Hey all, need a bit of help here. I am in charge of putting together a trip to Ireland in June of 08. None of us have ever been to the Emerald Island so we have no clue as to how long to stay or where. The current plan is to stay for 14 days and see what we can see. In looking at the map of the Island, it looks like 14 days will be enough to see everything, a couple of times. Am I mistaken? Some of the questions are B&B's or hotels? Car vs trains. We are all in our 50's and are not into hostels etc. We like the idea of B&B's but are not sure if a B&B in the country would be the best choice vs staying in towns or cities where the pubs would be more enjoyable. Any help you could provide would be helpful.
ps. I have purchased Frommer's guide to Ireland so it should give me most of what I am looking for, but off the main road ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Hey all, ... it looks like 14 days will be enough to see everything, a couple of times. Am I mistaken?
Firstly the car is a great way to see the hidden countryside and 14 days is a great time span, but there is no way you will see the whole country if you want to stay off the main roads. You must remember that while it is a small country, our large number of minor roads are stunning, yet twisty and slow. More importantly, most of them are empty once you get away from urban areas, so you can enjoy them yourselves! Signage is variable in rural areas, you will definitely spend time (and fun!) finding your way. If you are driving, buy a few decent maps or bring/hire a GPS from the car hire company. There is a lot to see in Ireland beyond the usual tourist trail (say, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare, Blarney Castle, Co. Cork, Killarney lakes etc) - it's also a good idea to build in some non-driving days as you suggest. On these days why not use the rail or bus stsyem to get to an urban area (I would strongly recommend this for Dublin, for example, and avoid driving here).
It's difficult to give an accurate average speed but on the main 'N' roads, you probably won't average more than 45mph and anything else nearer to 35mph.
B&Bs are great - you can pre-book a lot of them or simply turn up on the evening and see who has vacancies (usually most of them).
I invite you to check my website - unfortunately I am not allowed to include the link in my messages. If you Google "hidden dublin" you will find it - find the link towards the bottom of the page named "tours" and there are a couple of driving tours illustrated and described in detail. They might give you some idea of time/distance -- and we still felt we were rushing!
You're (or anyone else is) most welcome to contact me about acommodation - the site's free subscription includes extra info.
All the best and happy planning,
my parents went to ireland and found that the best way was to drive... they also stayed in bnbs n they were really ncie and super affordable. easy to find as well. n they were everywhere!! im really not one for flying by the seat of ur pants and not having accom booked but i think in ireland you can get away with it as my parents said every other house was a bnb!
I would strongly advise a couple of days in Northern Ireland as well. The contry is really great at the moment with loads of new attractions and cheap accomodation compared to the rest of the Island. Also you shouldn't miss the Giants Causeway in the very north of Nothern Ireland and Belfast is now a fantastic and very popular city.
you won't need a passport to visit but you will need different money, pounds sterling as opposed to Euro's
Anything else just ask.
Thanks to all for your hints. The five of us live in 3 different cities in the US so we are going back and forth with ideas of what is best. Self drive vs Escorted tour. B&B's vs hotels. Stay our whole trip in Ireland or try to sneak off for a few days to Scotland or Wales. Decisions, decisions. lol And Belfast is definetly going to be one of our stops.
Once again, thanks all.
Check out www.ryanair.ie Low-cost airline that does routes from Belfast, Dublin, shannon,Cork to the UK & Scotland if your thinking of a day or 2 over there..
But my advice would be, not to go Island hopping,. The last thing you need while on holiday/vacation is to be hanging around airports.
As for seeing all of Ireland in 14 days...Thats a definate no no.... Been living here 34 years and I have only seen half of it.
I agree with pretty much most of the above. 14 days is okay, but you could definitely spend plenty more time here. A car is pretty much the best way to get around, but ditch it every once in a while, especially in Dublin. Signage here can be pretty awful at times, so be ready to be "lost". Don't see Speed Limit signs as a challenge, sometimes they make absolutely no sense, and there's no reason to get in a wreck because of it. If you don't visit the North, especially the North Coast, you will be missing some of the island's best scenery. Another favorite of mine is the Dingle Peninsula. I'd definitely stay in some of the smaller towns, or else you'll be missing what Ireland really is. So, there's my two cents, I hope they are helpful.
I would definitly advise renting a car....and if you get the chance visit the North West - ie Donegal its really beautiful
If you would like any other advice please feel free to send a message..
Enjoy your trip!