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Post Info TOPIC: First time mid may 14 day whirlwind tour


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First time mid may 14 day whirlwind tour


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?



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Welcome to Michele's Forum!  biggrin   biggrin 

Before attempting to answer YOUR questions, we'll need to have you answer a few of ours  confuse   confuse  --

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!  biggrin



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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 smile  

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.  



-- Edited by tony2phones on Saturday 4th of February 2017 08:57:20 AM

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That is great info...thanks. Still in the planning stage but here is what we are thinking. Arrive in Dublin 9th of may around 10am. From there our first thought was south through Wicklow to Killkenny area, Caschel Rock, Cahir Castle, Maybe Mitchell caves, Blarney Castle, Ring of Kerri, Dingle Penn, Ferry across to Cliffs of Moher, Doolan, Burren, do the costal drive Galway to Mace, Croagh Patrick, Doolough Valley, Slive Leage, Geln Gesh pass, Horn Head, Malin Head, Giants Causeway, Kareck a Reed rope bridge,Bally Castle, Belfast, New Grange, then Dublin leaving on May 24.

Not sure if that is all do-able, or if we are missing something we should be seeing. We are not big on large cities, but rather prefer smaller character towns, and scenic natural places. Good walking and hiking. But we do want to, and should see Dublin for a couple of nights at the end, and maybe Belfast as well. Other than that we have no idea where to stay and for how long. We are flexible, if we have to skip something or extend in certain areas.

All we have so far is flights. Car hire not done yet either. Once we firm up itinerary we can determine how long we will need one. I am thinking for the last 2 nights in Dublin, we won't need a car. I will have a look for Michelle's guide as well.

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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!  hmm  hmm ) 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!  aww  aww

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! 



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Thanks for the feedback. It looks like we will have to scale back somewhere. We are still hard at work going through books and internet etc., so we will see what we can leave for another time.

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Will you be arriving off a long flight? If so, I don't recommend driving too far on the first day. You never know how jet-lag will affect you. Some say it can be like drunk driving if you are especially tired.

Although May is "shoulder season" popular areas can fill up especially on weekends or if there is a festival on. So try to get somewhat of an itinerary in place. I would always book Dublin in advance and your first and last night's stay.

As for what to cut out...I suggest making a list of "must sees" in order of most important. See where they cluster and plan on staying in certain areas for 2 or three nights. Do day trips from those bases. One-night stays in between those bases will get you from place to place without killing yourselves with long drives. If there are one or two "must sees" that are far away from your general route, cut them out and concentrate on the others. You won't miss what you did not see and will enjoy what you had time to see that much more.



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Thanks for all of the great feedback. We have re visited our plan. It seems that most of what we like is covered in the north and west, so we will eliminate some of the southwest sites if necessary. We can always see how things look as we go along. We can also bypass Belfast and just do Dublin as our main city visit. Having said that, we are still working hard on our itinerary. We have an overnight trip (6hr flight) arriving in the the a.m. I usually sleep on the flight anyway, and have had no problem with jet lag in the past. By the time we get our rental car etc., I would think we should be on the road around noon. Is it too much to get to the antrim coast area on our first day? Have you any recommendations for a place to stay (B&B) for the first night, and we would have our last 2 nights in Dublin, and would appreciate a recommendation for a place to stay there as well. We do not want the Hilton, just something reasonable and clean and good location.

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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

Dublin: 

Ashling Hotel: http://bit.ly/ashlinghotel  

 

Brooks: http://bit.ly/brooksdublin 

 

Davenport: http://bit.ly/davenportdublin   

 

Alexander: http://bit.ly/alexanderdublin 

 

MountClare: http://bit.ly/montclaredublin 

 

Stephen's Green: http://bit.ly/stephensgreen 

 

Fitzwilliam: http://bit.ly/fitzwilliamdublin 

 

Buswell's: http://bit.ly/buswells

Jurys Christchurch: http://bit.ly/juryschristchurch

 

 



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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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Good on you for cutting back! You don't want what Michele calls the 'green blur' tour :)

Overnight means you will still likely have jet lag, dangerous if you don't plan for it. Spend your first couple days somewhere not too far. Have you considered flying into Belfast instead? That would mean you're already close to the Antrim Coast that first day. A day or two in Belfast, then up the Antrim Coast, over into Donegal, etc.

I loved staying in Cushendall, Antrim. Riverside B&B is clean, elegant, and right downtown - staggering distance to several pubs. :D

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Thanks Michelle for the accommodation recommendations...

Flying into Belfast is not really an option coming from Canada. Much cheaper just to do a return to Dublin. Very much looking forward to this trip!

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