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Post Info TOPIC: Wicklow and Kenmare - with kids


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Wicklow and Kenmare - with kids


We had 9 nights in Ireland. We were a party of 8 with 4 kids (5,11,14,16), 2 parents and 2 grandparents.

We rented houses in Wicklow and Kenmare. Loved the houses. They were big and roomy with great views and washing machines. And much cheaper than hotels would have been. Plus we were able to eat breakfast and sometime lunch or dinner at home which is great when you are tired.

We flew in and out of Dublin and rented 2 cars. GPS was useful but very outdated so the road atlas was very important. Driving was not too bad except for the round-about right outside the car rental at Dublin airport. Not a fun first experience in the car. We were much more comfortable on the motorways and divided highways than on the narrow roads.

We were only able to get to about half of the places we had planned on. Everything takes longer than we planned. A pub lunch everyday took a lot of time but overall the trip was fun and relaxing.

We tried to get SIM cards at TESCO but couldn't find any. But we did ok with only one working cell phone.

Day 1 Tue

Planned to leave Chicago at 6 pm but flight was cancelled after we spent 5 hours on the runway and sat through severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Hundreds of fights were cancelled. OHare was a zoo. We were glad to find a taxi to get home.

Day 2 Wed

Returned to the airport for our rescheduled flight. Nice weather but a 24 hour delay on our trip.

Day 3 Thurs

Change of plans at London Heathrow for our flight to Dublin.

Pick up the rental cars and drive to the house in Wicklow.

Grocery shopping and a quick dinner at home - everyone was exhausted.

Day 4 Fri

Powerscourt - loved the gardens. Lunch at the cafe at Powerscourt - ok. It started to rain after lunch as we were walking through the walled gardens. Skipped the waterfall so we had time to go to Glendalough.

Glendalough - fell asleep during the film so I can't say if it was worth paying to get into the visitor center. Pouring down rain and not enough umbrellas and raincoats. We only went to the first area but it was very cool and the kids loved it. 

Home for dinner. Tried to order Chinese for delivery but somehow ended up getting it for "collection". Definately better to eat at home than to go out in the rain and wind with everyone so tired.

Day 5 Sat

Drove up to Bray to catch the train into Dublin. This worked out really well. Once in Dublin we went to Temple Bar for lunch in a pub. Then over to Christ Church Cathedral and Dublinia. We were caught up in the Gay Pride Parade, other than the crowds there were no problems. My 5 yo called this the rainbow parade. Christ Church was good - kind of just a church and the kids weren't thrilled. Dublinia was interesting and worth a visit. There are probably better things to see in Dublin but we couldn't fit any more in.

Back to Temple Bar for ice cream, Nutella crepes, and a pub for drinks and light food before taking the train back to Bray and home. We didn't need dinner that night due to the snacking.

Day 6 Sun

First stop was the Dunne's in Arklow for better rain gear. Of course once we had it we didn't need it for the rest of the trip.

Waterford for lunch in a pub then the factory tour. Very interesting. I'm not sure if the kids liked it but they didn't complain. I have a new appreciation for crystal.

Arrived at our rental house in Kenmare. Into Kenmare town for a late night dinner at the take-out Fish and Chips place. Not the best dinner.

Day 7 Mon

Drove up to Killarney through the mountains and Moll's Gap. We loved the stop at Ladies View - great pictures. We had to stop to let the sheep wander across the road.

Lunch in Killarney at Murphy's Pub. We found the pubs at lunch time to be very kid friendly and usually very empty.

Drive around Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head Drive. Stopped at Inch Strand. This was fun for wading and collecting sea shells. The kids liked it.  Stopped at Dunbeg Fort but didn't go down. The view was good though. The drive around Slea Head was scarey - very narrow lane(s) with a stone wall and a drop to the ocean. Great views. Stopped at the Blasket Center - the adults who read the signs found it interesting. Not a good stop for the kids. Back to Dingle for ice cream and Murphy's and a picture with Fungie the dolphin. Back home for a spagetti dinner from the grocery store.

We took the bypass from Killarney to Kenmare to the east that avoided the mountains. The mountain drive was fun once but after that we just wanted to get where we were going.

Day 8 Tue

Up to Killarney for lunch at a different pub then a tour of Ross Castle. We didn't want to put a full day into the Jaunting car tour so after the castle tour we just took a Jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park. It was nice and plenty long enough to make the 5 yo happy but my son was allergic to the horse and he was very happy when it was over. Back to Kenmare for dinner at a pub.

Day 9 Wed

Up to Bunratty for lunch at the Creamery Bar then the folk park. We loved this. Later we checked into the Bunratty Castle Hotel. We got only two rooms with 4 people per room. One of the rooms was very big with an additional couch. The second room just had the 2 beds. 

Over to Durty Nelly's for drinks before the 8:30 banquet at the castle. The downstairs bar is very small. We sat outside and it was great weather for it. Loved the banquet. They brought out melon for our 5 yo as she wasn't eating the food. This was a late night but we only had to roll back to the hotel.

Day 10 Thurs

In Bunratty we had breakfast at the hotel (included in the room) and then shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mill. Drove back to Kenmare through Adare but didn't stop. Lunch at the house then over to Kenmare to see the town better. We went to the stone circle - interesting. What is the tree with the hair ribbons all about???? Stopped at the lace center - would have liked to see a demonstration but didn't. Then some shopping and dinner at the same pub. 

Day 11 Fri

Drove over to Cork for the day. Stopped at Kilcrea. Very interesting. The kids love these ruins and the gravestones there were very interesting. This was also good as it wasn't a typical tourist site. 

Lunch at Blarney Woolen Mills then a tour of the castle. 2 of the kids kissed the Blarney stone. I did it once years ago and don't want to do it again. I think once is enough.  We met up with friends of mine I used to work with at Blarney then went to their house in Cork for dinner. This was so much fun and relaxing. Great company but also a house to let the kids run around in while the adults sat and talked. Funny how the kids are all the same. The boys played XBox while the girls played with Disney princess dolls.

Day 12 Sat

Left the house in Kenmare for our flight in Dublin. On the way we stopped in Cahir to see the Swiss Cottage. This was very cool. We had lunch in a pub in Cahir but didn't have time for the castle or a stop in Cashel.

Returned the cars at the airport with no issue even though we did knock a light out of of the left side rear view mirror. Flights back to London for the night then on to Chicago in the morning had no issues.

 



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Eileen,

Welcome home! Sorry to hear your trip got off to a rocky start with a flight cancelation. I'm glad to hear your self-catering houses worked out well for your group. When sharing such costs it can be a lot less than other forms of accommodations.

It never fails. As soon as you have the appropriate rain gear you don't need it. wink But that is not all bad as it means good weather follows.

Sounds like everyone had a good time including the kids. There is an interesting podcast over on Irish Fireside about traveling in Ireland with kids that you might enjoy listening to: http://irishfireside.com/2011/07/04/119-fairy-hunting-with-the-family-in-ireland/ Jody Halsted of Ireland With Kids has lots of tips.

Thanks for taking the time to post your trip report.

Michele



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"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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