G'day, my wife and I have booked flights and plan to do a 14 day tour of Ireland, almost a complete circle, trying to see as much as we can. Landing in Dublin, we were thinking about renting a car at the airport and taking right off from there, heading south. We arrive in the a.m. and expect to be on the road by noon for our adventure. We are on a budget, looking for reasonable B&B's. At this point we are flying by the seat of our pants and haven't planned accommodation. We know most of the highlights we want to see. Is there such a thing as a recommended route? We are mostly the scenic type and don't mind some good driving. Is it too risky just to show up at some B&B as we go?
Welcome to Michele's Forum!
Before attempting to answer YOUR questions, we'll need to have you answer a few of ours --
When are you traveling? We will need dates to determine need for pre-booking.
Are you planning to cover only the Republic, or Northern Ireland, too?
Where are you flying from? Will you be arriving in Dublin after a long, over-night flight?
Have you arraigned your car hire yet? It's best to have that settled ahead of time, so there are no surprises.
Do you have a list of 'Must See' sites? The best route will efficiently factor in those locations.
A resident Guru (Tony2Phones) has developed a number of maps for assorted trips that might be quite useful, but determining WHICH will require knowing what YOU are looking to experience!
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!
First off a 10 day plan I did some years ago for an Australian couple https://drive.google.com/open?id=13pIotdjZRLdeDCSV1z4sMdtSdL0&usp=sharing 4 more days might get you down to Cork. You could do this either way round its only tradition that has me heading north first, that and the point that Belfast is a good direct drive for arrival day into Dublin airport. I'm no more a guru than others on the forum that have been here multiple times, one benefit of this forum is the experience of most contributors. Michele has a wealth of knowledge in respect of accommodation and you could do worse than getting hold of her guide, I can say that because I have nothing to do with it
Word of warning. Ireland is bigger on the ground than it looks on a map, I have an uncle who drove road trains out from Perth but wouldn't do anywhere near 200 miles a day over here.
Accommodation on the move.. I have always winged my way around the island and in memory I have slept in the car once.. and that was because a big hotel "lost" my booking but wanted to charge me rack rate for a room, no thanks. There is a growing trend for places to advertise on the book now cancel the day before without penalty sites hence folk are booking 5 rooms and cancelling 4 the day before because a place looks booked up doesn't mean it is. My method. Book the first and any pre departure nights.. Get the number (direct phone number) of 3 B&B's and 1 hotel in potential overnight stops, email the hotel enquire about offers and any events locally for your perspective dates. Phone ahead at breakfast for the night stay. book 1 night only and if there is anything on within 30 miles maybe book an extra night.
If your dates Clash with an event like the Fledh in Ennis that starts the 21st May rooms will be tight or unavailable.
Two rules for Ireland, Take your time & bring a sense of humour
May is an excellent month for touring about -- pretty much everything is open, in bloom -- and less crowded.
Unless the plan is just to drive past, or through those places, you'll be lucky to cover Half. As Tony says, "Ireland is bigger on the ground than it looks on a map". A good mapping option for daily routes is www.theaa.ie/routes OR Google Maps. Just know and understand that the Listed, 'Drive Time' estimates are Pure Rubbish.
They ASSUME (and we know what THAT means! ) that you are an Experienced, LOCAL driver -- maintaining the POSTED speeds, who is blindly intent on getting from Point 'A' to Point 'B' -- without being distracted.
Firstly -- That Posted speed is a MAXIMUM and in most cases, trying to drive at those speeds is entirely dangerous and sometimes, physically impossible. We've all seen those posted pix of the winding, single-lane track with a Speed Limit Sign of either 80 KPH or, even, 100 KPH!
A good rule of thumb for route planning is to divide the Kilometers driven by either 50 or 55 KPH (30 - 35 MPH) -- although, on lesser routes, like the Wicklow Gap, Slea Head, Ring of Kerry. Doo Lough Valley, etcetera -- even THOSE estimated speeds might be a tad too high. Of course, when driving on the Motorways, 100 - 120 KPH IS possible -- if you don't get distracted by random Castles, Round Towers and gorgeous scenery!
"Ireland Expert" Michele ErdvigClick links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland ItineraryVisit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.
Depending on where on the Antrim coast it could take 2 - 3 hours to get from Dublin Airport to your destination. Traffic will also be a consideration with your timing.
Try Causeway Lodge Bushmills or Crockatinney in Ballycastle for B&Bs. For a hotel try Bushmills Inn.
Ashling Hotel: http://bit.ly/ashlinghotel
Stephen's Green: http://bit.ly/stephensgreen
Jurys Christchurch: http://bit.ly/juryschristchurch
May the light be your guide and the darkness be your comfort!