Hello again! Well when I posted last I was hoping we were going to Ireland this year in May. Well that has changed do to an unexpected visit this coming March from some friends of ours and one in August from our old German exchange student and her grandparents. With taking time off from work for those visits we decided to move our vacation to next years spring break. We have placed our request with our timeshare so hopefully those will go through and it'll all be set. That will give me even more time to plan . Thank you for the ideas last time on breaking up the weeks stays with a few days at other destinations. My husband and I are traveling with our kids, they will be almost 8yrs old, 11 yrs old and a 19 yr old (I am assuming he is going). So far this is what I have come up with for our two weeks:
Friday April 6th arrive in Dublin- hang out in town and see some of the sights until we can check in (I do not have a B&B or hotel picked for this yet)
7th- More sight seeing in Dublin. Between the two days I'd like to see Phoenix park, Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, Cathedrals...etc
8th- pick up rental car and head to Knocktopher (our base for the week), stopping at Powerscourt and Glendalough on the way
9th- Day trip. Jerpoint Abby through Thomastown to Graiguenamamagh. I'm wondering if we should drive over to Wexford here then back to base
10th- Day trip to Waterford to see the Crystal, Reginalds tower, churches etc. Should we go to Dunmore from here then back to base? Or is that too much?
11th- 12th --Kilkenny, see Black abby, Smithwicks, castle, Rothe house, cathedrals etc... and stop by Ballybur Castle and Kells Priory Two days for all this so we also have some time to relax a bit and just hang out.
Friday 13th- drive to Dungarvan, Cohb, Kinsale and then Cork? for the night (don't have a place picked out to stay yet)
14th- Check out Cork then head to Killarney base for the week. Check out town if we are up to it
15th- Day trip. Kenmare, stop at blackwater stables for a horese trek, drive back over Molls gap, Torc waterfall, Muckross
16th- Day trip. Gap of Dunloe and more of Killareny national park or ?
17th- Dingle Penn
18th- can either stay in Killareny area for the day or head up to Limerick, Lough Gur. Haven't decided yet whether to make this a day trip or to stay in Limerick for the night
19th- If we didn't do Limerick we could do it this day along with Lough Gur and Bunratty and stay for the Banquet Trying to decide on if we want to see the Cliffs of Moher this time or save that area for another trip. Plus decide if we want to drive back to Killareny base or stay up there for the night.
20th- Drive to Dublin, stopping in Kildare. Find a place to stay and then return rental car and hang out.
21st- Flying out of Dublin
How does this sound? Any suggestions are welcome. I haven't booked anything yet so its still a bit flexible. We are wanting to see the sights but not be run ragged and rushed, especially with the kids. Thank you for any input
Some brief notes: Traveling with 5 will be MUCH more costly and require careful pre-planning, as opposed to four -- due to vehicle requirements and accommodation issues -- so you really need to 'Lock Down' that decision early-on.
With little ones, I wouldn't consider driving back-and-forth from Killarney to Limerick two days in a row (and to Limerick, again, on Day 3.
I would look at the routing options that make the most sense, time and distance wise, in regards to Wexford and Waterford, before committing, as well.
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!
Have you a Tall 8 yr old or a short one? there are strict rules on child safety seats that may impact on the choice of vehicle as well as the extra body. http://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Road-Safety/Campaigns/Current-road-safety-campaigns/No-Child-Car-Seat---No-Excuse/The-Law/ Remember that most 6 seat rental vehicles have seats 5 & 6 in the rear baggage area.
As to the day trips you can plan these out using google maps to obtain the distances you will cover but the distance in miles divided by 35 is averaging how many hours you will have behind the wheel not accounting for stops
Two rules for Ireland, Take your time & bring a sense of humour
For the 13th, I suggest you spend the night in Kinsale. If the next day is nice you could go to Killarney via west Cork coast road. It would be a longish driving day but a beautiful drive.
Woodlands House (walking distance to town): http://www.woodlandskinsale.com/
Rivermount (couple of miles from town): http://bit.ly/rivermount
Landfall House (walking distance to town): http://www.landfallhouse.com/
Old Bank House (in town): http://bit.ly/oldbankkinsale
Actons Hotel (in town): http://bit.ly/actonskinsale
"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.
There is plenty to keep you busy in Killarney for the week. Take a look at Star Outdoors and Seafari in Kenmare for the kids. I also highly recommend the Beara Peninsula - Ireland's only cable car is at its tip. Gleninchaquin might be of interest for hiking and picnic.
In 2013, we took our then 5 and 8 year old granddaughters on the Gap of Dunloe tour and it was a high-light of their trip. In 2014, we took our then 9 year old grandson -- and he reacted the same way. It's a lot more than JUST pretty scenery.
Why not play it by ear while you are at your self-catering rental? If you put Wexford on the agenda I would suggest the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross and going down the Hook peninsula to the lighthouse and whatever else you can fit into that day such as Tintern Abbey, etc. In the Kilkenny area you might look into Jerpoint Abbey, Castlecomber Discovery Park and Dunmore Cave.
I'm a big fan of the Hop On / Hop Off bus. It gives a great 'overview' of the city (about 1 hour, full circle) PLUS, the children will likely enjoy the open top, double decker bus ride -- Shades of Harry Potter's Night Bus!
Hopper bus is excellent.