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Trip idea


Greetings to everyone. I've been off the board for awhile -- although I do look at comments now and then. Now I would like some feedback on a trip we are planning in August. This will be my ninth journey to Ireland, and we want to focus on small villages and see some places we haven't seen in previous trips. Let me lay out the itinerary, and perhaps it will make for some suggestions of things to see as we go around the country.

Day 1 fly to Dublin landing at 10:45. Get car, drive to Avoca to stay. Along the way stop at either Glendalough or Powerscourt.

Day 2,3 drive to Inistioge, staying two nights. Day trip to Kilkenny one of the days there.

Day 4, 5 drive to Birr to stay. Day trips to Clonmacnoise, Tullamore Distillery, and Lough Derg.

Day 6,7,8 drive to self catering cottage south of Sligo. Day trips to Sligo, Donegal, Slieve League Cliffs, and other places in that region.

Day 9 drive to near Dublin Airport. Go to Trim Castle and neolithic sites if weather is good. Drop off car, check into hotel, have dinner near where we are.

Day10 fly home 11:30.

This would be less driving than we often do and will feature many places staying multip!e nights. Your comments? Best places for traditional music, pubs, must see things near where we are?

Thanks so much.

 

Geno



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Sounds like a nice, semi - leisurely plan.  Personally, I would head to Avoca via Powerscourt (and, maybe Powerscourt waterfall) and save Glendalough for the following morning, but that's nit-picking.  biggrin  biggrin

Lough Derg is worth a whole day -- MORE, if you can spare it!  biggrin  biggrin   A trip out to Holy Island in Mountshannon can be quite special.  You could always 'catch' Clonmacnoise on the drive to Sligo.

Don't have time at the moment to get into too many details, but DO 'check back' and I'll update as soon as possible!  aww

 



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Thanks Bob. I look forward to anything you can attest to that would be interesting.

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For Arrival, Day 1:

Here's what Google says:  https://goo.gl/maps/ZsF2ZTfLNWQ2  That's Powerscourt and the Waterfall.  

On Day 2:  

This 'Adds In' Glendalough:  https://goo.gl/maps/JAYbAx76Xb52   Gives you the choice of Meeting of the Waters, either, or both days.  For Glendalough, the Upper Lake and some of the 'off site churches might be of interest: http://www.glendalough.ie/heritage/monastic-city/  

Russborough House and Gardens might also be of interest after passing through the Wicklow Gap:  http://www.russborough.ie/   If so, Google says:  https://goo.gl/maps/rBAoutpF5vP2

BUT -- LOTS to 'pick up' if so inclined:  I like the R448 -- At least as far as Castledermot).  It offers up a Round Tower at Old Kilcullen, Moone High Cross, numerous sites in Castledermot -- and still tempts with Carlow.

Old Kilcullen Grave Yard and Round Tower:  http://www.megalithicireland.com/Old%20Kilcullen%20Round%20Tower.html

Moone High Cross: http://www.megalithicireland.com/High%20Cross%20Moone.htm

Castldermot:  http://irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie/page/castledermot/castledermot-info    and    http://www.megalithicireland.com/Castledermot%20Round%20Tower.html

Carlow:  https://carlowtourism.com/attractions/

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/rR9SazEeuex

If Carlow doesn't appeal, consider Duckett's Grove: https://carlowtourism.com/ducketts-grove-walled-gardens-and-pleasure-grounds/  

Alternate:  https://goo.gl/maps/x8Me5VSyG6w 

Any of these routes bring you to Jerpoint Abbey, just before Inistoge:  http://www.megalithicireland.com/Jerpoint%20Abbey.html

Other (perhaps) worthy sites nearby:  https://visitkilkenny.ie/explore/  Kells, Graignamanagh, St. Mullens, New Ross (Dunbrody Famine Ship), Knocktopher, Aghaviller, Kilree (Mind the Bull!), Tullaherin -- and, just because my youngest Grand-daughter shares the name -- Clara Castle . . . 

Feel free to adapt any -- or NONE -- of these suggestions!  biggrin  biggrin  After all -- It's YOUR trip, not mine. 



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Day 5: To Birr

Basic route is fairly un-inspiring (other than Roscrea, which is worth a bit of time  http://www.heritagetowns.com/roscrea.shtml   ).  Some possible 'detours':  If you drive through Timahoe (Church and Round Tower), you meet up with the M7 at Portlaois -- a very short detour North is the Rock of Dunamase.  

Another option would be to forego the Northern route (at first) and head to Clonmel, via the walled town of Fethard:  https://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/museum-of-transport/3567

https://www.tipperary.com/explore/attractions   

From there, drive the 'Vee' up to Cahir and Cashel (presumably, bypassing both as previously visited?)before setting off on the R660 for Holy Cross Abbey -- and then, visiting Roscrea, before Birr.    Map:  https://goo.gl/maps/T6xniSwo6DD2

Day 6 Option:  The Lough Derg 'Loop'  -- https://goo.gl/maps/CokwVkbJUsC2

You could even 'go crazy' and NOT cross the bridge from Killaloe to Ballina -- and follow the Shannon down to O'Brien's Bridge.  biggrin  biggrin

Sites along this drive:

Between Birr and Portumna is Lorrha Dorrha:  https://www.visitlorrhadorrha.com/history.html

Portumna Castle and Workhouse; tony2phone's home (you could 'drop-in for a cuppa, or set up a 'Meet'!); MountShannon's Marina, Maze, boats to Holy Island; Taumgraney (East Clare Heritage Center (In a church built by Brian Boru!), O'Grady Castle (partially built from stones 'robbed' from a Round Tower!!!  furiousfuriousfurious), Wilde Irish Chocolate Factory and store; and Killaloe / Ballina -- Brian Boru Heritage Center, Brian Boru's Fort.  The East side of Lough Derg. from Nenagh doesn't expose the Lake very often, but it is VERY picturesque.  I am smitten with the picturesque village of  Puckaun, where the lead singer of the Pogues spent much of his youth.  The main street is lined with gorgeous, restored cottages (for rent as Holiday Homes) and, on the outskirts there is a bstch of thatch-roofed Holiday homes that were favorites of Gene Kelly.  



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Bob

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Great material and so much to consider. Thank you so much for doing this for me. I appreciate your willingness to help with my plans.

Best wishes and again, Thanks!!!

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Here's some options for your Day 6 Day Trip:  https://goo.gl/maps/SXQxBnsqMuP2

This route passes by Kinnitty Castle (which is for sale if you have a 'spare' 7 million euro or so!):  http://www.kinnittycastle.com/kinnitty-castle/things-to-do/attractions/149

Following on, a drive through the Slieve Bloom Mountains should be quite scenic:  https://slievebloom.ie/things-to-do/scenic-drives

After that, make your way to Tullamore (for the Distillery) and then, perhaps Lunch at Tyrellspass Castle (1411 AD):  https://www.facebook.com/tyrrellspasscastle/

Refreshed, Kilbeggan is mere minutes away -- Fancy an after lunch tipple???  biggrin  biggrin   http://www.kilbeggandistillery.com/

Moving on, Moate is the next town and may be of interest:  https://www.ireland.com/en-us/destinations/republic-of-ireland/westmeath/moate/   

BUt, by now you are less than 15 miles from Clonmacnoise, so . . .

Departing Clonmacnoise, a short drive brings you to Shannonbridge.  It a pretty village along the Shannon with LOTS to offer:

http://discovertheshannon.com/listings/shannonbridge/

http://www.irelandview.com/attractions/offaly-westoffalyrailway.php

And, can you really pass by a world-famous Pub/Tackle Shop??   https://www.discoverireland.ie/Activities-Adventure/killeens-pub-and-tackle-shop/50538

Shannon Harbour is next: http://discovertheshannon.com/listings/shannon-harbour/

And, then -- Birr is only about 9 miles further on . . .  

 



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Day 7 On the Drive to Sligo:  SO many choices -- SO little time!  confuse  confuse

Map of ONE possibility:  https://goo.gl/maps/Wt12Pg8ePxK2

First stop -- Athlone -- A Castle, boat rides on Lough Ree, or the Shannon, Sean's Bar (!).

Continuing North -- LeCarrow: http://discovertheshannon.com/listings/lecarrow/

Roscommon -- for the terrific Castle -- then Tulsk for the Rathcroghan Visitor's Center (A rival site to Tara):  http://www.rathcroghan.ie/

Next, a possible detour to Strokestown, for the National Famine Museum and/or Elphin with it's many ecclesiastic ruins and restored windmill:  http://visitroscommon.com/TownsandVillages/Elphin.aspx

Next up is Boyle:  https://www.enjoy-irish-culture.com/Boyle-Town.html     https://www.discoveringireland.com/boyle/    

The Abbey, the Chieftain ( in a road-side car park with incredible views!):  http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM4CVA_The_Gealic_Chieftain_Boyle_Co_Roscommon_Ireland

Lough key Forest park, Lough Gara and Lough Allen surround the area.  If Kinnity is a bit too rich, Castle McDermott (on it's own island!) was for sale for a 'paltry' 90,000 Euro -- but only IF the owner agrees  confuse  confuse   -- http://thesteepletimes.com/opulence-splendour/castle-with-catch-mcdermott/

Even if the seller agrees, you'll still need some 'Deep Pockets' -- It's QUITE the 'Fixer-Upper'! 

Beyond Boyle the Castle ruins at Ballinafad ( a very minor detour) might be worth a few minutes: http://www.megalithicireland.com/Ballinafad%20Castle.html

The next 'Big' site is Carrowmore -- but bring your hiking shoes --  there's a fair bit of walking and climbing.  You might want to save this for your 'Sligo Time'.

http://www.carrowkeel.com/sites/carrowmore/index.html



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Geno wrote:

Great material and so much to consider. Thank you so much for doing this for me. I appreciate your willingness to help with my plans.

Best wishes and again, Thanks!!!


 De Nada -- Or, Di Nulla, since I'm Italian!!  biggrin  biggrin

It's fun to relive past trips and plot out future ones -- Particularly when I'm not having to PAY for them! 



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Bob

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Geno, Great to hear another trip is in the works. Bob has given you a lot of great suggestions. There are not a lot of lodgings around the tiny charming village of Inistioge. Do you have something in mind?

I stayed at a wonderful B&B in Birr adjacent to and walking distanct to Birr Castle and a short walk to town. Walcot B&B. I highly recommend Birr Castle Gardens. Be sure to visit the waterfall. Kinnitty Castle Hotel is not too far away. They do music some nights in the dungeon bar.

If you get some halfway decent weather in Sligo be sure to do the Gleniff Horseshoe Drive. Sublime!

Bob and I both like the Premier Inn near Dublin Airport. Good prices, decent food, clean rooms and an airport shuttle.





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You might enjoy an episode of "Lords and Ladles" on Netflix. They did an episode at Birr Castle: https://www.netflix.com/title/80232420

The movies "Circle of Friends" & "Widow's Peak" were filmed in Inistioge. Be sure to see Woodstock Gardens up the hill. 



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Something else to look for online -- "Moone Boy".   It's hysterically funny stuff about growing up in Boyle in the '80's and '90's.  It's available on YouTube, Amazon  and more.

Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6bzxkl_8eQ

There's also a delightful movie / documentary called "The Irish Pub" -- It's available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9uaboCF1N4

The movie "Philomena" is based on a Mother and Child Home in Roscrea, by the way.



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Bob

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Bob: Thanks again for all the research material. I will enjoy that! I have seen the Irish Pub movie, and have been to many of those pubs and hope to get to a few others in that film during our trip if I am close.

Michele: I have stayed in Birr previously at The Maltings and thought it was a nice place, but will also check out the Walcott B&B as well. Also thought about staying in Athlone instead of Birr. Also we have located a great Air B&B in Inistioge, as like you said, it was obvious the B&B options were not plentiful.

To you both, any trad music recommendations on this route? Places that are must see in Sligo Town?

Thanks again!



-- Edited by Geno on Wednesday 6th of March 2019 12:12:57 PM

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I once spent an night in Athlone just to attend a John Spillane concert!  biggrin   Best of all, when we entered the crowded venue, we, of necessity, shared a large booth with another couple -- As it turned out, they were parents of the opening act -- Emer Dunne -- who joined us after her set.  Magic, I say -- absolute Magic!  biggrin biggrin

We are also good friends with another remarkable musician -- Ciaran Wynne --- but, I'm not sure any of them will be performing near you in August.  If any of them are, though, I recommend attending by ALL means.

In Athlone:  https://www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com/top-best-5-pubs-in-athlone-county-westmeath/    Of these, Sean's and the Snug would get my vote.

In Sligo, you'll be spoilt for choice.  We detoured there for SligoFest in 2012 and attended an intimate (and Magnificent) Van Morrison show -- complete with his daughter, Shana) -- but that's usually held in October -- and, of course, the artists vary from year to year . . . hmm

Off the top of my head -- Fury's, Shoot the Crows, Thomas Connolly would be worth checking.  We had a delightful meal at Fiddler's Creek.  They have live music, but it may not always be Trad . . . confuse  confuse

Some generic ideas (be sure to check closer to your trip):  https://tradconnect.com/profiles/blogs/sligo-irish-traditional-music-pub-session-guide

https://tradconnect.com/page/ireland-sessions-listing-pub

http://www.sligomusic.ie/whats-on/category/traditional-irish



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Geno- If while in Sligo, the band members of 'The No Crows' are playing at Shoot the Crows, GO! It might be Wednesday they play when in town. Great musicians, with the fiddle player being Steve Wickham, who played with the Waterboys along with many other bands. They were quite entertaining the night we were lucky enough to catch them.

We also enjoyed The Maltings in Birr. Eating breakfast and watching the ducks made it for me and my kids. The room cantilevers over the water so you have great views.

The more I travel anywhere in Europe, the more I enjoy having a base and staying several nights. I like coming back from a day trip and knowing where the restaurant, grocery store, pub, etc, are. Really seems to save time and lower stress the fewer jumps we make.

Have a great trip.

Bob- Bookmarked, great ideas, probably enough for 3 weeks, or 3 trips.



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Thanks for the Sligo ideas. And we also enjoyed The Maltings. Have stayed there a couple of times. If there is a better breakfast room in Ireland, I haven't found it yet, as you enjoy a wonderful spread with ducks swimming right under your feet as you gaze out to the river. It's quite a nice place and interesting experience.


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