 39 upright stones up to 1.8 metres in height, with a probable gap to the NW where there is a small carefully-constructed cairn of stones contained within a kerb almost 4 metres in diameter. Stretching S from the cairn is a 15-metre-long alignment of 23 small stones.

Beaghmore stone circle is fantastic.

Cavan Burren geopark is great. We went there but are planning to go back because too many things to see in a day.





We spent a week up north in September,mostly Donegal, Tyrone, Cavan. Here are some of our itinerary notes:

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara (say ar-DRAH), tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Nancy's pub, Ardara - try their succulent crab claws and proper traditional Irish stew.

Hard to get to without wellies: Two very fine court-tombs stand close together in adjacent townlands, about 300 metres W of a road junction. Both have fine megalithic lintelled portals and two-chambered galleries. Stop in at TiLinn and ask Paddy how to get to:
Shalwy : Court Tomb
County Donegal Nearest Town Carrick (6.5 Km)

Croaghbeg : Court Tomb
Visible from Shalwy, walk over to it. Like Shalwy, this monument faces north, away from the sea and towards the valley head, so visits are probably best either late or early on a summer's day.

Glencolumcille Tower Loop - easy
54.70735, -8.72701
A 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail near Glenties, with scenic views, good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding.
1. No obvious place to park but there is plenty of space to park in the village.
2. We found it difficult to get started as we didn't find waymarks and had to ask a local. Once we got started the markers were perfect.

The Gap Trail - easy and level 2.8km. 1 hr
Car park at the start of walk lies approximately 5km/ 6min up from Ardara towards Glenties on the N56.

Walking and cycling trail follows the old railway line for Bord na Mona turf extraction facility. Crosses Ownea River (and the Bluestack Waymarked Way), passes through forestry, ends at remote, but hauntingly beautiful, Lough McHugh.

Maghery, 9 km west of Ardara, tiny town with a picturesque waterfront. 1.5 km east of Maghery is the "enchanting" Assarancagh Waterfall.

Beltany Tops: 45min NW of Omagh.
From nearby town of Raphoe follow brown heritage signs to Beltany about 2 km outside of town.
Beltane Sunrise directly behind the triangular stone covered with cup marks.

St.Patrick's well near Castlederg. 40min from Omagh. Take a5 N, go west on B50, left on B72 at the T, down to Killeter, bear right onto Magherakeel Rd. Well on left.

In far SW of Co.Tyrone at Scrahy about 10km SW of Castlederg is Druid's Circle.

Drumskinny stone circle, Co.Fermanagh. There are many examples of stone circles in high bogland in N Fermanagh, S Derry and Tyrone, but this is one of the most charming and accessible. Measuring 13 metres in diameter, it originally had 39 upright stones up to 1.8 metres in height, with a probable gap to the NW where there is a small carefully-constructed cairn of stones contained within a kerb almost 4 metres in diameter. Stretching S from the cairn is a 15-metre-long alignment of 23 small stones.

Beaghmore stone circle is fantastic.

Cavan Burren geopark is great. We went there but are planning to go back because too many things to see in a day.

In Dublin
National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, lots of gold artifacts
Trinity College and the Book of Kells.















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