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Donegal & N. Ireland vs. Southeast by Bonnie
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Bonnie
Unregistered User
(6/12/03 12:51 pm)
 
Donegal & N. Ireland vs. Southeast


My family of four, which includes two teen-aged girls, have tickets to fly in and out of Shannon July 29-Aug. 9. We are trying to plan an itinerary. Originally I was inclined to explore Galway a few days and then Dingle/Kerry, which is pretty much what my husband and I did on a wonderful visit 20 years ago. Now, however, we are discovering Galway Race Week is making B&Bs expensive and hard to find there. We are also worried about going to tour-bus-infested spots that our daughters will deride as "touristy." We are tempted to head further north into Donegal and Northern Ireland and drop the southern swing altogether. What do you think? We are active -- hikers, rock climbers, admirers of nature. We'd like a more authentic experience rather than one created for tourists. Do you have advice?



CatMoore
Registered User
Posts: 9
(6/12/03 12:13 pm)
 
Northern Ireland


Hi Bonnie!

My husband and I just spent some time on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland, and it was spectacular! We stayed at a B&B right in Portballintrae, which is right by a trail that leads all the way to the Giant's Causeway. They have two different trails to take, either a quick way (approx. 2 1/2 miles) to the causeway, or the scenic route along the coast (about 6 miles). The scenic route is DEFINITELY worthwhile - it was so beautiful. Since you noted that you and your family are hikers, and while it's not extremely difficult, it is long....

If you decide to stay in Portballintrae, we stayed at the Manor House B&B - Janette and Martin MacClaine are the hosts. It was a lovely B&B - right on the coast.

Portballintrae itself is pretty small. There is a great restaurant there - Sweeney's Wine Bar that has excellent food. Also, Bushmills is an easy walk, and there are pleanty of restaurants there, plus the distillery.

I've been to the southeast, too, but I fell in love with the northern coast.

I hope this helps!

Cat



Michele Erdvig
ezOP
Posts: 1553
(6/12/03 5:07 pm)

Re: Donegal & N. Ireland vs. Southeast


Hi Bonnie,

The farther north you head (especially Northern Ireland) the more the tourists will thin out. I do recommend Connemara though. You might choose to spend a few nights in Clifden or Roundstone. Wonderful hiking and nature there.

Some other areas worth seeing that are often overlooked by tourists:

Sligo
Achill Island
Enniskillen
Inishowen Peninsula (Co. Donegal)
Fanad Head (Co. Donegal)
Ards Peninsula (Northern Ireland)

And if you do go to Northern Ireland don't miss the Giant's Causeway and the Causeway coast. As Cat says this area is very scenic. (You will see tour buses there though.)

If you need excellent B&Bs and guesthouses to stay at in these areas my book will be of help: www.IrelandYes.com/book.html

Once you decide on your itinerary I suggest making reservations since July is high season. Even in more off-the-beaten-path places you will find tourists, however probably more from the Continent and Irish families. Also, when traveling with four who will need either a family room or two rooms, reservations are advisable.

I hope this helps with your decision as to the direction to take. If you have more questions we will all be happy to give our two cents worth!

Michele

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