Help planning an Ireland trip

FSU Girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Hi Again! This forum was so helpful with me planning my honeymoon trip I was wondering if it could happen again for my 1st anniversary trip to Ireland. Although technically Ireland isn't part of the UK, but it's nearby :) . I'm going for a week in October Wednesday-Wednesday and just got the okay from work for the dates so starting to plan. It's a little before our actual anniversary date, but I heard the weather wasn't that great in November.

I've come up with some things I want to do, any suggestions on other things to do or how to get to these places would be awesome :)

  • We are flying into Dublin. I'm thinking of spending two days in Dublin, anything in particular that's a must see? Also looking into hotels. I'm thinking maybe a Hilton since DH is a rewards member and we usually get upgraded, just not sure if it's located in a good spot in the city or not.
  • I want to stay in a castle, was looking into Ashford Castle. It looks like it's almost a three hour drive from Dublin. Not sure best way to get here. Was thinking of either renting a car and driving ourselves or hiring a car to take us and then take us back. I've looked into it, but the websites say email for a quote so I'm guessing it's crazy expensive.
  • I want to see the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle. I've seen a few tour companies that offer day trips to them from Dublin. I do like the idea of keeping one hotel and exploring the country, just not sure which company to use. If we rent a car for the castle would it make sense to have the car for the week and just drive ourselves around the country?
  • Is driving easy to do? DH has driven on the other side of the road before, but it was a long time ago. I looked at directions for the castle and it seems like it's mostly highway. Not sure about driving to the other places in the country.
  • Is there anything else we should see? It's a short trip so will need to cram it all in lol.
 

Woodview

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
I live in Cork ... 10 miles from Blarney Castle

Now ( A ) You have several choices of Hilton Hotels

Hilton Garden Hotel Custom House Quay , Hilton Hotel Dublin Airport ( 5 min walk )

Hilton Dublin Charlemont Place ( need lots of walk time ) & The Conrad

The best one for convenience would be Dublin Airport ( Bus connection for city center , At airport for Departure
& car rental desks )

( B ) Ashford Castle how deep is your purse ?

( C ) Paddy Wagon Bus tour is the one Operate from / near The G. Post Office in O'Connell St.

( D ) Take Aircoach Bus ( Dublin Airport ) direct to Cork ( buy return ticket or on line )

And at arrival in Cork Walk 2 min ( left ) to Paddy Wagon office to take Blarney Castle Tour

OR The Jameson Distillery Whiskey Tour in Midleton

Walk 2 min ( right ) to the Metropole Hotel

( E ) Walk 10 min to train station & visit Cobh .. ( cove ) for The Real Titanic departure area ( 20 train journey )


The Best Souviners are in Blarney Woolen Mills 5 min walk from Castle
 

Woodview

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
You will need PASSPORTS

All you need is € Euros ( ATM cards with chip & Pin ) & a 3 pin European electric plug
 
  • Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    Wednesday arrive go to Hotel relax then take the Green double decker bus 747 to Heuston Station ( end of line )

    walk 15 min to Guinness tour . Back to hotel on Bus route 747 ( end of line = airport )

    Thursday Take local bus to City Center & take the Paddy Wagon tour bus to " Newgrange Heritage Site "

    Friday Take Paddy Wagon bus tour to The Cliffs of Moher

    Saturday Take AirCoach Blue Bus to Cork

    Sunday do Blarney Castle

    Monday Do Paddy Wagon tour of The Ring of Kerry

    Tuesday AirCoach bus back to Dublin airport ( 3 Hour journey )

    If I am home that weekend I might meet up with you in Cork
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    Wednesday arrive go to Hotel relax then take the Green double decker bus 747 to Heuston Station ( end of line )

    walk 15 min to Guinness tour . Back to hotel on Bus route 747 ( end of line = airport )

    Thursday Take local bus to City Center & take the Paddy Wagon tour bus to " Newgrange Heritage Site "

    Friday Take Paddy Wagon bus tour to The Cliffs of Moher

    Saturday Take AirCoach Blue Bus to Cork

    Sunday do Blarney Castle

    Monday Do Paddy Wagon tour of The Ring of Kerry

    Tuesday AirCoach bus back to Dublin airport ( 3 Hour journey )

    If I am home that weekend I might meet up with you in Cork
    Thank you for the help!
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    • We are flying into Dublin. I'm thinking of spending two days in Dublin, anything in particular that's a must see? Also looking into hotels. I'm thinking maybe a Hilton since DH is a rewards member and we usually get upgraded, just not sure if it's located in a good spot in the city or not.
    These are my thoughts on the Hilton Hotels listed above

    Hilton Garden Hotel Custom House Quay ,
    North city centre, about 10 minutes walk to Dublins main street O'Connell Street and the shopping district of Henry Street. Lots of public transport options, bus, tram (Luas ) and taxi. It is right beside an Irish Famine Tourist Attraction, The Jeanie Johnson sailing ship.

    Hilton Hotel Dublin Airport
    Not convenient for sightseeing in Dublin. I would only stay here to overnight after a flight or before a flight. It is about 30 minutes taxi drive depending on traffic to Dublin city centre sightseeing. The bus takes about the same time.

    Hilton Dublin Charlemont Place
    On the edge of the south side of Dublin city centre. Not walkable to tourist attractions, I would only advise taxi , not bus, as the area is not that good.

    The Conrad
    Located in a nice area in the city centre, but not really walkable to the main sight seeing things. There is a bus stop nearby and of there is always taxis.

    • I want to stay in a castle, was looking into Ashford Castle. It looks like it's almost a three hour drive from Dublin. Not sure best way to get here. Was thinking of either renting a car and driving ourselves or hiring a car to take us and then take us back. I've looked into it, but the websites say email for a quote so I'm guessing it's crazy expensive.
    Thats a really good choice, however its defiantly about 3 hours drive. There is a freeway across the country from Dublin to Mayo, but you would also have to drive in rural areas, where the roads are narrow, just 1 lane in each direction and no street lights when it gets dark.

    Another option is Waterford Castle , https://www.waterfordcastleresort.com/ You can get a train to Waterford and then get a taxi from the train station to The Castle

    You should also check out this website https://www.originalirishhotels.com/hotels/type/castle-hotels for more ideas.

    • I want to see the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle. I've seen a few tour companies that offer day trips to them from Dublin. I do like the idea of keeping one hotel and exploring the country, just not sure which company to use. If we rent a car for the castle would it make sense to have the car for the week and just drive ourselves around the country?
    These are in totally different sides of the country. You have a couple of choices.
    Base yourself in Dublin and take day tours with Paddy Wagon or other tour companies.
    Pick a region, Dublin in the East, Cliffs of Moher in the West or Blarney Castle in the south. Rent a car and drive around that region. Dont try to criss cross the country, if you pick a region, you will find plenty to do.

    • Is driving easy to do? DH has driven on the other side of the road before, but it was a long time ago. I looked at directions for the castle and it seems like it's mostly highway. Not sure about driving to the other places in the country.
    I dont drive but I have been all over the country either visiting family or for work or just playing tourist. Ireland's road infrastructure is based on the hub design. Dublin in the east is where everything starts and ends. There 1 motorway / freeway south west from Dublin to Cork / Kerry. There 1 motorway / freeway south east from Dublin to Wexford. There 1 motorway / freeway west from Dublin to Galway / Mayo. There 1 motorway / freeway in a semi circular ring in a north / south direction around Dublin which connects the airport in the north and the south, west and east motorways / freeways.

    There are tolls in various places on each of the motorways / freeways. You would have to research the payment methods, some you can pay online up to 24 hours later, some you pay in cash at the tool booths.

    You would also have to research rules of the road and if you need an international drivers licence. From my limited knowledge as a none driver, even I am aware of differences in rules of the road between Ireland and USA.

    • Is there anything else we should see? It's a short trip so will need to cram it all in lol.
    Once you figure out where to base yourself, either in Dublin and take day trips, like you did in Scotland, or hire a car and explore a region, it will be easier to help you plan. Even though we are a small country, roughly about the land size of the State of Indian, each region north, south, east and west are very different and all have very unique things to see and do
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    You would also have to research rules of the road and if you need an international drivers licence. From my limited knowledge as a none driver, even I am aware of differences in rules of the road between Ireland and USA.
    I looked into it and we just need our normal drivers license to drive a rental car in Ireland. I’ve talked it over with DH and I think we are going to go with driving around the country instead of doing tour groups. I need to do some research on tolls. Also going to try and limit only driving when the sun is up. I’ve come up with a loose itinerary so far.

    Dublin either for one or two days, not sure. I’d like to be in walking distance of some of the popular attractions your reviews on the Hilton hotels is super helpful!

    We’ll get the rental car after leaving Dublin and drive to blarney castle. Trying to decide if we just stay one night down there or two and visit Cork and Cobh. Looking at the blarney golf resort or the Kingsley for a hotel.

    Then go to Killarney national park. I’m thinking this would be a full day? Or could we visit the cliffs of Moher on the same day? Trying to figure out the next hotel I’m thinking one in Galway to explore that city and then we’d go to Ashford and drive back to Dublin to fly home after two nights.
     
  • Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    I think you should re look at my advice

    While your ideas are good but for first timers you are being ambitious .

    your time is short so let someone else do the driving

    I have many relations who live in Europe & USA and they have all said they see more from a bus rather

    than driving themselves .

    The Hilton in Dublin Airport is a 5 min walk to the Bus stop ( At Kerbside to terminal 1 & 2 )

    The Metropole Hotel in Cork is a 5 min walk to the main shopping center of Cork

    The Kingsley is a 15 min drive or catch the 220 bus


    Killarney would take me at least an hour & a half to drive

    Dublin to Cork 3 hours + Dublin Traffic Tolls are 2 each way at cost of € 1.90 each


    The Paddy wagon tours are good fun and with many nationalities

    Sit Back & let someone else do the driving

    I have been driving for over 40 years both in Europe & USA & Australia

    This year 2 weeks in The Netherlands followed with 3 weeks in Florida . First September Germany

    for 2 weeks & in November back to Amsterdam .

    I used to bring my own car but now I rent one
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    I think you should re look at my advice

    While your ideas are good but for first timers you are being ambitious .

    your time is short so let someone else do the driving

    I have many relations who live in Europe & USA and they have all said they see more from a bus rather

    than driving themselves .

    The Hilton in Dublin Airport is a 5 min walk to the Bus stop ( At Kerbside to terminal 1 & 2 )

    The Metropole Hotel in Cork is a 5 min walk to the main shopping center of Cork

    The Kingsley is a 15 min drive or catch the 220 bus


    Killarney would take me at least an hour & a half to drive

    Dublin to Cork 3 hours + Dublin Traffic Tolls are 2 each way at cost of € 1.90 each


    The Paddy wagon tours are good fun and with many nationalities

    Sit Back & let someone else do the driving

    I have been driving for over 40 years both in Europe & USA & Australia

    This year 2 weeks in The Netherlands followed with 3 weeks in Florida . First September Germany

    for 2 weeks & in November back to Amsterdam .

    I used to bring my own car but now I rent one
    My last trip I did exactly that and had all tours and no driving ourselves. I did like it, but I don’t think driving will make us miss things. My husband has driven on the other side of the road in japan so not entirely new to the experience. The three hour driving isn’t really too much we live 3 hours from Disney and go often.

    I might be a little ambitious with the time and places. Maybe I should spend a few days in less places.

    I know I for sure want to spend two days at the Ashford castle.

    For Dublin I want to stay within walking distance of something.

    I figure for Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle we’d spend two hours at each and it would break up the drive.
     

    Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    I get as to what your ideal holiday wish is so I will revise my plan

    You arrive in Dublin & as I have pointed out everything is there .

    So Stay at the Hilton Hotel in Dublin Airport & then take local bus into city center for sightseeing

    Avoid Temple Bar .

    Next morning rent your car at the airport , use "rentalcars .com " or " sixt " or " holiday autos .com "

    for a prepaid voucher ( Insurance & unlimited kilometers , & Full to Full fuel ... go for a diesel car.

    You may or may not be able to book an automatic car.

    Journey trip To Ashford Castle , Cong , Co. Mayo

    Take Main Road towards Dublin & TAKE M.50 South which splits into Motorway M 4

    to Galway ( NOTE do not go through Port Tunnel to Dublin City center )

    NOTE YOU MUST PRE PAY FOR TOLL GOING ONTO M 50 ### AND ON RETURN ##

    There is NO Toll BOOTH ONLY OVERHEAD CAMERAS

    ASK at Airport Before you drive off

    Drive on to Galway THEN take N 84 to Headford & on to Cong And Ashford Castle Hotel

    Spend Friday enjoying the scenery in that area .... do not miss it .

    Saturday leave Cong & back to Galway AND then to GORT AND then Cross country to

    Corrofin , Kilfenora lisdoonvarna AND then The Cliffs of Moher


    After that drive to Ennistymon & Ennis then stay Saturday night at Dromoland Castle

    ALSO try and Book seats ( late sitting ) for eating at Bunratty castle Banquet , ( You will enjoy this )

    Sunday Drive to Cork ...... on the way 3 miles from Cork .... turn Left for Blarney Castle

    & Blarney Woolen Mills , for shopping ,.

    Stay overnight in The Metropole Hotel ( you pass the door & it is on the road back to Dublin )

    Monday drive to Cobh & Midleton ( Jameson Distillery tour )

    Tuesday drive M 8 back towards Dublin ( Cash toll € 1.90 ) but take exit for Cahir

    Visit Cahir Castle & Then back on to M8 & turn off for The Rock Of Cashel OR drive

    To Kilkenny & visit Kilkenny Castle

    After that drive on to Dublin ( Cash toll ? ? )

    THEN Entering DUBLIN Follow signs for Airport & Belfast

    You will again pass underneath the Toll Cameras so make sure you have Pre Paid a Return Toll charge

    Tuesday night return Car & Stay overnight at Hilton


    That is the best idea & route to use for your Short stay .....

    Drive it & enjoy the scenery Do not Rush Rush from A to B relax
     
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    Any update on plans ?
    We have a loose itinerary at the moment. We have a car booked that will pick up when we land at the airport and we are driving from there straight to Kilkenny. We are staying there one night then driving to Killarney. We haven't decided yet if we'll stop at Blarney or Rock of Cashel along the way. Staying in Killarney two nights and got a tour to go around the Ring of Kerry so we don't have to drive it. Then driving to see the Cliffs of Moher on our way to Ashford Castle, staying there two nights then driving to Dublin and spending on day there then flying home.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    that sounds doable, good idea about getting a driver for ring of Kerry, the scenery is stunning but the roads could be a hard drive if you are not used to them. When are you in Dublin, depending on my schedule it would be cool to meet up, I'm in Dublin city centre almost every day
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    that sounds doable, good idea about getting a driver for ring of Kerry, the scenery is stunning but the roads could be a hard drive if you are not used to them. When are you in Dublin, depending on my schedule it would be cool to meet up, I'm in Dublin city centre almost every day
    We're going to be in Dublin on October 15 a Tuesday. That would be fun to meet up!
     


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