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Post Info TOPIC: Planning a May 2006 trip!


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Planning a May 2006 trip!


Hi Michele! 


I am planning a second trip to Ireland.  The first trip we took an organized tour but decided to brave the driving this time.  Anyway, my daughter, mother and I have been doing some preliminary planning.  We are definitely flying into Shannon and out of Dublin.  We are using vouchers for the B&B's as they are part of our travel package. Here is the rest of the plan -- 


Arrive Shannon, drive to Doolin - spend two nights.  Tour the area -- Burren, Cliffs of Mohr, Aiwlee Caves, etc. (Hopefully staying Daly's House near O'Connors Pub) 


Drive to Bunratty - stay one night to shop and visit Folk Park. (Hopefully staying at Headley Court)


Drive to Killarney - spend two nights.  Tour Dingle and Kenmare.


Drive to Kilkenny (stop in Blarney along the way) - spend two nights.  


Drive to Dublin - spend two nights. 


I'm struggling over the decision to stay in Killarney vs. Kenmare.  My original thinking is that since we're staying in the 'country' while in Doolin, we would be ready for the 'big city' of Killarney vs. Kenmare.  However, I hear many great things about Kenmare.  I also want a central location for visiting Dingle, Muckross, etc.  What are your thoughts? 


Also - besides the walking tour and castle in Kilkenny what day trips/tours would you suggest while staying in Kilkenny? 


The itinerary may seem a bit aggressive at this point.  I'm sure that we'll whittle it down some once I factor in driving times, etc., however, as a first draft, is the plan doable?


Thanks for any assistance and/or comments on our plans!



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Cathy


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Cathy,


Congratulations on planning your second trip to Ireland! Your itinerary looks fine although you could do Bunratty for your first night and then go to Doolin. Just a thought.



Killarney is hardly the big city but it would make an excellent base for what you want to do. In May it will not be too overrun with tourists since the season is just starting out. In your case it probably makes sense to stay in Killarney rather than Kenmare.



My book outlines many day trips from Kilkenny and things to do in the immediate area. What are your particular interests and what do you enjoy seeing in Ireland?



Michele



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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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Michele,


I have two of your books (different versions - both bought before each trip!!).  We're doing some repeat things - Cliffs, Burren, Blarney Castle that we're covered in our escorted tour of the previous trip.  However, I was thinking in the Killarney area we could hit Dingle (vs. Ring of Kerry we did last time), visit Kenmare, Gap of Dunloe.  I thought I read somewhere that there was a tour that starts in a pub or B&B of the Gap of Dunloe (part car/part boat) - but I can't find any information on it.  In Kilkenny, I think that the Rock of Cashel would be fairly close for either a day trip of while on the way to Dublin.  We anticipate our days being filled with scenic sightseeing and 'attractions' and our evenings relaxing in local pubs. 


We are going with a plan and a list of B & B's that we've looked over online, cross-referencing  the list provided by the tour package with your book.  However, we're going to make reservations only for Daly's in Doolin (any feedback on that establishment?) and Headley Court (I know that you love that one!!) in Bunratty and then wing it from there since we don't want to be locked into a definitive timeline.  Am I setting myself up for failure by doing this??  We selected Alcantra in Kilkenny - any feedback on this B & B?


We thought about staying the first night in Bunratty but our flight arrives at 7:30 a.m. and decided to go ahead and drive to Doolin.  Also, driving from Doolin to Killarney would then be broken up with a night in Bunratty.


Thanks for your comments and any additional information you can provide.



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Cathy


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Hi Cathy:


Deros Tours does the Gap of Dunloe trip as a tour and it's pretty convenient. They pick up in a number of places in Killarney. You can find them at: http://www.derostours.com/gapofdunloe.html


I really like Kenmare, but if you plan to see Dingle from that area, Killarney would be more convenient. Oh, but Kenmare in May .... I'll be there myself for a couple of days.


I agree with Michele on the Bunratty thing. There is plenty to see around Bunratty with very little driving on your first tired day. You won't be bored. There's obviously the folk park and castle, Knappogue Castle, Craggaunowen, Quinn Abbey and that's more than enough to fill your first day. IMO, your Doolin day will involve much more driving and benefit from being alert. I think your plan for your 1st day is way too energetic with too much driving. I strongly suggest doing Bunratty the 1st night and Doolin the second.


From Doolin to Killarney, you can take the ferry at Killimer which will avoid a much longer trip and eliminate backtracking. The drive down the coast will be an excellent addition to your trip and will give you an extra bit a beautiful scenery that was left out on your itinerary.


Since you've been to Blarney already, consider strongly the option of not going there and seeing what I consider a much more interesting (and intact) castle at Cahir which is also a neat little town. Right up the road is the Rock of Cashel which could also be seen enroute to Kilkenny. The Rock would be a good distance out of your way by scheduling it between Kilkenny and Dublin. It makes much more sense from Killarney.


When in Doolin, consider McGann's as an option for music. O'Connor's gets very crowded and it's very hard to hear the music if you don't sit right next to them. If you want to sit close, you'll have to arrive a couple hours before the music begins and have dinner or drink an awful lot.


You shouldn't have a problem finding a room in May on the fly. If there are particular places that you want to stay, I suggest booking them in advance. Otherwise, winging it is fine.


Hope this is helpful.


Bill



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Bill,


Thanks for your reply.  I will definitely check out the ferry if it saves some driving time.  And I'll change the visit to Rock of Cashel for between Killarney and Kilkenny. 


The main reason I wanted to go to Kenmare is YOUR description in an earlier trip report (last year??)!  Your description of the area and the B & B you stayed in sounded great.  But I think Killarney will be the better choice for us on this trip! 


Thanks again!


 



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Cathy


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Cathy,


I don't know which editions of my book you have but it is constantly changing. Some B&Bs have been sold or retired, others have been removed for various reasons. Alcantra is one that I stayed at in September and will be in my 2006 book. You will be happy there. However, I do suggest reservations on weekends especially in places like Kilkenny and Doolin. I don't know where that will fall in your trip, but just be conscious of it.


In Cashel Joy's Rockside House is the place to stay. There is a link on my "Lodgings" page. In Doolin I have several suggestions. I have not inspected Daly's yet. If you want my recommendations let me know.


Do think about making Bunratty and Headley Court your first night. As Bill says, there is plenty to do in the area. You can do a bit of sightseeing and then if jet-lag hits, take an afternoon nap. Also, on your trip down the coast of Clare you might fit in Loop Head. What a fantastic place. This is the link for the ferry: http://www.shannonferries.com/


I second Bill's recommendation of Cahir Castle just south of Cashel. It is one of Ireland's best castles. Take the very informative tour and then wander around the castle on your own exploring all the nooks and crannies.


If you need any other B&B suggestions, just let me know.


Michele



__________________

"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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