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Single woman traveling in Ireland by jojo
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jojo
Unregistered User
(7/10/05 8:29 am)

Single woman traveling in Ireland


Another Ireland Forum!! Hooray! I can't believe all the great tips I've received from reading others' experiences.

Here's the deal: I am a fifty-ish single woman who is making her first (and hopefully not last) journey to Ireland in September. I will be flying into Shannon, have a car reserved and will be doing B&B's for 5 nights. Not nearly long enough, I know, but all that's possible this time out.

The first day, I plan to drive up to Galway and have reserved two nights at Suan na Mara B&B in Spiddal. I figured that it would be a good base to visit both Galway and Connemara. Allowing for jet lag and getting accustomed to driving in Ireland I didn't want to get TOO ambitious the first day out so will play it by ear.

The second day I thought I'd see Connemara and try to make it up to Westport. Second night in Spiddal.

The next day, down to Killarney. Is that too long a drive for one day? I have a reservation at the Purple Heather B&B in Killarney for that evening.

I thought I'd do a jaunting car through the Gap of Dunloe the next day, again playing the day by ear, then head up to Ashgrove House in Bunratty for the night.

The next day is open to visit the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Lisdoonvarna (I AM single, you know -- and it's Matchmaking Festival time!  >D Spending a second night at Ashgrove House, banquet at Bunratty Castle.

Home the final day.

Is this too much driving, particularly the day from Galway to Killarney?

Has anyone stayed at any of the B&B's? I'm not too worried about Ashgrove House, having seen many glowing recommendations from people who've stayed with Frank & Sheila. The others are just hit and miss, from the Town & Country book (I have vouchers).

What kind of reception can I expect as a single woman, when I walk into pubs? I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, yet I'm sure I'll get "looks."

I'm into the countdown and can hardly wait for the trip!




Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3249
(7/10/05 6:30 pm)

Re: Single woman traveling in Ireland


jojo,

The drive from Spiddal to Killarney (on the main roads) will take around 4 hours or perhaps more if you get caught up in Galway, Ennis or Limerick traffic. Only you can determine if that is too much driving for you. Instead of backtracking from Bunratty to the west coast of Clare, had you thought of going from Spiddal down that way? Perhaps overnighting along the way and continuing on to Killarney the next day? That would give you one night in Bunratty at the end of the trip instead. Just a thought.

Suan na Mara is a very nice B&B that I have inspected. You will want to be sure that someone is there to meet you and check you in. I have never met the owners (I suspect that they work in Galway during the day). I only met the maid who did not speak English and she is not there all day. So if you are checking in during the day confirm the time. I don't know the Purple Heather or Ashgrove.

As for the pubs any stranger (male or female) will get "looks" as the locals size you up. They are merely curious not hostile.

Sounds like a fun trip.

Michele




jojo
Registered User
Posts: 1
(7/10/05 7:32 pm)

Re: Single woman traveling in Ireland


Michele,
thanks for the reply. I had thought of doing the Cliffs, etc., on the way to Killarney, but since it seems that will take the whole day I'd rather just get to Killarney and save it for another day. There are no ferries across Galway Bay are there? That would save TONS of driving!

I've re-worked this itinerary a few times and although it's a lot of driving I think it's the best way for me to see a lot without it being totally exhausting.

Jo



lgillilan
Unregistered User
(7/11/05 9:07 pm)

Re: Single woman traveling in Ireland


Jo

I am a single woman who has been traveling to Ireland a few times a year for the past 6 years. Everyone I have met has been lovely. In Clifden when a couple of local women noticed I was dining alone, they extended an invitation to me to join them at their table. In pubs the locals will strike up a conversation with you and before long you will be treated as a friend. This is what has kept me travelling back to Ireland.



jojo
Registered User
Posts: 3
(7/11/05 9:55 pm)

Re: Single woman traveling in Ireland


Thanks for the encouragement. I had some wonderful experiences in London a few years ago while traveling alone, and this trip is one I've looked forward to for many years.

It was supposed to be our 25th anniversary trip. We divorced long before the 25th year, and I'm a few years late, but I'm going!



Michele Erdvig
Administrator
Posts: 3256
(7/14/05 1:18 am)

Re: Single woman traveling in Ireland


jojo,

The only ferries across Galway Bay are to the Aran Islands. No help to you. The itinerary looks pretty good. You will certainly get a taste of the west and hopefully can spend longer next time. How nice that you are taking off on your own to see the world!

Michele

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